Knowing how journalists rewrite us, the answers below are probably more or less what Nikos said 🙂
Nikos Ntirlis (“Reporter”, 29/9/2012)
Famous…away from home
He has got an enquiring mind and that’s why from a little kid he studied a lot of things, like astronomy. He also got involved with sports and especially martial arts where he got 2 Black belts. Today, Chess is his primary pursuit. He has got the title of “FIDE Trainer”. We are talking about the 28 year old from Patras, Nikos Ntirlis, the coach of Danish National Team…
How did you start working on chess?
N.N: When I was 17 years old, a big age for someone that wants to become good at international level. My first teacher, Nikos Karapanos, said to me that someday I’d become a good player, but not a great one, but if I was determined enough and worked hard I’d become a great chess coach! My teacher sadly passed away in August 2009, at the age of 42. In his memory I wrote my first chess book that was published in English.
How come an English-speaking publication house got interested for your work?
N.N: In Greece, today especially due to the financial crisis, it is next to impossible to publish a chess book if you don’t posses in your own the money for it and you don’t have the necessary support. Abroad, those things don’t count. What really counts is the quality of your work. The best world-wide publication house dedicated on chess decided to publish a book with my name on it, in their most prestigious series, the Grandmaster Repertoire series, where only famous authors sign the books. At the beginning I couldn’t believe it (and still, sometimes it seems that everything is a dream), but the book got published, it sells relatively well, the reviews are good (it was even voted for the second best book of the year) and the publishers are pleased with it. I don’t need more than that to be happy.
How did the work for the Danish Federation happen?
N.N: As a trainer I work mainly today with students abroad. Some of them are very successful players in their countries and this is always a good referral for a trainer. In August 2011 the European Team Championships took place in Halkidiki and this is when I was first approached to work for the Danish Team. After the event they went pleased with our co-operation, so I got a proposal for working again for them in the Chess Olympiad at Istanbul this year, 27 August to 10 of September. The Chess Olympiad is the biggest and most important tournament in chess.
And how did the team perform?
N.N: Among 158 countries, we ended up 18nth which seems to be the second best placement of the Danish team in their history (they were 9nth at 1978 but before the Soviet Union and the Yugoslavia destruction produced so many new countries) and we left behind teams with great tradition in chess like Israel, India and also Greece who has done well in the last times.
What are you future plans?
N.N: I’d like more people to know about chess and especially young kids to get involved with it because chess offers so many tools to use them later in their lives.