Maria Manelidou was born in Tbilisi, Georgia, and raised in Kavala, Greece. She started playing chess at the age of 8 at Kavala Chess Club.


She made rapid progress, and has won a number of national and international tournaments, including becoming Greek Champion in her age category on no fewer than 8 occasions. Since moving to London, she continues to play county chess, league chess, and in tournaments around Europe, but her main focus is now on teaching the game to others.


Maria currently teaches in seven schools and one chess club, as well as coaching a number of private students. She enjoys sharing her passion for the game with her students, several of whom have gone on to achieve tournament success.