In USSR chess books were published in vast editions. It looked absolutely normal when some collection of games was issued in 100 thousands copies. Nowadays even such an undoubted bestseller as Kasparov’s books in Russian language comes into world in no more that 5 thousand copies. Despite enormous issues one couldn’t easily get some good book in 70-80ies. When I managed to buy one book of Yugoslavian Chess Informant for 9 rubles (that was about 1/20 part of my mother’s monthly salary), I was the happiest boy in the world. Chess Informant and Encyclopedias were sold only in departments of foreign literature and one had to wait almost 1 year for a book .
Perhaps since that time I keep anxious attitude towards books. When in the process of training work I collected a lot of interesting materials, together with Andrei Volokitin we decided to write a book. With help of original structure we tried to combine best fragments of Andrei’s games and instructive positions from recent praxis of other players. The literary part of work on “Perfect your chess” took more than a year. In our book we tried to select high quality positions which would be interesting both for players and trainers for self improvement. Our goal was produce material and detailed explanations which would push reader to higher level of understanding chess. We are really happy that readers and critics appreciated our efforts.
“Collection that was written by grandmaster Volokitin and his trainer Master Grabinsky, this is a very good collection of exercises, a very high level.”. IM Mark Dvoretsky, chessvibes.com
Before a tournament I try to solve studies or positions. By the way, there have appeared some excellent puzzle books for high level of play. These are book by Andrei Volokitin and his coach Grabinsky, dutch-scotch GM Aagaard published few such books, I espacially like "Practical Chess Defence". I always did this work, but now I am working more determined. GM Boris Gelfand
- How can you improve your calculation of variations? Can you recommend any book for that?
I'm afraid this might be seen as advertising, but I can recommend you the book "Perfect Your Chess" by Volokitin and Grabinsky. In my opinion it really is very good. GM Ruslan Ponomariov
“Another book, useful to serious tournament players, comes from Andrei Volokitin, for a brief time in 2005 the world's top-rated junior, and his coach, Vladimir Grabinsky. Their work "Perfect Your Chess," issued by Gambit Publications, is a wonderful training book” GM Lubomir Kavalek, Washington Post
"The highlight of this genre" - Harald Keilhack, Schach
"A delightful selection of puzzles" - IM Gary Lane, Chess Moves
"Perfect Your Chess is one of the best chessbooks that has come into my hands in recent years." - Martin Rieger, freechess.info
"Make no mistake, these are non-trivial positions. After moving from the FM to the IM level positions, Keti [Arakhamia-Grant, IM] suggested it was like the change from a pleasant walk in the springtime to starting to climb a mountain in winter. I'm not going to ask when she reaches the GM level puzzles. Some examples are extraordinarily beautiful just for the enjoyment of playing through so this book is strongly recommended to all." - Jonathan Grant, Scottish Chess
"A word about the authors. Andrei Volokitin is only 21 but he has already accomplished a lot, most significantly playing board three for the gold medal winning Ukrainian Olympic team at Calvia in 2004 - his score of 8.5 from 12 earning him a 2771 performance rating. His co-author, IM Vladimir Grabinsky, is probably only known in the Ukraine but I became acquainted with him this summer while playing in a round robin in Edmonton. One day I had the opportunity to ask the top-seed, 21-year-old GM Valery Aveskulov, how it was that the Ukraine produced so many great young talents. I had already factored in a tradition of excellence, government and private support, and an economically challenging environment in which being a chess professional did not look so bad, but Valery added one more key ingredient - good coaching. One of the best he said was IM Grabinsky of Lvov and then rattled off a list of teenage IMs and GMs over 2500 on a rapid course toward 2600. Perfect Your Chess is geared towards this level and many of the young talents Aveskulov mentioned have gone through this material which relies on the games of Volokitin and others. ... If you think you can solve ten exercises in half an hour forget it. Try one or two. Even if you fail, take heart, Volokitin and Grabinsky offer detailed explanations that add to the learning experience. ... Highly recommended." - IM John Donaldson, jeremysilman.com
“I found the following game fragment in an outstanding collection of exercises, prepared by Andrei Volokitin and his trainer, Vladimir Grabinsky, entitled, Perfect Your Chess (the Russian edition came out under the title: “Self-Teacher For Wonderboys”)”. IM Mark Dvoretsky, chesscafe.com
“When I’m serious, I set the harder positions up on a board, take my time, and write out the solutions. For this, my current favorite book is Perfect Your Chess”. WIM Elizabeth Vicary uschess.org
“Jan Timman, in his book On The Attack, describes young Ukranian super GM Andrei Volokitin as “a single minded player … with a head full of wild ideas”.
"369 demanding puzzles, intelligently collected from current material. The solutions are deeply and entertainingly explained." - Dr. Erik Rausch, Rochade Europa
"Perfect Your Chess, by Andrei Volokitin and Vladimir Grabinsky – If you are over 2000 you simply must get this book. Solve six problems a day and your strength will skyrocket. I am not exaggerating, this book is the closest thing to magic chess dust that we have. Of course you must also work hard as you find the best move in each example" Kavutskiy, Konstantin Fide master
What are your top book recommendations for advanced players? (2200+)
"I am determined to solve this excellent training book from cover to cover…" - GM Jonathan Rowson, New-in-Chess
Sometimes I write articles about important event which I witnessed. My memory keeps battles between Ivanchuk and Leko which were organized by Joseph Resh. It was fantastic experience to be a press-officer at these matches. For the Chessbase site I wrote an article about Lviv chess school which presents to the world Vassily Ivanchuk, Aleksander Beliavsky, Leonid Stein, Oleg Romanishin, Andrei Volokitin and many other world-known players. You can read about my native city and its best chess players in my article Lviv – the chess capital of Ukraine.