Andrei Volokitin is one of a rare breed of players: he achieved a ranking in the world's top 20 while still a teenager, playing dynamic and often brilliant chess. Although we cannot all aspire to emulate his achievements, there is much that we can learn from his training methods, his games and his general approach to chess. These topics are the subject of this book, written in collaboration with his trainer.
The core material of the book is 375 positions where the reader is given a task or asked a question. These tasks resemble those that players regularly face over the board, and are especially useful from a training viewpoint. Sometimes we are told we need to find a combination, but often the task is simply to decide on a move. It is for us to determine whether to play quietly or stake everything on a sacrificial attack!
The examples are all from recent years, and so even the most zealous reader of chess literature will have seen few of them previously. Many of the positions are from Volokitin's own games, so we get the 'inside story' on some truly spectacular chess. We are also presented with fine examples from Grabinsky's training files, carefully collected and graded over the years for their instructive merit. The commentaries and detailed solutions explain the key issues in each position, and also convey the authors' philosophy of chess and their love for the game.
Grandmaster Andrei Volokitin was born in 1986 in Lvov. In 2004, he won the Ukrainian Championship and was a member of the team that won the Chess Olympiad in Calvia. In the January 2005 rating list he was, at age 18, placed in the world's top 20 for the first time. He has won many prizes in junior championships and major international events.
International Master Vladimir Grabinsk y is the coach of the Ukrainian youth team. In addition to Volokitin, his pupils include several other players who have achieved international titles at an early age.