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GM Eugene Perelshteyn vs GM Varuzhan Akobian – How to be a Grandmaster Series – Video #7

About GM Eugene Perelshteyn

Eugene Perelshteyn is a United States chess grandmaster as well as author of many chess books. We caught up with Eugene and he was kind enough to give us a text interview. This game is brilliant win he playing the black pieces against fellow US grandmaster Varuzhan Akobian at the 2007 US Chess Championships.

Watch the Chess Video

My chess interview with Eugene Perelshteyn

When did you learn chess and who taught you?

I learned around 7-8, taught by my father Mikhail Perelshteyn, who is a professional chess coach

When did you begin playing chess tournaments and how did you do?

My first tournament was at age 10 in Russia in a chess club ran by my father. [I] don’t remember how i did.

When did you begin making legitimate progress in your game and how?

My biggest jump was after working with GM Roman Dzindzichashvili. I went from 2370 to 2500 USCF over a course of a few tournaments.

What are your top book recommendations for beginner to intermediate players? (<2000)

“My System”, “Sharpen your Tactics”, and “Zurich 1953”

What are your top book recommendations for advanced players? (2200+)

“My 60 Most Memorable Games” by Fischer and “The Road to Chess Improvement” by Yermolinsky

What is next in your chess career – what are your aspirations as a player/instructor, etc..?

I’d like to see chess become more financially lucrative for American GMs. St.Louis Chess Club is the only place in the country that made huge leaps toward this direction. I also love teaching chess and have several promising students.

Do you have any charity causes that you would like to promote? (chess-related or not…)

Partners In Health, located in MA (not chess related)

Nature or Nurture: Do you think top chess players are born with a natural ability/gift or do they become so talented through hard work and the right environment?

I think now anyone can become a GM with hard work. However, to reach top 10 you definitely need talent. (I also agree with Kasparov that ability to work hard also requires special talent).

How do you feel about cheating in chess? (specific deterrents/punishments?)

Ban for life once caught

Who is your favorite player and why?

All of the World Champions are fascinating as each brought something new to the game.My childhood favorites are: Alekhine for his imagination, Petrosian for his intuition

How to be a Grandmaster Series

People always want to know how Grandmaster’s achieved the extraordinary feat of becoming a GrandMaster. I noticed most Grandmaster interview’s focus more on recent and upcoming tournament’s and do not focus on how they became a GrandMaster.

More then just nature and nurture, there are secrets

While most people assume that becoming a GrandMaster is simply a formula of natural talent and hard work, we’ve discovered there is more to the secret formula. Our interview series hopes to unlock these “GrandMaster secrets” so we can learn to not only work harder, but smarter as well.

More chess interviews on the way

Our GrandMaster Interview series includes both audio and video interviews on our YouTube as well as text interviews with corresponding games on our site. We hope you enjoy these grandmaster interviews. Comments are appreciated and if you have questions you’d like to ask future grandmasters, let us know.

By Chess Coach Will Stewart (USCF 2256, FIDE 2234). Follow William on Facebook and Twitter Thank you to for letting us use their interface.

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Damian Lemos
A recent iChess survey has concluded that 78% of club players rated between 1200 and 1900 commit these same 5 crucial mistakes. Find out what they are in this free course created by Grandmaster Damian Lemos who has years of experience coaching club players

One Comment

chessContact says:

“How to become a GM” is a great series to help all-level player realize that it is not just talent to help bring real achievements in chess. Talent is over-rated. The human brain is an amazing learning machine and with hard work, interest, motivation AND that secret formula that this series is helping find, you can reach high levels.

In my view, it is our “primitive”, or better yet “prime” brain (from Latin primus, first), that driving force behind the most important functions to be successful in life and chess, that must be part of that secret formula.

We need to unleash enormous potential of the power brain! Believe it or not, the following are all functions the power brain is in charge of: habit formation, learning, goal-setting, decision making, ambition, motivation, trust, self-confidence, risk-taking, snap judgement, “gut-feeling”, intuition, creativity, imagination, determination, etc.

GM Perelshteyn is right, you can become expert, or master level (I’m not sure about GM:) with the right attitude and training (that’s why it is important to have a respectable coach)

Former world champion Dr.Lasker famously said that, with proper 100-hour training, he would make anyone a master …

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