He is best known for being Garry Kasparov's coach from 1976 to 2005. Together they wrote Caro-Kann: Classical 4…Bf5 book (1984). Kasparov said: "The name of Alexander Shakarov might not be world famous, but hardly anyone has lived a life more dedicated to chess. He is one of the most dedicated workers I've ever met."
The fourth chapter of Tibor Karolyi's 2009 book Genius in the Background is devoted to him.