Rizzitano presents lessons from his own experiences that will be most relevant to club and tournament players. He shows how by analyzing their own games, players can gain a greater understanding of their strengths and weaknesses, and he explains they can shape their approach to chess to make the most of their abilities. Major topics include: Developing a reliable and coherent opening repertoire; The importance of understanding opening theory rather than simply memorizing it; Theoretical novelties: finding your own, and facing the opponent's; Opening selection depending upon the nature of the game and event; Risk management and 'playing for a win'; Competing successfully against higher-rated opposition; Accumulating small advantages: a safe method when the opponent plays for a draw; The power of the initiative: lighting a fire and keeping it burning.
James Rizzitano is a strong international master who dominated chess in the New England region during a 14-year period from 1976 to 1989 - he won 157 out of 336 events in which he competed. His career highlights include victories over Alburt, Benjamin, Benko, Christiansen, Dlugy, I.Gurevich, and Wolff, and exciting draws with de Firmian, Larsen, Speelman, and the legendary former world champion Tal.