Item description for Understanding Your Chess by James Rizzitano...
James Rizzitano, an experienced international master, has reassessed games from the whole of his career, and in this book presents the lessons from them that will be most relevant to club and tournament players.
A common problem for the typical weekend competitor or club player is that his time available for studying chess is very limited. What should he study? Grandmasters from Botvinnik to Yermolinsky have stressed the importance of reviewing and annotating your own games. Rizzitano shows how by doing that you can gain a greater understanding of your strengths and weaknesses, and drawing upon his own experiences, explains how to shape your approach to chess to make the most of your own 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
The book contains more than 60 deeply annotated games.
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Reviews - What do customers think about Understanding Your Chess?
Feel Cheated! Feb 11, 2008
Every aspiring chess player is always on the lookout for that book which is going to help them take their game forward to the next level. When I saw the title "Understanding Your Chess" that's exactly what I thought this book would do. I was deeply disappointed! Firstly, the title is completely misleading. This book has nothing to do with understanding YOUR chess. It has something to do with understanding the author's chess (even that done poorly) but does nothing to guide the reader in how to approach understanding their own chess, analyzing and finding ways to improve their chess. Secondly, even though the author might be a strong chess player, and has played some good chess, his commentary is very uninspiring and lacks any insights which could be defined as helping to understand the chess better. I got the impression that IM Rizzitano has a lot of passion for chess and has a good sense of humor but there are hundreds of other chess players out there that also have those qualities and don't go out and write a book. Once again, what really annoyed me with this book is it's false title. I think chess players must be the easiest crowd to lure into buying books they think will improve their game. This, in my opinion, is deffinately not one of them!
Very Instructive Commentary and Analysis Mar 27, 2004
This book contains some very instructive commentary and analysis. International Master James Rizzitano was a legend on the American Swiss-System chess tour during the 1980's. I saw him play in the US Open in Boston and at a couple World Opens in Philadelphia during the late 1980's and he was simply a ferocious, fearless player. His playing style can best be described as a cross between the Latvian attacking player Alexei Shirov and the Swedish endgame expert Ulf Andersson. I think he started out as a straight-ahead go-for-the-throat attacking player and evolved into a more positional style; the book contains some real strategic masterpieces. The book contains some great notes and instructional material; it is 192 oversized pages with very little white space, so it is really around 300+ pages of a typically sized book. I was unable to put this book down once I began reading it; the lessons and stories are very well-written and I enjoyed the games tremendously. Some of the world's best players are in here along with most of the top United States players of the past 20 years or so. I strongly recommend this book.
Clear, Easy to Understand Lessons Mar 27, 2004
This book is outstanding! I am a Class A player (sometimes an Expert!) and Rizzitano's lessons really hit home. The prose is extremely well-written, the game selection and chess notes are fantastic, and there has been incredible attention to detail. The fundamental theme of Understanding Your Chess is that it is important to analyze your own games in order to improve. Some of the innovative features I really like about this book are: 1) The games are grouped together by various themes and ordered chronologically - a clear connection is drawn between games, including ones that demonstrate a different lesson. Also, the 64 complete games which comprise the main body of the book are given interesting titles (similar to Bobby Fischer's classic My 60 Memorable Games) to help the reader remember the themes. 2) The USCF ratings of the players are given so that you can see how Rizzitano (and some of his opponents) improved over time; the rating span is an 800 point range from 1800 to his peak of around 2600. I have never seen a book in which a strong player gives some of his games when he was relatively low-rated and pinpoints his weaknesses - the book is very compelling. 3) The notes are outstanding; Rizzitano typically explains the important themes to look for within the variations. 4) The notes are honest; there are many places where Rizzitano admits that he overlooked a certain move or couldn't calculate a variation correctly. In conclusion, a fantastic book.