Chess Explained books are not theoretical works in the traditional sense, but more a series of lessons from a chess expert with extensive over-the-board experience with an opening. You will gain an understanding of the opening and the middlegames to which it leads, enabling you to find the right moves and plans in your own games. It is as if you were sitting at the board with a chess coach answering your questions about the plans for both sides, the ideas behind particular moves, and what specific knowledge you need to have.

The Queen's Gambit Declined is one of the most important and popular of chess openings. While an immensely solid and classical choice for Black, it has remained highly topical for more than a century. Both sides have ways to create imbalance and test their opponent's skills and knowledge in a full-blooded struggle. Most of the World Champions have taken both sides of the QGD, with Spassky and Karpov especially notable defenders of Black's cause. In addition to the traditional main lines with Bg5, White has at his disposal the Exchange Variation, and the Bf4 system, both of which can be handled in highly aggressive style if he wishes. Rizzitano covers all these lines and a plethora of other important lines, focusing on the fundamental ideas on which they are based.

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. Rizzitano has recently made a return to competitive chess, and has already written three successful books for Gambit.

Gambit books by Rizzitano: Understanding Your Chess, How to Beat 1 d4, Chess Explained: the Taimanov Sicilian, Chess Explained: the Queen's Gambit Declined, Play the Najdorf Sicilian.

Download a pdf file with a sample from the book.

"Later when I found out that everything up to 20 Rg5! was in Rizzitano's book, I realised that this was the second point I had won because of his books." - IM David Vigorito, Chess Horizons

"In the realm of the QGD literature, this work has positioned itself well. All of the main variations are covered, the quality of games and annotations are excellent, and the current state of opening theory is adequately assessed. ... I would not hesitate to recommend this book to aspiring QGD players. You get plenty of quality material and you'll develop a stronger positional 'feel' if you play through the games." - Lou Mercuri, Chess Horizons

"The look of the chosen games and the layout of their performance is another Rizzitano masterwork. Jim is playing chess again. Everything he writes, to me, is worthwhile. If you've wanted to begin learning something about the playability of the QG and how it would work for you, I can think of no better book." - Bob Long,

"I should also loudly call attention to Rizzitano's new, well-written, and amazingly well-researched Chess Explained: The Queen's Gambit Declined ... he doggedly investigates even the latest correspondence game to construct a partial repertoire that is immediately playable, and to keep up with where the current arguments are." - IM John Watson, TWIC

"The material in this book is excellently presented with good evaluations of the actual value of each main line and many sub-main lines, in addition to many new ideas and improvements over existing theory, just like in Rizzitano's other works." - Carsten Hansen,

"What I like about Gambit's 'Chess Explained' series, is that (to coin a phrase) it does exactly what it says on the tin. ... my experience is that each offering comes down to the purpose of attempting to enlighten the reader, and broaden his or her understanding of chess as a whole and not merely the topic in question. This begins right at the earliest opportunity, (i.e. the beginning of the game), and continues with gusto there-after. This factor is high on the list of reasons why I, one who tends to approach opening books with caution, am usually very quick to recommend such works by Gambit. ... Simply put I have absolutely no hesitation in recommending this book. I found it to be very well researched, nicely set out, and a very competent guide to beginning with this opening. If you are considering adopting the Queen's Gambit Declined as part of your repertoire you can do no better than to start here, and if you are looking for a main weapon against the Queen's Gambit, all the better! As a Meran player for the best part of 15 years, thanks to James I might just give the QGD a whirl myself! Chess Gateway Rating: Queen - snap it up fast!" - John Lee Shaw,

"...the fourth book by New England IM James Rizzitano for Gambit and once again he has a winner. ... in the midst of ably explaining the basics Rizzitano offers some tasty nuggets." - IM John Donaldson,

"As with Rizzitano's previous works on the QGA and Taimanov Sicilian, this looks like a comprehensive and readable summary of the current state of QGD theory." - Steve Giddins, British Chess Magazine

"A very complete learning book on the Queen's Gambit Declined!" - John Elburg,