The first step towards self-improvement is self-assessment, and so Baker starts off with advice on assessing your own strengths and weaknesses. He then discusses how to form and improve your opening repertoire, and how to prepare for competitive play. Next comes advice on how to think at the board, how to cope with time-pressure, and chessboard psychology. A welcome feature is a summary of the most important rules of chess that competitive players must know. Baker also discusses how to learn from your games and how to study chess using books and computers, or with the help of a trainer.