Book Reviews

In this page I will add fragments from some of the reviews Chess Structures a Grandmaster Guide has received since its publication in February. If you have been reading the book, and would like to submit your own review, email it to and I will post here.

Reviews from Titled Players

  1. GM Julio Sadorra published a very detailed review in Chessity. Part 1 & Part 2
  2. IM John Bartholomew published a video review on his blog, which you can watch here

Editorial Reviews

“There is also masses of stuff in the book that made me go ‘Oooh!’ and ‘Aaah!’ so I think it will have the same effect on you! In particular, I loved Rios’ exposition of White’s plan of exerting queenside pressure against Hedgehog systems. I’d seen one of the games he quotes in his chapter but I’d never remotely made any link to a structured way of fighting the Hedgehog structure, so this chapter was a real eye-opener for me…

In conclusion, warmly recommended. Lots to learn!”

GM Matthew Sadler, New in Chess

Guided by Structures

  • […]”The Grandmaster selects games that are particularly instructive for typical ideas, analyzes them, and distills them down to the most essential patterns and ideas.”
  • “It seems that a lot of thought went into the pedagogical makeup of the book, and that effort has paid off grandly. This is among the best non-beginner works for learning chess that I’ve seen.”
  • “Flores Rios does an exceptional job of clearly describing the interrelation between pawn structure and planning, and he offers his readers a stockpile of typical plans and ideas in most of the major pawn configurations.”

John Hartmann, ChessBookReviews      Full Review

  • “In studying this book, the reader will become acquainted with the typical plans, patterns, and strategic ideas related to the various pawn structures, with each game designed to be a building block toward the understanding of the structure as a whole.
  • No matter what your rating, the reader will learn much more about chess to a far deeper extent by studying this book than by looking for the latest move-thirty novelty in any opening treatise.

My assessment of this product: 6/6″

Brian Almeida, ChessCafe      Full Review

“Flores excellently manages to find the positional essence and the basic plans to take from the games, in short and very understandable comments… Essential for players rated between 1500 and 2300.”

Dennis Calder

“Quality Chess never seem afraid of publishing books which might not, at first glance, attract a wide readership. Chess Structures is a case in point. It can’t be easy even thinking of an attention-grabbing title for such a subject, but I can say right from the start that this erudite tome is well worth the investment of time and money.”

Sean Marsh, CHESS magazine

Amazon Reviews:

Perfect Guide to Important Pawn Structures, their Positional Characteristics and Tactical Motifs

  • “One of the best and most instructional chess books I’ve ever read — and I’ve read quite a few.”
  • “Each chapter of the book is devoted to covering, in depth, and from both sides, one type of pawn structure.”
  • “After showing the salient characteristics of the structure and stating which plans have been found to be most effective in handling that structure, he walks you, in depth, through several games in which that structure occurs.”
  • “The book is doubly valuable in that he covers each position from a neutral perspective, showing the best plans for Black and White in each position, and analyzing, in depth, games which show the typical plans in action.”
  • “I think that each chapter here is more instructional than the average opening book on each particular opening covered.
  • “Highly recommended for anyone below GM level.”

Scored 5/5 by Nimzo, Amazon costumer. Full review

Excellent monograph on modern strategic chess

  • ” The style and quality of annotation is reminiscent of Mihail Marin — i.e., insightful and a perfect blend of explanation and variational analysis. Flores claims he looked at over 20,000 games to select the ones he analyses in his book. They are (virtually) all grandmaster games of the last few years (2006-2014)”
  • “Target readership? Probably USCF 1800-2300 though players lower than 1800 and higher than 2300 can also expect to learn something.”
  • “If you are serious about your chess, buy a copy. Sell the family silver, remortgage your house, “do what you gotta do” to buy the book.”

Scored 5/5 by A.Ali, Amazon customer Full Review

A Fundamental Book

  • “Each structure is studied in the light of modern games, the most cited player is Carlsen. Comments are always precise and illuminating.”
  • This approach (strategy based on the pawn structure) was lacking in classical chess literature. (paraphrased)
  • “This reference book will greatly help any player wishing to progress (especially over 1800 Elo) and coaches.”

Scored 5/5 by Neiman, customer Full Review  (in French)

What a book!

  • “That book really surpassed my expectations. The author does not waste time in superfluous explanations. He knows how to go deep inside the mechanics of the commonly played pawn structures and present the topics in a pleasant and intelligent manner.
  • The sample games are jewells and up to the point. I really love that book!”

Scored 5/5 by Jean Kenel Louis, Amazon customer.

This is simply an excellent book! Truly amazing

” I’ve been training with a GM for the past months. One point he has insisted over and over again is to familiarize myself with the pawn structures arising from the openings I play. In this order of ideas, this is simply an excellent book! Truly amazing.”

Scored 5/5 by lmurray2, Amazon customer.

A great book

“[…]This is a great book, and in my opinion should be an early contender for Chess Book of the Year. ”

Scored 5/5 by Chess Master, Amazon customer Full Review

Excelent book about chess pawn structures. The best ever? probably yes!

  • “Chess structures is an excellent book, probably the best book regarding chess structures that has been ever written (or at least that I know! I own 4, and checked some others).”
  • “The author cover all main pawn structures, and describe them clearly and in a very didactic way, keeping always clear objectives and the strategy needed for every structure.”
    Another thing that I like very much is the structure of the book […] when you are learning, organization is always very useful to save time and don’t mix ideas.”
  • ” Highly recommended book and nice high value blog complement. My two cents as book of the year for this jewel.”

Scored 5/5 by catalanplayer, Amazon customer Full Review

The author’s writing is excellent and accessible to class player

  • “Learning the structures and plans help me understand the opening I play a lot more than just memorizing moves. When the tactics run out, I am now less likely to drift as I know the basic plans to pursue.”
  • “Second, the book goes beyond the structures, but also teaches basic middlegame and endgame principles. For this reason, I find myself going through games in the book, even those not in my opening/structure.”
  • “Third, the author’s writing is excellent and accessible to class players (I am a USCF class B). He knows when to add variations and when to keep going.”
  • “This book is destined to be a classic. “

Scored 5/5 by PATB, Amazon customer Full Review

The ultimate guide to planning in chess

  • “Planning all starts from the opening. Don’t let people trick you into not studying the opening, the opening dictates what you do for the rest of the game. I knew before I even got this book that it was going to be a critical part of advanced training.”
  • “This book goes over the plans of common structures that arise from various openings. These are the plans that you must know if you want to take your game and understanding to the ‘next level.’ “
  • With the proper understanding of the general plans and various examples, finding the right moves and way forward is a breeze.”

Scored 5/5 by GDiaz, Dillon E. Price Full Review

Focused and through

“This book is very thorough. I’m at 1800 and have found it extremely useful. I haven’t gone through the whole book, but so far it has focused the main points so well that I have found them easy to implement in my games.”

Scored 5/5 by GDiaz, Amazon customer Full Review

  • “This is an absolute stunner of a book”
  • “destined to be a classic book of our time.”

Scored 5/5 by Amazon customer Full Review


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