Chess Structures in Practice - The Najdorf Type I

GM mauricioflores
Mar 21, 2016, 7:46 PM |

This post is a summarized version of my latest post in, if you would like to see the full version, visit this link

It has been a year since Quality Chess published Chess Structures, and I must admit that the book’s success has exceeded all my expectations. Two translations are being published (French & Italian) and many great reviews have come along, both by specialists, and people in Amazon and other websites. Of course, more reviews are always encouraged/welcome =)

The concept and teaching methodology of Chess Structures was very well received, and I have decided to expand this treatment of chess strategy in subsequent books. I hope these books will bring many interesting insights into

  1. New Aspects of the Game (Both endings & middlegame, I can’t disclose details yet)
  2. Examine Complex Structures previously ignored
  3. Provide a deeper coverage of selected structures

For more details, you can see my website.


I am very interested in hearing your opinion about the following:

  1. Which pawn structures would you like to know more about?
  2. In what ways could the next book be an improvement over Chess Structures?
  3. Is there a particular topic or aspect of the game you think ought to be included

I encourage you to leave a comment below, and/or email your suggestions to I will be happy to take your suggestions into account.



Now, as usual, I am posting my analysis of a recent game. This time, the final game in the World Championship match. I believe this game was the most interesting game of the match (from a technical standpoint). Hou Yifan obtained the Najdorf Type I structure (Chapter 8 in the book) in the ending, and managed to carry out the standard c4-c5 plan with a decisive effect. Meanwhile, Muzychuk’s kingside play proved ineffective, as there are no realistic checkmate threats and White’s pawn structure seems to neutralize other attempts. My personal guess is that, despite the engine’s modest evaluation, Hou Yifan was able to correctly assess this ending as very favorable for her, at least in practice.


Final Remarks:
Probably the most remarkable thing about this game is how Hou Yifan goes from a seemingly level ending into an obviously winning position in the space of ten moves. In my opinion, Muzychuk did not properly assess her chances in the ending. Black’s position wasn’t quite good enough for the following reasons:
  • White’s pawn had already reached a5, guaranteed a space advantage in the queenside, and ensuring the effectiveness of a c4-c5 break
  • Black’s kingside attack wouldn’t offer mating prospects
  • Black needed to break on the queenside with the natural e5-e4, but having her rooks on c8 & a8, this plan wasn’t well suited for success.

I chose this example because it illustrates some of the strategic nuances of the Najdorf Type I in an ending. Something I didn’t do in my 1st book, but definitely something I plan to do in the future. I am awaiting for comments and suggestions. Thanks for reading.