The English Opening, which occurs after the move 1.c4, is one of the most popular chess openings for White thanks to its flexibility and many ways to play for the win.
Not only has the English Opening been frequently played by the best grandmasters of the past – Garry Kasparov, Anatoly Karpov, Mikhail Botvinnik and Bobby Fischer – but also it is played by many leading grandmasters today – Levon Aronian, Magnus Carlsen, Fabiano Caruana, Peter Svidler, Hikaru Nakamura, Vassily Ivanchuk and many more.
Most club players are not that well prepared against the English Opening and only have a vague idea of how to counter it. The opening can easily cause some headaches for an unprepared Black player, especially if White is booked up with the latest theory.
It is a common occurrence that club players try to develop naturally against the English Opening and soon find themselves in a strategically lost position. They lose the game without even understanding why they lost.
In this iChess Club exclusive video, GM Mihail Marin, a renowned expert on the English Opening, who wrote three excellent repertoire books on the opening for the publishing house Quality Chess, takes a look at the Symmetrical Variation where Black tries to break the symmetry by playing an early …d5.
Non-premium members can only watch the first 3 minutes of the video, premium members have full access to the 33-minute video.
After the moves 1.c4 c5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nc3 d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5 (see the diagram on the right), GM Mihail Marin takes a closer look at the moves 5.e4 and 5.e3 for White.
Mihail Marin shows that White does not only have good chances for an advantage in the mainline after 5.e4 Nb4 5.Bc4 Nd3+ 6.Ke2 Nf4+ 7.Kf1 but also in the variation where Black goes for an early exchange of queens after 5.e4 Nxc3 6.dxc3 Qxd1+ 7.Kxd1.
Let’s take a look at some of the lines GM Marin covers in the video:
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