1...c5, 1...c6 and 1...e6
For many great players from different generations the English opening has been a logical complement to 1.d4. By delaying the advance of the d-pawn White can avoid certain popular defences such as the Nimzoindian or the Grünfeld, to return to the 1.d4 paths a few moves later. But White can go further and build up a purely English repertoire, based on 1.c4 and 2.g3, which is the aim of these two DVDs. There are a few move orders or systems (most typically the King’s Indian) where White’s objectively best idea might be transposing to 1.d4 anyway (which I frequently do in my games) but while mentioning this in all relevant cases I have analyzed genuine English systems, leading to interesting play.
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The English opening is consistent enough to offer no lesser chances for an advantage (or just adequate play in positions one masters well) than 1.e4 and 1.d4, but also very flexible, allowing White to put the focus on understanding instead of concrete analysis, a common syndrome today. The practically unlimited flexibility of this opening has allowed me to examine different variations for White than in my earlier book trilogy on this opening published at Quality Chess against roughly 75% of Black’s systems. This is especially visible from an early stage after 1...e5 while in other systems the deviation from the book lines occurs a few moves later (for instance after 1...e6). In those lines where I had to stick to the book recommendations I have made the due updates.
The second DVD includes the systems with 1...c5, 1...c6 and 1...e6.
Even though the so called Symmetrical English main tabiya arising after four moves is perfectly symmetrical indeed, play remains rich in possibilities and White’s extra tempo allows him maintaining at least some light middlegame pressure. The Slav and Queen’s Gambit setups are very sound strategically, as they challenge White in the fight for the d5-square and the light squares in general. In both cases the best plan for White is to ignore the threat ...dxc4 and to refrain from making efforts to retrieve the pawn at once.
• Video running time: 6 h 37 min
• Extra: extended analysis file with model games
• With ChessBase Reader 2017