The Ideas behind the English Opening

Table of Contents 
    1. A1. Fools rush in...
          1. Korchnoi - Mecking, Augusta (Match), 1974: 4. d4 e6 5. O-O cxd4 6. Nxd4 Bc5 7. Nb3 Bb68. c4 Nf6 9. cxd5 Nxd5 (...) 63. Be5 1-0 Korchnoi - Pomar, Stockholm, 1962: 4. d4 Nf6 5. O-O Bf5 6. c4 e6 7. Nc3 Be7 8. cxd5 Nxd5(...) 41. Ke3 Ra3+ 1-0
    2. A2. An early break in the centre
          1. EG: Reti,R - Rabinovich,I [A28] Moscow-Wch, 1925
          2. EG: Kasparov,Gary - Beliavsky,A (9) Linares, 1991 EG: Kasparov,Gary - Korchnoi, Viktor, Skelleftea, 1989
    3. A3. Delayed occupation of the centre
          1. Korchnoi-Szabo, 1963
          2. Botvinnik M - Simagin Vladimir (RUS) [A25] Ch URS, Moscow (Russia), 1952
          3. EG: Speelman Jonathan - Xu Jun [A35] Luzern 48/50, 1989
    4. A4. The Queen's-side attack
          1. EG: Miles-Belyavsky.
    5. A5. Botvinnik system for White
          1. EG: Botvinnik,Mikhail - Scherbakov,Vitaly [A16] , Moscow ch-SU Round: 3 Year: 1955 EG: Benko,Pal - Botvinnik,Mikhail [A10] , Monte Carlo Year: 1968 EG: Williams,SK (1990) - Regis,D. (1935) [A36] 1994
    6. A6. The Maroczy bind
          1. EG: Fischer,R - Spassky,B (8) [A39] Reykjavik-Wch, 1972 EG: Regis,D. - Richard Dixon (Corr_92/93) [B36] Devon Vs. Glos.(Ward-Higgs I), 1993 EG: Vukic Milan - Suba Mihai [A30]Vinkovci, 1977
          2. EG: Korchnoi V - Spassky B [A33] Beograd m/3, 1977
  1. B. Playing against the English opening.
    1. B1. An early break in the centre for Black
          1. EG: Karpov,Anatoly - Hjartarson,Johann [A22] , Seattle m Round: 2 Year: 1989 EG: Botvinnik,Mikhail - Portisch,Lajos [A22] , Monte Carlo Round: 7 Year: 1968 EG: Kasparov, Gary - Kortchnoi, V (1) [A34] Skelleftea, 1989
    2. B2. An early occupation of the centre: the Maroczy Bind for Black(!)
          1. EG: Goldberg, G - Botvinnik, Mikhail M [A34] USSR, 1945 EG: Langeweg - Korchnoi, Amsterdam, 1972
    3. B3. An early occupation of the centre: solid
          1. EG: Kasparov,G (2740) - Karpov,An (2700) (24) [A14] Wch34-KK4 Sevilla, 1987 EG: Fischer,Robert - Filip,Miroslav [A14] Palma de Mallorca iz Rd: 4, 1970
    4. B4. Symmetrical play by Black
          1. EG: Smyslov,V - Fischer,R [A36] Palma de Mallorca izt, 1970 EG: Petrosian,T - Fischer,R (2) [A37] Belgrade URS-WORLD, 1970
    5. B5. Unbalanced play by Black: the King's English with ...Nf6
      1. B5a. Seeking early central control with ...c6 and ...d5
          1. EG: Hartston W R - Basman M J [A23] It, Hastings, 1967
          2. EG: Baker,C - Birnboim,N [A20] London, 1987
      2. B5b. Seeking rapid flexible development
          1. EG: Olafsson,Fridrik - Smyslov,Vasily V (2) [A21] Yugoslavia ct, 1959 EG: Petrosian T - Smyslov V (03) [A21] JUG ct, 1959
    6. B6. Unbalanced play by Black: the King's English with ...Nc6
      1. B6a. The main line Closed King's English
          1. EG: Psakhis - Kasparov [A10] La Manga, 1990.
      2. B6b. English Four Knights' Game
          1. EG: Knee - Povah N [A28] Hereford, 1978
          2. EG: Kasparov,G (2740) - Karpov,An (2700) (04) [A29 ] Wch34-KK4 Sevilla, 1987 EG: Kasparov,G (2740) - Karpov,An (2700) (16) [A29] Wch34-KK4 Sevilla, 1987 EG: Kasparov,G (2740) - Karpov,An (2700) (02) [A29] Wch34-KK4 Sevilla, 1987
    7. B7. Indian-style defences:
      1. B7a. Grunfeld style
          1. EG: Andersson Ulf - Tempone Marcelo [A16] 04, Buenos Aires, 1979
      2. B7b. King's Indian style
          1. EG: Petrosian,T - Vasiukov,E Moscow ch, 1956
      3. B7c. Nimzo-Indian style
          1. EG: Langeweg-Korchnoi, 1976
      4. B7d. Queen's Indian style
          1. EG: Kortschnoj,V - Karpov,An (03) [A17] Moscow cf (Wch), 1974
      5. B7e. Dutch style
          1. EG: Saidy,Anthony - Fischer,Robert [A25] New York, 1969 EG: Kool - Hodgson [A21] London, 1989 EG: Smart - Hodgson [A21] England, 1984
          2. EG: Miles,T - Chaves,J [A27] Sao Paulo, 1977
          3. EG: Uhlmann W - Dobosz H (0.17) [A22] DDR-Polska, 1974 EG: Plaskett J - Hempson P W [A22] It, ENG, 1988 EG: Reshevsky,S - Bellon Lopez,J [A22] Palma, 1971 EG: Karpov,Anatoly - Anand,Viswanathan (2) Linares, 1991
  2. Example Games
    1. An early break in the centre (A2)
        1. Reti,R - Rabinovich,I [A28] Moscow-Wch, 1925
        2. Kasparov,Gary - Beliavsky,A (9) Linares, 1991
    2. Delayed occupation of the centre (A3)
        1. Speelman Jonathan - Xu Jun [A35] Luzern 48/50, 1989
    3. The Queen's-side attack (A4)
        1. Miles - Beliavsky [A26] Hastings_1974-5, 1974
    4. Botvinnik system for White (A5)
        1. Botvinnik,Mikhail - Scherbakov,Vitaly [A16] EO 14.2, Moscow ch-SU Round: 3 Year: 1955
        2. Benko,Pal - Botvinnik,Mikhail [A10] EO 18.4, Monte Carlo Year: 1968
        3. Williams,SK (1990) - Regis,D. (1935) [A36] 1994
    5. The Maroczy bind (A6)
        1. Fischer,R - Spassky,B (8) [A39] Reykjavik-Wch, 1972
        2. Regis,D. - Richard Dixon (Corr_92/93) [B36] Devon Vs. Glos. (Ward-Higgs I), 1993
        3. Vukic Milan - Suba Mihai [A30]Vinkovci, 1977
        4. Korchnoi V - Spassky B [A33] Beograd m/3, 1977
  3. Playing against the English opening.
    1. An early break in the centre for Black (B1)
        1. Karpov,Anatoly - Hjartarson,Johann [A22] EO 3.4, Seattle m Round: 2 Year: 1989
        2. Botvinnik,Mikhail - Portisch,Lajos [A22] EO 3.5, Monte Carlo Round: 7 Year: 1968
        3. Kasparov, Gary - Kortchnoi, V (1) [A34] Skelleftea, 1989
    2. An early occupation of the centre: the Maroczy Bind for Black(!) (B2)
        1. Goldberg, G - Botvinnik, Mikhail M [A34] USSR, 1945
        2. Langeweg - Korchnoi, Amsterdam, 1972
    3. An early occupation of the centre: solid (B3)
        1. Kasparov,G (2740) - Karpov,An (2700) (24) [A14] Wch34-KK4 Sevilla, 1987
        2. Fischer,Robert - Filip,Miroslav [A14] Palma de Mallorca iz Rd: 4, 1970
    4. Symmetrical play by Black (B4)
        1. Smyslov,V - Fischer,R [A36] Palma de Mallorca izt, 1970
        2. Petrosian,T - Fischer,R (2) [A37] Belgrade URS-WORLD, 1970
    5. Unbalanced play by Black: the King's English with ...Nf6 (B5)
      1. Seeking early central control with ...c6 and ...d5 (B5a)
        1. Hartston W R - Basman M J [A23] It, Hastings, 1967
      2. Seeking rapid flexible development (B5b)
    6. Unbalanced play by Black: the King's English with ...Nc6 (B6)
      1. The main line Closed King's English (B6a)
        1. Psakhis - Kasparov [A10] La Manga, 1990
        2. Olafsson,Fridrik - Smyslov,Vasily V (2) [A21] Yugoslavia ct, 1959
        3. Petrosian T - Smyslov V (03) [A21] JUG ct, 1959
      2. English Four Knights' Game (B6b)
        1. Knee - Povah N [A28] Hereford, 1978
        2. Kasparov,G (2740) - Karpov,An (2700) (04) [A29 ] Wch34-KK4 Sevilla, 1987
        3. Kasparov,G (2740) - Karpov,An (2700) (16) [A29] Wch34-KK4 Sevilla, 1987
        4. Kasparov,G (2740) - Karpov,An (2700) (02) [A29] Wch34-KK4 Sevilla, 1987
        5. Baker,C - Birnboim,N [A20] London, 1987
        6. Polugaevsky,L - Estevez,G [A22] Sochi, 1976
        7. Uhlmann W - Dobosz H (0.17) [A22] DDR-Polska, 1974
        8. Plaskett J - Hempson P W [A22] It, ENG, 1988
        9. Reshevsky,S - Bellon Lopez,J [A22] Palma, 1971
        10. Karpov,Anatoly - Anand,Viswanathan (2) Linares, 1991
    7. Indian-style defences (B7):
      1. Grunfeld style (B7a)
        1. Andersson Ulf - Tempone Marcelo [A16] 04, Buenos Aires, 1979
      2. King's Indian style (B7b)
        1. Petrosian,T - Vasiukov,E Moscow ch, 1956
      3. Nimzo-Indian style (B7c)
        1. Langeweg - Korchnoi, Amsterdam, 1976
      4. Queen's Indian style (B7d)
        1. Kortschnoj,V - Karpov,An (03) [A17] Moscow cf (Wch), 1974
      5. Dutch style (B7e)
        1. Miles,T - Chaves,J [A27] Sao Paulo, 1977
        2. Saidy,Anthony - Fischer,Robert [A25] New York, 1969
        3. Kool - Hodgson [A21] London, 1989
        4. Smart - Hodgson [A21] England, 1984
I don't like doing so many sessions on Openings, because we all play different ones, but while Rex was asking me about the English it occurred to me that I have played more English Opening games than any other over the last 15-20 years, but I have never tried to teach anybody about it. So I sat down and tried to put together this session.

  I immediately realised why it wasn't such a natural thing to do, because the damn thing is so diffuse and complex. [I wouldn't dream of doing a session which I had narrowed down to "1.d4", even less so if there were vast transpositional possibilities.] Anyhow, here's tuppence-worth:


A1. Fools rush in...

The fundamental hypermodern insight is that White can afford to delay occupation of the centre, since if Black tries to take advantage of the delay by trying to sieze the centre then White's counterattack will be swift and effective. This is most convincingly seen perhaps in the Grunfeld Reversed: not an English variation I know, but shows what White can allow with confidence. So, after 1. Nf3 d5 2. g3 c5 3. Bg2 Nc6:

 

t+lDjLsT
Xx+-XxXx
-+s+-+-+
+-Xx+-+-
-+-+-+-+
+-+-+nP-
pPpPpPbP
RnBqK-+r


Korchnoi - Mecking, Augusta (Match), 1974: 4. d4 e6 5. O-O cxd4 6. Nxd4 Bc5 7. Nb3 Bb68. c4 Nf6 9. cxd5 Nxd5 (...) 63. Be5 1-0
Korchnoi - Pomar, Stockholm, 1962: 4. d4 Nf6 5. O-O Bf5 6. c4 e6 7. Nc3 Be7 8. cxd5 Nxd5(...) 41. Ke3 Ra3+ 1-0
The English is a more balanced strategy combining early restraint (of ...d5) with later ambitions for expansion.


A2. An early break in the centre

The hypermodern movement has been most associated with the fianchetto, but Reti's interpretation of the English was a little different. After 1. c4 e5 2. Nc3 Nf6 he would play not 3. g3 but 3. Nf3, and after 3...Nc6, 4. d4!
EG: Reti,R - Rabinovich,I [A28] Moscow-Wch, 1925
This may seem out of keeping with the hypermodern idea, but let's listen to Reti's own account:

"Now I will propose a thesis, the proof of which the reader and I can seek together. It is known that the significance of a single tempo, and thus the significance of development, is greatest in open positions. In closed positions it plays almost no role. Consequently, it would seem to be in White's interest to open the game (without loss of tempo, of course). How can this be achieved? Most likely by exposing and attacking the opponent's strong points. One would expect Black's strongest point in the center to be d5 since, unlike e5, it has natural protection by the queen. Therefore, the ideal initial move is 1. c4, immediately taking aim at d5. Should Black support d5 by l...Nf6, then White reinforces the attack by 2. Nc3. Let's assume that Black answers 2...e5. This weakens d5 and reveals his intention of building his position around e5 by such moves as ...Nc6 and ...d6. (Even with 2...e6 he could not control d5 in the long run.) Now White need not continue attacking d5, which Black abandoned without a fight, by 3. g3 and 4. Bg2. Rather, following the logic given above, White should strike the new bastion e5 by 3. Nf3 and (in reply to 3...d6 or ...Nc6) 4. d4, and he thereby achieves an advantage."

[reprinted in Virginia Chess, Sept/Oct 1993][Jerry Lawson].

  It's not much played any more (but may be worth a punt now and then); we are more likely to see the same idea (of playing for a central break and development advantage) in a different setting in the English:


EG: Kasparov,Gary - Beliavsky,A (9) Linares, 1991
EG: Kasparov,Gary - Korchnoi, Viktor, Skelleftea, 1989
You will remember Chris showing a dozen miniatures from the English Opening in a coaching session last month, when we saw how racy attacks can be obtained even with this apparently slow opening.


A3. Delayed occupation of the centre

This is more how we play the English these days.

 

-+p+-+-+
+-N-P-P-
pP-PnPbP
R-Bq+rK-

My first experiments with the English opening had a distinguished English pedigree: Howard Staunton often practiced the English with the system 1. c4 2. Nc3 3. g3 4. Bg2 and 5. e3, with a break using d2-d4 in mind. I enjoyed the following game where Black seems to be playing 100% according to the guidelines for opening play:
Korchnoi-Szabo, 1963
1.c4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.g3 Bc5 4.Bg2 O-O 5.e3 Re8 6.Nge2 Nc6 7.O-O d6

  Black has apparently posted his pieces and Pawns with classical purity, but gets rapidly squashed.

8.d4 Bb6 9.h3 Bf5 {?} 10.d5 Nb8 11.g4 Bd7 12.Ng3 h6 13.Kh2 a5 14.f4 exf4 15.exf4 Nh7

 

tS-Dt+j+
+xXl+xXs
-L-X-+-X
X-+p+-+-
-+p+-Pp+
+-N-+-Np
pP-+-+bK
R-Bq+r+-

Nothing is left of Black's early central occupation, and White seems to have at least nine Pawns harrassing Black's pieces...

16.g5 Na6 17.gxh6 Qh4 18.hxg7 Nf6 19.f5 Be3 20.Nce4 {!} 20...Nxe4 21.Nxe4 Bxc1 22.Rxc1 Nc5 23.Qg4 Rxe4 24.Bxe4 Qxg4 25.hxg4 Nxe4 26.Rce1 Nc5 27.f6 Re8 28.Rxe8+ Bxe8 29.Re1 Ba4 30.Re3 (threat Rh3) 1-0

  The light squares like d3 in the Staunton system are not so very weak because Black cannot occupy or fix the Pawns. The most obvious way to try is to get a Pawn to e4, but this cannot be sustained:

  Shatskes gives:


Botvinnik M - Simagin Vladimir (RUS) [A25] Ch URS, Moscow (Russia), 1952
1. c4 e5 2. Nc3 Nc6 3. g3 f5 4. Bg2 Nf6 5. e3 Be7 6. d4 e4 7. f3 O-O! 8. Nge2

[8. fxe4 fxe4 9. Nxe4 Nxe4 10. Bxe4 Bb4+ 11. Bd2 Qe7]

8... Bb4 9. O-O Bxc3 10. Nxc3 exf3 11. Qxf3 d6 12. Bd2 Bd7 13. Rae1 Qe8

 

t+-+dTj+
XxXl+-Xx
-+sX-S-+
+-+-+x+-
-+pP-+-+
+-N-PqP-
pP-B-+bP
+-+-RrK-

14. Qd1! Qg6 15. Nd5 Nxd5 16. cxd5 Ne7 17. Qb3 b6 18. Rc1 Rac8 19. Rc3!+/- (...) 43. Kd1 1/2-1/2

  I was able to implement these ideas many years ago against Bob Richmond, when after 1. c4 e5 2. Nc3 d6 3. g3 f5 4. d4 e4 5. Nh3 Nf6 6. Bg2 Be7 7. O-O O-O 8. Bg5 c6 9. f3 White had good prospects: Black's centre is under pressure. See also the Keres system, B5a below.

  This Staunton approach can lead to some interesting and finely balanced positions. I once got into a real mess against Richard Nash of Barnstable playing this approach...

1. c4 e5 2. g3 g6 3. Bg2 Bg7 4. Nc3 Ne7 5. e3 Nbc6 6. Nge2 d6 7. d4

 

t+lDj+-T
XxX-SxLx
-+sX-+x+
+-+-X-+-
-+pP-+-+
+-N-P-P-
pP-+nPbP
R-BqK-+r

I immediately looked it up to see what I had done wrong. I have an old book by Shatskes which quotes an analysis from Botvinnik, and a new book by Ribli and Kallai. Are two heads better than one? They both identified my mistake but then gave completely opposite advice!

7... exd4 8. Nxd4?! An error. 8... O-O 9. O-O Re8

[9... Bd7 10. Nde2 Qc8 11.Nf4 Ne5 12. Qe2 Re8 13. Bd2 c6 14. Ne4 Qc7 15. Bc3 Rad8 16. h3 d5 += smyslov-radulovic 1964]

10. b3 ? 10... Nxd4 11. exd4 Nf5 =+ (...) 40. 1/2-1/2

[Better is

8. exd4! O-O 9. O-O

 

t+lD-Tj+
XxX-SxLx
-+sX-+x+
+-+-+-+-
-+pP-+-+
+-N-+-P-
pP-+nPbP
R-Bq+rK-

But what now?

9... Nf5 "?" botvinnik "!" ribli

(9 ... Bg4"!" = botvinnik "?" ribli - although there are probably still finesses to be found:

Now if 10. h3 Bxe2 11. Nxe2 Nf5 12. d5 Ne5 13. Qc2 Re8 ( "!" shatskes ) 14. Bd2 a5 15. Rad1 ( "!" ribli ) 15... Qb8 16. Bc1 Qa7 17. Be4 Ne7 18. Be3 Qa6 19. b3 a4 20. Nc3 axb3 21. axb3 b6 22. Nb5 Qc8 23. Kh2 Nd7 24. Rfe1 Nc5 25. Bf3 Nf5 26. Bg4 ! += uhlmann-taimanov 1984]

10. d5 Ne5 11. b3 a5 ?

(11 ... a6; 12 Bb2, b5; 13 cxb5, axb5; 14 Qc2, b4; 15 Ne4, Ba6 botvinnik ; 11 ...b5!? seirawan)

12. Bb2 Nd7 13. a3 Nc5 14. b4 Nd7 15. Qb3 botvinnik-reshevsky 1938]

  This is why the English is such a fine opening: there is great flexibility and scope for creativity for each side, which is why old foxes like Viktor Kortchnoi can win from either side.

  One last example of a delayed occupation proving effective


EG: Speelman Jonathan - Xu Jun [A35] Luzern 48/50, 1989

A4. The Queen's-side attack

-Pp+-+-+
+-Np+nP-
p+-+pPbP
+rBq+rK-

The White set-up with g3 can also be seen in Black's main system in the Closed Sicilian, where a Queen's-side attack can be pursued, based on the fianchettoed Bishop.
EG: Miles-Belyavsky.

A5. Botvinnik system for White

-+p+p+-+
+-NpB-Pp
pP-+nPb+
R-+q+rK-

This is an interesting system pioneered by Nimzovitch and Botvinnik, conceding an apparently permanent weak point at d4 but gaining a firm grip on the centre and hoping to keep Black's activity to a minimum while seeking a break with b2-b4 or f2-f4. I have played this on many occasions and have often won by direct attack on the King's-side. Perhaps the best advertisement for this system at club level is the fact I always find it difficult to play against, even if I know what's coming!
EG: Botvinnik,Mikhail - Scherbakov,Vitaly [A16] , Moscow ch-SU Round: 3 Year: 1955
EG: Benko,Pal - Botvinnik,Mikhail [A10] , Monte Carlo Year: 1968
EG: Williams,SK (1990) - Regis,D. (1935) [A36] 1994

A6. The Maroczy bind

One common positional theme against the symmetrical English is the Maroczy Bind: Black found this difficult to play against for years because of lack of prospects for active play, although recently the 'hedgehog' formation has proved its resilience.
EG: Fischer,R - Spassky,B (8) [A39] Reykjavik-Wch, 1972
EG: Regis,D. - Richard Dixon (Corr_92/93) [B36] Devon Vs. Glos.(Ward-Higgs I), 1993
EG: Vukic Milan - Suba Mihai [A30]Vinkovci, 1977
There is an interesting formation where White immediately threatens the Maroczy even when Black has not fianchettoed the Bf8:
EG: Korchnoi V - Spassky B [A33] Beograd m/3, 1977
[...]

B. Playing against the English opening.

There are three major branches after 1. c4: 1...e5, 1...c5, and 1...Nf6. (There are others, like 1...g6 and 1...e6, or 1...f5 or 1...c6 or 1...g5 ...)

  It depends on what style you prefer to play, and how you like to reply to 1. d4.

  1...e5 would suit a 1.e4 player who likes to attack, especially if they play (as White) the Closed Sicilian or (as Black) the Dutch or King's Indian. I think this is the best approach for beginners.

  1...c5 would suit a Sicilian player who has the patience for a longer game but doesn't mind drawing occasionally.

  1...Nf6 would suit a player who is angling for a version of their favourite Indian defence.

  Of the others the most important is 1...e6 (or 1...Nf6, 2...e6), an invitation to transpose into the Queen's Gambit; if Black also plays the Tarrasch Defence it can be hard for White to avoid transposing into it, since the main line of the Tarrasch involves g2-g3!

  After 1. c4 c6 2. Nf3 d5 I don't often play 3.cd; rather, after 1. c4 c6 2. Nf3 d5 3. b3, we are in a position that is meat and drink to the English/Reti player. It's not easy for Black to get organised without either taking on a space disadvantage, or going for more space but exposing their centre to attack. It's a solid enough line but a little difficult to handle, and I would push club players and juniors towards more active and counter-attacking lines. The choice that each player has over their set-up reminds me of the old Arabic version of chess, where pre-determined formations (mansubat) could be chosen separately by either side.


B1. An early break in the centre for Black

tSlDjL-T
XxX-XxXx
-+-+-S-+
+-+x+-+-
-+p+-+-+
Black can play ...Nf6 and ...d5 immediately (Grunfeld reversed) or try and combine it with an early ...e5 or ...c5. White cannot stop ...d5 on move 2 or 3 so all of these systems are playable:

 

1. c4 Nf6 2. Nc3 d5 3. cxd5 Nxd5 4. g3

1. c4 Nf6 2. Nc3 d5 3. cxd5 Nxd5 (now 4. e4 Nb4 5. Bc4 is a fun line!)

1. c4 Nf6 2. Nc3 e5 3. Nf3 (or 3. g3) 3...d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 (the Reversed Open Sicilian)

  Provided Black is not too ambitious, this can't be a bad idea, but if you know how important a tempo can be to Black in the normal Open Sicilian, it's a good arena in which White can play for a win.


EG: Karpov,Anatoly - Hjartarson,Johann [A22] , Seattle m Round: 2 Year: 1989
EG: Botvinnik,Mikhail - Portisch,Lajos [A22] , Monte Carlo Round: 7 Year: 1968
EG: Kasparov, Gary - Kortchnoi, V (1) [A34] Skelleftea, 1989
1. c4 Nf6 2. Nc3 c5 3. Nf3 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5

1. c4 Nf6 2. Nc3 c5 3. g3 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5

  This last line can lead to...


B2. An early occupation of the centre: the Maroczy Bind for Black(!)

This system is named the Rubinstein system but is also associated with Botvinnik.

1. c4 Nf6 2. Nc3 c5 3. g3 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. Bg2 Nc7

  Black now can hope to arrange ...e5 with a Maroczy Bind.


EG: Goldberg, G - Botvinnik, Mikhail M [A34] USSR, 1945
EG: Langeweg - Korchnoi, Amsterdam, 1972

B3. An early occupation of the centre: solid

tSlDjLsT
Xx+-+xXx
-+x+x+-+
+-+x+-+-
Of course, if Black is hoping to equalise first rather than play for an ambitious centre, the systems with ...d5 supported by the c- or e-Pawn offer a serious challenge to White: can White do any better than transpose to a normal Queen's-Pawn opening? The usual bids to retain separate lines of play involve

b2-b3, with variations that are usually classified as part of Reti's system.
EG: Kasparov,G (2740) - Karpov,An (2700) (24) [A14] Wch34-KK4 Sevilla, 1987
EG: Fischer,Robert - Filip,Miroslav [A14] Palma de Mallorca iz Rd: 4, 1970

B4. Symmetrical play by Black

After 1. c4 c5 2. Nf3 Nf6 either side can try an early break with the d-Pawn (e.g. 1. c4 c5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 e5!? 5. Nb5!?). However, the fundamental position of the symmetrical English occurs after

1. c4 c5 2. Nc3 Nc6 3. g3 g6 4. Bg2 Bg7

  This is the Main Line Closed Symmetrical English. In this position White has tried many plans: Queen's-side attack with 5. a3 or 5. Rb1, Staunton system with 5. e3, Botvinnik system with 5. e4 are all common approaches, and Black has tried each in defence (e.g. 5. e3 e5, Staunton vs. Botvinnik!). Fischer often practiced the Staunton system as Black:


EG: Smyslov,V - Fischer,R [A36] Palma de Mallorca izt, 1970
EG: Petrosian,T - Fischer,R (2) [A37] Belgrade URS-WORLD, 1970
This is undoubtedly a good defense for Black: its biggest defect is that 5. e3 e6 (Staunton vs. Staunton) is often taken as an implicit draw offer, since 6. Nge2 Nge7 7. O- O O- O 8. d4 cxd4 9. Nxd4 Nxd4 10. exd5 d5 is hard to see as anything else. Ulf Andersson has tried to find a way through here by delaying castling (7. d4 cxd4 8. Nxd4 d5 9. cxd5 Nxd5 10. Nxd5 Nxd4 11. Nc3 Nc6 12. Qxd8+ Nxd8 13. Bd2 +=) and beat Tony Miles with it. The same approach in a different line can be seen in Ulf's game against Tempone below.

  One of the most popular modern systems for Black is the Hedgehog: allowing White the Maroczy bind while retaining a flexible position and angling for a break with ...d5 or ...b5. White's Pawn formation seems to be well-placed to counter these plans, and indeed it is - this is what gives the Maroczy Bind its teeth - but it does not sit totally comfortably with the Bishop on g3. On d3 it would inhibit ...b5 and support f4-f5, while on g3 it certainly discourages ...d5 but White can not as easily find a positive plan.


B5. Unbalanced play by Black: the King's English with ...Nf6

1. c4 e5 is the most radical and least transpositional of Black's replies. It is of course at least as rich as the Sicilian, although most players of Black are more bashful about taking on the White position. This is really worth a book but I'll outline a few of the most common ideas for Black. One way of looking at the systems are whether Black aims to keep things closed with ...Nc6 (and often ...Nge7), or instead tries to develop the King's-side starting with ...Nf6.

 


B5a. Seeking early central control with ...c6 and ...d5

This system bears the name of Keres. It is perhaps the most successful implementation of Black's plan to occupy the centre.
EG: Hartston W R - Basman M J [A23] It, Hastings, 1967
There is even an evil gambit for Black in this line...
EG: Baker,C - Birnboim,N [A20] London, 1987

B5b. Seeking rapid flexible development

tSlDj+-T
XxXx+xXx
-+-+-S-+
+-+-X-+-
-Lp+-+-+
1. c4 e5 2. Nc3 Nf6 3. Nf3 Bb4

1. c4 e5 2. Nc3 Nf6 3. g3 Bb4

 

...In each case enabling an early King's-side castling. This and related systems have been featured in World Championship matches.

  That subtle player Smyslov developed a system 1. c4 e5 2. Nc6 d6 which seeks a useful early development of the other Bishop with ...Bg4 or ...Be6.


EG: Olafsson,Fridrik - Smyslov,Vasily V (2) [A21] Yugoslavia ct, 1959
EG: Petrosian T - Smyslov V (03) [A21] JUG ct, 1959

B6. Unbalanced play by Black: the King's English with ...Nc6

t+lDjLsT
XxXx+xXx
-+s+-+-+
+-+-X-+-
The equivalent fundamental positions of the King's English occur after:

1. c4 e5 2. Nc3 Nc6 3. g3 g6 4. Bg2 Bg7 (The main line Closed King's English) or

 

1. c4 e5 2. Nc3 Nc6 3. Nf3 Nf6 (English Four Knights' Game)

 


B6a. The main line Closed King's English

1. c4 e5 2. Nc3 Nc6 3. g3 g6 4. Bg2 Bg7

  Again White has a choice of systems. The Staunton approach has a little more sting here than in the Symmetrical. This is of course similar to the Closed Sicilian...


EG: Psakhis - Kasparov [A10] La Manga, 1990.

B6b. English Four Knights' Game

1. c4 e5 2. Nc3 Nc6 3. Nf3 Nf6

  This rich position has many possibilities for each side. We have seen 4. d4 above, which is OK for Black these days...


EG: Knee - Povah N [A28] Hereford, 1978
After 4. g3 Black has been fairly successful with another Smyslov system, 4...Bb4, when Black fancies the Nimzo approach of doubling the c-Pawns and blockading the position against the Bishops. So successful, in fact, that White had tried a variety of ways of avoiding it, most notably with 4. e3. Now here 4...Bb4 is of course still a perfectly reasonable idea, but White can now sidle the Queen across with 5. Qc2 to avoid the doubled Pawns.

  This and related systems have been featured in World Championship matches.


EG: Kasparov,G (2740) - Karpov,An (2700) (04) [A29 ] Wch34-KK4 Sevilla, 1987
EG: Kasparov,G (2740) - Karpov,An (2700) (16) [A29] Wch34-KK4 Sevilla, 1987
EG: Kasparov,G (2740) - Karpov,An (2700) (02) [A29] Wch34-KK4 Sevilla, 1987

B7. Indian-style defences:


B7a. Grunfeld style

See above (early break in the centre for Black): if Black plays ...c5 or ...e5 we will transpose; there are ways for White to avoid the transposition with an early e2-e4.
EG: Andersson Ulf - Tempone Marcelo [A16] 04, Buenos Aires, 1979

B7b. King's Indian style

This is a very resilient and flexible system which invites transposition to the Fianchetto system of the King's Indian. This may be the best idea for White; I have found it hard to play standard English plans against the King's Indian. The Staunton approach in particular does not present Black with many problems, and playing for a Queen's-side attack always gives White anxious moments when the counter-attack sets in.
EG: Petrosian,T - Vasiukov,E Moscow ch, 1956
I have enjoyed the Botvinnik system against the King's Indian, and Black Kings, if they cannot see f2-f4-f5 coming, can be equally brutally dismissed.

 


B7c. Nimzo-Indian style

Given the flexibility and solidity of the Nimzo, it makes a lot of sense to apply the same strategy against the English. The play is significantly different in that White can play d2-d3, and if White avoids the doubled Pawns with a Queen move, there is no Pawn on d4 to counterattack. Korchnoi had this to say:

"Nearly five years ago I started to use the opening system 1. c4 e5. This is quite a good system with which to reach an equal position, but when it had been analysed to death by other GMs I became bored with it and adopted a different system using my own move order. The play has some delicate features I don't fully understand..."


EG: Langeweg-Korchnoi, 1976

B7d. Queen's Indian style

Karpov refined many of the ideas in this system in early matches against Korchnoi. It seems Black can achieve equality.
EG: Kortschnoj,V - Karpov,An (03) [A17] Moscow cf (Wch), 1974

B7e. Dutch style

It is also possible to play the 1...e5 line with an early ...f5, rather like the White system against the Sicilian developed by Vincken and often known as the Grand Prix Attack.
EG: Saidy,Anthony - Fischer,Robert [A25] New York, 1969
EG: Kool - Hodgson [A21] London, 1989
EG: Smart - Hodgson [A21] England, 1984
This presents many of the same challenges as the King's Indian-style system: if White will not occupy the centre and transpose into the main lines of the Dutch, Black may have a freer hand to play the King's-side attack. White must pursue the attack on the Queen's-side with extra vigour...
EG: Miles,T - Chaves,J [A27] Sao Paulo, 1977
However, I believe that White's extra move and Black's early commitment will probably allow White to absorb the aggression and attack the Black Pawns, as I described in the section on the Staunton System, and it is better to play without such a fixed idea of a King's-side attack.

  There are several interesting early deviations by Black after 1. c4 e5, including the evil Bellon Gambit, as we see in the example games:


EG: Uhlmann W - Dobosz H (0.17) [A22] DDR-Polska, 1974
EG: Plaskett J - Hempson P W [A22] It, ENG, 1988
EG: Reshevsky,S - Bellon Lopez,J [A22] Palma, 1971
EG: Karpov,Anatoly - Anand,Viswanathan (2) Linares, 1991

Example Games


An early break in the centre (A2)


Reti,R - Rabinovich,I [A28] Moscow-Wch, 1925

1. c4 e5 2. Nc3 Nc6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. d4

 

t+lDjL-T
XxXx+xXx
-+s+-S-+
+-+-X-+-
-+pP-+-+
+-N-+n+-
pP-+pPpP
R-BqKb+r

4... exd4 5. Nxd4 Bb4 6. g3 O-O 7. Bg2 d5 8. Nxc6 bxc6 9. O-O Bxc3 10. bxc3 Ba6 11. Qa4 Bxc4 12. Qxc6 Qd7 13. Qxd7 Nxd7 14. Rd1 Nb6 15. Bf4

 

t+-+-Tj+
X-X-+xXx
-S-+-+-+
+-+x+-+-
-+l+-B-+
+-P-+-P-
p+-+pPbP
R-+r+-K-

15... c6 16. Rd2 Rfe8 17. Kf1 Bb5 18. Rb1 Re7 19. Bf3 Rae8 20. Ke1 Re6 21. e3 Ba6 22. Bg4 Re4 23. Rd4 c5 24. Rd2 g5 25. f3 Rc4 26. Bxg5 Rxc3 27. Kf2 f6 28. Bh6 Bd3 29. Rb3 Rxb3 30. axb3 c4 31. bxc4 dxc4 32. e4 Re7 33. Ra2 Kf7 34. Bf5 Ke8 35. g4 Rb7 36. Be3 c3 37. Ra3 Nc4 38. Rxc3 Rb2+ 39. Kg3 Nxe3 40. Rxd3 Nf1+ 41. Kf4 Rxh2 42. Rd1 Nd2 43. Be6 Re2 44. Rh1 Ke7 45. Bd5 Kd6 46. Rxh7 Rf2 47. Ke3 Rg2 48. Rxa7 Nf1+ 49. Kf4 Ng3 1-0

Kasparov,Gary - Beliavsky,A (9) Linares, 1991

1. c4 e6 2. Nc3 Nf6 3. e4 c5 4. e5 Ng8 5. Nf3 Nc6 6. d4 cxd4 7. Nxd4 Nxe5 8. Ndb5

 

t+lDjLsT
Xx+x+xXx
-+-+x+-+
+n+-S-+-
-+p+-+-+
+-N-+-+-
pP-+-PpP
R-BqKb+r

This gambit, pioneered by Tony Miles, has also been taken up by Kasparov.

8... a6 9. Nd6+ Bxd6 10. Qxd6 f6 11. Be3 Ne7 12. Bb6 Nf5 13. Qc5 d6 14. Qa5 Qd7 15. f4 Nc6 16. Qa3 e5 17. Bd3 O-O 18. O-O exf4 19. Rxf4 Nfe7 20. Rd1

 

t+l+-Tj+
+x+dS-Xx
xBsX-X-+
+-+-+-+-
-+p+-R-+
Q-Nb+-+-
pP-+-+pP
+-+r+-K-

Classic Kasparov: complex, dynamic, penetrating.

20... Ng6 21. Rff1 Nge5 22. Be4 Qf7 23. b3 Be6 24. Qxd6 Kh8 25. Qc7 Qxc7 26. Bxc7 Rf7 27. Bb6 Re8 28. h3 Rd7 29. Nd5 Rc8 30. g4 Ng6 31. Kh2 Nce5 32. a4 Rd6 33. a5 Nd7 34. Nc7 1-0


Delayed occupation of the centre (A3)


Speelman Jonathan - Xu Jun [A35] Luzern 48/50, 1989

1. Nf3 c5 2. c4 Nc6 3. Nc3 g6?!

 

t+lDjLsT
Xx+xXx+x
-+s+-+x+
+-X-+-+-
-+p+-+-+
+-N-+n+-
pP-PpPpP
R-BqKb+r

4. e3! d6 5. d4 cxd4 6. exd4 Bg4 7. Be2 Bg7 8. O-O Nh6 9. d5 Bxf3 10. Bxf3 Ne5 11. Be4 f5 12. Bc2

 

t+-Dj+-T
Xx+-X-Lx
-+-X-+xS
+-+pSx+-
-+p+-+-+
+-N-+-+-
pPb+-PpP
R-Bq+rK-

12... O-O 13. Ne2 Nxc4 14. Nd4 Rf6 15. Bb3 Rc8 16. Re1 Ng4 17. h3 Nge5 18. Re2 Rc5 19. Bg5 Qa5 20. Bxf6 Bxf6 21. Rc1 Kh8 22. Bxc4 Rxc4 23. Ne6 Kg8 24. Rxe5 1-0


The Queen's-side attack (A4)


Miles - Beliavsky [A26] Hastings_1974-5, 1974

1. c4 e5 2. Nc3 Nc6 3. g3 g6 4. Bg2 Bg7 5. d3 d6 6. Nf3 Nf6 7. O-O O-O 8. Rb1 h6 9. b4 Be6

 

t+-D-Tj+
XxX-+xL-
-+sXlSxX
+-+-X-+-
-Pp+-+-+
+-Np+nP-
p+-+pPbP
+rBq+rK-

10. b5 Ne7 11. a4 Qc8 12. Ba3 Nd7 13. Nd2 Rb8 14. Nd5 Re8

 

-Td+t+j+
XxXsSxL-
-+-Xl+xX
+p+nX-+-
p+p+-+-+
B-+p+-P-
-+-NpPbP
+r+q+rK-

15. Ne4! f5 16. Nec3 Kh7 17. a5 Bf7 18. Nxe7 Rxe7

 

-Td+-+-+
XxXsTlLj
-+-X-+xX
Pp+-Xx+-
-+p+-+-+
B-Np+-P-
-+-+pPbP
+r+q+rK-

19. b6! axb6 20. axb6 Ra8 21. Nb5 Nxb6 22. Nxd6

 

t+d+-+-+
+xX-TlLj
-S-N-+xX
+-+-Xx+-
-+p+-+-+
B-+p+-P-
-+-+pPbP
+r+q+rK-

22... Qe6? 23. Qc1 cxd6 24. Rxb6 e4 25. Rxd6 Qe5 26. Rb6 Qa5 27. Rb3 Qa4 28. Bxe7 Qxb3 29. Qb1

 

t+-+-+-+
+x+-BlLj
-+-+-+xX
+-+-+x+-
-+p+x+-+
+d+p+-P-
-+-+pPbP
+q+-+rK-

29... Qa4? 30. Qxb7 Ra7 31. Qb4 Qd7 32. Bd6 Ra2 33. dxe4 Rb2 34. Qc5 fxe4 35. Bxe4 Rxe2

 

-+-+-+-+
+-+d+lLj
-+-B-+xX
+-Q-+-+-
-+p+b+-+
+-+-+-P-
-+-+tP-P
+-+-+rK-

36. Bd5! Rc2 37. Bf4 Bxd5 38. Qxd5 Qa7 39. Be3 Qa2 40. Rc1 Rxc1+ 41. Bxc1 Qb1 42. Qd2 Bf8 43. Qb2 Qe4 44. Qc3 Bg7 45. Qb4! Bd4 46. Ba3 Qd3 47. Qb7+ Kh8 48. Qc8+ Kh7 49. Qd7+ Kh8 50. Qe8+ Kh7 51. Qf7+ Kh8 52. Be7 Bg7 53. Qd5 Qb3 54. h4 Kh7 55. Bc5 h5 56. Be3 Qb1+ 57. Kg2 Qb3 58. Qc6 1-0


Botvinnik system for White (A5)


Botvinnik,Mikhail - Scherbakov,Vitaly [A16] EO 14.2, Moscow ch-SU Round: 3 Year: 1955

1. c4 Nf6 2. Nc3 g6 3. g3 Bg7 4. Bg2 O-O 5. e4 d6 6. Nge2 e5 7. O-O Nbd7 8. d3 Nc5 9. f4 c6 10. h3 Ne6

 

t+lD-Tj+
Xx+-+xLx
-+xXsSx+
+-+-X-+-
-+p+pP-+
+-Np+-Pp
pP-+n+b+
R-Bq+rK-

11. f5 Nd4 12. g4 Ne8 13. Be3 a6 14. Qd2 b5 15. Bg5 Bf6 16. Bxf6 Nxf6 17. Nxd4 exd4 18. Ne2 Qb6 19. cxb5 axb5 20. Qh6 Bd7 21. g5

 

t+-+-Tj+
+-+l+x+x
-DxX-SxQ
+x+-+pP-
-+-Xp+-+
+-+p+-+p
pP-+n+b+
R-+-+rK-

21... Nh5 22. Nf4 Ng7 23. f6 1-0

Benko,Pal - Botvinnik,Mikhail [A10] EO 18.4, Monte Carlo Year: 1968

1. c4 g6 2. g3 Bg7 3. Bg2 e5 4. Nc3 Ne7 5. e4 d6 6. Nge2 Nbc6 7. d3 f5 8. Nd5 O-O 9. Be3 Be6 10. Qd2 Qd7 11. O-O

 

t+-+-Tj+
XxXdS-Lx
-+sXl+x+
+-+nXx+-
-+p+p+-+
+-+pB-P-
pP-QnPbP
R-+-+rK-

11... Rf7 12. Rac1 Raf8 13. f4 fxe4 14. dxe4 Nc8 15. c5 Bh3 16. b4 Bxg2 17. Kxg2 exf4 18. gxf4 Re8 19. Ng3 h5 20. b5 N6e7 21. f5 h4 22. fxg6 Rxf1 23. Rxf1 hxg3 24. Rf7 Be5 25. Bd4 Qg4 26. Rf4 Qh5 27. Bxe5 Qxh2+ 28. Kf3 Qxd2 29. Nf6+ Kg7 30. Nxe8+ Kxg6 31. Rf6+ Kh7 32. Bxg3 Qd3+ 33. Kf2 Qxb5 34. cxd6 Qxe8 0-1

Williams,SK (1990) - Regis,D. (1935) [A36] 1994

1. c4 g6 2. Nc3 Bg7 3. g3 c5 4. Bg2 Nc6 5. e4 d6 6. Nge2 Nf6 7. O-O O-O 8. d3 Ne8

[8... Bd7]

9. Be3 Nd4 10. Rb1 a5 11. a3 Nc7 12. b4 axb4 13. axb4 Nxe2+ 14. Nxe2 Ne6 15. Qd2 Nd4 16. Nxd4 cxd4 17. Bh6 e5 18. Bxg7 Kxg7 19. f4 f5

 

t+lD-T-+
+x+-+-Jx
-+-X-+x+
+-+-Xx+-
-PpXpP-+
+-+p+-P-
-+-Q-+bP
+r+-+rK-

Black's textbook occupation of d4 has only led to hobbled Pawns

...1-0 (38)


The Maroczy bind (A6)


Fischer,R - Spassky,B (8) [A39] Reykjavik-Wch, 1972

1. c4 c5 2. Nc3 Nc6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. g3 g6 5. Bg2 Bg7 6. O-O O-O 7. d4 cxd4 8. Nxd4 Nxd4 9. Qxd4 d6 10. Bg5 Be6 11. Qf4 Qa5 12. Rac1 Rab8 13. b3 Rfc8 14. Qd2 a6 15. Be3

 

-Tt+-+j+
+x+-XxLx
x+-XlSx+
D-+-+-+-
-+p+-+-+
+pN-B-P-
p+-QpPbP
+-R-+rK-

15... b5 16. Ba7 bxc4 17. Bxb8 Rxb8 18. bxc4 Bxc4 19. Rfd1 Nd7 20. Nd5 Qxd2 21. Nxe7+ Kf8 22. Rxd2 Kxe7 23. Rxc4 Rb1+ 24. Bf1 Nc5 25. Kg2 a5 26. e4 Ba1 27. f4 f6 28. Re2 Ke6 29. Rec2 Bb2 30. Be2 h5 31. Rd2 Ba3 32. f5+ gxf5 33. exf5+ Ke5 34. Rcd4 Kxf5 35. Rd5+ Ke6 36. Rxd6+ Ke7 37. Rc6 1-0

Regis,D. - Richard Dixon (Corr_92/93) [B36] Devon Vs. Glos. (Ward-Higgs I), 1993

1. c4 g6

  ( I knew a game of Portisch's which I had in mind throughout: it went...)

[1... c5 2. Nf3 g6 3. e4 Nc6 4. d4 cxd4 5. Nxd4 Nf6 6. Nc3 Nxd4 7. Qxd4 d6 8. Bg5 Bg7 9. Qd2 O-O 10. Bd3 a5 11. O-O a4 12. Rac1 Be6 13. Qc2 Nd7 14. f4 Rc8 15. b3 axb3 16. axb3 Nf6 17. Kh1 Qa5 18. f5 Bd7 19. Nd5+/- Portisch-Reshevsky]

2. g3 Bg7 3. Bg2 Nf6 4. Nc3 O-O 5. e4 d6 6. Nge2 c5

[6... c5 7. a3 a5 8. O-O Nc6 9. d3 Ne8 10. Be3 Nd4 11. Bxd4 cxd4 12. Nb5 Qb6 13. a4 Nc7 14. f4 Na6 15. h3 e5 16. f5 Bh6 ! 17. h4 Bd7 18. Kh2 Nc5 19. Bh3 was Seirawan-Vukic 1979 given in Povah's book: best play for both sides?]

7. O-O Nc6 8. d3 Ne8 9. Be3

[9. Be3 Nd4]

9... Nc7 ( ?! in the books )

[9... Nd4 10. Rb1 b6 ?! ( 10...Nc7 is natural; 10...a5 invites 11. Bxd4, cxd4; 12 Nb5 ) 11. e5 Nxe2+ 12. Qxe2 Rb8 13. d4 cxd4 14. Bxd4 dxe5 15. Bxe5 Bg4 16. Qe3 Bxe5 17. Qxe5 Qd6 18. Qe3 Nf6 (Gurevich-Sturua 1981) 19. h3 Be6 20. Rbd1 Qc5 ( or ...Qc7,b3 with Nb5/Nd5 ) 21. Qxc5 bxc5 22. b3 with weak pawns to go at - Povah]

10. d4 "!" ( in the books ) 10... cxd4 11. Nxd4 Ne6 12. Nde2 Ne5

 

t+lD-Tj+
Xx+-XxLx
-+-Xs+x+
+-+-S-+-
-+p+p+-+
+-N-B-P-
pP-+nPbP
R-+q+rK-

! TN - threatens c4 and e3 via g4

  A long manoeuvring game is in prospect... (1-0, 45)


Vukic Milan - Suba Mihai [A30]Vinkovci, 1977

1. Nf3 Nf6 2. g3 b6 3. Bg2 Bb7 4. O-O e6 5. c4 c5 6. d4 cxd4 7. Qxd4 d6 8. Nc3 a6 9. Rd1 Qc7 10. b3 Nbd7 11. Bb2 Be7 12. e4 O-O 13. Qe3 Rfe8 14. Nd4 Bf8 15. Rac1

 

t+-+tLj+
+lDs+xXx
xX-XxS-+
+-+-+-+-
-+pNp+-+
+pN-Q-P-
pB-+-PbP
+-Rr+-K-

"A frequent picture in the Hedgehog. White's position looks ideal. That's the naked truth about it, but the 'ideal' has by definition one drawback - it cannot be improved." -- SUBA

  Suba is quite mysterious about 'potential'. But as evidence, his book Dynamic Chess Strategy contains many practical examples of this Hedgehog Sicilian-style opening against the English (1. c4), where Black's flexible position threatens to erupt on ...b5 or ...d5. White finds it difficult to threaten anything on his own part without allowing Black's game to unfold suddenly

15... Rad8 16. h3 g6 17. Kh2 Bg7 18. Qe2 Qb8 19. Qc2 Rc8 20. Qd2 Nc5 21. Re1 Qa8 22. f3 Qb8 23. Rcd1 Ba8 24. Nde2 Red8 25. Nd4 Ncd7 26. Qf2 Ne5 27. Qe2 Nc6 28. Nc2 Nh5 29. f4 b5 30. cxb5 axb5 31. Bf3 Ne7 32. Nd4 b4 33. Na4 Nf6 34. e5 dxe5 35. fxe5 Bxf3 36. Nxf3 Nfd5 37. Rc1 Bh6 38. Rc4 Ne3 39. Rcc1 N7d5 40. Rxc8 Rxc8 41. Qf2 Nf5 42. Re2 Be3 43. Qe1 Qb5 44. Nd2 Qd3 45. Nf1 Rc2 46. Rg2 Rxg2+ 47. Kxg2 Qe4+ 0-1

 


Korchnoi V - Spassky B [A33] Beograd m/3, 1977

1. c4 c5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nc3 Nc6 4. d4 cxd4 5. Nxd4 e6

 

t+lDjL-T
Xx+x+xXx
-+s+xS-+
+-+-+-+-
-+pN-+-+
+-N-+-+-
pP-+pPpP
R-BqKb+r

This is a very rich and deeply studied position. The line seen here is out of fashion because of 6...Bb4.

6. g3 Qb6!? 7. Nb3 Ne5!? 8. e4 Bb4

 

t+l+j+-T
Xx+x+xXx
-D-+xS-+
+-+-S-+-
-Lp+p+-+
+nN-+-P-
pP-+-P-P
R-BqKb+r

No respite! If White consolidates Black will have a tough time.

9. Qe2 O-O

[9... a5!? was recommended by Nunn a year or two before... did Spassky know this? 10. f4 a4!?]

10. f4 Nc6 11. Be3 Qc7 12. Bg2 d5 13. e5 Ne4 14. O-O Bxc3 15. cxd5 exd5 16. bxc3 b6 17. Rac1 f5 18. exf6 Nxf6 19. Nd4 Re8 20. Qd3 Na5 21. Nb5 Qc6 22. Bd4 Ne4 23. Be5 Ba6 24. a4 Nc4 25. Qd4 Nxe5 26. fxe5 Bxb5 27. axb5 Qxb5 28. c4 Qc5 29. Qxc5 Nxc5 30. Bxd5+ Ne6 31. Ra1 a5 32. Bxa8 Rxa8 33. Rab1 a4 34. Rxb6 Nd4 35. Rd6 1-0

Playing against the English opening.


An early break in the centre for Black (B1)


Karpov,Anatoly - Hjartarson,Johann [A22] EO 3.4, Seattle m Round: 2 Year: 1989

1. c4 e5 2. Nc3 Nf6 3. g3 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. Bg2 Nb6 6. Nf3 Nc6 7. O-O Be7 8. a3 Be6 9. b4

 

t+-Dj+-T
XxX-LxXx
-Ss+l+-+
+-+-X-+-
-P-+-+-+
P-N-+nP-
-+-PpPbP
R-Bq+rK-

This is the modern approach with the White pieces; analogous to the Sicilian, White seeks pressure on the c-file.

9... O-O 10. Rb1 f6 11. d3 Qd7 12. Ne4 Nd5 13. Qc2 b6 14. Bb2 Rac8 15. Rbc1 Nd4 16. Bxd4 exd4 17. Qc6 Qxc6 18. Rxc6 Bd7

 

-+t+-Tj+
X-XlL-Xx
-Xr+-X-+
+-+s+-+-
-P-Xn+-+
P-+p+nP-
-+-+pPbP
+-+-+rK-

19. Nxd4 Bxc6 20. Nxc6 Rce8 21. Rc1 f5 22. Nd2 Nf6 23. Nxa7 Bd6 24. e3 c5 25. Nc4 Bb8 26. Nc6 b5 27. N4a5 cxb4 28. axb4 Nd7 29. d4 g5 30. Nxb8 Rxb8 31. Rc7 Nf6 32. Nc6 Rb6 33. Ne7+ Kh8 34. Nxf5 Ra6 35. Rc1 Ra2 36. h3 Rb2 37. e4 Rxb4 38. g4 h5 39. e5 hxg4 40. exf6 gxh3 41. Bxh3 Rxf6 42. Rc8+ Kh7 43. Rc7+ Kg6 44. Rg7+ Kh5 45. f3 1-0

Botvinnik,Mikhail - Portisch,Lajos [A22] EO 3.5, Monte Carlo Round: 7 Year: 1968

1. c4 e5 2. Nc3 Nf6 3. g3 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. Bg2 Be6 6. Nf3 Nc6 7. O-O Nb6 8. d3 Be7 9. a3 a5 10. Be3 O-O

 

t+-D-Tj+
+xX-LxXx
-Ss+l+-+
X-+-X-+-
-+-+-+-+
P-NpBnP-
-P-+pPbP
R-+q+rK-

Black's position is not bad and club players may be attracted to the easy development, but it is sometimes hard for Black to come up with a plan.

11. Na4 Nxa4 12. Qxa4 Bd5 13. Rfc1 Re8 14. Rc2 Bf8 15. Rac1 Nb8

 

tS-DtLj+
+xX-+xXx
-+-+-+-+
X-+lX-+-
q+-+-+-+
P-+pBnP-
-Pr+pPbP
+-R-+-K-

Egging White on to take the c7 Pawn. Botvinnik conceives a brilliant refutation.

16. Rxc7 Bc6 17. R1xc6 bxc6 18. Rxf7 h6 19. Rb7 Qc8 20. Qc4+ Kh8 21. Nh4 Qxb7 22. Ng6+ Kh7 23. Be4 Bd6 24. Nxe5+ g6 25. Bxg6+ Kg7 26. Bxh6+ 1-0


Kasparov, Gary - Kortchnoi, V (1) [A34] Skelleftea, 1989

1. c4 Nf6 2. Nc3 c5 3. Nf3 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. e4 Nb4

 

tSlDjL-T
Xx+-XxXx
-+-+-+-+
+-X-+-+-
-S-+p+-+
+-N-+n+-
pP-P-PpP
R-BqKb+r

White plays for fast development and open lines.

6. Bb5+ N8c6 7. d4 cxd4 8. a3 dxc3 9. Qxd8+ Kxd8 10. axb4 cxb2 11. Bxb2 f6 12. e5 Bg4 13. Bxc6 bxc6 14. Nd4 fxe5 15. Nxc6+ Kc7 16. Nxe5 Bh5 17. O-O Be8 18. Rfc1+ Kb7 19. Nc4 e5 20. Bxe5 h5 21. Na5+ Kb6 22. Bc7+ Ka6 23. Nc6+ 1-0


An early occupation of the centre: the Maroczy Bind for Black(!) (B2)


Goldberg, G - Botvinnik, Mikhail M [A34] USSR, 1945

1. c4 Nf6 2. Nc3 c5 3. g3 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. Bg2 Nc7 6. Nf3 Nc6 7. O-O e5 8. b3 Be7 9. Bb2 O-O 10. Rc1 f6 11. Ne1 Bf5 12. Na4 Na6

 

t+-D-Tj+
Xx+-L-Xx
s+s+-X-+
+-X-Xl+-
n+-+-+-+
+p+-+-P-
pB-PpPbP
+-RqNrK-

Black has adopted the Maroczy Bind as Black(!).

  In 1945 Botvinnik commented that the exchange Bxc6 was evidently not good for White in this type of position, but Suetin suspects later he changed his mind.

13. Nc2 Qd7 14. Ne3 Be6 15. d3 Nd4 16. Qd2 Rad8 17. Nc3 Nb4 18. Ba1 f5

 

-+-T-Tj+
Xx+dL-Xx
-+-+l+-+
+-X-Xx+-
-S-S-+-+
+pNpN-P-
p+-QpPbP
B-R-+rK-

Black moves from his strong base to a more aggressive posture.

19. Nc4 Bf6 20. Rfd1 b5 21. Nb2 e4 22. e3 Nf3+ 23. Bxf3 exf3 24. Qe1 Rc8 25. d4 cxd4 26. exd4 Bg5 27. d5 Bf7 28. a3 Rfe8 29. Qf1 Bxc1 30. Rxc1 Nxd5 31. Nd3 Nxc3 32. Bxc3 Bxb3 33. Nf4 Bc4 0-1


Langeweg - Korchnoi, Amsterdam, 1972

1. c4 c5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nc3 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. g3 Nc6 6. Bg2 Nc7 7. a3 g6 8. d3 Bg7

 

t+lDj+-T
XxS-XxLx
-+s+-+x+
+-X-+-+-
-+-+-+-+
P-Np+nP-
-P-+pPbP
R-BqK-+r

Black does not insist on the Bind but develops his King's-side.

9. O-O O-O 10. Qa4 Nd4 11. Nxd4 cxd4 12. Ne4 Bd7 13. Qb3 b6 14. Ng5 Rc8 15. Bd2 h6 16. Nf3 Ne6 17. a4 Nc5 18. Qd1 Qe8 19. b3 Be6 20. Ra3 Na6 21. b4 Qd7 22. Re1 Nc7 23. Qa1

 

-+t+-Tj+
X-SdXxL-
-X-+l+xX
+-+-+-+-
pP-X-+-+
R-+p+nP-
-+-BpPbP
Q-+-R-K-

23... Nd5 24. Nxd4 Nxb4 25. Bxb4 Bxd4 26. Bc3 Bxc3 27. Rxc3 Rxc3 28. Qxc3 Qxa4 29. Ra1 Qd7 30. Ra6 Rc8 31. Qa3 Rc2 0-1


An early occupation of the centre: solid (B3)


Kasparov,G (2740) - Karpov,An (2700) (24) [A14] Wch34-KK4 Sevilla, 1987

1. c4 e6 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. g3 d5 4. b3 Be7 5. Bg2 O-O 6. O-O

 

tSlD-Tj+
XxX-LxXx
-+-+xS-+
+-+x+-+-
-+p+-+-+
+p+-+nP-
p+-PpPbP
RnBq+rK-

The English and the Reti share a garden wall here.

6... b6 7. Bb2 Bb7 8. e3 Nbd7 9. Nc3 Ne4 10. Ne2!? N

10.cd5; 10.Qe2; 10.Qc2

10... a5

[10... Bf6 11. d4!? c5 12. Nf4]

11. d3 Bf6 12. Qc2 Bxb2 13. Qxb2 Nd6 14. cxd5

 

t+-D-Tj+
+lXs+xXx
-X-Sx+-+
X-+p+-+-
-+-+-+-+
+p+pPnP-
pQ-+nPbP
R-+-+rK-

14... Bxd5

[14... exd5!? 15. d4 c5 16. dxc5 bxc5and ]

15. d4! ... 1-0


Fischer,Robert - Filip,Miroslav [A14] Palma de Mallorca iz Rd: 4, 1970

1. b3 d5 2. Bb2 Nf6 3. Nf3 e6 4. g3 Be7 5. Bg2 O-O 6. O-O c5 7. c4 Nc6 8. cxd5 Nxd5 9. Nc3 Bf6 10. Qc1 b6 11. Nxd5 exd5 12. d4 Ba6 13. Re1 Nxd4 14. Bxd4 cxd4 15. Qa3

 

t+-D-Tj+
X-+-+xXx
lX-+-L-+
+-+x+-+-
-+-X-+-+
Qp+-+nP-
p+-+pPbP
R-+-R-K-

15... Bb7 16. Rad1 Be7 17. Qa4 Qe8 18. Qxd4 Rc8 19. Qf4 Bf6 20. Nd4 Be5 21. Qe3 g6 22. Nb5 Qxb5 23. Qxe5 Rfe8 24. Qb2 Rc5 25. h4 Rec8 26. Rd2 Rc3 27. Red1 Qc5 28. b4 Qe7 29. e3 h5 30. a3 Kh7

 

-+t+-+-+
Xl+-Dx+j
-X-+-+x+
+-+x+-+x
-P-+-+-P
P-T-P-P-
-Q-R-Pb+
+-+r+-K-

31. Bxd5 Bxd5 32. Rxd5 Qe4 33. Rd8 Qf3 34. Kh2 R8c4 35. R1d7 g5 36. Rf8 Kg6 37. Rg8+ Kh7 38. Rxg5 Rc8 39. Rdd5 Kh6 40. Rdf5 1-0


Symmetrical play by Black (B4)

The classically-minded Fischer often played the Staunton system as Black, preferring 1...g6 to reserve the options of the Ng8.

Smyslov,V - Fischer,R [A36] Palma de Mallorca izt, 1970

1. c4 g6 2. Nc3 Bg7 3. g3 c5 4. Bg2 Nc6 5. b3 e6 6. Bb2 Nge7

 

t+lDj+-T
Xx+xSxLx
-+s+x+x+
+-X-+-+-
-+p+-+-+
+pN-+-P-
pB-PpPbP
R-+qK-Nr

7. Na4 Bxb2 8. Nxb2 O-O 9. e3 d5 10. cxd5 Nxd5 11. Ne2 b6 12. d4

 

t+lD-Tj+
X-+-+x+x
-Xs+x+x+
+-Xs+-+-
-+-P-+-+
+p+-P-P-
pN-+nPbP
R-+qK-+r

12... Ba6!

  "A brilliant Pawn sacrifice in the style of the young ... Smyslov!" -- LEVY

13. dxc5 Qf6 14. Nc4 Nc3 15. Nxc3 Qxc3+ 16. Kf1 Rfd8 17. Qc1 Bxc4+ 18. bxc4 Qd3+ 19. Kg1 Rac8 20. cxb6 axb6 21. Qb2 Na5 22. h4 Nxc4 23. Qf6 Qf5 24. Qxf5 gxf5 25. h5 Rd2 26. Rc1 Rc5 27. Rh4 Ne5 28. Rxc5 bxc5 29. Ra4 c4 30. h6 Kf8 31. Ra8+ Ke7 32. Rc8 Rxa2 33. Bf1 Rc2 34. Kg2 Ng4 35. Kg1 Rxf2 36. Bxc4 Rf3 37. Kg2 Rxe3 38. Rh8 Nxh6 39. Rxh7 Ng4 40. Bb5 Rb3 41. Bc6 Rb2+ 42. Kg1 Ne5 43. Ba8 Rb8 44. Bh1 0-1


Petrosian,T - Fischer,R (2) [A37] Belgrade URS-WORLD, 1970

1. c4 g6 2. Nc3 c5 3. g3 Bg7 4. Bg2 Nc6 5. Nf3 e6 6. O-O Nge7 7. d3 O-O 8. Bd2

 

t+lD-Tj+
Xx+xSxLx
-+s+x+x+
+-X-+-+-
-+p+-+-+
+-Np+nP-
pP-BpPbP
R-+q+rK-

8... d5 9. a3 b6 10. Rb1 Bb7 11. b4 cxb4 12. axb4 dxc4 13. dxc4 Rc8

 

-+tD-Tj+
Xl+-SxLx
-Xs+x+x+
+-+-+-+-
-Pp+-+-+
+-N-+nP-
-+-BpPbP
+r+q+rK-

Black's pieces have good scope and the c-Pawn is as much of a liability as an asset. White lunges forward with it...

14. c5 bxc5 15. bxc5 Na5 16. Na4 Bc6 17. Qc2 Nb7 18. Rfc1 Qd7 19. Ne1 Nd5 20. Nb2 Bb5 21. Ned3 Bd4 22. Qb3

 

-+t+-Tj+
Xs+d+x+x
-+-+x+x+
+lPs+-+-
-+-L-+-+
+q+n+-P-
-N-BpPbP
+rR-+-K-

22... Nxc5 23. Nxc5 Rxc5 24. Rxc5 Bxc5 25. Nd3 Bxd3 26. Qxd3

 

-+-+-Tj+
X-+d+x+x
-+-+x+x+
+-Ls+-+-
-+-+-+-+
+-+q+-P-
-+-BpPbP
+r+-+-K-

Black is a Pawn up and can hope to convert in the teeth of the two Bishops.

26... Rd8 27. Bf3 Qc7 28. Bg5 Be7 29. Bxe7 Qxe7

  One Bishop only, now. White is in trouble.

30. Qd4 e5 31. Qc4 Nb6 32. Qc2 Rc8 33. Qd3 Rc4 34. Bg2 Qc7 35. Qa3 Rc3 36. Qa5 Rc5 37. Qa3 a5 38. h4 Nc4 39. Qd3 Nd6 40. Kh2 Kg7 41. Rd1 Ne8 42. Qd7 Qxd7 43. Rxd7 Nf6 44. Ra7 Ng4+ 45. Kg1 Rc1+ 46. Bf1 Ra1 47. e4 a4 48. Kg2 Ra2 49. Rxf7+ Kxf7 50. Bc4+ Ke7 51. Bxa2 a3 52. Kf3 Nf6 53. Ke3 Kd6 54. f4 Nd7 55. Bb1 Nc5 56. f5 Na6 57. g4 Nb4 58. fxg6 hxg6 59. h5 gxh5 60. gxh5 Ke6 61. Kd2 Kf6 62. Kc3 a2 63. Bxa2 Nxa2+ 64. Kb2 Nb4 65. Kc3 Nc6 66. Kc4 Nd4 0-1


Unbalanced play by Black: the King's English with ...Nf6 (B5)


Seeking early central control with ...c6 and ...d5 (B5a)


Hartston W R - Basman M J [A23] It, Hastings, 1967

1. c4 e5 2. Nc3 Nf6 3. g3 c6 4. Nf3 e4 5. Nd4 d5 6. cxd5

 

tSlDjL-T
Xx+-+xXx
-+x+-S-+
+-+p+-+-
-+-Nx+-+
+-N-+-P-
pP-PpP-P
R-BqKb+r

Black is going for it!

6... Qb6 7. Nb3 Ng4 8. d4 cxd5 9. Bg2 Bb4 10. O-O Bxc3 11. bxc3 O-O 12. h3 Nf6 13. Rb1 Qc6 14. Qc2 b6 15. Be3 Ba6 16. Rfc1 Nbd7 17. Bf1 h6

 

t+-+-Tj+
X-+s+xX-
lXd+-S-X
+-+x+-+-
-+-Px+-+
+nP-B-Pp
p+q+pP-+
+rR-+bK-

I prefer White here, but what do I know?

18. Nd2 Rac8 19. Rb4 Bc4 20. Nxc4 dxc4 21. Bg2 Rfe8 22. Rb2 Qe6 23. Bd2 Nd5 24. e3 f5 25. Re1 N7f6 26. a4 a5 27. Kh2 Rc7 28. Qb1 Kh8 29. Qa2 g5 30. Rb5 h5 31. Qb1 Qd6 32. Kh1 Rg8 33. Rg1 h4 34. gxh4 gxh4 35. f4 Rcg7 36. Qe1 Rg3 37. Qe2 Qc7 38. Rbb1 Qf7 39. Qf2 Nh5 40. Rb5 Kh7 41. Kh2 Kh6 42. Qe2 Qg6 43. Rbb1

 

-+-+-+t+
+-+-+-+-
-X-+-+dJ
X-+s+x+s
p+xPxP-X
+-P-P-Tp
-+-Bq+bK
+r+-+-R-

But I prefer Black here!

43... Nhxf4 44. exf4 e3 45. Bxd5 Rxg1 46. Qxe3 Qg2+ 0-1

 


Seeking rapid flexible development (B5b)


Unbalanced play by Black: the King's English with ...Nc6 (B6)


The main line Closed King's English (B6a)


Psakhis - Kasparov [A10] La Manga, 1990

1. c4 g6 2. Nc3 Bg7 3. g3 Nc6 4. Bg2 d6 5. Nf3 e5 6. d3 f5 7. O-O Nf6

 

t+lDj+-T
XxX-+-Lx
-+sX-Sx+
+-+-Xx+-
-+p+-+-+
+-Np+nP-
pP-+pPbP
R-Bq+rK-

8. Rb1 h6 9. b4 O-O 10. b5 Ne7 11. a4 Be6 12. Ba3 Rc8

 

-+tD-Tj+
XxX-S-L-
-+-XlSxX
+p+-Xx+-
p+p+-+-+
B-Np+nP-
-+-+pPbP
+r+q+rK-

13. Nd2 b6 14. e3 g5 15. d4 exd4 16. exd4 f4

 

-+tD-Tj+
X-X-S-L-
-X-XlS-X
+p+-+-X-
p+pP-X-+
B-N-+-P-
-+-N-PbP
+r+q+rK-

17. Re1 Bg4 18. Nf3 Qd7 19. c5 Rce8 20. Rc1 Nf5 21. Qd3 Kh8 22. cxd6 cxd6 23. Rxe8 Qxe8 24. Rf1 Qh5

 

-+-+-T-J
X-+-+-L-
-X-X-S-X
+p+-+sXd
p+-P-Xl+
B-Nq+nP-
-+-+-PbP
+-+-+rK-

25. Ne4 Nxe4 26. Qxe4 Bh3 27. Ne5 Bxg2 28. Kxg2 g4 29. Bxd6 Rf6 30. Bb8 Qh3+

 

-B-+-+-J
X-+-+-L-
-X-+-T-X
+p+-Ns+-
p+-PqXx+
+-+-+-Pd
-+-+-PkP
+-+-+r+-

0-1 psakhis-kasparov/la manga 1990 0-1

Olafsson,Fridrik - Smyslov,Vasily V (2) [A21] Yugoslavia ct, 1959

1. c4 e5 2. Nc3 d6 3. g3 Be6 4. Bg2 c6

 

tS-DjLsT
Xx+-+xXx
-+xXl+-+
+-+-X-+-
-+p+-+-+
+-N-+-P-
pP-PpPbP
R-BqK-Nr

This system is one of Smyslov's many contributions to the development of the theory in the English Opening.

5. d3 Nf6 6. Nf3 h6 7. O-O Be7 8. b3 O-O 9. e4 c5 10. Nh4 Nc6 11. f4 exf4 12. gxf4 Nh7 13. Nf3 f5 14. Nd5 Bf6 15. Rb1 fxe4 16. dxe4 Bg4 17. Qd3 Qd7 18. Bd2 Rae8 19. Rbe1 Bd8 20. Bc3 Rf7 21. Kh1 Nf6 22. a3 Nh5 23. Qd2 Ne7 24. f5 Nxd5 25. Qxd5 Qc6 26. Qd2 Qb6 27. b4 cxb4 28. axb4 Qc7 29. c5 dxc5 30. bxc5 Rd7 31. Qa2+ Kh7 32. Qa4 Rde7 33. e5 Bxf5 34. Ng5+ hxg5 35. Rxf5 Re6 36. Qe4 Kh8 37. Qxb7 Ng3+ 38. hxg3 Rh6+ 39. Kg1 Qxc5+ 40. Kf1 Qxc3 41. Qf3 Qc4+ 42. Re2 Be7 43. Qd5 Qc1+ 44. Re1 Qc8 45. Qe4 a5 46. Rf3 Bb4 47. Rd1 Qa6+ 48. Rdd3 Rc8 49. Rfe3 Bc5 50. Rf3 a4 51. Qe2 a3 52. Rd2 Qe6 53. g4 Rb8 54. Qd1 Qa6+ 55. Ke1 Bb4 56. Kf2 Bxd2 57. Qxd2 a2 0-1


Petrosian T - Smyslov V (03) [A21] JUG ct, 1959

1. c4 e5 2. Nc3 d6 3. Nf3 Bg4

 

tS-DjLsT
XxX-+xXx
-+-X-+-+
+-+-X-+-
-+p+-+l+
+-N-+n+-
pP-PpPpP
R-BqKb+r

This is the other idea: now g2-g3 is inhibited.

4. e3 Nf6 5. Be2 c6 6. h3 Bh5 7. O-O Be7 8. d3 O-O 9. b3 Nbd7 10. Nh4 Bxe2 11. Qxe2 d5 12. Nf5 Bb4 13. Bb2 Re8 14. cxd5 cxd5 15. d4 e4 16. Rfc1 Nb6 17. Nb5 Qd7 18. Ng3 Rec8 19. Rxc8+ Nxc8 20. Rc1 a6 21. Ba3 Bxa3 22. Nxa3 Ne7 23. Nb1 Rc8 24. Rxc8+ Qxc8 25. Qd2 g6 26. Qc3 Qxc3 27. Nxc3 Nd7 28. Nge2 b5 29. Nf4 Nb6 30. a4 bxa4 31. bxa4 a5 32. f3 f5 33. Kf2 Kf7 34. h4 h6 35. Nfe2 Nc6 36. Nc1 Nb4 37. Nb3 Nc4 38. f4 Nc2 39. Nd1 Ke7 40. Ke2 Kd6 41. Kf2 Kc6 42. Ke2 Kd6 43. Kf2 Nb4 44. Ke2 Nc6 45. Nc3 Na7 46. Nc5 Nc8 47. Nb7+ Kc7 48. Nc5 N8b6 49. Kf2 Kd6 50. Ke2 Ke7 51. Kf2 Kf6 52. Ke2 g5 53. hxg5+ hxg5 54. g3 Kg6 55. Kf2 Kh5 56. Ne6 Nb2 57. fxg5 Kg6 58. Kf1 Kf7 59. Nc5 Kg6 60. Ne6 Kf7 Q

 


English Four Knights' Game (B6b)


Knee - Povah N [A28] Hereford, 1978

1. c4 e5 2. Nc3 Nf6 3. Nf3 Nc6 4. d4 e4 5. Nd2 Nxd4 6. Ndxe4 Nxe4 7. Qxd4 Nxc3 8. Qxc3 d5!

 

t+lDjL-T
XxX-+xXx
-+-+-+-+
+-+x+-+-
-+p+-+-+
+-Q-+-+-
pP-+pPpP
R-B-Kb+r

9. cxd5? Qxd5 10. Bf4 Be6 11. Rd1 Qxa2 12. Bxc7 Rc8 13. e3 a6 14. Qd4 Be7 15. Qxg7

 

-+t+j+-T
+xB-LxQx
x+-+l+-+
+-+-+-+-
-+-+-+-+
+-+-P-+-
dP-+-PpP
+-+rKb+r

In these open positions, activity and development are the most important features.

15... Bb4+ 16. Ke2 Rf8 17. Be5 Bd5 18. Qxh7 Qb3!

 

-+t+jT-+
+x+-+x+q
x+-+-+-+
+-+lB-+-
-L-+-+-+
+d+-P-+-
-P-+kPpP
+-+r+b+r

19. Bc3 Bxc3 20. bxc3 Rxc3 21. Ke1 Qb4! 22. Be2 Bxg2 0-1

Kasparov,G (2740) - Karpov,An (2700) (04) [A29 ] Wch34-KK4 Sevilla, 1987

1. c4 Nf6 2. Nc3 e5 3. Nf3 Nc6 4. g3 Bb4 5. Bg2 O-O 6. O-O e4

 

t+lD-Tj+
XxXx+xXx
-+s+-S-+
+-+-+-+-
-Lp+x+-+
+-N-+nP-
pP-PpPbP
R-Bq+rK-

The aggressive line.

7. Ng5

[7. Ne1 was often played.]

7... Bxc3 8. bxc3 Re8 9. f3 exf3

[9... e3!? 10. d3! d5 11. Qb3!+/= ]

10. Nxf3

 

t+lDt+j+
XxXx+xXx
-+s+-S-+
+-+-+-+-
-+p+-+-+
+-P-+nP-
p+-Pp+bP
R-Bq+rK-

10... Qe7?!

[10... d5 11. cxd5 Qxd5 12. Nd4 Qh5 13. Nxc6 bxc6 14. e3 unclear ]

11. e3 Ne5 N; 11...d6+/= - 16/47 12. Nd4!

[12. Nxe5 Qxe5 13. Rb1

...1-0


Kasparov,G (2740) - Karpov,An (2700) (16) [A29] Wch34-KK4 Sevilla, 1987

1. c4 e5 2. Nc3 Nf6 3. Nf3 Nc6 4. g3 Bb4 5. Bg2 O-O 6. O-O Re8

 

t+lDt+j+
XxXx+xXx
-+s+-S-+
+-+-X-+-
-Lp+-+-+
+-N-+nP-
pP-PpPbP
R-Bq+rK-

The solid move.

7. d3 Bxc3 8. bxc3 e4 9. Nd4 h6 10. dxe4! N

  10.Qc2 - 36/39

[10. c5]

[10. Nxc6]

10... Nxe4 11. Qc2 d5!

 

t+lDt+j+
XxX-+xX-
-+s+-+-X
+-+x+-+-
-+pNs+-+
+-P-+-P-
p+q+pPbP
R-B-+rK-

Podgaets,M

12. cxd5

[12. Nb5 Bf5 13. cxd5 Nxg3 14. e4 Nxf1 15. exf5

[15.dxc6 Bxe4 16. Bxe4 Qh4]

15... Re1 16. Bxf1 Qxd5 ^ /\ 17. Nxc7 Qc4-+ ]

12... Qxd5 13. e3

[13. Rd1 Bf5 14. Nxf5

[14. f3 Nf2]

14... Qxf5 15. f3 Nxg3 unclear ]

13... Na5!?=

 

t+l+t+j+
XxX-+xX-
-+-+-+-X
S-+d+-+-
-+-Ns+-+
+-P-P-P-
p+q+-PbP
R-B-+rK-

[13... Nxd4!? 14. cxd4 c6 15. Bb2 Bf5 16. f3?! Nxg3 17. e4 Nxe4 18. fxe4 Bxe4]

... 0-1


Kasparov,G (2740) - Karpov,An (2700) (02) [A29] Wch34-KK4 Sevilla, 1987

1. c4 e5 2. Nc3 Nf6 3. Nf3 Nc6 4. g3 Bb4 5. Bg2 O-O 6. O-O e4 7. Ng5 Bxc3 8. bxc3 Re8 9. f3 e3!?

N; Zaitsev,I; 9...ef3 - 35/44

10. d3!

...0-1

 


Baker,C - Birnboim,N [A20] London, 1987

1. c4 e5 2. g3 Nf6 3. Bg2 c6 4. Nc3 d5 5. cxd5 xd5 6. Qb3 Nc6 7. Nxd5 Nd4 8. Nxf6+ Qxf6

  8...gxf6 was a game Regis-Menadue, where I first met this line (0-1, 20-odd).

9. Qd1

 

t+l+jL-T
Xx+-+xXx
-+-+-D-+
+-+-X-+-
-+-S-+-+
+-+-+-P-
pP-PpPbP
R-BqK-Nr

I believe Tal was behind this evil gambit.

9... Bf5 10. d3 Rc8 11. Kf1 Be7 12. Bxb7 Rc7 13. Bd5 O-O 14. Kg2 Rd8 15. e4 Rxd5 16. exd5 Qd6 17. f3 Rc2+ 18. Kf1 Qa6 19. Bd2 Qxd3+ 20. Ke1 Bb4 21. Bxb4 Qe3+ 22. Ne2 Nxf3+ 0-1

 


Polugaevsky,L - Estevez,G [A22] Sochi, 1976

see other handout

Uhlmann W - Dobosz H (0.17) [A22] DDR-Polska, 1974

1. c4 e5 2. Nc3 Nf6 3. Nf3 e4 4. Ng5 b5

 

tSlDjL-T
X-Xx+xXx
-+-+-S-+
+x+-+-N-
-+p+x+-+
+-N-+-+-
pP-PpPpP
R-BqKb+r

Bellon's gambit is designed to intimidate the (presumed) dull player of the English Opening.

5. b3? b4 6. Nb1 h6 7. Nh3 Bc5=/+

  It sometimes works that way!

8. d4 exd3 9. Qxd3 O-O 10. Bb2 Bb7 11. Nd2 d6 12. e3 Nbd7 13. Nf4 Ne5 14. Qc2 Nfg4 15. Be2 Bxe3 16. fxe3 Nxe3 17. Qc1 Qg5 18. Nf1 Nxg2+ 19. Nxg2 Qxg2 20. Bxe5 Rfe8 21. Ng3 Rxe5 22. Kd2 Qf2 23. Qg1 Qf4+ 24. Kc2 Rae8 25. Re1 Re3 26. Qf1 Qe5 27. Rg1 Qc3+ 28. Kb1 Rxg3 0-1


Plaskett J - Hempson P W [A22] It, ENG, 1988

1. c4 e5 2. Nc3 Nf6 3. Nf3 e4 4. Ng5 b5 5. d3 exd3 6. cxb5 h6 7. Nf3 dxe2 8. Bxe2 Bb7 9. O-O Bc5 10. Nd4 Bxd4 11. Qxd4 O-O 12. b4 d6 13. Bb2 Nbd7 14. f4 Re8 15. Bf3 Bxf3 16. Rxf3 Qb8 17. Nd5 Qb7 18. Nxf6+ Nxf6 19. Rg3 Re6 20. f5

 

t+-+-+j+
XdX-+xX-
-+-XtS-X
+p+-+p+-
-P-Q-+-+
+-+-+-R-
pB-+-+pP
R-+-+-K-

Plaskett characteristically goes for the throat...

20... Re5 21. Qh4 Ne4 22. Re3 Qb6

 

t+-+-+j+
X-X-+xX-
-D-X-+-X
+p+-Tp+-
-P-+s+-Q
+-+-R-+-
pB-+-+pP
R-+-+-K-

...but finds he has put his foot in a pin.

23. Rae1 Nc3 24. Qg3 Rxe3 25. Qxe3 Re8 0-1


Reshevsky,S - Bellon Lopez,J [A22] Palma, 1971

1. c4 e5 2. Nc3 Nf6 3. Nf3 e4 4. Ng5 b5

 

tSlDjL-T
X-Xx+xXx
-+-+-S-+
+x+-+-N-
-+p+x+-+
+-N-+-+-
pP-PpPpP
R-BqKb+r

The original game in this line, I think.

5. Nxb5 h6 6. Nh3 c6 7. Nc3 d5 8. cxd5 cxd5 9. e3 Bd6 10. Bb5+ Kf8 11. d3 Bg4 12. Qd2 Qa5 13. a3 Na6 14. O-O Rd8 15. d4 Bb8 16. Be2 Qc7 17. Nf4 g5 18. Bxa6 gxf4 19. exf4 Rg8 20. g3 Qd7 21. Be2 Bf3 22. Bxf3 exf3 23. Qd3 Qg4 24. Re1 Nh5 25. Re5 Bxe5 26. fxe5 Ng7 27. Nb5 Rh8 28. Nd6 h5 29. h3 Qxh3 30. Qxf3 Rxd6 31. exd6 Nf5 32. d7 Kg7 33. Bg5 f6 34. Re1 Rd8 35. Re5 Kg6 36. Qxd5 Nxd4 37. Qxd4 fxe5 38. Qd6+ Kxg5 39. Qe7+ Kg4 40. Qxd8 Kf3 41. Qf6+ 1-0


Karpov,Anatoly - Anand,Viswanathan (2) Linares, 1991

1. Nf3 c5 2. c4 Nc6 3. Nc3 Nd4

 

t+lDjLsT
Xx+xXxXx
-+-+-+-+
+-X-+-+-
-+pS-+-+
+-N-+n+-
pP-PpPpP
R-BqKb+r

Outrageous! - but watch...

4. e3 Nxf3+ 5. Qxf3 g6 6. b3 Bg7 7. Bb2 d6 8. g3 Rb8 9. Bg2 Nf6 10. h3 O-O 11. O-O a6 12. Qe2 b5 13. d3 b4 14. Nd1 a5 15. a4 e5 16. e4 h5 17. h4 Ne8 18. Ne3 Nc7 19. Kh2 Ne6 20. Bh3 Bh6 21. Ng2 Bg7 22. Rae1 Rb7 23. Bxe6 Bxe6 24. f4 Bg4 25. Qd2 Re7 26. Ne3 f5 27. exf5 gxf5 28. Nd5 Re6 29. Qf2 Rfe8 30. Bc1 e4 31. dxe4 Rxe4 32. Rxe4 Rxe4 33. Re1 Rxe1 34. Qxe1 Kf7 35. Qd2 Bf3 36. Ne3 Be4 37. Bb2 Bxb2 38. Qxb2 Qf6 39. Qxf6+ Kxf6 40. Kg1 Bb1 41. Nf1 Bc2 42. Nd2 Ke6 43. Kf2 d5 44. cxd5+ Kxd5 45. Ke3 Bd1 46. Kd3 Bxb3 0-1


Indian-style defences (B7):


Grunfeld style (B7a)


Andersson Ulf - Tempone Marcelo [A16] 04, Buenos Aires, 1979

1. c4 Nf6 2. Nc3 g6 3. Nf3 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. e4 Nxc3 6. dxc3 Qxd1+ 7. Kxd1

 

tSl+jL-T
XxX-Xx+x
-+-+-+x+
+-+-+-+-
-+-+p+-+
+-P-+n+-
pP-+-PpP
R-Bk+b+r

White has a whisper of a plus: a tempo, a little more space...

7... c5 8. Be3 b6 9. a4 Nc6 10. Bb5 Bd7 11. Kc2 Bg7 12. Rhd1 a6 13. Bc4 Bg4 14. h3 Bxf3 15. gxf3 O-O 16. f4 Ra7 17. e5 a5 18. Rd2 e6 19. Rad1 Rc8 20. Kb3 Bf8 21. Bb5 Rcc7 22. Bxc6 Rxc6 23. Kc4 Be7 24. Rd7 Rcc7 25. Rxc7 Rxc7 26. Kb5

 

-+-+-+j+
+-T-Lx+x
-X-+x+x+
XkX-P-+-
p+-+-P-+
+-P-B-+p
-P-+-P-+
+-+r+-+-

But now, the contrast in King activity could not be more pronounced.

26... Rc8 27. Rd7 Kf8 28. Kxb6 Ke8 29. Rb7 Bd8+ 30. Kb5 c4 31. Bc5 1-0


King's Indian style (B7b)


Petrosian,T - Vasiukov,E Moscow ch, 1956

1. Nf3 Nf6 2. g3 g6 3. Bg2 Bg7 4. O-O O-O 5. c4 d6 6. Nc3 Nc6 7. d3 Nh5 8. Rb1 f5 9. Qc2 a5 10. a3 f4

 

t+lD-Tj+
+xX-X-Lx
-+sX-+x+
X-+-+-+s
-+p+-X-+
P-Np+nP-
-Pq+pPbP
+rB-+rK-

"...I was impressed by this game as Petrosian must have been, as he got crushed." -- FISCHER.

11. b4 axb4 12. axb4 Bg4 13. e3 e5 14. b5 Ne7 15. Ne4 Qd7 16. Bd2 h6 17. Bc3 g5 18. exf4 gxf4 19. Qe2 Ng6 20. Ra1 Rxa1 21. Bxa1 b6 22. Bc3 Qf5 23. Bd2 Kh8 24. Bc1 Bf6 25. Kh1 Ng7 26. Bb2 Ne6 27. Qc2 Qh5 28. Ned2 Ng5 29. Nxg5 Bxg5 30. Be4 Be2 31. Kg1 f3 32. Re1 Bxd2 33. Rxe2 Bg5 34. Re1 Qh3 35. Bxf3 Rxf3 36. d4 Nf4 37. gxf4 Bxf4 0-1

 


Nimzo-Indian style (B7c)


Langeweg - Korchnoi, Amsterdam, 1976

1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Qc2 0-0 5.a3 Bxc3 6.Qxc3 b6 7.g3 Bb7 8.Bg2 d5 9.d4 dxc4 10.Qxc4 Bd5 11.Qc3 Nbd7

"The game had several critical points.

At move 11 I was threatening to equalise by ...c5 so my opponent played the ambitious b2-b4. It caused White difficulties because of his under-development and gave the Black pieces space for active play."

12.b4 a5 13.b5?! c6 14.bxc6 Rc8 15.0-0 Rxc6 16.Qe3 Qa8 17.Bd2 b5?!

"Imprecise: now the b-Pawn is a weakness.

I had to exchange one of White's Bishops in order to obtain chances of advancing the Queen's-side Pawns and give myself the better chances in the ending. For the moment the position had become unclear."

18.Rfb1 Rb8 19.Ne1?! Bxg2 20.Nxg2 Ne4!

"Siezing the initiative: White is taken aback."

21.Qd3 Rd6 22.Be3?! Ne5 23.Qc2? Rc8 24.Qb3 Nc4 25.Rc1 Rdc6 26.Qxb5 Nxa3 27.Qa4 Nc2 28.Rab1 Rc4 0-1

[Notes by Korchnoi.]

 


Queen's Indian style (B7d)


Kortschnoj,V - Karpov,An (03) [A17] Moscow cf (Wch), 1974

1. c4 Nf6 2. Nc3 e6 3. Nf3 b6

 

tSlDjL-T
X-Xx+xXx
-X-+xS-+
+-+-+-+-
-+p+-+-+
+-N-+n+-
pP-PpPpP
R-BqKb+r

4. e4 Bb7 5. Qe2 Bb4 6. e5 Ng8 7. d4 Ne7 N

 

tS-Dj+-T
XlXxSxXx
-X-+x+-+
+-+-P-+-
-LpP-+-+
+-N-+n+-
pP-+qPpP
R-B-Kb+r

8. Bd2 O-O 9. O-O-O d5 10. h4 Bxc3 11. Bxc3 dxc4 12. Qxc4 Ba6 13. Qa4 Bxf1 14. Rhxf1 Qd5 15. Kb1 a5 16. Qc2 h6 17. Rfe1 Na6 18. Qe4 Rfd8 19. Qxd5 Rxd5 20. Rd2 Rad8

 

-+-T-+j+
+-X-SxX-
sX-+x+-X
X-+tP-+-
-+-P-+-P
+-B-+n+-
pP-R-Pp+
+k+-R-+-

21. Red1 h5 22. Kc2 Nf5 23. g3 f6 24. exf6 gxf6 25. Ng1 Ne7 26. Ne2 Ng6 27. Rd3 Nb4+ 28. Bxb4 axb4 29. a3 bxa3 30. Rxa3 R8d7 31. Re1 Kf7 32. Rd3 Rf5 33. f3 c5 34. f4 Ne7 35. dxc5 Rxc5+ 36. Nc3 Rdc7 37. Kd2 Nf5 38. Ra1 Rc4 39. Ra6 b5 40. b3 Rb4 41. Ne2 Ke7 42. Ra8 Rd7 43. Rxd7+ Kxd7 44. Rh8 Rxb3 45. Rxh5 Nxg3 46. Nxg3 Rxg3 47. Rxb5 f5 48. Ke2 Rg4 49. Kf3 Rxh4 50. Rb6 Rh1 51. Ra6 Rc1 52. Kg3 Rc4 53. Kf3 Rc3+ 54. Kf2 Rc6 55. Ra1 Rc4 56. Kf3 Kd6 57. Re1 Rc3+ Q

 


Dutch style (B7e)


Miles,T - Chaves,J [A27] Sao Paulo, 1977

1. c4 e5 2. Nc3 Nc6 3. Nf3 f5 4. d4 e4 5. Nd2 Nf6 6. e3 g6 7. Be2 Bg7 8. Rb1 a5 9. a3 O-O 10. b4 axb4 11. axb4 Ne7 12. Qb3 d6 13. b5 Kh8 14. Ba3

 

t+lD-T-J
+xX-S-Lx
-+-X-Sx+
+p+-+x+-
-+pPx+-+
BqN-P-+-
-+-NbPpP
+r+-K-+r

14... f4 15. Ncxe4 fxe3 16. fxe3 Nxe4 17. Nxe4 Bf5 18. Bd3 Nd5 19. O-O Nxe3 20. Rf3 Qh4 21. g3 Qg4 22. Rxe3 Rxa3 23. Qxa3 Bxd4 24. Kg2 Qh3+ 25. Kh1 Bxe4+

 

-+-+-T-J
+xX-+-+x
-+-X-+x+
+p+-+-+-
-+pLl+-+
Q-+bR-Pd
-+-+-+-P
+r+-+-+k

0-1

Saidy,Anthony - Fischer,Robert [A25] New York, 1969

1. c4 e5 2. Nc3 Nc6 3. g3 f5 4. Bg2 Nf6 5. d3 Bc5 6. e3 f4

 

t+lDj+-T
XxXx+-Xx
-+s+-S-+
+-L-X-+-
-+p+-X-+
+-NpP-P-
pP-+-PbP
R-BqK-Nr

Audacious, even arrogant. Gik had published some analysis on this line ... for White against the Sicilian, but mostly people weren't convinced even in that situation. Nowadays of course the theme has become well-known.

7. exf4 O-O 8. Nge2 Qe8 9. O-O d6 10. Na4 Bd4 11. Nxd4 exd4 12. h3 h5 13. a3 a5 14. b3 Qg6 15. Nb2 Bf5 16. Qc2 Nd7 17. Re1 Nc5

 

t+-+-Tj+
+xX-+-X-
-+sX-+d+
X-S-+l+x
-+pX-P-+
Pp+p+-Pp
-Nq+-Pb+
R-B-R-K-

Black has a grip on both sides of the board.

18. Bf1 Ra6 19. Bd2 Rb6 20. Bxa5 Rxb3 21. Bd2 Ra8 22. a4 Ra6 23. a5 Kh7 24. Red1 b6 25. Be1 bxa5 26. Na4 Rxd3 27. Bxd3 Bxd3 28. Qa2 Nb4 29. Qa3 Nc2 30. Qb2 Nxa1 31. Rxa1 Nxa4 32. Rxa4 Qe4 33. Bxa5 Rxa5 34. Rxa5 Qe1+ 35. Kh2 Qxa5 0-1


Kool - Hodgson [A21] London, 1989

1. c4 e5 2. Nc3 Bb4

 

tSlDj+sT
XxXx+xXx
-+-+-+-+
+-+-X-+-
-Lp+-+-+
+-N-+-+-
pP-PpPpP
R-BqKbNr

Hodgson's fondness for the Grand Prix Attack makes this line an obvious choice. 3. g3 Bxc3 4. bxc3 Ne7 5. Bg2 O-O 6. d3 Nbc6 7. Nh3 d6 8. O-O f5 9. f4 Qe8 10. Rb1 Rb8 11. d4 e4 12. e3 Na5 13. Qe2 c5 14. Nf2 b6 15. Nd1 Ba6

 

-T-+dTj+
X-+-S-Xx
lX-X-+-+
S-X-+x+-
-+pPxP-+
+-P-P-P-
p+-+q+bP
+rBn+rK-

Of course, Black is not forced to win on the King's-side; he has a very good version of the Nimzo-Indian!

16. Nb2 Qf7 17. Rd1 Nxc4 0-1


Smart - Hodgson [A21] England, 1984

1. c4 e5 2. Nc3 Bb4 3. Nd5

  White need not submit to the doubling of the c-Pawns in this line.

3... Ba5 4. b4 c6 5. bxa5 cxd5 6. e3 Nf6 7. Qa4 dxc4 8. Bxc4 Nc6 9. Nf3 e4 10. Ng5 d5 11. Bb5 Bd7 12. O-O h6 13. a6! hxg5 14. axb7 Rb8 15. Bxc6 Qc7 16. Bxd7+ Nxd7 17. f4! exf3 18. g3 Rxb7 19. Ba3 Qc4? 20. Rac1 1-0

Chess Quotes

"There are no heroes in chess."
— -- CORY EVANS