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English (A26)
1 c4 e5 2 Nc3 Nc6 3 g3 g6 4 Bg2 Bg7 5 d3 d6

Number of games in database: 903
Years covered: 1925 to 2017
Overall record:
   White wins 31.7%
   Black wins 28.7%
   Draws 39.6%

Popularity graph, by decade

Explore this opening  |  Search for sacrifices in this opening.
With the White Pieces With the Black Pieces
Normunds Miezis  13 games
Jan Smejkal  11 games
Bogdan Sliwa  8 games
Svetozar Gligoric  9 games
Artur Yusupov  8 games
Karel Mokry  7 games
NOTABLE GAMES [what is this?]
White Wins Black Wins
Ivanchuk vs Nunn, 1994
Kasparov vs Short, 1990
Korchnoi vs Yusupov, 1998
Larsen vs Spassky, 1981
D Flores vs Radjabov, 2005
Ehlvest vs Karpov, 1991
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 page 1 of 37; games 1-25 of 903  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. Carls vs Tartakower ½-½50 1925 Baden-BadenA26 English
2. C Goedde Jr vs J H Pannekoek  0-128 1925 NSB - RhW SchachverbandA26 English
3. Carls vs Euwe 0-150 1926 BremenA26 English
4. P D Bolland vs Euwe 0-139 1926 WestonA26 English
5. H van Hartingsvelt vs Euwe  0-154 1927 AmsterdamA26 English
6. Y Porat vs K Helling  1-051 1931 27. DSB KongressA26 English
7. Flohr vs L Steiner  ½-½55 1933 OlympiadA26 English
8. Flohr vs E Mulder  1-024 1933 ScheveningenA26 English
9. Capablanca vs Bogoljubov ½-½46 1936 NottinghamA26 English
10. M Katetov vs Lokvenc  ½-½47 1943 PragueA26 English
11. V Castaldi vs A Tsvetkov  0-136 1947 ZonalA26 English
12. Aronin vs E Terpugov  ½-½36 1951 USSR ChampionshipA26 English
13. Smyslov vs Averbakh ½-½39 1952 URSA26 English
14. E Hearst vs E Zemgalis  ½-½28 1953 US OpenA26 English
15. Petrosian vs Boleslavsky  ½-½21 1953 Zurich CandidatesA26 English
16. L Schmitt vs Uhlmann 1-046 1953 GER-ch 15thA26 English
17. Kholmov vs O Troianescu 1-045 1954 BucharestA26 English
18. Kholmov vs G Borisenko 1-038 1954 URS-chTA26 English
19. Sliwa vs J Domanski  1-041 1955 POL-chA26 English
20. S Wolk vs K Darga  ½-½62 1955 FRG-ch 03rdA26 English
21. E S Stoliar vs V Osnos  ½-½41 1956 URS-ch sfA26 English
22. Novotelnov vs Byvshev  ½-½36 1956 URS-ch sfA26 English
23. J Kozma vs M Herink  ½-½41 1956 CSR-chA26 English
24. Filip vs Gligoric  ½-½40 1956 Moscow ol (Men) fin-AA26 English
25. D Horseman vs J Penrose 1-057 1956 Hastings 1956/57A26 English
 page 1 of 37; games 1-25 of 903  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
Sep-02-04  Giancarlo: Many chess books I've seen have descirbed the King-side Finachetto as a target for your opponet. The key being to swap off the Bishop and make the squares h3 and f3/h6 and f6 more vulnerable to an attack. I'm not one who practises the Finachetto regularly, <except playing Dutch as Black, trying to get B7 achieved with the queen side bishop> but I was hoping I could hear from people in this topic. Thank you.
Nov-20-04  Dudley: The fianchetto formation is vulnerable to an attack that has been called the "h pawn hack" where you swap off the bishop with bishop h6 or h3, castle Q side and advance the h and usually g pawns to pry open the h file. White usually has a pawn on f3 to support his e4 pawn. The Yugoslav attack against the Sicilian Dragon or the Sameisch attack vs. the King's Indian are the two most common examples, although it also comes up vs. the Pirc, etc. However, this type of attack really shouldn't work when white does the K side fianchetto as you see here in the English (reversed Dragon) because White's extra tempo gives him options not usually available to Black,such as a d4 break, countering the flank attack in the center. That won't stop the rabid attacking players from trying it, but it won't work if White knows what he is doing. It seems to be the only way of playing against a fianchetto most people know, but is not appropriate in many cases.
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: When White delays Nf3, as here, he gains two options which simultaneously develop the King side and help slow down the Black attack.

1. He plays e2-e3, Nge2 and an eventual f2-f4 after Black's ...f5. 2. He plays e2-e4, Nge2 (the Botvinnik formation). When Black plays ...f5, White plays e4xf5 followed by f2-f4.

Both have the same disadvantage; without Nf3, d4 won't put as much pressure on the Black center, even when it is the best move. Also, White attacks the Queen side while Black attacks the White King. White always gets the first blow, but sometimes Black gets the last.

The timing in any variation of this line (White also has 5.a3, 5.b3, and 5.d3) is delicate and difficult for either player to handle. When I played this line from either side against Master-level competition, it was not unusual for each player to have only 5 minutes to make the last 20 moves. Play ranges from extremely subtle postional manouvering to simultaneous sacrificial attacks. One of my best games featured a central formation where by move 25, I had pawns on d5 and f5 versus pawns on d6, e5 and f6--oh, and my King was on e4!

I can't honestly tell you that I mastered the line--and it was one of my staple openings.

Nov-20-04  Dudley: <An Englishman> Your comments were more relevant to the actual position-I was answering the question in a general sense. Anyway, do you still like the Botvinnik system? I have a book that has a good explantion of it and Jeremy Silman seems to like it, but he has a special affection for closed systems. I think it's time I started playing like a grownup and this system seems to have some real depth to it.
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: Dudley, your response was good and valid--a lot of inexperienced Black players conduct the game as you suggest and can't understand why their attacks don't crash through. I do still like the Botvinnik, but I haven't played tournament chess in almost 15 years. It's a good, versatile response to most of Black's replies to 1.c4 (and it works as a defense to 1.c4, too!), but when the Botvinnik crashes and burns, the results are not pretty. In fact, one of the best games versus the Botvinnik is this one: Benko vs Botvinnik, 1968. Yes, it's Botvinnik pummelling the Botvinnik. Try and find where Benko went wrong. It isn't easy.
Jan-30-06  SniperOnG7: <Dudley> LOL i know the time between my post and your post is a tad long, but may you tell me the name (and author) of the book which examines the Botvinnik?
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: <SniperOnG7>, John Watson published a four-volume set of books on the English circa 1980 that I used as a foundation for my knowledge of the English. Of course, specific theory for most lines has changed, but three of the four mentioned the multitudinous permutations of the Botvinnik for both White and Black.

Opening books can be odd things: sometimes the old ones are still worth reading although the theory of specific variations has become obsolete.

Jan-30-06  SniperOnG7: SniperOnG7: <An Englishman> Iv been dithering back and forth for a long time on whether to buy Watson's series but thanks to you iv now got a solid reason for buying them (makes me feel less guilty about spending the money) :)
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Opening of the Day

1.c4 e5 2.♘c3 ♘c6 3.g3 g6 4.♗g2 ♗g7 5.d3 d6

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