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English (A16)
1 c4 Nf6 2 Nc3

Number of games in database: 5662
Years covered: 1879 to 2023
Overall record:
   White wins 41.8%
   Black wins 24.9%
   Draws 33.2%

Popularity graph, by decade

Explore this opening  |  Search for sacrifices in this opening.
With the White Pieces With the Black Pieces
Normunds Miezis  46 games
Wolfgang Uhlmann  40 games
Simon Kim Williams  38 games
Victor Mikhalevski  22 games
Lev Gutman  20 games
Vladimir Savon  19 games
NOTABLE GAMES [what is this?]
White Wins Black Wins
Karpov vs Csom, 1977
Korchnoi vs Huebner, 1973
Botvinnik vs Smyslov, 1957
S J Hutchings vs Keene, 1973
Petrosian vs Larsen, 1966
Botvinnik vs Smyslov, 1957
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 page 1 of 227; games 1-25 of 5,662 
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. A Schwarz vs Paulsen 0-1781879Paulsen - SchwarzA16 English
2. Taubenhaus vs F Riemann ½-½4118854th DSB Congress, HamburgA16 English
3. Blackburne vs J E Hall  1-03818884th BCA CongressA16 English
4. K Treybal vs Z Vecsey 1-0441921BrnoA16 English
5. J A Seitz vs Z Vecsey  1-0681923TriesteA16 English
6. J A Seitz vs G Norman 0-1281923Hastings 1923/24A16 English
7. Maroczy vs Yates  0-1421923Hastings 1923/24A16 English
8. J A Seitz vs J H Blake  1-0701923Hastings 1923/24A16 English
9. O Chajes vs C Jaffe 1-0261924New York Ch Rice Chess ClubA16 English
10. Tartakower vs Yates 1-0421925MarienbadA16 English
11. D Przepiorka vs Janowski 1-0551925MarienbadA16 English
12. A Haida vs Torre 0-1491925MarienbadA16 English
13. Reti vs K Opocensky 1-0571925KolinA16 English
14. C Goedde Jr vs J H Pannekoek  0-1281925NSB - RhW SchachverbandA16 English
15. A Kramer vs O Ruester 1-0201926AltheideA16 English
16. Kostic vs B Hoenlinger  ½-½291926Trencianske TepliceA16 English
17. P D Bolland vs Euwe 0-1391926Weston-super-MareA16 English
18. Tartakower vs E Steiner  ½-½171926Budapest 1st FIDE MastersA16 English
19. Reti vs E Steiner  ½-½151926Budapest 1st FIDE MastersA16 English
20. K Sterk vs M Chodera  ½-½151926BardejovA16 English
21. O Antze vs H Duhm  1-0501926HannoverA16 English
22. C Carls vs Euwe 0-1501926VAS-Bremer SchachgesellschaftA16 English
23. H van Hartingsvelt vs Euwe  0-1541927AmsterdamA16 English
24. Nimzowitsch vs Ahues  1-0311927Bad NiendorfA16 English
25. Nimzowitsch vs V Buerger 1-0611927LondonA16 English
 page 1 of 227; games 1-25 of 5,662 
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-16-04  refutor: any opinion on botvinnik (and other's) 1.c4 Nf6 2.Nc3 d5 attempting to get to the grunfeld v. the english?
Feb-03-04  ruylopez900: I have nothing against the English (I actually play it sometimes) but instead of 1. c4 e5 2. ♘c3 ♘f6 I think transposing to this from the Reti is much better for White. 1. ♘f3 ♘f6 <or 1...d5 2. c4> 2. c4 and 2...e5 is discouraged. Doing it like this means less space for black who is also forced to play to the wings, probably fianchetto-ing and not grabbing space. Any thoughts?
Feb-03-04  Kenkaku: I feel that responding with 1...Nf6 is the best way to handle 1. c4, since white then has to determine whether or not to transpose the game into basically a 1. d4 for all intents and purposes or go ahead with a usual English-style game.
Mar-14-04  morphyvsfischer: 1...Nf6 all the way! My style is generally hypermodern, but if you're an all-arounder this is the way to handle the English! I look to transpose into a King's Indian myself.
Sep-11-04  Giancarlo: Against 1.c4 I find transposing into the Dutch defense as Black th best way to go.

1.c4 f5 2.d4 nf6 3.nc3 e6 4.nf3 be7 5.g3 0-0

and black seems to always have good chances with the Dutch. To me the Dutch defense seems more agressive then the KID, but it depends on the style of the way you play to choose which one you want. Both are good alternate responses to 1.d4.

Sep-11-04  refutor: i think the dutch is a good line against the english avoids most of the good gambit lines v. the dutch after 1.d4 f5 (e.g. 2.e4, 2.Nc3, 2.Bg5 etc.) one line i like v. the english as well is 1.c4 e5 2.Nc3 f5, sort of like a reversed grand prix attack as in Bagirov vs Nezhmetdinov, 1965 (it was played several times by super nezh) and more recently in I Zugic vs I Krush, 2001 and Psakhis vs Svidler, 1995
Feb-10-06  NBZ: after 1. c4 f5 2. d4 transposes back to the Dutch, but white has another option here, which is to play d3 and e4 and agressively challenge black's f5 pawn. That's why after c4 f5 is not such a popular reply.
Mar-09-06  RubinsteinAK: If the line goes 1. c4 Nf6 2. Nc3 b6 3. e4, what opening system does this fall into? Does anyone have a list of games in the database where black plays 2...b6 and the continuations that follow from that? I'm trying to avoid the English by transposing into an Indian system, but not the KID. I prefer NID, but after 2...e6, white can play 3. e4 and it's not clear if 3..d5 leads anywhere.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eric Schiller: <RubinsteinAK> The opening is an English, and you can use the Opening Explorer here to see all the continuations.
May-28-07  FICSwoodpusher: For anyone who knows the english, have a look at the following game.

[Event "ChessCube Game"]
[Site ""]
[Round "?"]
[White "redrook"]
[Black "bryan"]
[Date "2007-05-28"]
[Result "1-0"]

1.c4 d6 2.g3 g6 3.Bg2 Bg7 4.Nc3 f5 5.Nf3 Nf6 6.O-O e5 7.d3 c6 8.Rb1 O-O 9.Bg5 Be6 10.a3 h6 11.Bxf6 Qxf6 12.Nd2 Rf7 13.Qc2 Na6 14.b4 Nc7 15.b5 Bd7 16.bxc6 bxc6 17.Rb7 Bc8 18.Rb3 Bd7 19.Rfb1 Na6 20.Rb7 Nc5 21.Rb8+ Rxb8 22.Rxb8+ Kh7 23.e3 e4 24.d4 d5 25.cxd5 cxd5 26.Nxd5 Qd6 27.Nf4 Qxb8 28.dxc5 Bb5 29.Qb3 Rd7 30.Nf1 g5 31.Ne6 Rd3 32.Qb1 Rxa3 33.Nxg7 Qe5 34.Qxb5 Qxg7 35.g4 Ra1 36.gxf5 a5 37.Bxe4 Qe5 38.Qd7+ Kg8 39.Bd5+ Kh8 40.Qd8+ 1-0

I have played against this opponent with this line and its now becoming a mouse race.

I was wondering if there was any way I could take advantage of blacks move order of playing f5 so early.

Any suggestions?

May-28-07  aktajha: <FICSwoodpusher> your opponent plays a Leningrad Dutch against your English. You can't take advantage quickly against this move order. Just build up slowly, like always in the English. Probably bes is not to play d3, but d4 immediately, grabbing space in the center and then attacking the Queen side with Rb1 b4-ideas.

d4 is very useful to avoid e5, which gave black a big centre and attack possibilities towards your king.

May-28-07  FICSwoodpusher: Fritz agrees with you. d3 is given as being equal but d4 gives white and advantage of half a pawn.

I think that if my opponent does play f5 first as he does then it would be a good idea to play d4. However if he plays the KID with Nf6 before playing f5 then I will continue as normal.

Although he could play e5 with the KUD setup minus Nf6 and then I would play d3 after which he should play f5. On the other hand I don't mind f5 so much because it means that I don't have to worry about him trying to exchange my g2 bishop.

Which is good unless I have already wasted a tempo on something like h3 in that case. This is good however as against the KID I usually avoid the exchange with Re1 and not h3.

Dec-08-07  FICSwoodpusher: Another win for the English.

[Event "rated blitz match"]
[Site "Free Internet Chess Server"]
[Date "2007.12.08"]
[Round "?"]
[White "lrzal"]
[Black "svrlj"]
[Result "1-0"]
[WhiteElo "1808"]
[BlackElo "1701"]
[ECO "A20"]
[TimeControl "300"]

1. c4 e5 2. g3 Nc6 3. Bg2 Bc5 4. Nc3 a6 5. a3 d6 6. e3 Nge7 7. b4 Ba7 8. Nge2 Bg4 9. Qc2 Qd7 10. Nd5 Rb8 11. Rb1 Bxe2 12. Kxe2 O-O 13. d3 f5 14. Bd2 Ng6 15. b5 Nce7 16. Rhc1 c6 17. bxc6 bxc6 18. Nc3 f4 19. Ne4 f3+ 20. Bxf3 Rxf3 21. Kxf3 Rf8+ 22. Ke2 d5 23. cxd5 cxd5 24. Nc5 Qg4+ 25. Kf1 Qf3 26. Be1 Qh1+ 27. Ke2 Qxh2 28. Ne6 Qh5+ 29. Kd2 Rc8 30. Qxc8+ Nxc8 31. Rxc8+ Kf7 32. Nd8+ Kf6 33. Rc6+ Kf5 34. Ne6 Qh1 35. Nxg7+ Kg5 36. Ne6+ Kh6 37. Rb7 d4 38. e4 Qg2 39. Nf8 Kg5 40. Nxh7+ Kg4 41. Rxg6+ Kh3 42. Rh6+ Kg4 43. Rg7+ Kf3 44. Rf6# svrlj checkmated 1-0

May-28-10  Robin01: I got into this position in an OTB game recently with the black pieces. White played 7.Nf3 here. I was really expecting white to play either 7.Ne2 or perhaps 7.f4, so perhaps this move is some new theory. The good news is that I did win this later with the black pieces!:)

click for larger view

May-28-10  Robin01: I guess it would help to give the moves up to the point of the above diagram!

1. c4 Nf6 2. Nc3 d5 3. cxd5 Nxd5 4. e4 Nxc3 5. bxc3 c5 6. Bc4 Nc6

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