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English, Symmetrical (A35)
1 c4 c5 2 Nc3 Nc6

Number of games in database: 2403
Years covered: 1824 to 2023
Overall record:
   White wins 41.0%
   Black wins 19.1%
   Draws 39.8%

Popularity graph, by decade

Explore this opening  |  Search for sacrifices in this opening.
With the White Pieces With the Black Pieces
Wolfgang Uhlmann  17 games
Vladimir Kramnik  15 games
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov  11 games
Ivan Farago  30 games
Gyula Sax  18 games
Peter Leko  17 games
NOTABLE GAMES [what is this?]
White Wins Black Wins
Karpov vs Ribli, 1980
Polugaevsky vs Ivkov, 1969
Kramnik vs NN, 1999
R Bertholee vs Polgar, 1990
G Meier vs Vachier-Lagrave, 2012
Panno vs H Bravo Sedamanos, 1975
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 page 1 of 97; games 1-25 of 2,403  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Amsterdam vs Rotterdam 1-0341824City MatchA35 English, Symmetrical
2. Staunton vs Saint-Amant ½-½621843Staunton - Saint-AmantA35 English, Symmetrical
3. F Deacon vs C E Ranken 0-1401851Provincial tA35 English, Symmetrical
4. J Owen vs G MacDonnell  0-15218625th BCA Congress, LondonA35 English, Symmetrical
5. Zukertort vs J Noa ½-½4618812nd DSB Congress, BerlinA35 English, Symmetrical
6. Swiderski vs J Mieses 1-060190414th DSB Congress, CoburgA35 English, Symmetrical
7. Swiderski vs A H Pettersson 1-0341905Barmen Meisterturnier BA35 English, Symmetrical
8. Swiderski vs H Fahrni  0-157190615th DSB Congress, NurembergA35 English, Symmetrical
9. Tartakower vs Salwe  ½-½161907KarlsbadA35 English, Symmetrical
10. Nimzowitsch vs Schlechter  ½-½361911KarlsbadA35 English, Symmetrical
11. T Bergs vs Arndt  1-0191920Berlin op sfA35 English, Symmetrical
12. K Treybal vs A Haida 1-0301921BrnoA35 English, Symmetrical
13. Tarrasch vs S Rosselli del Turco 0-1481923TriesteA35 English, Symmetrical
14. Hromadka vs F Jonet  1-0601924Paris Unofficial OlympiadA35 English, Symmetrical
15. G W Howard vs J W Moncur  1-0391924Canadian ChampionshipA35 English, Symmetrical
16. Tartakower vs S Rosselli del Turco  1-0311925Baden-BadenA35 English, Symmetrical
17. Rubinstein vs J W te Kolste  1-0411925Baden-BadenA35 English, Symmetrical
18. Reti vs M Walter 1-0241925BratislavaA35 English, Symmetrical
19. A Duenmann vs W Hilse 1-0411926DSV KongressA35 English, Symmetrical
20. H Mueller vs B Hoenlinger  1-0561927Trebitsch MemorialA35 English, Symmetrical
21. J Lokvenc vs S Beutum 1-0341927Trebitsch MemorialA35 English, Symmetrical
22. B Abraham vs V Zidovec  ½-½61927Yugoslav Amateur ChampionshipA35 English, Symmetrical
23. C H Maderna vs C Pulcherio  ½-½4219283rd South American ChampionshipA35 English, Symmetrical
24. S Takacs vs E Steiner  1-0571928Trebitsch MemorialA35 English, Symmetrical
25. Nimzowitsch vs Capablanca ½-½301929KarlsbadA35 English, Symmetrical
 page 1 of 97; games 1-25 of 2,403  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
Sep-24-04  Knight13: Now this kind of opening is weird way to start a english as black.
Nov-12-04  Knight13: I've played this opening with my chess club friend who's rated 1095. I found out Black is not in a pretty much a good position later doing the game.

My feeling about this is that it is like Black doesn't know how to play the English at all. Maybe that's not true... I don't know.

Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: Knight13, I played both sides of this position more often than any other opening. You have no idea how complex this can get (strategically or tactically) for both players. Sooner or later, one of the players will break symmetry. One good place is in the Ultra-Symmetrical English, 3.g3,g6; 4.Bg2,Bg7. At this point, White can play Nf3, e2-e3, e2-e4, d3, b3, and a3. In response to any of these moves, Black can respond with Nf6, e7-e6, e7-e5, b6 or a6! Another dense variation is 3.Nf3,Nf6; 4.d4.

Overall, the Symmetrical English is one of the toughest openings to learn. You have to be equally comfortable with closed, semi-open and open positions. You have to be equally comfortable with sacrificing pawns or accepting sacrificed pawns. You have to be equally comfortable with wild complications and patient positional play to squeeze out the full point in the endgame.

And I haven't even discussed what happens after 2.Nf3,Nf6.

Dec-06-04  EnglishOpeningc4: <Knight13> This is a great way to attack the english but it fails when black tries to play in an attacking style. this is probably the most positional opening.
Jun-13-05  suenteus po 147: Here's a nasty little trap you can fall into as black if you are like me and don't understand anything about proper development in the English Symmetrical System. This comes from my classic losses collection: 1.c4 c5 2.♘c3 ♘c6 3.♘f3 b6 4.e4 ♗b7 5.e5 d6 6.exd6 exd6 7.d4 cxd4 8.♘xd4 ♘xd4 9.♕xd4 ♘f6 10.♗e3 d5 11.cxd5 ♘xd5 12.♗b5+ ♔e7 13.♕e5#
Jun-24-06  suenteus po 147: Question about a move in this opening: After 1.c4 c5 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.Nf3 g6 my opponent played: 4.Ne4!? Being the senseless speed player I am, I quickly responded with 4...e6, but looking over how my position labored and I almost lost the game there must be a more punishing response to this questionable knight sortie. Any thoughts or ideas are appreciated.
Jun-24-06  acirce: Well, 4..e6 doesn't seem natural coupled with ..g6 but I doubt simply 4..d6 is bad and what's the point of 4.Ne4 then? Easy equality at worst.
Jun-24-06  suenteus po 147: <acirce> Thanks for that. 4...d6 looks solid indeed, but I let the unorthodox move push me into a hasty reply. I don't get to play against the English much, and when I do my opponents can usually tell when I respond with a poor move like I played in the line above.
Jul-05-06  xKinGKooLx: I'm not surprised that this opening has a high draw percentage, because of the symmetrical moves, but why does white have a much higher win percentage than black? The only advantage white has is the advantage of the first move, surely?

This is a game where I played this opening against a friend with the black pieces and drew. Can someone comment on the game, please?

1. c4 c5 2. Nc3 Nc6 3. e3 g6 4. Nf3 Bg7 5. Ng5 Nf6 6. a3 d6 7. d4 h6 8. Nf3 cxd4 9. exd4 d5 10. Bf4 Bg4 11. Be2 Bxf3 12. Bxf3 e6 13. Nb5 O-O 14. Bd6 Ne7 15. b3 a6 16. Bxe7 Qxe7 17. Nc3 Rfd8 18. c5 Rab8 19. Ra2 1/2-1/2 (draw by agreement)

Jun-19-07  nummerzwei: First of all, 5.Ng5 (intending to put the knight onto e4,right?)looks strange and should in my opinion be replaced by natural moves like 5.Be2 or 5.d4.It apparently cannot be refute outright,however. Then your 6.a3 looks like a pointless move at all, simply showing you donĀ“t know what to do.Of course playing a3,Rb1 and b4 is a plan in most positions. But in this specific position it looks not good. A better alternative would be 6.d4 .

The following moves up to move look logical and okay, but while 10.Bf4 was maybe just a matter of taste (10.h3),10...Bg4 and especially 11.BxNf3 look totally antipostional. Had your partner simply castled on the 10th move, white would have had less than no advantage.

Of course there were better moves to exploit the weakening 12...e6 than 13.Nb5, because after 14...Te8 instead of the blunder 14...Ne7 which cramps the black positon even more, white would have hadto retreat (15.Nc7? QxBd6 with a big edge for black).

After 17...Rfd8 (why not the other rook instead of this one?)it looks like black has a pleaseant advantage which is of courseincreased by 18.c5 (
you never castle, do you?).

I do not know why your opponent preferred the pointless 18...Rab8 to an attacking move like 18...Ne4. Finally a draw was justified because neither you nor your friend didplay for a win uring your game. Was it a tournament game?

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