English opening

Aleksandar RAndjelovic

Quick guide to the English opening

The simplest and most obvious setup in the English opening for White

The setup resembles that of the Dragon Sicilian (with Black), and what White should do is simply check their pawn chain and follow the well-known guideline: play on the side where you have more space, where your pawn chain directs you, which, in this case, is the queenside.

How to execute it: Begin by deploying your rook to b1, followed by advancing a3 and b4 to expand your influence on the queenside. Finally, utilize your light-square bishop to apply pressure to the same flank from afar. In just two sentences you've established a comprehensive opening strategy.

There are other ways of playing the English opening. There is one involving e2-e3, followed by d2-d4, fighting for the center. Also, there is the Botvinnik-setup: d2-d3 and e2-e4 at some point, with a possiblity to even strike on the kingside with f2-f4. I am not discussing those other options cause it would confuse those this content (the video I just created) is made for.

Despite of the fact that it may be quickly learnt and played without mistakes first 7-8 moves, I believe the English is one of those more difficult openings to understand, strategically speaking. That means - you don't need to memorize moves or learn the book moves, but you need to be at a certain level of understanding chess and positional play in order to feel comfortable once the opening is over.

The two model games I provided in the video may confirm that.

If you do not have too much time for studying and memorizing openings, you'd want a solid, sound and reliable opening system, in which you'd always know what is your plan, regardless of what your opponent throws at you. This setup is ideal for those who have limited time to devote strictly to openings, yet feel at ease engaging in enduring strategic battles involving subtle maneuvering.

Once again, here is the link to the video I just created on this topic: