English Opening

I often play the ENglish Opening, and I sometime transpose it to the Queens Gambit, however even when i do not, i still have a hard time vs the DUtch Defense, because they manage to crowd the board and trap both my bishops. Then my knights also become useless because their pawn structure is so crowded. ANy help plz.

1. c4 f5 2. Nc3 Nf6 3. Nf3 e5 4. d3 Bd6
5. e4 O-O 6. g3 c5 7. Bg2 b6 8. O-O Nc6
9. Bg5 h6 10. Bxf6 Qxf6 11. Nd5 Qe6

This is a game i played, and replicated, in the analyses board, both my bishops are useless and my knights are trapped or use less as well. I still play the same move with whit, the pawn triangle the 2 knights, the fiancheto bishop, and depending on the opponents position ill engage my other bishop and queen in some pins, but they rapidly take a lot of space and i can barely break through, especially because once I start trading pieces they immediately usually start putting up pawn walls or pawn chains, witch trap any remaining bishops and most of my pieces are trapped on the wrong side o the board

I am also an English player. I think the main problem here is that you have to take pawn breaks and hanging pawns when you get the chance. I also would hold off on the botnivik system (e4) because that can crowd thinks temporarily and block in your light squared bishop. I would stick to a true english opening and hold back the e pawn and maybe push e2-e3 in some cases when it is necessary. Sometimes you might have to re-maneuver your knights to get them to useful squares. However, in the english one of the main ideas is to expand on the queen side with a3, b4-b5, rb1, etc. as you may know. In coordinance with the light squared bishop which is not blocked by the e pawn, you can often break through on the queen side and win blacks b-pawn for example.

At your level, I think the english is not a good choice for an opening in general because it is more like a system and positional opening rather than tactical. It is very important to develop tactical skills at beginning stages, so I would highly recommend sticking to d4 or e4 and learning theory. I started with e4 and the italian game, only after I mastered almost all the main lines and ideas did I switch to a more positional opening in the English, which probably requires a more general and experienced understanding of chess. Any more questions lmk

Why did not you take the free central pawn 4 Nxe5?
You do not need to learn any theory: at your level your opponents deviate early. It is high effort for low reward. Just use logic and think carefully about your moves. Play the opening slowly: you can always speed up towards the end of the game if you must.
English is a fine opening if you play the Sicilian as black.

Yes, the English is a fine opening. But at a bit more of an advanced level you can't necessarily treat it as a Sicilian reversed with white a move ahead; sometimes the move in hand works against white because it reveals earlier what white will do. Sometimes white plays a waiting move to deal with that. I don't have a concrete example at hand. But many modern GM English games will show it occurring. It seems very counter-intuitive at first; white being a move ahead can be a bad thing.

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