Upgrade to Chess.com Premium!

Can the English be used agressively?

  • 2 years ago · Quote · #1


    Hypermodernists tend to favor flank openings such as f4(Bird's) c4(English) and Nf3(Reti). I play 1. c4 ___ 2. g3. Can this line of the English be used agressively? Or must it be from a defensive standpoint.

  • 2 years ago · Quote · #2


    Don't mistake the intent to build up before starting an attack as playing defensively. White is quite aggressive in the english, sometimes with a king side attack sometimes with queen side expansion to disrupt and win pawns there.

    Personally I think 2.g3 isn't always the best option (although it's the popular repertoire now), and that the most aggressive English options usually intend to play d4 very quickly.

  • 2 years ago · Quote · #3


    You can play aggressively no matter what the first moves are.  It's up to you.  Seek out the wins by Pillsbury, Lasker, Rubinstein, Capablanca, Marshall, and Alekhine on the Black side of the QGD. 

    As my old mentor once told me, "Forget about a dangerous opening, be a dangerous player!"

  • 2 years ago · Quote · #4


    I like your mentor!

  • 2 years ago · Quote · #5


    Thanks all!

  • 2 years ago · Quote · #6


    The Botvinnik setup (c4, g3, Bg2, Nc3, e4, Nge2, d3, O-O, h3, etc.) going for fluid development and a natural kingside expansion plan, at the cost of making the d4 square extremely weak, could be considered aggressive.

  • 2 years ago · Quote · #7


    I am definitely a hypermodernist. I have never liked playing 1.d4, and 1.e4 was somewhat more to my taste. Yes, yes....love doing something to the f-file on the first move (1.nf3 or 1.f4 for me!)

    I still have this misconception that the english is a boring opening...which is pathetic since all of the world's elite are playing it. 

    Look at Aronian's game against Wang Hao at Tata Steel this past January. He CRUSHED him in the opening/ early middlegame with such a "boring" setup. You would be surprised how simple looking positions can be so deadly.


Back to Top

Post your reply: