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I decided to start playing the English because playing e4 seemed to lead into playing against people who had memorized a defense and kept me a step behind. Lower rated players seem to not spend any time looking at the English so it puts the ball in my court. At the same time the English isn't anything sneaky so a black player who is following opening principles can tend to come up with the good response to c4 of e5.
I like this game because:
1)The chess.com computer finally said I didn't make any blunders.
2)I was in control from move 3.
3)I thought the mate was great.
English is fine but opening with the d or e pawn via e4 or d4 is the best way to start. I know that many players want to be unique in an opening and I had thoughts of using the English previously.
It isn't like c4 is some random opening, it is played at all levels of chess including masters.
I like the English too but you have to be careful to avoid the bishop pin on the knight at C4. If you advance the a pawn to A3 in time you can prevent a whole lot of action on the white queen's side. Black made a terrible blunder on move 12 which helped you quite a bit.
Why not 3.e4? Grab the center and punish Black.
I played the English quite frequently (and quite badly) for about a year or so, with the reasons as follows:
a) Not as likely to invoke a repertoire-based response amongst lower-rated players at least
b) Develops Queenside Knight without blocking in c-pawn
c) Promotes Castling Queenside, which will again mess up repertoires for many players, who have focussed on KID, Russian, Ruy Lopez, etc.
My main mistake when I was playing the English a lot was not treating it properly as the hypermodern opening it is, and thus would not gain as much long-range control of the centre as I ought to have done.
Looking at your game, I see that you did the same (although you won against a higher rated player, so congratulations anyway).
Once they do d5 you capture immediately which changes the flow. If black did a more normal move such as e5 I would have followed with g3 and continued on a standard English approach.
The proper 4th move on this game for white would have been Nf3, I simply chose to have some fun messing with the queen for a while which did end up working out really well for me due to black's mistakes.
The reason why you wanna play e4 at your level is because memorizing moves won't make a difference, and you should be working on tactics a lot, and e4 openings typically are the tactical ones. Ive played people in the ruy lopez that have memorized up to like move 15, and have gotten the advantage, but those kind of advantages only matter at the master level. Sure enough, later on, they would blunder a piece, and that has nothing to do with the opening.
Ofc, you should always look up your openings after you play them every game and see how you can improve, but generally at the class level, your games are going to be decided on tactics. The only time the openings will decide games is if you fall into a trap or make a large positional error, like playing c4 on the black side of a french or getting way behind in development...
3.e4 loses the pawn to the queen.
Nc3 punishes black by allowing white to develop a piece while black is forced to move the queen again.
If you meant 4.e4 it was something I considered, but I figured he'd smarten up and pull the queen back out of the center and I wanted to mess with it for a bit longer. Seeing how the rest of the game went I probably could have played 4.e4 and he still would have refused to retreat the queen back to his side of the board so it would have been fun.
Computer says 4Nf3 is the best move and shows a line where after developing a few more pieces white attacks the queen again.
1. c4 can tranpose to many ideas.
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