The English for Beginners Part 1

The English for Beginners Part 1

Jul 10, 2013, 9:06 PM |

Hello!Today I'm  going to teach newcomers to the english the basics of the english opening.It starts with c4.

Let me talk about the pieces and the pawn placement before i talk about the main varations.
The Bishops
The light sqaured bishop is almost alaways fianchettoed on g2 in the english opening.This helps with white's secret plan to take over the queenside.MWAAHAHHAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The black sqaured bishop tends to be passive but his favorite sqaures are f4 and 3.He helps control the black knight on f6 with bg5.
The Knights
The knight on b8 is almost the heart of the english opening as it always moves to c3 and controls the essential d5 square.His partner the knight on g8 may go to e2 doing many tasks like supporting a f4 or d4 advance and protecting his partner on c3 .He may got f3 but in my opinion this is inferior compared to ne2 because the  f pawn is given more mobility.
The King
The king in the english opening is primarially castles kingside unlss white transposes in to the Stauton-Cochrane Varation of the Sicilian Defense where if Black plays into a sicilian dragon white can use  the Yugoslav System where white castles queenside.
The king stays on g8 unless white plays h3 that defends the g4 square and opens possibilities for Kh2 to remove a possible bc5 pin on the f pawn.
The Queen
The queen is somewhat like the  dark squared bishop and has no immediate role to play intill the middle game.It's best if you can place her on b3 or d4(if possible).
The Pawns
The pawn structure varies every varation/setup
1.A pawn helps with driving the bishop from b4 and helps support a b4 advance.
2.B pawn helps support c pawn with b3 and leads  the queenside attack
3.C pawn often gets traded for the black d pawn and heps control d5
4.D pawn may go to d4 in the stauton system and in the  dumchamp and bottinivik system the pawns goes to d3 and dreams of going to d4.
5.E pawn goes to e4 in the bottinivik system, does not move at all in the dumchamp varation and to e3 in the stauton system.Helps control d5 in bottinivik system.
6.F pawn is often pinned but when hh2 or kh1 is played he  has the possibility to go to f4 supportd by the c8 bishop and e2 knight.
7.G pawn plays to g3.This pawn has almost no use except it protects the king and controls f4.
8.H pawn likes to play to h3 to cancel any possibilities of  Ng4.Other than that it's just like g pawn.
The Rooks
In the english opening the rooks play almost no part in the opening so try to keep the undevolped until you see a good oppurtunity to get them active.Many people just put the rooks on e1 and d1 but truly sometimes they don't do anything so don't move them unless you se a oppurtunity for them to get active.
If you really want develop your rooks put htem on b8,c8 and a8 to support an queenside pawnstorm.
Ok so i hope i didn't stuff your brains with to much information but here  are some diagrams to clears things out.The knight moves for black are only used as no moves as the goal of these diagrams are to show white's setup not black's setup.
White's plans
In the English opening white hopes to take over the light squares and gain humongous space on the queenside.If that dosen't work he can always strike on the kingside and center.
Black's Plans
Black has many plans against the english but the best is to take dominence on the dark squares
end of part 1 i will write part 2 tommorow.
 Edit: here are some statistics.

English opening


Games on Database: 217129
Last Played: Jun 2013
Overall score:
37.7% 33.7% 28.5%

Played frequently by:

Wolfgang Uhlmann 1051 games
Normunds Miezis 822 games
Viktor Korchnoi 659 games
Wolfgang Uhlmann 180 games
Viktor Korchnoi 172 games
Vlastimil Hort 169 games

Possible continuations:

1... Nf6  68996
38.9 % 33.3 % 27.8 %
1... e5  48599
38.6 % 30.6 % 30.8 %
1... e6  26882
36.2 % 37.2 % 26.6 %
1... c5  25459
37.3 % 37.2 % 25.5 %
1... g6  17874
33.3 % 34.5 % 32.2 %
1... c6  14326
36.2 % 38.2 % 25.6 %
1... f5  8077
39.2 % 29.9 % 30.9 %
1... b6  3066
35.2 % 30 % 34.8 %
1... d6  2177
41.7 % 27.3 % 31.1 %
1... Nc6  983
46.4 % 24.6 % 29 %
1... d5  462
58.9 % 15.8 % 25.3 %
1... g5  114
43.9 % 20.2 % 36 %
1... b5  52
42.3 % 15.4 % 42.3 %
1... a6  29
51.7 %   34.5 %
1... f6  9
44.4 % 44.4 %  
1... Na6  9
33.3 % 33.3 % 33.3 %
1... a5  9
55.6 % 44.4 %  
1... h6  4
75 %   25 %
1... h5  2
50 %   50 %