I want to begin this blog by first stating that chess openings continue to go out of fashion, and in addition, they become the fashion afterwards. The English in particular is very flexible and often transposes to a reversed Sicilian (1.c4 e5), Slav, or Caro-Kann defense (1..c6), Anglo-Dutch (1..f5) giving Black good attacking chances, and Queens Gambit after 1..d5.
Oh, by the way, if you like to experiment with chess diagram generators in different programs here's one available for microsoft word: http://software.informer.com/getfree-chess-diagrams-in-ms-word/ Now back to my blog. For you players who love the English, please note that the English opening beginning with 1. c4 is a system of moves by White to fight for the center in "hypermodern" style to gain control of d5, and is often used as a transpositional devise. The game dates back to the year 1843 and derives its name from the former world champion (unofficial) Howard Staunton. However, there is a war history behind this opening as well that dates back to medieval history of Englishman King Alfred, The Great during the 1500's. The danes were also known as the vikings who infiltrated Britian and the surrounding colonies. King Alfred Vikings Towers
Slowly but surely the Danish Vikings invaded and killed the army of the British Isles having no mercy for the women nor children. Pertaining to bloody chess wars of the English, players of the black side are like the Danish Vikings, and players of the white side are like the English inhabitants. Statistically, Black won 30.8% of the games against the English opening, and White 36.1% of the games when playing the English opening. Also, I have provided you with a couple of game links below to illustrate the problems white had faced in the past when adopting this hypermodern strategy of controlling the center. http://www.annotatedgames.com/opening/A_ECO/englishsymmetrical01_game1.htm
This blog reinstates the point I made in my previous blog, "Monopoly Chess," that realestate is crucial in a chess game, and without it there isn't anything else to fight for. Are you not convinced still? Well, examine the game below.
Black's innovation against the English have continued even up until this day. Perhaps a video illustration will prove to be solid evidence of Black's continuous victory:
Just like the medieval war, a lot of preparation, planning, training, and a combination of defenses was made to overcome the assailants, or to overthrow an opposing army. Likewise, History:King Alfred was noted for this. Prior to his victory over Guthrun and his Danish forces, Alfred and his men were forced to flee to the marshes of Athenley which later became a garrison - a fortress and system of security to defend a threatened people. Players of the white pieces were had to come up with new ways to take on the the black army. New moves (novelties) were discovered. Many games played over the board at tournaments, and at all major competitions, black have obtained victory over white using the stratagem which I'm about to give you. It's been a question and answer relationship with chess theory and
experience. 1. c4 e6 2. Nc3 d5 Black is now threatening to play d4. This was planned from the first move with 1..e6. Now the obvious reply by White is 3. d4 leading to a Queen's Gambit. What's Black's plans from move 1 after c4?Well, Black can say almost anything. Consider 1. c4 Nf6 2. d4 g6 when Black is hoping for a King's Indian Defense.Perhaps 1. c4 Nf6 2. Nc3 e6 followed by Bb4 will lead to a Nimzo-Indian for black. Again, 1. c4 f5 is another one of Black's options in this start of moves to take the game into a Dutch. Take a look at the diagrams below to see ideas by both sides planned.
The battle continues. And it's a war starting with White's plans: "I know that my pawn formation will determine my plan especially in closed positions. I know that I have the first move initiative, and I want to play c4 on my first move, but what if Black plays 1..d5 on the first move?" This is the player of the white pieces thinking to himself. And he continues, "Then I will play energetically, and I don't have time to waste." Now, let's read Black's thoughts while White has already begun his.
"I know better than to play 1..d5 after 1. c4. White will play either 2. cxd4, or 2. Qxd4 followed by Nc3. I will play either 1..e5, or 1..f5 staking out my territory on the kingside while initiating an attack on that side as well. I don't play the English as White, but I will learn to play against it."
What new themes have been applied, or new theoretical concepts institutionalized, and with partial credit to the experienced players over the years who have contributed their wisdom and knowledge of their past games? Let me first give you the pointers to playing the white side, please, if you will, by directing your attention to the following table at the bottom of the page. Then backtrack to the diagrams above it. The table holds some important information for players of both sides by which they can determine whether or not they need to refine their weaponry. It helps.
If you don't know the lines stick to your system.
The Symmetrical English may require knowledge of the Maroczy Bind.
Many of times the positions that do arise takes the players to endgames requiring a certain level of skill.
Not only does it often transpose, but leads to a reversed opening.