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English Defence

The English Defence is a chess opening characterised by the moves:

1. d4 e6
2. c4 b6
White often gains a broad pawn centre with 3.e4, which Black puts pressure on with moves like ...Bb7, ...Bb4, and sometimes even ...Qh4 and/or ...f5. It was developed by the Leicester player P. N. Wallis, and was taken up by several leading English players in the 1970s, such as Tony Miles,Jon Speelman and Raymond Keene.[1] It flouts several traditional opening principles, as Black often develops bishops before knights and brings out the queen early.[1] It is a somewhat unusual opening, but has been seen in high-level grandmaster play, usually as a surprise weapon, for example when Viktor Korchnoi used it to defeat Lev Polugaevsky in their world championship semifinals match at Évian 1977 (see below).

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