D4 and English Opening Defence


Hello to all. I am seeking some advice and perhaps an insight into your personal preferences. I am returning to playing Chess after quite some time (2 decades +) and purely for leisure. I understand fully that tactics and strategy are the main things that I should focus on and as my ratings will suggest, I am crap at both!, lots of work ahead.

That said an opening to work from is a valid thing too. I am building a modest repertoire that I am intending to play to death and really get inside the heads of for the next year or so. 

Consisting of (so far) Bishops Opening, Centre Game, Pirc Defence, Scandinavian Defence and Veresov's Opening (for some D4 action) I am looking to find a defence to use that is suitable for use against D4 and English. One to do both jobs. Any suggestions and your personal preferences would be most welcome. And this will complete my repertoire.

I am looking currently at the Nimzo-Indian, will this suit the job?


Many thanks


I play the Nimzo myself, but as you are seeking to reduce the amount of work by playing the same thing against c4 and d4, the Nimzo will not help you as you have to learn the Queen's Indian, the Catalan and the Nimzo-English to boot, not to mention that white can also play the Neo-Catalan. Instead, I suggest 1.c4 c5 and similarly 1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 c5, and against 1.d4 the Queen's Gambit Declined will be good. If you insist on the same thing against d4 c4 and Nf3 then the Tarrasch is what to go for, but this is not as good an option.


Change that to Queens gambit accepted to avoid the catalan


Many thanks. After a night of investigation. I have found that the Old Indian defence will do the trick. For richer or poorer! , due to work and life (I am sure many are in the same boat) , study time is limited, hence trying to keep my repertoire as brisk yet varied as possible. Plus I really need to focus on tactics over opening theory. That said, it will be good not to go into a panic when somebody plays d4 or an English thinking "urgh what do I do"? I am English myself but I have started to loathe the opening named after us lol, time to figure it out and strike back!


Maybe you'd want to save yourself some time on openings, and go for some more universal approach, like playing d6 against everything? I haven't tried this book myself, but it could do the trick for getting a fairly simple (and rather universal) opening repertoire for years to come.

I know you are at the beginner level at the moment, so spending too much time studying openings is probably not the best idea. Hence this sentence seems plausible:

IM John Donaldson
“Many non-professionals are looking for a way to reach a playable middlegame without having to know a huge amount of theory, and the lines the authors advocate fit the bill. This is a perfect book for the club player who has limited study time.” 


I think Scandinavian defense is also a great opening (even though doesn't really fit the d6 against everything) at lower level. It's fairly simple opening, where most of the games tend to take a similar path. Easy to get accustomed to the theory and pawn structures and positions that arise. It does give white some edge, but it's not easy to convert and black will enjoy a solid and safe structure, and can look to outplaying white in the middle- and endgames. At least you won't lose games out of the opening.

Tactics. Then tactics. Then more tactics. And after that, tactics.i like sonis suggestions of symmetrical moves to start though. Good luck. Tactics.