English Opening: Botvinnik System

sultandiego
English Opening: Botvinnik System
Works against: English Defence, King's Indian Defence, Siclian, Reverse English & More
Does not work against Caro-Kann Defence, or French Defence
Check out https://www.chess.com/article/view/english-opening-botvinnik-system for more thorough review of Botvinnik System
 
For anyone who comes across this post looking for more info on the English opening, check out article post England, Oh England, which collects some of the best content from chess.com on this opening (including the Botvinnik system) and the defenses to it.
Also Checkout my post of alternative botvinnik system opening: English Opening The LeBlond Variation
(Howard Staunton English, With Queenside Castling)
Nevertheless, Let's begin!
 
To begin I'll cover a short summary of English Opening - C4
English Opening
The English Opening is a flank opening and belongs to the closed chess opening systems. It is recommended for the experienced positional chess player.
The English starts with 1.c4 which is the fourth popular opening move. The aim is to control the center square d5.
 
The English is named after the English grandmaster Howard Staunton. He played it 1843 in his match with Saint-Amant and in the first international tournament in London 1851. Howard Staunton researched and developed this opening and played it on a regular basis.
 
Introducing the Botvinnik System
 

1.c4 Nf6 2.g3 g6 3.Bg2 Bg7 4.Nc3 0-0 5.d3 d6

This is often called the Botvinnik System and it’s very popular among amateurs who are looking for something that’s easy to learn but also has a good deal of bite. The idea is to grab central space and take advantage of black’s …Nf6, which blocks his f-pawn. Since White hasn’t moved his g1-Knight yet (it will almost always move to e2), he’s free to play f2-f4 and seek a kingside attack with a later f4-f5. On top of that possibility, White can also grab the whole center at some point with d3-d4, or play on the queenside by Rb1 followed by b2-b4-b5.

It’s interesting to note that after 1.c4 c5 2.g3 g6 3.Bg2 Bg7 4.Nc3 Nc6 5.Nf3 one of black’s most respected lines is 5…e5, playing the Botvinnik System with a tempo less!

Games played using Botvinnik

The Following Games are with my colleague, D.C. Rising Chess phenomenon Zahir Muhammad

 

~ Lessons from English Opening: Botvinnik System~

* The Botvinnik System leads to an interesting game which offers mutual chances. The side that knows this opening’s ideas better will usually come out on top.

* When you have the initiative in a sharp, dangerous position, the correct move is usually also sharp. A quiet move that doesn’t have much to do with the soul of the position often gives the defender just enough time to set his house in order.

* There is no shame in botching an extremely complex tactical minefield. Grandmasters blow such positions all the time, and you will too!

*The beauty of this opening is developed during the middle game where White slowly develops pieces and solidifies its defense against from any possible counter-attacks & counter-plays.

Optimissed

Very drawish.
In the first illustrative game why not 4. ...Ne7 5. Bg2 ...d5

sultandiego
 
Excellent Game using English Botvinnik (Symmetrical) System

 

sultandiego
Tactical error using English Botvinnik System

 

DanielBaron69

Ouch

blueemu

In post #39 on page 2 of this thread:

https://www.chess.com/forum/view/general/gm-larry-evans-method-of-static-analysis?page=1

… I played that "Reversed Botvinnik Formation" as Black, and a very interesting game developed.

sultandiego

Draw agreement using English Botvinnik System

 

sultandiego

Excellent game using English Botvinnik System 

sultandiego

Tactics & Strategies while playing the English Botvinnik System

sultandiego
blueemu wrote:

In post #39 on page 2 of this thread:

https://www.chess.com/forum/view/general/gm-larry-evans-method-of-static-analysis?page=1

… I played that "Reversed Botvinnik Formation" as Black, and a very interesting game developed.

Nice. I set up black for reverse english opening all the time.

what are your thoughts on English Botvinnik System ?

sultandiego

Tactics while using English Botvinnik System

sultandiego

Check out my English Botvinnik System opening game. I won but I missed a beautiful tactic!

 

Checkout beautiful tactic !
KeSetoKaiba

I find value in understanding openings and opening ideas like these because the motifs learned may be useful in a similar position. I doubt too many players default to this opening for a repertoire since it only works against a few responses (like the King's Indian Defense, but as noted: won't work as well against a French Defense or Sicilian Defense approach from Black), but it might still be a good alternative to vary or use as a surprise weapon or something.

Optimissed

I used to use it years ago to prevent opponents from playing the grunfeldt, obviously from a 1.c4 opening. I became knowledgeable about it. It isn't very good. When playing against it I try to play c3 or c6 and d4 or d5, even if it means giving up a pawn. But quite simply, it isn't sharp enough so the opponent has to miss quite simple tactics (like in some of those illustrative games) in order to lose against it. It can be a decent way of playing for a draw, however.