Reti or English?

Which is better and why?

Considering that they can often transpose there isn't an answer to this question


The one dat scores the better in master game statistics be the best.


Both are good.


White cannot force either.

1.Nf3 c5 2.c4 is an English

1.c4 e6 2.Nf3 d5 is a Reti

1.c4 e6 2.Nc3 d5 and now 3.e3 leads to an offbeat line of the Reti after an eventual Nf3 or else 3.d4 or 3.cxd5 and 4.d4 is a Queen's Gambit Declined.

To play one, you must play both or else transpose into QP openings to avoid one or the other.

It is more a question of what you want to avoid

1.Nf3 avoids the 1.c4 e5 lines

1.c4 avoids 1...d5 lines with a subsequent ...d4.

Pick your poison.


Play the english if you want d4/c4 positions... especially catalan type positions, but also slav / QGA / KID. Play the Reti if you want KIA positions and some other options to avoid d4/c4 like the sicilian / pirc / french defense w/ Nf3 / caro kann, etc.

You can play the Reti with c4/d4 too but it's alot of theory at that point, and you're just playing into blacks hands since black probably already faces this via d4. But the Reti is a very flexible move. It's a bit passive though. The main challenges to it I think are 1... d5 and 1... Nf6, this kind of pressures the Reti player to go into a d4/c4 system, or white can play the KIA that's a bit unambitious but probably the best option... or they can also play something like the London or Torre, also good options.


Here's an interesting line I like in the Reti... if you don't want to play either the KIA or a typical d4/c4 setup -

classical pirc, avoids the KID -

jobava london - 
two knights sicilian - 

french, two knights - 

Reti by a mile...

1.c4 e5

Black has equalized .

Nuff said!