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You can play a Sicilian refersed.
e5 simple as a pimple & you can't go wrong e5 my Sambo
I play 1...c6 and head for a Slav-type position since I'm comfortable with Slav/Caro-Kann positions.
If 2 d4 d5 it transposes right into the Slav.
If 2 e4 it transposes into the Caro-Kann Accelerated Panov Attack where the most common variation, 2...d5 3 exd5 cxd5 gives Black good chances with a fairly-open game.
If 2 Nf3, the only other typical 2nd move, 2...d5 gives you the English Opening Caro-Kann Defensive System where 2...d5 is almost always answered by 3 d4, which transposes into the Slav Defense, Modern Line.
Deviations from these lines by White are generally good for Black and if you're a Slav and Caro-Kann player, you're used to playing ...Bf5 or ...Bg4 then ...e6 and ...Nbd7 and looking for counterattacks from those positions, often built on ...c5 or ...b5 or ...b6 or ...f6 to put pressure on White's pawn base or center.
Actually, there is no such thing as the "English Opening, Caro-Kann Defense System".
It's called the Reti Opening, and the specific variation is the Reti-Slav. Normally comes from the move order 1.Nf3 d5 2.c4 c6. Just because you play 1.c4 doesn't mean you'll end up in an English. You can't even force it by choice. If Black plays ...d5 at all, you are out of English Territory, and depending on what you do, you end up either in Reti Territory or else transpose to a Queen Pawn opening if you play d4 early on. 3.d4 is not automatic as you indicate. 3.b3 and 3.g3 (a gambit line) are both in Reti Territory.
Same thing applies with 1.c4 e6. After 2.Nf3 d5, you are in a Reti after 3.b3 or 3.g3 (or any lame move like 3.e3, still in Reti territory), or a Queen's Gambit Declined after 3.d4.
As for what I play specifically, I occasionally play 1...b6, but unless White plays an early d4, like on move 2, it doesn't end up an English Defense because I will play ...c5 shortly later and it ends up a Hedgehog. Otherwise, my primary response to 1.c4, being a King's Indian player, is naturally 1...Nf6 intending 2...g6.
The QGD. 1. ... e6 (and c6) are super transpositional , if white refuses to push d4 he has to do a kingside fianchetto 2. Nf3 d5 etc. , and black doesn't have to allow a good Catalan if he doesn't want to.
Nf6 is a fun response if you play the "unique" English lines instead of something like the KID. sometimes scrubs as black eill want to play some kind of Nimzo will (after 2. Nc3 ) ...e6 and are forced into a true English line they might not know by 3. e4 . i love the 4 ... Ng8 one from both sides.
obv. most people play King's English or symmetrical . Against KE I'll just go 4 nights and then decide between e3 and e4 because I'm not super fond of the fianchetto line with 5 .... Bb4 .
against symmetrical I play Nf3 on move 2 and then immediately break the center which surprises people.
I guess overall responses to c4 depend on whether you actually want to play an English game because you can either make it super annoying or force c4 players to transpose most of the time if you don't..
"...hahahaha, 1. c4 isn't exactly a minor opening and any GM who thinks it is, is an idiot. 1. c4 is, some think, the strongest opening for white."
1. c4 is certainly NOT the strongest opening for White or else every GM would be playing it.
It has a lot of variability in it. Could it be that it has as much variability in responses as e4? Perhaps it has not caught on. It certainly is playable and has good marks in the opening books I've read.
f5!! Leave your opponent stunned.
King's Indian Defense can be played against c4, d4, and Nf3 (you also often transpose into the King's Indian Defense against e4 as well!). I talked about it in my video:
I stumbled into this game today. Kasparov vs. Carlsen. White played c4 and dominated. Here is the game link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vKKiwz815I8 Also openings at the highest level come and go, sometimes one opening is hot sometimes its not. Caro Kann is an example, used widely by top world champions, now dormant..
Try www.365chess.com Opening Explorer/
but unless White plays an early d4, like on move 2, it doesn't end up an English Defense because I will play ...c5 shortly later and it ends up a Hedgehog. Hedgehog can't be an English? there are so many types of English games and they're all pretty unique. The bad ones are iterations of major d4 openings that give black a good game. I guess hedgehog isn't a type of symmetrical but it's not really a sub-category of any other major opening. I've even heard it called the "Queen's English" . as a sidenote I played a game (as black) on Monday at club against an expert (I'm a scrub , barely class B right now) and it transposed into a hedgehog. Gotta love that queen on b8 defending that d pawn haha. Eventually I got zugged lol
The hedgehog used to be a popular way of meeting the English. Suba wrote a book on it. The only real thing to think about is when and if White plays d4.