The English Opening – Chess Openings with GM Damian Lemos

If you’re busy with day to day life — but still want an opening you can rely on against anyone, the English Opening is simply perfect for you. GM Damian Lemos teaches you everything you need to know to play the English with confidence. Get instant access with 35% off. ►

The English Opening is one of the most popular chess openings for White thanks to its flexibility and many ways to play for the win.

Not only has the English Opening been frequently played by the best grandmasters of the past – Garry Kasparov, Anatoly Karpov, Mikhail Botvinnik and Bobby Fischer – but also it is played by many leading grandmasters today – Levon Aronian, Magnus Carlsen, Fabiano Caruana, Peter Svidler, Hikaru Nakamura, Vassily Ivanchuk and many more.

The English Opening is a chess opening for White which occurs after the move 1.c4. The opening is called the English Opening because it was introduced and regularly played by the English unofficial World Chess Champion Howard Staunton in the 1840s and 1850s.

It’s a flank opening, meaning that White starts off by pushing the c-pawn instead of the typical e- or d-pawns.

Thanks to the theoretical developments over the last years, the English Opening definitely carries a lot of theoretical bite in many lines. It is a common occurrence that club players try to develop naturally against the English Opening and soon find themselves in a strategically lost position. They lose the game without even understanding why they lost.

The English can often lead to complex strategic fights. White more relies on slow maneuvering than on a direct attack against Black’s army. Thus, it is even more important to be familiar with the most important strategical and tactical motifs.

However, at the same time, this does not mean that you don’t have to be familiar with any theory at all. Of course, there is also plenty of theory in the English Opening, but, in general, the character of the opening is a lot less forced.

The positional nature of the opening allows you to outplay your opponent by knowing key plans and ideas. If you’re willing to put in the work learning the English Opening, you’ll surely get rewarded.

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