Chess Opening Theory/1. c4

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English Opening
a b c d e f g h
8 a8 b8 c8 d8 e8 f8 g8 h8 8
7 a7 b7 c7 d7 e7 f7 g7 h7 7
6 a6 b6 c6 d6 e6 f6 g6 h6 6
5 a5 b5 c5 d5 e5 f5 g5 h5 5
4 a4 b4 c4 d4 e4 f4 g4 h4 4
3 a3 b3 c3 d3 e3 f3 g3 h3 3
2 a2 b2 c2 d2 e2 f2 g2 h2 2
1 a1 b1 c1 d1 e1 f1 g1 h1 1
a b c d e f g h
Position in Forsyth-Edwards Notation(FEN)

rnbqkbnr/pppppppp/8/8/2P5/8/PP1PPPPP/RNBQKBNR

Moves: 1.c4
ECO code: A10-A39

English Opening[edit]

1. c4[edit]

This opening is very flexible. It can transpose into many others:

1...e5 is a "reversed" Sicilian Defence.
1...c6 will usually either transpose into the Caro-Kann Defence or the Slav Defence.
1...e6 will probably end up in a Queen's Gambit Declined.
1...Nf6 or 1...g6 are likely to transpose into an Indian Defence.
1...d5 is seldom played but may transpose into the Queen's Gambit.
1...f5, the Anglo-Dutch Defence, leads to sharp tactical lines for black, but can open a powerful kingside attack.
1...b5 normally gives good chances for black, even though the Halibut Gambit is considered unsound at the professional level.

Most "pure" English lines come from the Symmetrical Variation (1...c5) and are quite hard to play and to understand.

Statistics[edit]

Approximately chances: White win 37%, Draw 34%, Black win 29%
Estimated next move popularity: Nf6 31%, e5 23%, e6 13%, c5 12%, g6 8%, c6 6%, f5 4% other moves less than 2%

Theory table[edit]

For explanation of theory tables see theory table and for notation see algebraic notation

1.c4
1 2 3 4 5
c4
Nf6
Nc3
e6
e4
c5
e5
Ng8
Nf3
Nc6
...
e5
Nc3
Nc6
Nf3
Nf6
g3
d5
cxd5
Nxd5
Symmetrical
Variation
...
c5
Nf3
Nf6
g3
b6
Bg2
Bb7
O-O
g6
=
...
c6
Nf3
d5
g3
Nf6
Bg2
dxc4
O-O
Nbd7
...
g6
e4
e5
d4
Nf6
dxe5
Nxe4
Bd3
Nc5
...
e6
Nc3
Bb4
Qb3
Nc6
Nf3
Nf6
a3
Bxc3
...
f5
Nf3
Nf6
g3
g6
Bg2
Bg7
O-O
O-O
...
d5
cxd5
Qxd5
Nc3
Qa5




+=
...
b5
cxb5
a6
bxa6
Bxa6




+=
Myers Defence ...
g5
d4
Bg7
Nc3
h6
e4



+=

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References[edit]

  • Batsford Chess Openings 2 (1989, 1994). Garry Kasparov, Raymond Keene. ISBN 0-8050-3409-9.