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...e6 will probably end up in a Queen's Gambit Declined.
1...c6 will usually either transpose into the Caro-Kann Defence or the Slav Defence.
1...Nf6 or 1...g6 are likely to transpose into an Indian Defence.
1...b6 will in all likelihood transpose into the English Defence.
1...f5, the Anglo-Dutch Defence, leads to sharp tactical lines for black, but can open a powerful kingside attack.
1...d5 is seldom played but may transpose into the Queen's Gambit or the Réti Opening.
1...g5, the Myers Defence, gives white a small advantage.
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 6
Symmetrical Variation c4
c5
Nf3
Nf6
g3
b6
Bg2
Bb7
O-O
g6
=
Reversed Sicilian Defence ...
e5
Nc3
Nc6
Nf3
Nf6
g3
d5
cxd5
Nxd5
Agincourt Defence ...
e6
Nc3
Bb4
Qb3
Nc6
Nf3
Nf6
a3
Bxc3
Anglo-Slav Variation ...
c6
Nf3
d5
g3
Nf6
Bg2
dxc4
O-O
Nbd7
Anglo-Indian Defence ...
Nf6
Nc3
e6
e4
c5
e5
Ng8
Nf3
Nc6
Great Snake Variation ...
g6
e4
e5
d4
Nf6
dxe5
Nxe4
Bd3
Nc5
English Defence ...
b6
d4
e6
e4
Bb7
Anglo-Dutch Defence ...
f5
Nf3
Nf6
g3
g6
Bg2
Bg7
O-O
O-O
Anglo-Scandinavian Defence ...
d5
cxd5
Qxd5
Nc3
Qa5
+=
Myers Defence ...
g5
d4
Bg7?!
Bxg5!
c5
Nf3
cxd4
Nxd4
Qb6
Nb5
Bxb2?!
+-
Halibut Gambit ...
b5
cxb5
a6
e4!
Bb7
Nc3
Nf6
e5
Nd5
Nf3
e6
+=

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References[edit]

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