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Normal Topic English Defence vs. 1.c4 move order (Read 3329 times)
Nolan Kordsmeier
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Re: English Defence vs. 1.c4 move order
Reply #3 - 04/09/03 at 21:01:44
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The english defence is one of my main black replies to c4
and i find it annoying when white players both prevent Bb4 with an early a3.  Also, black's counterplay is sufficiently curtailed if white is willing to accept transpositons to the nimzo indian or a strange dutch formation. 

1.c4 b6 2.d4 e6 3.a3 Bb7 4.Nf3
but then f5 or g6 with a hippo dutch formation are both interesting.

if white tries 1.c4 b6 2.d4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb7 then
4.Nf3 or e3 both really annoy me, for now black cannot undermine white's overextended center for there is no such thing, white is solid and should be okay after
4.e3 Bb4 5.Nf3 and if black tries Nf6 then we are in a pretty decent nimzo for black with ideas of Ne4, f5, and Qh4, pretty active.  black can also try to lead white astray by trying 4.e3 Bxc3 5.bxc3 f5 but then i feel that white has a very strong position based on a lot of counterplay on the queenside with moves like Ba3, Rb1 followed by c5 and c3-c4.  Black can try both Qf6 and Nge7 or can develop Nf6, d6, Nbd7 and so on.  After 4.e3 f5 is also pretty decent i suppose.  white can either develop Nf3 Bd3 or can play Bd2 and the pawn structure is okay.  Transpositions are here too though.  After 4.e3 f5 5.Nf3 Nf6 6.Bd3 Ne4 7.0-0 Bxc3 8.bxc3 and again a nimzo.  After 4.Nf3 I like f5 going into unexplored dutch territory either with or without the move Bb4. 

Also, the most challenging has to be when white plays.
1.c4 b6 2.d4 e6 3.e4 Bb7 4.Bd3   now f5 is very risky and there is no pin available to create a counter attack on whites e4 pawn.  Nc6 is then the move that is in vogue with the idea of coming next to b4 and trading off the nice bishop on d3.  If black tries this white should develop with Ne2 instead of Nf3. 

Also very strong I feel for white is similar to Kosten's suggestion.  it is:

1.c4 b6 2.Nc3 Bb7 3.e4 e6 (or short's e5 is interesting)
4.Nf3 Bb4 5.Bd3 looks very interesting with the idea that when black takes on c3 he will fix the position of the bishop by taking with the d-pawn.  Or if white delays capture he can play Nc3-e2, leaving the bishop silly on B4. 

All of the above lines i personally find annoying as black and there may be points some of you may want to look at.  I generally want white to place his pawns on d4, e4, and c4 so that i can knock them down by f5 followed by Qh5 and other antics.  This is probably white's most critical response as it takes up blacks challenge and says to him "prove it, knock down my center."  Blacks task in many of these lines are really fun for black as he can pin the knight on c3, threatening to win the e4 pawn.  if your pawn doesnt go to e4 though, I cant win it and i feel that black is struggling in other lines to contest white's less dominant but strong center.  Lines with a3 are probable not the most exciting, but it throws a wrinkle in blacks plans.  Psychologically, the english defence is designed to throw the white player into a jungle of wild tactics an unfamiliar positions.  the trick then is to trick black into playing something different, taking the surprise away from black. 
if anyone wants more info on these lines they are all in Daniel King's very good book on the English Defence.  I used this book to make this tricky defence my main defence to d4 and c4.  It is just about a respectable defence but i find strong players destroy me much easier than if i were to play a straight nimzo, benoni, or dutch.  Its difficult to play as white, but if one knows solid opening principles, white should be okay just accepting two pawns in the center instead of an ambitious three. 

thanks and please respond.  Iam not a master but have reached USCF 1700 and my rating keeps increasing thanks to some degree to my adoption of both this defence as well as the french, which has scored very well for me. 

goodbye
  
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Re: English Defence vs. 1.c4 move order
Reply #2 - 03/03/03 at 09:32:13
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Hmm ... glad (sort of!) that I am not the only one not enjoying those lines too much!

One thought I had, was to play d4 and then develop quite slowly with a3, Nc3, e3, f3, Bd3 and then either Nge2 or Nh3!?, 0-0 and only play e3-e4 when I am good and ready and when I can't get hit by ...Bb4 ...Qh4 and ...f5.  It feels a bit like a Classical Nimzo ...

Still, I suppose that once d4 is played that takes us into the Daring Defences section so I will put a post on there and see if anybody has any thoughts there ...
  

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GMTonyKosten
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Re: English Defence vs. 1.c4 move order
Reply #1 - 03/03/03 at 08:55:38
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Well, I am not sure that the mainline in my English Defence eBook chapter offers White too much, I have tried it a few times without any great success, and to be frank I now feel that White should play a quick d4 and go into one of the mainlines covered in the Daring Defences. Undecided
  
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English Defence vs. 1.c4 move order
03/03/03 at 05:47:57
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I find 1...b6 rather irritating as a response to 1.c4.  Tony K's suggestion fo adopting a Botvinnik type set-up does not wholly satisfy me - and King is scathing about it in his book on the English Defence.  Are there any other options after 1.c4 b6?
  

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