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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Solid Defense against English?!?! (Read 19256 times)
sssthepro
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Re: Solid Defense against English?!?!
Reply #64 - 12/23/06 at 08:40:01
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I prefer playing 1...c6 cos I play Slav Grin. I am also quite happy if White plays 2.e4 because I like the positions that arises, especiallt the positions when Black sacs a pawn. Black gets great activity
  
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Zebano
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Re: Solid Defense against English?!?!
Reply #63 - 12/22/06 at 15:47:27
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I understand it is in decline at the top levels, but I have had some success (corr. and blitz) with the Rubinstein variation lately (I have also had success against it, so take that with a grain of salt). My prefered defense to 1. c4 is the hedgehog.
  
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Re: Solid Defense against English?!?!
Reply #62 - 12/19/06 at 12:07:53
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I would say this is a question of taste - there are many English players who are quite happy to enter QGD, but then are quite unhappy to find they get outplayed  Wink
  
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Markovich
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Re: Solid Defense against English?!?!
Reply #61 - 12/19/06 at 00:56:03
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Mortal Games wrote on 11/22/06 at 02:16:30:
Against 1.c4 if one chooses 1...e6 (having a Frech, Nimzo and Mortal_Games0 repertoire) - 2.Nc3 d5 (to avoid Mykenas system) 3.d4 it is an option to choose 3...Nf6 (or 3...c6) to enter the Semi-Slav or 3...dxc4 to enter QGA, but white can always play 3.cxd4 and enter the exchange variation of the QGD. Most solid choice here can be Tartakower QGD.

Choosing 1...c6 is an option to enter the Slav but one must have a defence against 2.e4 entering the Caro-Kann.

Not wanting to play 1...e5 or 1...c5 to give white the game he knows and wants better, another option is to play 1...Nf6 and transpose to the fighting King´s Indian defence (the Grunfeld is possible too, but white can avoid it by playing e4) and this must be the better fighting option and this defence is a very important defence to learn if one plays 1.d4 with white colors.   


Practically no one plays the English who is not happy to enter the White side of the the QGD.  So while I agree that 1...e6, 2...d5 is an adequate and solid defense, it is nevertheless not exactly a defense >>to the English<<, and it is indeed a bit concessive.  I understand, as a longtime Tarrasch player, that it does make sense from a practical viewpoint simply to ignore that the first move was 1. c4 and not 1. d4.

But I hold that the most solid and challenging defense to the English is 1...c5.
  

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ANDREW BRETT
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Re: Solid Defense against English?!?!
Reply #60 - 12/12/06 at 11:45:43
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Solid defence - how about the double fianchetto . Adorjan and Kasparov have played this so it must be ok !

Andrew
  
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Re: Solid Defense against English?!?!
Reply #59 - 12/12/06 at 10:41:57
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I believe it's called Yorzh, at least that's the best transliteration I can manage. The Russian for 'hedgehog', I understand.

I've forgotten the name of the site I got it from, but it's quite easy to find with a bit of googling (convekta.com, maybe?!) . Very good book, but rather uncompromisingly in Russian. I've been having to bribe our office assistant (who is Russian) to translate bits for me.
  
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SniperOnG7
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Re: Solid Defense against English?!?!
Reply #58 - 12/11/06 at 23:45:14
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Personally i play the KID as well as the English. Even though i am enthousiastic about both openings, i am not so keen on playing the KID against the English because White can aim for d2-d3 (instead of d2-d4) and play on the Queenside (unless Black plays Nbd7 when White can play d2-d4 to transpose into the variation of the Fianchetto KID that many KIDers hate). Anyway, when White plays d3 followed by b4-b5, etc, i have found that it is easier to play the position with White as Black has to find a checkmate that is harder to attain than normal KID in order to justify his wrecked Queenside.
Finally, Black also has to prepare for the Botvinnik System (lethal in an experienced English player) as well as several systems involving e3 or d3&e3.

But this is just my two cents.

I was wondering can anyone tell me the name of that russian hedgehog book. I had been interested in the hedgehog for quite a while but whenever i flick through the Suba book, i just end up saying to myself: "Why do you need to prepare against the English? Hardly anyone plays it and you play is so you can just use your experience to fight against it...Mmm a game on playchess sounds good  Tongue"
  
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Mortal Games
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Re: Solid Defense against English?!?!
Reply #57 - 11/22/06 at 02:16:30
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Against 1.c4 if one chooses 1...e6 (having a Frech, Nimzo and QID repertoire) - 2.Nc3 d5 (to avoid Mykenas system) 3.d4 it is an option to choose 3...Nf6 (or 3...c6) to enter the Semi-Slav or 3...dxc4 to enter QGA, but white can always play 3.cxd4 and enter the exchange variation of the QGD. Most solid choice here can be Tartakower QGD.

Choosing 1...c6 is an option to enter the Slav but one must have a defence against 2.e4 entering the Caro-Kann.

Not wanting to play 1...e5 or 1...c5 to give white the game he knows and wants better, another option is to play 1...Nf6 and transpose to the fighting King´s Indian defence (the Grunfeld is possible too, but white can avoid it by playing e4) and this must be the better fighting option and this defence is a very important defence to learn if one plays 1.d4 with white colors.
  

It has been said that chess players are good at two things, Chess and Excuses.  It has also been said that Chess is where all excuses fail! In order to win you must dare to fail!
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Re: Solid Defense against English?!?!
Reply #56 - 11/21/06 at 13:16:01
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I think an English Botvinnik Setup as black could be a solid weapon against Eglish
even if there would be some problem in order to avoid an early d4 by white.

I invite you to view the new topic about this interesting  plan.
  
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Re: Solid Defense against English?!?!
Reply #55 - 09/09/06 at 05:40:09
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I play the Slav:
1.c4 Nf6 2.Nc3 c6 with the clear idea 3...d5-Slav Defence. If 3.e4 to prevent 3...d5 I play 3..e5 which leads to a solid but a bit passive system which is not prevalent in GM-play. Instead of 3...e5 often is played 3...d5 which leads to Caro Can.
  
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Re: Solid Defense against English?!?!
Reply #54 - 08/31/06 at 09:04:10
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[quote author=Dinomike100 link=1149934999/0#0 date=1149934998]
Is black's position after the 1. ...e5 reply better or worse than white's position in the Sicilian? [/quote]

Mutual Zugzwang.
  
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Re: Solid Defense against English?!?!
Reply #53 - 08/31/06 at 03:48:46
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Maybe I'll just use those lines.  That's an interesting post, MarineFan.  I looked for such a game at Chessgames.com, and the kibitzing I saw for it was such that if Karpov had drawn (or won) that game, maybe he would be considered the #1 chessplayer, and not Kasparov.  So I guess if it's good enough for Kasparov, it's more than good enough for me.
  
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Re: Solid Defense against English?!?!
Reply #52 - 08/30/06 at 14:50:30
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Hello,

Botvinnik played many games with

1. c4 e6  2. Nf3 d5  3. b3 --> and possibly following up with a double fianchetto.

and

1. c4 c6  2. Nf3 d5  3. b3.

Kasparov played the first line or something like it in a must win situation in a WC match against Karpov.
      So both lines are quite decent, although black should be able to keep equal changes with best play. The main point with such lines is to keep the tension and see how opponent plays chess, rather than get into a opening theory memory test.

Bye John S
  
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Re: Solid Defense against English?!?!
Reply #51 - 08/27/06 at 05:45:06
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Just want to mention that 1. c4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. cxd5  is NOT the exchange variation. There is an exchange of pawns alright but exchanging before black plays Nf6 is a sideline with little ambition.
  
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Smyslov_Fan
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Re: Solid Defense against English?!?!
Reply #50 - 08/27/06 at 04:33:18
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There's been quite a bit of discussion of the QGD Slav in the QGD section, so I'll try to keep my comments brief.  There are lies, damned lies, and statistics.

If you take a look at the Slav Exchange and weed out all the short draws, you will see that it's a fighting opening that Black has to know very well to survive.  Trading off a single set of pawns should not make a position drawish, but players who want a draw often play the Slav Exchange as a tacit offer of peace.

There are so many ways to play against the Slav for White that it's a wonder it's popular at all below the professional level.  Right now, one way that seems to be getting more time is a type of Semi-Slav for White that goes: 1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.e3?! (premature in my opinion) followed by Nf3 and Qc2. 

The play works well in blitz, but I think Black should be able to equalise.  Still, it's relatively untried compared to the Euwe/Morozevich lines.  You will still need to have some idea of what to do against 3...a6, but chess was never meant to be easy.
  
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Dinomike100
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Re: Solid Defense against English?!?!
Reply #49 - 08/27/06 at 03:25:34
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Smyslov_Fan:

Do you know if there are any ways for white to play the Slav (and/or Semi-Slav) without having to go through a ton of theory?  Are there any anti- systems that white can go into after the first few moves in a mainline slav which are less theoretical, other than the exchange Slav?

I am under the impression that the exchange Slav is extremely drawish, at least from the statistics it has in several databases.  I think it was usually about 20% white 20% black and 60% draw.

I am under the impression, however, that the exchange variation 1. c4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. cxd5 is still pretty good for white.  However, this is just from looking at the statistics, again, so I'm not sure if this is accurate.

____

EDIT:

Also, I the main problem I see with going into a Reti right now is that black can try to grab white's c pawn (as in the Reti Pawngrab post, or similar variations).

In any case, what do you guys think of lines like this:

1. c4 e6  2. Nf3 d5  3. b3 --> and possibly following up with a double fianchetto.

or

1. c4 c6  2. Nf3 d5  3. b3

Do lines like this still preserve the first-move advantage for white?



  
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Re: Solid Defense against English?!?!
Reply #48 - 08/27/06 at 03:01:38
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Smyslov_Fan, you misread my post. That was a line I recommended for WHITE. As black I prefer the 1..b6 2...Bb7 move order precisely because it avoids Bd3, which is so strong for white.

By Indians I meant the Nimzo and Queen's Indian. You can't really avoid the King's/Old Indian but such is the reputation of the Nimzo/Queen's that many are happy to play c4 just to avoid it.
  
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Smyslov_Fan
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Re: Solid Defense against English?!?!
Reply #47 - 08/26/06 at 23:29:44
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While I agree that from the White perspective, playing 2.d4 against 1...e6 or c6 is probably best, from the Black perspective I see it as a small victory.  When I see 1.c4 I wonder if the opponent has an original or obscure idea that he wants to try out.  If I play 1...c6 or 1...e6, I am almost hoping for White to play into the QGD/Slav lines and usually that person is not as comfortable in some of the lines I've prepared.

For instance, as Black after 1.c4 c6 2.d4 d5 the most common move that I face is the Exchange, usually because White doesn't want to go down the long theoretical and messy lines of the Slav or Semi-Slav.  If the player had started with 1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6, even though we reach the same position, White seems more willing to test critical lines.

All this isn't as true at the very highest levels, but move order is so important from a psychological perspective that players should carefully consider how they want to play against the Slav as White before they play 1.c4.  They may be pleasantly surprised if they avoid the Exchange Variation!
  
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Re: Solid Defense against English?!?!
Reply #46 - 08/26/06 at 17:43:48
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Good point.  I guess there are also various hybrid systems with c6/d5/kingside fianchetto.  White can probably hold off d4 until Black plays d5 (and play something more 'English' otherwise), but this is an idea for discussion elsewhere.

Suffice to say, 1...c6 and 1...e6 are both very solid and I find that White's best chances are with d4 and standard stuff.
  
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Re: Solid Defense against English?!?!
Reply #45 - 08/26/06 at 15:13:01
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Scholar wrote on 08/26/06 at 04:24:30:
As bob000 points out, against 1...c6 Black has already restricted his options, but 1...e6 keeps open the plan of playing an indian.


1...c6 doesnt necessary rule out the indian systems.... c6 fits well with especially the Old Indian but also the Kings Indian defence.

This move order might trick white out of his normal repertouar
  
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Re: Solid Defense against English?!?!
Reply #44 - 08/26/06 at 04:24:30
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Well, there doesn't appear to be much discussion the e4/c4 system in the French section either; all I found was some brief comments (of mine) mentioning Miezis.  Still, I recall that his games were instrucive.

Kosten's suggestion is 1.c4 c6 2.g3 d5 3.Bg2 and now after dxc4 amongst other moves, I have no great fondness for White's positon, though I have not looked at it in some time.  Perhaps one could learn the Catalan in addition to the English; these complement each other nicely and would give another  way to meet both 1...e6 and 1...c6.  As bob000 points out, against 1...c6 Black has already restricted his options, but 1...e6 keeps open the plan of playing an indian.
  
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Re: Solid Defense against English?!?!
Reply #43 - 08/26/06 at 02:47:12
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bob000,

I've played the line you mention (Bd3 f5, exf5 Bxg2) by accident and on purpose in blitz games.  White's attack is amazingly strong in blitz, and I've never really studied it.  My experience (again, against relatively low rated players online) is that since it wins with fairly simple intuitive moves by White maybe Black is the one that has to be precise not to lose quickly.

Scholar,

Thanks for the reference to the French thread.  Since I'm there most of the time now for some reason, I should have looked at that for any reference to his games!


(I still haven't installed any chess-related programs on my computer other than Blitzin.   I know that as soon as I do, I'll spend hours playing and analysing various positions.)
  
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Re: Solid Defense against English?!?!
Reply #42 - 08/26/06 at 00:02:39
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I'm afraid after 1..e6 2.Nc3 d5 and 1...c6 white's best chances lie in transposing to a d pawn opening. On the bright side you've avoided the Nimzo Indian, one of the most respectable defenses to d4.
Against the English defense 1.c4 b6 2.d4 e6 3.e4 Bb7 4.Bd3 f5 you're best bet is xf5. You sacrifice the rook but white's attack is considered winning. Of course it's requires rather accurate play.
Against 1.c4 b6 2.d4 Bb7 3.Nc3 e6 4.e4 Bb4 5.f3 is a fine line.
Another possibility is 1.c4 b6 2.d4 Bb7 3.Nf3 e6 4.g3 daring black to make the positional mistake of Bxf3 and playing against a QID otherwise.
  
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Re: Solid Defense against English?!?!
Reply #41 - 08/25/06 at 17:14:31
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Dinomike100 wrote on 08/25/06 at 04:26:30:
Since asking the question, I have actually started using the English opening as white.  So this is sort of off topic, I guess, but what would you guys say is white's best try against the English defense ( 1. c4 b6).  Is it 2. d4 or are there other decent options? 

Also: does white have any decent setups against 1. ...c6 or 1. ...e6 that don't involve transposing to some sort of queen's gambit declined?


I think that White's best is to transpose to a queen's gambit -- actually, after I came to this belief I switched from the English to 1.d4, so you're probably better off asking someone else.  My recollection is that some of White's most aggressive options in the Reti seemed to lead nowhere, and Kosten's otherwise excellent book didn't convince me either.

Quote:
Smyslov_Fan wrote on 08/25/06 at 04:45:59:
.... but you will find very, very few games in which strong players (2350+) play 1.c4 e6 2.e4 or 1.e4 e6 2.c4.


GM Miezis plays this regularly form the white side.
Although I think it is fair to say that some of his opening choices are more based on understanding (and experience with) the position, than a belief of an opening advantage


Yes -- I think that there might be some discussion of this in one of the French threads, as I came across his games while looking into this anti-French.  It appears that some of his opponents began to prepare for him, since he plays this way at every opportunity, and often they would get the upper hand out of the opening.
  
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Re: Solid Defense against English?!?!
Reply #40 - 08/25/06 at 14:45:12
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Iirc, for some reason I am unable to fathom, he also plays the budapest on occasion
  

If nothing else works, a total pig-headed unwillingness to look facts in the face will see us through.
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Re: Solid Defense against English?!?!
Reply #39 - 08/25/06 at 14:25:22
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Viking,


I'm not familiar with GM Miezis.  I'll have to go through chessbase and find out more about him.  Thanks for the added information.  Still, one GM out of a thousand still constitiutes "very, very few" in my book.
  
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Re: Solid Defense against English?!?!
Reply #38 - 08/25/06 at 06:44:58
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Smyslov_Fan wrote on 08/25/06 at 04:45:59:
.... but you will find very, very few games in which strong players (2350+) play 1.c4 e6 2.e4 or 1.e4 e6 2.c4.


GM Miezis plays this regularly form the white side.
Although I think it is fair to say that some of his opening choices are more based on understanding (and experience with) the position, than a belief of an opening advantage
  
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Re: Solid Defense against English?!?!
Reply #37 - 08/25/06 at 04:52:08
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After 1.c4 c6 White can strive for a Réti with 2.Nf3 d5 3.b3 Nf6 4.g3.
So he can after 1.c4 e6 2.Nf3 d5 3.g3.
After 1.c4 a setup with d3 and e4 has been played, eg Hansen-Ehlvest, Biel 1993.
No, S_F, I don't feel like giving further lines either.
  

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Re: Solid Defense against English?!?!
Reply #36 - 08/25/06 at 04:45:59
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1.c4 c6 can be answered by 2.e4 and you will probably play the Caro-Kann Panov-Btovinnik System.

However, 1.c4 e6 2.e4 d5 is a variation of the French Exchange that may give Black equality.  I've always recommended against 2.e4 to my students, but some just love the White side of the French Exchange. 

If you think Black isn't ready for either of those 1.e4 lines, they can be quite successful against amateurs.  Professional chess players are versatile enough to know how to play those types of positions as Black.  The Caro-Kann Panov still has an excellent reputation, but you will find very, very few games in which strong players (2350+) play 1.c4 e6 2.e4 or 1.e4 e6 2.c4.
  
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Re: Solid Defense against English?!?!
Reply #35 - 08/25/06 at 04:26:30
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Since asking the question, I have actually started using the English opening as white.  So this is sort of off topic, I guess, but what would you guys say is white's best try against the English defense ( 1. c4 b6).  Is it 2. d4 or are there other decent options? 

Also: does white have any decent setups against 1. ...c6 or 1. ...e6 that don't involve transposing to some sort of queen's gambit declined?
  
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Re: Solid Defense against English?!?!
Reply #34 - 08/25/06 at 04:24:16
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On a positive note, I seem to have revived the thread a bit! Cool
  
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Re: Solid Defense against English?!?!
Reply #33 - 08/25/06 at 04:19:41
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Eric,

Of course, I realised that I was dissing the entire English Defense with my comment that 3.e4 gives White an advantage.  What's interesting is that most of the commentary that I've read about the English Defense is that it is theoretically relatively weak but practically quite dangerous.  My statement is more a matter of style and chess philosophy than of individual lines. 

I have no faith in the English Defense and have (I think) a perfect (100%) score against it as White in serious otb games.  Part of my success is undoubtedly due to my confidence in the system. 

Black's most dangerous try in my experience is to try for a Dutch type of set-up with an early ...f5.  I have lost blitz and casual games to that set-up, but after analysing those losses I feel better and better about White's overall chances.

I have never faced the English Defense against anyone rated over 2300, so perhaps my limited experience against strong opposition colors my perspective.  Then again, considering its relative rarity at those levels perhaps the stronger players also tend to have a low opinion of it.

One thing is certain though, the English Defense shouldn't b e considered a Quote:
Solid Defense against English
as the thread title suggests.  It could be considered a "controversial" defense or an "exciting" defense.  Anything but solid.
  
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Re: Solid Defense against English?!?!
Reply #32 - 08/25/06 at 03:57:08
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1.c4 b6 2.d4 Bb7 makes white work for e4.
3.Nc3 e6 4.e4 Bb4 gives black enough pressure on the center.
3.d5 e6 4.e4 Bb4+ 5.Bd2 Qe7 is a line NCO gives as equal.
3.f3 will give white a center but black has counter play.
Not exactly as respected as the Nimzo but fairly solid, has indian like play and doesn't give white a "large advantage."
  
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Re: Solid Defense against English?!?!
Reply #31 - 08/25/06 at 01:31:31
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I completely disagree with Smyslov_Fan, in the sense that I think 1.c4 b6 2.d4 Nf6?! is clearly worse than 2...e6.  After 1.c4 b6 2.d4 e6 3.e4 I don't really see the need for giving any lines either; this is simply the main line of the English Defence and interested parties can look into it themselves!  Stating that 3.e4 gives an immediate advantage to White is ridiculous.  For what it's worth (not a great deal, I admit), Black now scored 49% according to Megabase 2006 with 3...Bb7! 

White may have an advantage in the English Defence, but it certainly isn't "immediate" or simple.  The opening is sound...or just as sound as other slightly risky defences, i.e. the Benko, Classical Dutch, Alekhine's, etc.
  
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Re: Solid Defense against English?!?!
Reply #30 - 08/24/06 at 23:52:35
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1.c4 b6 2.d4 doesn't transpose to a reputable Indian.  For instance, if Black plays 2...e6, 3.e4! gives White an immediate advantage.  (And no, MNb, I don't see any need for further lines in this case.)

2...Nf6 is trickier, but White can play the thematic 3.Nc3! e6 4.d5 or 4.e4.  These are relatively well known reasons for avoiding the 1...b6 move order, but I am aware that occasionally a few masters try it out. I don't trust it at all and wouldn't qualify it as a true Indian.  But that's just me.
  
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Re: Solid Defense against English?!?!
Reply #29 - 08/24/06 at 15:52:34
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1.c4 b6 is also an option. If white plays d4 you've transposed into an Indian. If white plays for a three pawn center you have a fair amount of pressure on it though you'll probably have to get a book on it since black does need to play fairly accurately.
  
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Re: Solid Defense against English?!?!
Reply #28 - 08/18/06 at 20:50:00
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Oh, but your news bulletin caused at least two smiles on my face. If you organize the wake, I'll join.  Cheesy
  

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Re: Solid Defense against English?!?!
Reply #27 - 08/18/06 at 07:58:14
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oops.

I seem to have killed yet another thread. Embarrassed 

I'm sorry. (sniff) Cry

I had hoped my news bulletin would at least bring a smile or two to the readers here.
Cry

Will there be a wake for this thread?
  
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Re: Solid Defense against English?!?!
Reply #26 - 07/29/06 at 18:49:14
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I can see the headlines already.

The ENDANGERED English Hedgehog is Being Killed Off by Russian Yorzh!


The English hedgehog, which has found some shelter around chess tournament halls and internet sites, is being pushed aside by Russian yorzh.  The yorzh, which has been found on Europe [notice that the English press still doesn't know England's part of the subcontinent], looks very much like its English cousin but has been insidiously brought over by someone who should know better, an Englishman.  

Actually, John Cox, an International master who claims he's from Shropshire may be Welsh!  Perhaps he is trying to kill of this quintessentially English woodland herbivore because the Welsh Dragon has been proven to be mythical.  (The Chinese Dragon, however  has been seen lurking about in chess halls even in England.  But there have been no reports of a WELSH dragon.  At least not since the days of St. George's famous attack.)

Advocates for the Hedgehog claim it acts like a coiled spring when attacked.  Ludek Pachman and Mihai Suba in generations past made special studies of the hedgehog and have found it to be a vibrant and interesting animal.  But now, the villainous Mr. Cox has introduced the Russian yorzh.  

Experts say a Yorsh is a mixture of vodka and beer, which can also be found in the lobbies of some chesss halls.  Perhaps the "Yorzh" is a mutant form of the "yozh', a Russian hedgehog. Others however claim that this Russian yorzh is nothing but  a Yerudna.  Yerudna can also be found in and around chess halls, and is considered to be a lot of rubbish.  IM Cox may give a statement about his attack on the humble but noble hedgehog.  

Kenneth Grahame fans and environmentalists around the world eagerly wait to here what this International Master has to say.  Mr. Cox,  who himself has sometimes been mistaken for that rarest of fish, a Grand Master (see other threads),  may have something personal against hedgehogs.  Perhaps he poked himself with one of its quills.   Or perhaps he doesn't like The Wind in the Willows.  

A more likely explanation however, is that he has had too much Yorsh and is abandoning the traditional English country values that have made the hedgehog a welcome rare sight, even around the trash heaps (yerudniy) of European chess halls.

Mr. Cox has admitted a fondness for the "hedgepig", which may be a colloquial term for a female hedgehog.  We have no idea why he likes the hedgepig so much, but he has reportedly been seen taking hedgepigs out to Welsh pubs.

Reporting for the inestimable British press, all the way from Colorado in the United States is your very own  intrepid reporter.

~ SF


etcetera etcetera.
  
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Re: Solid Defense against English?!?!
Reply #25 - 07/29/06 at 15:23:32
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What on 1 c4 e6 2 g3 d5 3 Bg2 ?
Now , for me it's differeent , since I am a KID player :
1 c4 g6 , and I always get a KID
  
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Re: Solid Defense against English?!?!
Reply #24 - 07/26/06 at 14:32:13
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Yep - the line  3 Nf3 e6 4 d4 cxd4 5 Nxd4 would not bother me so much. Regarding 1 c4 e6 2 g3 d5 3 b3 dxc4 4 bxc4 Qd4 winning a pawn the answer is yes, but after 5.Nc3 Qxc4 6.Nf3 I dont like the looks of the queen wandering around the middle of the board  Undecided White just delevelops his bishops to the long diagonals, puts a rook on c1 and then....

In any case as usual I think this whole thing comes down to personal preference - to I want to play a hedgehog more than I would want a QGD - and if I do go for the QGD am I prepared to allow this Ret/Neo-Catalan whatever you like to call it
  
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Re: Solid Defense against English?!?!
Reply #23 - 07/26/06 at 13:02:44
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Yes, 1 c4 Nf6 2 Nc3 c5 is a standard route to a Hedgehog, isn't it? I suppose you have to put up with 3 Nf3 e6 4 d4 cxd4 5 Nxd4; you can play 5...b6 I suppose, but it's not the usual English hedgehog. So you do have to be prepared for this Nimzo/English hybrid (assuming 5...Bb4) as well.

1 c4 e6 2 g3 d5 3 b3 dxc4 4 bxc4 Qd4 wins a pawn, doesn't it?
  
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Re: Solid Defense against English?!?!
Reply #22 - 07/26/06 at 12:12:58
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Its true JOhn - after 1.c4 e6 2.g3!? I think I´m going 2...d5 - after that if White wants to avoid ...dxc4 lines heading to Reti he must go 3.b3!? and I´m not sure Black has a good way to take advantage of this move order  Huh

The problem with 1.c4 Nf6 for me is 2.Nc3!? when I dont like 2...e6 3.e4, although I suppose I could always play 2...c5 then !?! This way I have had no opportunity to play QGD though  Sad These move order things would drive you nuts  Shocked
  
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Re: Solid Defense against English?!?!
Reply #21 - 07/26/06 at 12:01:25
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Doesn't 1 c4 e6 2 g3 end-play you a bit if you're aiming for a Hedgehog? I thought that was why Suba et al recommended 1 c4 Nf6; so you could meet 2 g3 with c6. It comes down to whether you prefer defending the Catalan and-or the Neo-Catalan/whatever, or the New York System (ie the c6/d5/Nf6/Bg4 stuff) or whatever the c6/d5/Nf6/Bf5 stuff is (I was brought up to call this the Capablanca system, I think, based on Keene's Flank Openings.

Isn't the Russian Yorzh a much better word for it than Hedgehog, by the way? So much more onomatopoeic. Although I like the old English hedgepig, as well.
  
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Re: Solid Defense against English?!?!
Reply #20 - 07/26/06 at 11:49:44
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IMJohnCox wrote on 07/26/06 at 10:38:39:
I meant 1 c4 e6 2 Nf3 d5 3 b3 Nf6 4 g3 Be7 5 Bg2 00 6 00 c5 7 Bb2 Nc6 8 e3, or the like. Isn't that called the Neo-Catalan? Or is that Modern Chess Openings 1970's-speak?


Search me.  Only for a few years have I been dabbling in Flank Openings, and I'm definitely not up on the terminology.
  

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Re: Solid Defense against English?!?!
Reply #19 - 07/26/06 at 10:49:15
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I call that a Reti  Smiley but whatever it is called I agree it is not always pleasant for Black - that is why I prefer to refrain from ....d5 against this order so as to enter the hectic hedgehog world  Wink
  
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Re: Solid Defense against English?!?!
Reply #18 - 07/26/06 at 10:38:39
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I meant 1 c4 e6 2 Nf3 d5 3 b3 Nf6 4 g3 Be7 5 Bg2 00 6 00 c5 7 Bb2 Nc6 8 e3, or the like. Isn't that called the Neo-Catalan? Or is that Modern Chess Openings 1970's-speak?
  
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Re: Solid Defense against English?!?!
Reply #17 - 07/25/06 at 19:50:04
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IMJohnCox wrote on 07/12/06 at 12:48:59:
Based on that repertoire I would have thought the Hedgehog was the obvious choice. Unfortunately there is no decent book in English,, although there is an excellent one in Russian. Of course it's arguably easier to learn Russian to deal with this problem than learn the Queen's Gambit Declined. I agree with Markovich that that is taking a sledgehammer to crack a nut.

I wouldn't underestimate the Reti/Neo-Catalan lines against 1...e6. In my experience many Black players hate to play those positions.


What do you mean, "Neo-Catalan?"
  

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Re: Solid Defense against English?!?!
Reply #16 - 07/25/06 at 08:14:01
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Keano,

I too like 1.c4 e6 2...d5 after almost any move by White.  Cool

Then again, I often play the Black side of 1.c4 c6 2. (almost anything) d5 and aim for Lasker's set-up, Nf6, Bf5 and so on against the English.  Talk about a solid set-up!  Black has activity and if White is even the slightest bit slow in developing Black gains easy equality and may even be better.
  
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Re: Solid Defense against English?!?!
Reply #15 - 07/17/06 at 07:49:00
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The Hedgehog possibility in its true form is still on after 1...e6 -

e.g. 1.c4 e6 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.g3 (3.Nc3 d5 is back to QGD) b6!? 4.Bg2 Bb7 5.0-0 c5 etc.

The move orders in the Reti/English complex are truly staggering however, for example there is 2.g3!? to consider when I´m not sure Black shouldnt just play 2...d5
  
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Re: Solid Defense against English?!?!
Reply #14 - 07/15/06 at 22:29:11
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Fortunately ya uzje umeyu govereet pa russki.

But recently I've taken up the Old Indian against 1. d4 and 1. c4, and it is working OK.  Usually white gets a nice pawn storm or other attack, but sometimes overextends and then I counterattack or mess up their pawn structure.

  
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Re: Solid Defense against English?!?!
Reply #13 - 07/12/06 at 12:48:59
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Based on that repertoire I would have thought the Hedgehog was the obvious choice. Unfortunately there is no decent book in English,, although there is an excellent one in Russian. Of course it's arguably easier to learn Russian to deal with this problem than learn the Queen's Gambit Declined. I agree with Markovich that that is taking a sledgehammer to crack a nut.

I wouldn't underestimate the Reti/Neo-Catalan lines against 1...e6. In my experience many Black players hate to play those positions.
  
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Re: Solid Defense against English?!?!
Reply #12 - 06/12/06 at 20:19:01
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What I suggested is based on what the the creator of this thread desired--

" Does anyone know of a solid defense against the English which has minimal transpositional possibilities.  I usually play the French against 1. e4 and the Nimzo-Indian/QID against 1. d4.  "

and

"Thanks for the suggestions.  Here is what I have for 1. ...e6 so far (most of which was pointed out):

* 2. e4 - then 2. ...d5 with the Steiner variation of the French, which isn't that great for white and which I occasionally face when playing the French def. anyway.

* 2. d4 - then 2. ... Nf6 which is a position used in reaching Nimzo-Indian, and if white deviates after this point, it's still just stuff I would have to worry about when trying to get a Nimzo-Indian.

* 2. Nc3 - then 2. ...d5 which seems to almost force a QGD.  I think this is good in terms of cutting down on transpositions, but I'm not sure why the QGD is favorable for black.  It seems like he has very little counterplay against white's center (compared to French and Nimzo) and white can secure a small advantage without taking much risk.  Of course maybe I'm missing something, as I have never played the black side of a QGD and don't know enough about that defense.   

But if I can find a variation of the QGD where black gets counterplay I would be willing to take it up.  So far I am thinking maybe the semi-slav defense?"

That is the reason I recommended 1...e6 which limits the tranposition possibilities and it lends itself to transpose to openings Dinomike is already familiar with.

The Slav (or Semi)

The Tarrasch defense

The Tartakower system

are all active defenses, the first two being the ones that require energetic play the most.  The Tartakower is a reliable defense and it has been utilize by some of the best players around.

The slav and the tarrasch have another plus, they both can be used vs the Catalan.  You can used them also vs the Reti but here you have a greater range of choices which are good.

Angry

  

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Re: Solid Defense against English?!?!
Reply #11 - 06/12/06 at 13:38:51
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Dinomike100 wrote on 06/10/06 at 10:23:18:
Does anyone know of a solid defense against the English which has minimal transpositional possibilities.  I usually play the French against 1. e4 and the Nimzo-Indian/Dinomike1009 against 1. d4. 

Is black's position after the 1. ...e5 reply better or worse than white's position in the Sicilian?  That is, with white having the extra tempo, is the sicilian English stronger for white than the Sicilian is for black?


For a solid defense that nevertheless offers some prospect of a free and fluid game for Black, I would very much recommend 1...c5.  I agree with others here that 1...e5 is a good defense to the English but my opinion is that it's a little more edgy than 1...c5.

If you already play the QGD, then 1...e6 can be recommended for the reason that you don't have to learn a separate, anti-English system.  If you don't, it's idiotic.  The whole point of the English, at least the way it's played by most players, is to reach a QGD an not have to confront the Nimzo-QID complex. (Black really has to know what he is doing if he plays into 1. c4 Nf6  2. Nc3 e6  3. e4! -- personally then, I would much rather be White.) So why give White exactly what he's looking for if you wouldn't otherwise play the QGD?

Unrelatedly, I agree that the Tarrasch is an active defense, but no one would call it solid.
  

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Re: Solid Defense against English?!?!
Reply #10 - 06/12/06 at 06:21:25
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Klick wrote on 06/11/06 at 19:29:31:
With black I play 1.c4 Nf6 and now:

2.Nc3 e5 3.g3 (3.Nf3 Nc6 4.g3 Nd4) Bb4, which is one of the better winning-tries against the english according to Carsten Hansen.

Just wondering, why not 1...e5? What extra options would white have then? Surely 1.c4 e5 2.g3 with a delayed Nc3 is not that worrying? Of course there is nothing wrong with this move order, as long as one is happy to play some Indian.

Quote:
2. g3 e6! 3.Bg2 d5 4.Nf3 dxc, just holding on to the pawn. I always found this difficult to play against with the white pieces, so I started playing it as black.

I feel that White should really get in a d2-d4 at some point and get a Catalan (of course the open Catalan is also fully respectable for black).
  
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Re: Solid Defense against English?!?!
Reply #9 - 06/12/06 at 02:01:46
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Dinomike100 wrote on 06/11/06 at 19:19:06:
Thanks for the suggestions.  Here is what I have for 1. ...e6 so far (most of which was pointed out):


Well anyway, if anyone has recommendations on which QGD to take after 1. c4 e6 2. Nc3 d5 3. d4, that would be good, as I think most of the other major transpositions are covered.  Also, is it a good idea to use Nimzo most of the time and QGD only against 1. c4, as QGD is then also useful against 1. d4.

There is also 2. Nf3, which transposes into a Reti opening, but I think I'll cross that bridge when I get there.    



I am a Tarrasch defense player and that is not a passive defense at all.  In fact, it is very active.  Of course, I have been playing it for a long time.   If you need a good book on it, get the book from GM Agaard or Aagaard.

As an alternative, you can employ the Tartakower system vs the QG which is quite reliable and has a good reputation.

Wink
  

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Re: Solid Defense against English?!?!
Reply #8 - 06/11/06 at 19:29:31
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With black I play 1.c4 Nf6 and now:

2.Nc3 e5 3.g3 (3.Nf3 Nc6 4.g3 Nd4) Bb4, which is one of the better winning-tries against the english according to Carsten Hansen.

2. g3 e6! 3.Bg2 d5 4.Nf3 dxc, just holding on to the pawn. I always found this difficult to play against with the white pieces, so I started playing it as black. Generally I think black`s chances are good here, but he must take some care. My impression is that if he does this he is more than ok.

These are good if you want to win, but I wouldn`t exactly describe them as "solid". I would describe the reversed Botvinnik-formation as solid and a good attempt by black to control the game.
  

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Re: Solid Defense against English?!?!
Reply #7 - 06/11/06 at 19:19:06
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Thanks for the suggestions.  Here is what I have for 1. ...e6 so far (most of which was pointed out):

* 2. e4 - then 2. ...d5 with the Steiner variation of the French, which isn't that great for white and which I occasionally face when playing the French def. anyway.

* 2. d4 - then 2. ... Nf6 which is a position used in reaching Nimzo-Indian, and if white deviates after this point, it's still just stuff I would have to worry about when trying to get a Nimzo-Indian.

* 2. Nc3 - then 2. ...d5 which seems to almost force a QGD.  I think this is good in terms of cutting down on transpositions, but I'm not sure why the QGD is favorable for black.  It seems like he has very little counterplay against white's center (compared to French and Nimzo) and white can secure a small advantage without taking much risk.  Of course maybe I'm missing something, as I have never played the black side of a QGD and don't know enough about that defense.  

But if I can find a variation of the QGD where black gets counterplay I would be willing to take it up.  So far I am thinking maybe the semi-slav defense?  The only problem I am seeing so far is after:

1. c4 e6
2. Nc3 d5
3. d4 c6
4. Nf3 Nf6
5. Bg5

---> The Anti-Meran "Gambit".  The continuation I am seeing most often now is:

6. dxc4 e4
7. b5 e5
8. h6 Bh4
9. g5 Nxg5
10. hxg5 Bxg5

This looks pretty crazy for both sides, but especially for black.  Many of the other moves except 6. dxc4 seem to have pretty low statistics (something like 16% win for black to 30% + for white), although I don't see how they can be worse than 6. dxc4, which has pretty good statistics (something like 30% black to 40% white).  

Well anyway, if anyone has recommendations on which QGD to take after 1. c4 e6 2. Nc3 d5 3. d4, that would be good, as I think most of the other major transpositions are covered.  Also, is it a good idea to use Nimzo most of the time and QGD only against 1. c4, as QGD is then also useful against 1. d4.

There is also 2. Nf3, which transposes into a Reti opening, but I think I'll cross that bridge when I get there.    
  
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Re: Solid Defense against English?!?!
Reply #6 - 06/11/06 at 16:37:50
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Different interpretations apparently.
  

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Re: Solid Defense against English?!?!
Reply #5 - 06/11/06 at 16:14:40
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Alias wrote on 06/11/06 at 11:24:54:
1...Nf6 and 2...e6 does not avoid e4 stuff.

1.c4 Nf6 2.Nc3 e6 3.e4 is the Mikenas-Flohr variation (or Flohr-Mikenas Attack or Mikenas Attack).

I'm not sure about that. The position after 1.c4 Nf6 2.Nc3 e6 3.e4 is extremely unlikely to arrise after 1.e4, so cannot, in my view, be called e4 stuff.
  
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Re: Solid Defense against English?!?!
Reply #4 - 06/11/06 at 11:24:54
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1...Nf6 and 2...e6 does not avoid e4 stuff.

1.c4 Nf6 2.Nc3 e6 3.e4 is the Mikenas-Flohr variation (or Flohr-Mikenas Attack or Mikenas Attack).
  

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Re: Solid Defense against English?!?!
Reply #3 - 06/11/06 at 09:26:24
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1...e6 is obviously quite solid.
Of course, 1...Nf6 and then 2...e6 is there if you want to avoid e4 stuff.

By the way, I personally enjoy the Hedgehog.  Its very solid and not at all boring (at least not boring to me).


Cheers.


  

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Re: Solid Defense against English?!?!
Reply #2 - 06/10/06 at 20:44:07
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Dinomike100 wrote on 06/10/06 at 10:23:18:
Does anyone know of a solid defense against the English which has minimal transpositional possibilities.  I usually play the French against 1. e4 and the Nimzo-Indian/Dinomike10014 against 1. d4.  

Is black's position after the 1. ...e5 reply better or worse than white's position in the Sicilian?  That is, with white having the extra tempo, is the sicilian English stronger for white than the Sicilian is for black?



I would try

1.c4  e6

White has very little chances of avoiding a Queen's gambit, or one of the indian defenses after 2...  Nf6 (if 2.e4 is not played). 

If White does play 2.e4 then you play your french.

I play   1....e6 if I want to play a Queen's gambit position as black
  

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Re: Solid Defense against English?!?!
Reply #1 - 06/10/06 at 16:08:24
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Having played both the Sicilian and the English at some point, I often feel that 1.e4 c5 and 1.c4 e5 are totally different in nature. Objectively I suppose white is better off after 1.c4 e5 than he would be as black after 1.e4 c5, but that's really just saying that white simply has the advantage of the first move and that 1.c4 is a fully respectable first move (like many others such as 1.e4, 1.d4, 1.Nf3 etc.).

The extra tempo of white does change to a considerable extent how each side should approach this situation. After 1.e4 c5 white has the option to go for the open sicilian, while variations with d7-d5 after 1.c4 e5 tend to be much more humble.

Anyway, 1...e5 is definitely a good answer to 1.c4, it's a matter of what kind of position you want though and you should not think that the positions you get will usually "feel" like the sicilian as white (unless your opponent misplays the opening, in which case such a positive development is of course always possible).
  
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Solid Defense against English?!?!
06/10/06 at 10:23:18
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Does anyone know of a solid defense against the English which has minimal transpositional possibilities.  I usually play the French against 1. e4 and the Nimzo-Indian/QID against 1. d4. 

Is black's position after the 1. ...e5 reply better or worse than white's position in the Sicilian?  That is, with white having the extra tempo, is the sicilian English stronger for white than the Sicilian is for black?
  
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