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Hot Topic (More than 10 Replies) Thinking of trying the English (Read 9822 times)
BabySnake
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Re: Thinking of trying the English
Reply #18 - 02/08/12 at 15:24:36
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Chessexplained wrote on 02/08/12 at 14:54:57:
My personal experience with the whole English/Flank Opening complex is: Black has quite a lot of ways to get an equal or close to equal position, BUT people simply don't play them  Smiley
They tend to devote more time for their answers to e4 and d4 and neglect other moves, so often you'll even get a tangible advantage. If they know their stuff in the English, they are close to equal, but usually in a fairly complex position with many pieces on the board, so you can use your experience and middlegame studies of the typical positions to try outplay them later. 


My experience here is similar. A lot of players have their own pet lines vs e4/d4 but are less used to meeting c4 although that has changed a bit over the years.

Personally vs Slav and Kings Indian players that try to steer the game into these openings (if I would follow up with d4) I like to play anti-Slav and anti-KI. Even if theoretically that's not the "best" option. Usually I will know more about the position than my opponent.
  
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Chessexplained
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Re: Thinking of trying the English
Reply #17 - 02/08/12 at 14:54:57
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My personal experience with the whole English/Flank Opening complex is: Black has quite a lot of ways to get an equal or close to equal position, BUT people simply don't play them  Smiley
They tend to devote more time for their answers to e4 and d4 and neglect other moves, so often you'll even get a tangible advantage. If they know their stuff in the English, they are close to equal, but usually in a fairly complex position with many pieces on the board, so you can use your experience and middlegame studies of the typical positions to try outplay them later.
  
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fling
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Re: Thinking of trying the English
Reply #16 - 02/08/12 at 13:08:38
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fling wrote on 02/07/12 at 15:22:58:
Göran wrote on 02/07/12 at 12:45:20:
I will also eventually take up the English Opening. One of the "problems" or "fun part" is the possibilities to transpose.
Has anyone any idea of which book is best in describing the transposition potential/traps?


I can't tell which one is the best, but Marin points out several ways to transpose. Of course, in this case you have to be prepared to play systems with an early g3. I don't remember if there is anything in any of my other sources.


Just realized there is of course Opening for White According to Kramnik.
  
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fling
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Re: Thinking of trying the English
Reply #15 - 02/08/12 at 13:08:03
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GMTonyKosten wrote on 02/08/12 at 12:34:13:
This is rapidly becoming my favourite thread!! Embarrassed
Remember to keep an eye on John Bartholomew's ChessPublishing updates too - I think they are very good. Wink


I agree, they have been good, as have the other updates too!

There are of course several critical options in the English that are not mentioned in either Marin's, Kosten or Davies works. One has been discussed here under the thread on GM Repertoire 1.c4 by Marin, in the 1.c4 e5-variation. Another, which has been discussed here too, is an early ...Bb4+. A solid, but pretty drawish alternative for Black. I guess this is where the Chesspub guides come in Grin

My impression has been that one of the critical tests in the 1.c4 e5 is otherwise the Reversed Dragon, which has gathered a substantial amount of theory in the Nc3 line. I think that for many club players, it might be too much.

In this case, the suggestion is to play the Nd2 line, offered by Kosten and Davies. It is less theoretical, but Black has good equalising lines in this variation. I have tried playing a pretty early f4 inspired by some of the ideas Kosten presents in e.g. the Botvinnik lines (i.e. to gain control over d4, and also maybe to develop the knight to g3 after a later g4 and launch an attack), but my results have been mixed. It was very interesting to see Nakamura use a similar concept, and get an edge in his recent game against Navara. It might be worth a more thorough investigation.

With this in mind, you might be tempted to start with playing 1.Nf3, which I know some players do, just to avoid an early ...e5. In this case you are out of the repertoire for Marin, Kosten and Davies works (1.c4 2.g3) but may be able to transpose into some of the variations later on. It also leaves Black with the option of playing the Hedgehog with the knight on d7, which is not possible against 1.c4, 2.g3 followed by an early Bg2. Also, there will be no Botvinnik set-up with the knight on e2, of course.

In this case, you can use Khalifman's Opening for White According to Kramnik (or I think Pritchett's book too), which is not bad, but a different option. Also, if you might want to play a later d4, you will of course also have to play Queen's gambit lines with the knight on f3 (not too big a deal, except if you like the Exchange variation Botvinnik-Kasparov style).

The main thing I've learned from these studies is that the English is extremely flexible and you have many plans to choose from. I like it a lot, and I still have the plan to implement it as a mix with 1.d4 openings. Kosten's book is a very good start, but I guess so is Marin's if you have a lot of time to study them!
  
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Göran
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Re: Thinking of trying the English
Reply #14 - 02/08/12 at 12:40:49
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BabySnake wrote on 02/08/12 at 09:27:28:
Göran wrote on 02/07/12 at 12:45:20:
I will also eventually take up the English Opening. One of the "problems" or "fun part" is the possibilities to transpose.
Has anyone any idea of which book is best in describing the transposition potential/traps?


I think you will find quite a lot of info on this forum! Sorry I can't recommend a particular text.


Thank you Fling and BabySnake. I will browse the topics and get back with a list next week (if I will find any interesting topics on the topic).
  

What kind of proof is that?
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GMTonyKosten
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Re: Thinking of trying the English
Reply #13 - 02/08/12 at 12:34:13
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This is rapidly becoming my favourite thread!! Embarrassed
Remember to keep an eye on John Bartholomew's ChessPublishing updates too - I think they are very good. Wink
  
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Chessexplained
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Re: Thinking of trying the English
Reply #12 - 02/08/12 at 12:26:07
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One issue with the GM Repertoire Books is their sheer size and detail. This of course is the quality and trademark of these books, but also a problem, as it is sometimes difficult to 'reduce' the material to identify the absolutely essential lines that a player new to the opening should know to successfully employ it for the first times. This exactly is the great point of Kosten's book - to present the essentials in an easy to digest form. In these kind of lines it also doesn't matter so much that the book is rather old. So I wholeheartedly agree with Ametanoitos suggestion to start with that book and get more later when needed. By the way, I know lots of players of 2300+ strength incl. myself that used Kosten's book successfully, so this book alone can help you a while  Smiley
  
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Re: Thinking of trying the English
Reply #11 - 02/08/12 at 11:33:29
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TonyRo wrote on 02/07/12 at 12:44:19:
Yeah, I agree. I used Kosten exclusively until Marin came out, perhaps out of laziness, but it's great. My favorite repertoire book of all time, hands down.


I agree! I went from 1200 to 1700 in one years time by using Kosten's book and after sooooo many years i still play 1.c4 sometimes (and i can say with huge success when i do it) with essentially the 80-90% of my knowledge coming from that book!

As far as other sources are concerned i can recommend Davies Chessbase DVD which offers  good support material to Kosten's book.

But, if you are an ambitious player then take Marin's work, add the updates from QC website and from recent games, work on it for a month and go to claim some scalps!
  
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BabySnake
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Re: Thinking of trying the English
Reply #10 - 02/08/12 at 09:27:28
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Göran wrote on 02/07/12 at 12:45:20:
I will also eventually take up the English Opening. One of the "problems" or "fun part" is the possibilities to transpose.
Has anyone any idea of which book is best in describing the transposition potential/traps?


I think you will find quite a lot of info on this forum! Sorry I can't recommend a particular text.
  
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fling
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Re: Thinking of trying the English
Reply #9 - 02/07/12 at 15:22:58
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Göran wrote on 02/07/12 at 12:45:20:
I will also eventually take up the English Opening. One of the "problems" or "fun part" is the possibilities to transpose.
Has anyone any idea of which book is best in describing the transposition potential/traps?


I can't tell which one is the best, but Marin points out several ways to transpose. Of course, in this case you have to be prepared to play systems with an early g3. I don't remember if there is anything in any of my other sources.
  
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Re: Thinking of trying the English
Reply #8 - 02/07/12 at 12:45:20
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I will also eventually take up the English Opening. One of the "problems" or "fun part" is the possibilities to transpose.
Has anyone any idea of which book is best in describing the transposition potential/traps?
  

What kind of proof is that?
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TonyRo
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Re: Thinking of trying the English
Reply #7 - 02/07/12 at 12:44:19
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Yeah, I agree. I used Kosten exclusively until Marin came out, perhaps out of laziness, but it's great. My favorite repertoire book of all time, hands down.
  
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BabySnake
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Re: Thinking of trying the English
Reply #6 - 02/07/12 at 09:27:01
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I still think that Kosten's book is a great starting point, even for 2000 level. It was excellent for me at least.
You will then find some lines where you want to use a different approach and start building your own repertoire.
  
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Konstriktor
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Re: Thinking of trying the English
Reply #5 - 02/06/12 at 21:31:09
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I play the English for about 1,5 years now having switched from 10 years e4.

I've mainly used Kosten's Dynamic English (1999!) for my repertoire and I think it is still just great.
Only 140 pages long. Ideas presented at the beginning of a chapter followed by a short theoretical part on nearly all answers against 1.c4.

Kosten gives you the basics of the English which will serve you till at least 2100 I suspect(?). Some parts may not be the cutting edge, but at least you won't get squashed theoretically!

The only gripe is the 2. g3 move against all which may not be everybody's cup of tea.

  
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Re: Thinking of trying the English
Reply #4 - 02/06/12 at 01:45:47
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TN wrote on 02/05/12 at 08:14:51:
'Starting Out: The English Opening' by Craig Pritchett (I think)

I have this, and don't like it. Aside from a couple of lines, its a pretty light version of the brilliant Bagirov books. If an early (2nd move) g3 / system isn't the plan, while dated, Bagirov provides a ton of depth and options. Karpov's interesting book often refers to Bagirov's analysis, and the 2 books can still purchased new on Amazon.
  
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