1. c4 This eBook provides a full repertoire based on 1.c4. White stays within the territory of the English Opening or the Reti Opening if Black replies with a d5 setup. I rarely recommend a transposition to a main line 1.d4 opening. If I do so, I believe it is clearly the best option and requires little work. There will never be a position where you need a huge theoretical work in addition to this publication - it suffices as a standalone roadmap of the opening. This intro gives a brief overview of everything. The most principled reply is
1... e5 .This is the largest chunk of the whole repertoire.
The symmetrical 1... c5 enjoys a solid reputation. My choice is 2. g3 after which 2... g6 3. ♗g2 ♗g7 4. ♘c3 ♘c6 is the most common sequence. 5. a3 initiates queenside play, going for a later b4. Black is very solid in these lines, still White manages to set some problems in positions that stay complicated for a long time.
With 1... e6 Blacks signals he is ready for a Queen's Gambit. We go for 2. g3 again, but after the most common 2... d5 3. ♗g2 ♘f6 4. ♘f3 ♗e7 5. O-O O-O we avoid the mainline Catalan with 6. b3 . White has chances for a small edge in a very safe position. He will play for two results in many cases.
The Slav players will often go for 1... c6 We reply 2. g3 d5 3. ♘f3 ♘f6 4. ♗g2 after which taking the pawn with 4... dxc4 is the most critical, leading to sharp play. Less forcing lines like 4... Bf5 or 4...Bg4 pose White little problems. In those variations White normally just keeps a comfortable position.
The most frequently played move against 1.c4 is actually 1... ♘f6 , but it will often transpose to other parts of this eBook, depending on Black's choice of pawn setup in the centre to be taken on the following moves. The most important standalone options for Black are 2. g3 g6 3. ♗g2 ♗g7 for a KID setup, or ( 3... d5 for a Grunfeld style of play. The KID setup often resembles the Reversed Closed Sicilian Structures after 1.c4 e5 and is therefore quite solid. The Grunfeld setup seems promising for White currently, with a quick h4 being a key idea.)
The Dutch players go for 1... f5 quite often. Black has three main setups, of which the Stonewall and Classical shouldn't equalize for Black. The Leningrad approach with ...g6 will transpose to a Reversed Closed Sicilian again.
2. g3 is the repertoire choice against 1...e5. Now Black has a variety of lines to choose from. The most important are the Closed Siclian Reversed lines and the Reversed Dragon after
8. ♖b1 is a tricky line that sets some pitfalls for Black and gives chances to keep a small edge.
This eBook is a reference companion to the video series, available for €19.99 (or $19.99). If you want to see and hear Christof provide detailed instruction on this opening, you can purchase the series, which will also give you access to the full eBook.
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The English Opening is very popular at all levels. In this video series International Master Christof Sielecki, well-known for his YouTube channel 'Chessexplained', teaches you a complete repertoire for White with 1.c4.
- Build a complete opening repertoire for White
- Learn the plans and ideas of this opening
- Learn the theory of the most important variations