Learn the English Opening in 15 Minutes [Complete Opening Guide]

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In this video lesson, GM Igor Smirnov presents to you the chess openings crash course on the English Opening which occurs after the White’s first move 1.c4.

In this complete opening guide, he breaks this opening down into simple terms, explaining how to play this opening as White, how to counter the English Opening as Black, the common middlegame ideas and plans for White, key tactical ideas, and some dirty tricks and traps for the IgorNation!

Therefore, after watching this video lesson, you will get a complete understanding of the English Opening without having to memorize too many variations or a ton of theory.

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► Chapters

00:00 Chess Openings Crash Course: English Opening
00:36 Pros & Cons of the English Opening
01:23 Black’s responses: 1…e5 & 1…c5
02:32 1) 1…e5 by Black (Reversed Sicilian)
03:28 General opening plan/idea for White
04:18 Right move order to set traps
05:12 Trapping Black’s knight/bishop
07:39 If Black plays 4…Bc5 instead of 4…Bb4
09:04 If Black plays 3…d5
10:39 Common tactical idea to remember
11:24 2) 1…c5 by Black (Symmetrical Variation)

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59 Comments

  1. It has a bit of a KID flavor, London System and Sicilian defense colors reversed feel as well. I like it. Love the dual attacks on the minor pieces as well….looks very fun!

  2. Igor..can you make a video on how to play the Nadjorf in blitz games..I usually lag behind in development against white .. strong players.

  3. Greetings from Poland, Igor. The best chess channel

  4. Is there already a course treatening the Franco-Benoni opening? I would be happy to learn it!

  5. ► Chapters

    00:00 Chess Openings Crash Course: English Opening

    00:36 Pros & Cons of the English Opening

    01:23 Black's responses: 1…e5 & 1…c5

    02:32 1) 1…e5 by Black (Reversed Sicilian)

    03:28 General opening plan/idea for White

    04:18 Right move order to set traps

    05:12 Trapping Black's knight/bishop

    07:39 If Black plays 4…Bc5 instead of 4…Bb4

    09:04 If Black plays 3…d5

    10:39 Common tactical idea to remember

    11:24 2) 1…c5 by Black (Symmetrical Variation)

  6. nice! wanted an overview of this opening
    i play the scottish gambit that in learned from ur videos! thanks GM Igor!

  7. Igor, this was great. Please make a video about the Caro from the black perspective.

  8. Thanks for such a nice explanation! I'm usually an 1.e4 player. But with this video I'm shifting from e to c from my next game. Beautiful presentation!!

  9. I wanna know how to deal with it as black. Whenever I see this first move I just don't play, start a new game

  10. GM Igorov sir you are best teacher 🎉🎉❤

  11. It was really instructional, and i've never known that the English opening has so many traps.
    I hope you can make a crashcourse on the Nimzo indian defense soon.

  12. When I was in high school playing, it was known that I loved the Piano or Lopez, and most of my opponents I faced knew it. I switched to the English, and crushed most of my opponents.

  13. Igor, I'd like to thank you for the video where you cover my favourite white opening style. Some time ago you had a video with 7 traps in an English opening which motivated me to study it. Wish you all the best.❤

  14. Thanks, Igor, for this great video about the English. As with all your videos, I am able to really learn in ways no other presents. On another video, could you tell us a little more about how to counter the English? Appreciated.

  15. Please make a crash course on the Slav defense and Semi-Slav defense for black.

  16. @GMigorSmirnov – Video on how to crush English opening please

  17. Thank you for the instructive video👍🙏

  18. Hii GM igor, how are u. I having problem facing English as black especially if someone using g3 in their second move. I'm looking forward your future videos on how to face an English opening as black thank you 😊

  19. Great video. Would you be able to make an English opening video from Black's perspective? I rarely face the English, so when I do I'm never sure how best to tackle it

  20. I would Iove to see a crash course on the Modern Defense.

  21. Igor, you are amazing, this is brilliant.

    So, I played the English – mainly the English Botvinnik – for years. But a few months ago, went off it, after lots of bad results.

    This video may make me fall back in love with it again! (But I think I'll avoid the English Botvinnik as it's pretty drawish). But more please! More English videos! And I agree that e5 and then going into the Reversed Sicilian is the most common continuation, but I think Black playing for a King's Indian is the next most popular defence by black. So can we have a video on how to play the English against the KID pretty please, (as well as against the Grunfeld please)? ❤😊

  22. I play the english, never lost a game as white in my last tournament, and the ideas are similar to the sicilian which i play vs e4. Great presentation as usual and i hope it inspires more people to play the english.

  23. 2. d5 by black isn't so bad because you can play it like a modern centre counter with 3…. Nf6.

  24. Could you please cover what to do when black plays the Slav, QGD, or KID against the English?

  25. You didn't explain how to counter as black really.

  26. Worked first try! My rating is 1500elo but the engine said that I played like a 1900elo guy thanks! Follow his great masterclass! Here is the game (no blunder,mistake or inaccurancy!): 1. c4 e5 2. g3 Nf6 3. Bg2 Bc5 4. Nc3 d5 5. cxd5 e4 $2 6. Nxe4 Nxd5 $4 7. Nxc5 O-O
    8. Qb3 Nb6 9. Nxb7 Bxb7 10. Bxb7 N8d7 11. Bxa8 Qxa8 12. Nf3 Nc5 13. Qc2 Ne6 14.
    O-O Qd5 15. d3 Qh5 16. Re1 Nd5 17. Qc4 Nf6 18. Qh4 Qa5 19. Bg5 Nd5 20. e4 Nb4
    21. a3 (21. Bd2) 21… Nc2 22. b4 Qb6 23. Be3 Qd6 24. Rac1 Nxe1 25. Rxe1 Qxd3
    26. Ng5 Nxg5 27. Qxg5 h6 28. Qg4 Kh8 29. Qh4 Qd8 30. Qh3 Qf6 31. g4 g5 32. Kh1
    Kg7 33. Rd1 Kh7 34. Rd4 Rg8 35. e5 Qg6 36. f4 Qb1+ 37. Kg2 Qc2+ 38. Kf3 Qc6+ 39.
    Kg3 Qc2 40. fxg5 Qc3 $2 41. Qxh6# 1-0

  27. I was 1700 FIDE irl but I switched from e4 to c4 early 2023, best choice of my life. Got to 1800F in a few month while crushing 1900-2000 players

  28. Nobody outside of russia thinks "for the Kramniks of this world"

  29. hi cosh please if you can do video série vidéo about hipo opning

  30. AMAZING VIDEO!!! Hopefully sometime in the future you could make an opening crash course on the French Sicilian?

  31. Igor, thanks for this. The Catalan would be nice to look at too please.

  32. Igor,please continue the analysis of the English beginning for the whites, thank you.

  33. I would love to see some more openings from blacks perspective!

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