kids encyclopedia robot

English opening facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts

The English opening, usually just called the English, is a chess opening for players with the white pieces. It has become the third most popular opening move, after 1.e4 and 1.d4. The opening was developed by the English master Howard Staunton, and played in his match against Saint-Amant.p124

Variation 1
a b c d e f g h
8
Chessboard480.svg
a8 black rook
d8 black queen
f8 black rook
g8 black king
b7 black pawn
c7 black pawn
f7 black pawn
g7 black bishop
c6 black knight
d6 black pawn
e6 black bishop
f6 black knight
g6 black pawn
h6 black pawn
b5 white pawn
e5 black pawn
c4 white pawn
c3 white knight
d3 white pawn
f3 white knight
g3 white pawn
e2 white pawn
f2 white pawn
g2 white bishop
h2 white pawn
b1 white rook
c1 white bishop
d1 white queen
f1 white rook
g1 white king
8
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1
a b c d e f g h
  • 1. c4

As a first move this may transpose back to a QP opening: 1.c4 Nf6 2.d4. That would not be an English opening. The English is a system of development, flexible but including some or all of these moves:

  1. QN to c3
  2. KB fianchettoed on g2
  3. KN to f3 or e2
  4. 0-0
  5. QP to d3
  6. R to b1 followed by b2-b4-b5
Variation 2
a b c d e f g h
8
Chessboard480.svg
a8 black rook
c8 black bishop
d8 black queen
e8 black king
f8 black bishop
h8 black rook
a7 black pawn
b7 black pawn
c7 black pawn
f7 black pawn
g7 black pawn
h7 black pawn
c6 black knight
d5 black knight
e5 black pawn
d3 white pawn
f3 white knight
g3 white pawn
a2 white pawn
b2 white pawn
e2 white pawn
f2 white pawn
g2 white bishop
h2 white pawn
a1 white rook
b1 white knight
c1 white bishop
d1 white queen
e1 white king
h1 white rook
8
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1
a b c d e f g h
Variation 3
a b c d e f g h
8
Chessboard480.svg
a8 black rook
b8 black knight
c8 black bishop
d8 black queen
e8 black king
f8 black bishop
h8 black rook
a7 black pawn
b7 black pawn
c7 black pawn
f7 black pawn
g7 black pawn
h7 black pawn
f6 black knight
d5 black pawn
e5 white pawn
c3 white knight
a2 white pawn
b2 white pawn
d2 white pawn
f2 white pawn
g2 white pawn
h2 white pawn
a1 white rook
c1 white bishop
d1 white queen
e1 white king
f1 white bishop
g1 white knight
h1 white rook
8
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1
a b c d e f g h
  • Variation 1.

1.c4 Nf6 2.Nc3 g6 3.g3 Bg7 4.Bg2 0-0 5.d3 d6 6.Nf3 e5 7.0-0 Nc6 8.Rb1 a5 9.a3 h6 10.b4 axb4 11.axb4 Be6 12.b5 This sequence shows the system fully in operation. White operates in the centre and Q-side; Black operates more on the K-side.

  • Variation 2.

1.c4 e5 2.g3 Nf6 3.Bg2 d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.Nf3 Nc6 6.d3 This has the character of a Sicilian defence reversed.

  • Variation 3.

1.c4 Nf6 2.Nc3 e6 3.e4 d5 4.cxd5 exd5 5.e5 Here 5...d4, 5...Ne4 and 5...Nfd7 are most often played. This is a quite different line, where the two sides clash early in the centre. Since White does not have to play 3.e4, he could avoid this line.

Each of these lines has its own distinct character, and needs to be learnt by the player.

kids search engine
English opening Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.