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English (A25)
1 c4 e5 2 Nc3 Nc6

Number of games in database: 3529
Years covered: 1880 to 2023
Overall record:
   White wins 37.7%
   Black wins 30.4%
   Draws 31.9%

Popularity graph, by decade

Explore this opening  |  Search for sacrifices in this opening.
With the White Pieces With the Black Pieces
Normunds Miezis  28 games
Viktor Korchnoi  19 games
Srdjan Cvetkovic  18 games
Evgeny Gleizerov  27 games
Vlastimil Hort  24 games
Walter Browne  21 games
NOTABLE GAMES [what is this?]
White Wins Black Wins
Smyslov vs V Liberzon, 1968
Botvinnik vs Reshevsky, 1938
Capablanca vs Milner-Barry, 1936
A Saidy vs Fischer, 1968
S Lorenz vs A Orlov, 2001
Larsen vs Spassky, 1968
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 page 1 of 142; games 1-25 of 3,529  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. W Paulsen vs Blackburne ½-½791880Wiesbaden CongressA25 English
2. Bird vs D M Martinez 0-17818896th American Chess Congress, New YorkA25 English
3. B Koyalovich vs G Vasiliev ½-½501891Match University-Technological InstituteA25 English
4. K De Weydlich vs K Walbrodt  0-13518949th DSB Congress, LeipzigA25 English
5. Blackburne vs Marshall 1-0231901Monte CarloA25 English
6. J Mason vs J F Barry  ½-½5519027th Anglo-American Cable MatchA25 English
7. Swiderski vs H Suechting 0-122190414th DSB Congress, CoburgA25 English
8. S Levitsky vs Chigorin  0-15419064th All Russian TournamentA25 English
9. E Delmar vs L Rosen  0-1351908NYSCA Mid-Summer Meeting. Trophy SectionA25 English
10. C Carls vs Spielmann 1-027191218th DSB Congress, BreslauA25 English
11. C Carls vs Z Barasz  ½-½72191218th DSB Congress, BreslauA25 English
12. J Stapfer vs F Russell  0-1311914New Jersey CC - Brooklyn CC mA25 English
13. De Koning / Fok vs Lasker  ½-½551920Consultation simul, 5bA25 English
14. W John vs K Kullberg  ½-½591920Gothenburg BA25 English
15. T Aalheim vs S J Bjurulf  1-0361920Gothenburg CA25 English
16. C Carls vs M Marchand  0-1491920Gothenburg BA25 English
17. C Carls vs W John 0-146192121. DSB KongressA25 English
18. O Antze vs S Gruber  1-039192222nd DSB KongressA25 English
19. W Hilse vs E Post  0-178192222nd DSB KongressA25 English
20. Alekhine vs Tarrasch 1-0571922ViennaA25 English
21. A Speijer vs Znosko-Borovsky 1-0371923ScheveningenA25 English
22. Colle vs J Mieses  1-0491923Hastings 1923/24A25 English
23. Nimzowitsch vs Alekhine 0-1601925Baden-BadenA25 English
24. Kaprinay vs H Hubner 1-081926corrA25 English
25. E Sapira vs Tartakower  ½-½631926SpaA25 English
 page 1 of 142; games 1-25 of 3,529  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
Jul-14-03  Benjamin Lau: Why does black lock his c pawn in early for???
Jul-14-03  actual: Black plays e5 and Nc6 and this is like a reversed closed sicilian, I don't think black needs the c pawn to help break in the center in this system.
Aug-15-03  Kenneth Sterling: It is called the English Opening after Staunton, who played it often and discussed it in his handbook.
Dec-20-03  slduncan79: Why aren't more beginners taught this opening? As a beginner you might not win with c4 but you're going to stay in the game longer than if you try e4. Yet I know so many people who've been taught to scoff at this move. Heck I had to actually get to be a decent player before I even tried it and I'm very fond of it. If for nothing else because its surprising to a lot of people but better than the Bird or KIA.
Dec-20-03  karnak64: I'd second slduncan79 here. I've been trying the English out lately, and it really leads to interesting games that don't fall into familiar ruts. So I've become fond of it, too, although I'm not yet a decent player (does that make me 'indecent'?). The thing that has surprised me is although the English is supposed to be a 'positional' opening, it can lead to some quick and rough tactics.
Feb-13-04  marcus13: Benjamin Lau. Actually Black don't need to push the c pawn because it will weaken the d6 and d5 case. Black is trying to play a sicilian closed variation in first.
Feb-13-04  Benjamin Lau: Marcus13, actually you're wrong. The d6 and d5 squares are important, but they can be protected in other ways. You've apparently never heard of the Keres line in the English. [bad link] A pretty good line too if I say so myself. After looking over different lines in the English, I've found that it is more a matter of style whether to lock the pawn or not. Having played so many transpositions of English games to d4 games (i.e. 1. c4 Nf6 2. d4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4) rather than real English games (i.e. 1 c4 e5 2. Nc3), I found it difficult at first when I originally considered English mainlines that one would block the c pawn in, but later on I realized that there are many different approaches to beating the English, and mine is apparently different.
Feb-13-04  Benjamin Lau: The heck is wrong with the above link? [bad link.] Ha! Some sort of joke by the server??? Give me a second.
Feb-13-04  Benjamin Lau: Ah, now I see what is wrong. There's a stupid period at the end that screws it all up. English, Bremen System, Keres Variation (A23) is the correct link.
Feb-06-05  Abaduba: <Ben Lau> I know that I'm responding to a kibitzer who dropped off the site last year. But, from what i understand of this method of fighting the English, Black plans to break with f5, so moving c5 is waste of time-doesn't develop a piece, weakens the d-pawn, and allows a possible q-side attack by White to hit something a move earlier.
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: Abaduba, that isn't necessarily so. The Botvinnik Formation for either White or Black includes the pawn formation ...c5, ...d6, ...e5 and ...f5, combined with a Nc6, Nge7, Be6, Qd7 and Bg7. The pawn rush down the King side could continue, maybe the d6-d5 is on, or the eventual Queen side break with the b-pawn can follow.
Sep-26-05  elh: <slduncan78>: Beginners should not play to "stay in the game longer", they should play open games which teach tactics and piece play, which must be understood before moving into more strategic avenues. When I started playing I used flank openings, Reti, etc, and sometimes lasted longer, but I was a bad player. Then I moved to 1. e4 and, though I lost quicker for a little while, picked up 300 rating points in a few months.
Feb-19-09  FiveofSwords: Honestly, I dont mean any offense, but this much too common idea of being passive to survive longer is a serious pet peeve of mine. 'Staying in the game longer' is another way of saying 'help im terrified of actually playing chess! i dont have enough imagination to actually look at moves' You can stay in the game for quite a while by playing d3,e3,ne2,nd2, etc etc and just refuse to fight the other guy and make him take forver to finially get enough support to reach your position without overextending. But playing this way will never make you a strong player and your results will be dismal against decent opponents.
Feb-20-09  chessman95: <elh> I completely agree. Teaching beginners this opening would be a bad mistake. The pawn move c4 blocks in white's light-squared bishop, so biginners could not learn the importance of pinning knights, attacking f7, etc. Only advanced players who know how to effectively develop their peices from this cramped position should play it, and even then it should only be a surprise weapon.
Feb-20-09  Jim Bartle: My problem with the English is different. It always seems of matter of weak squares and strong squares in the center. I like it aesthetically, but it's too complex for me.
Feb-20-09  chessman95: I'm with you. Whenever I try to play this opening, I find myself in a cramped position with my peices tripping over each other trying to cover everything that (usually) gets attacked.

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