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English, Four Knights, Kingside Fianchetto (A29)
1 c4 e5 2 Nc3 Nc6 3 Nf3 Nf6 4 g3

Number of games in database: 3288
Years covered: 1866 to 2023
Overall record:
   White wins 34.9%
   Black wins 23.1%
   Draws 42.0%

Popularity graph, by decade

Explore this opening  |  Search for sacrifices in this opening.
With the White Pieces With the Black Pieces
Wolfgang Uhlmann  76 games
Levon Aronian  40 games
Andras Adorjan  40 games
Sergey Karjakin  29 games
Oleg Romanishin  29 games
Levon Aronian  27 games
NOTABLE GAMES [what is this?]
White Wins Black Wins
Botvinnik vs Keres, 1966
Kasparov vs Ivanchuk, 1988
A Reshko vs O Kaminsky, 1972
Kasparov vs Karpov, 1987
Kasparov vs Karpov, 1987
Serper vs Korchnoi, 1993
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 page 1 of 132; games 1-25 of 3,288  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Bird vs Steinitz 0-1371866FAKE GAMEA29 English, Four Knights, Kingside Fianchetto
2. Rubinstein vs Tarrasch ½-½601914St. PetersburgA29 English, Four Knights, Kingside Fianchetto
3. C Carls vs Flamberg ½-½49191419th DSB Congress, MannheimA29 English, Four Knights, Kingside Fianchetto
4. C Carls vs W John 0-1341920Gothenburg BA29 English, Four Knights, Kingside Fianchetto
5. C Carls vs Gruenfeld  1-0391920Gothenburg BA29 English, Four Knights, Kingside Fianchetto
6. Tartakower vs Gruenfeld  ½-½261922Grünfeld - TartakowerA29 English, Four Knights, Kingside Fianchetto
7. Rubinstein vs C C Brooks 0-1271925Simul, 30bA29 English, Four Knights, Kingside Fianchetto
8. C Carls vs Bogoljubov ½-½581925Baden-BadenA29 English, Four Knights, Kingside Fianchetto
9. P Ostrovsky vs G Ravinsky  1-0261926MatchA29 English, Four Knights, Kingside Fianchetto
10. O Antze vs Saemisch 1-0311926HannoverA29 English, Four Knights, Kingside Fianchetto
11. C Carls vs Bogoljubov ½-½461927BremenA29 English, Four Knights, Kingside Fianchetto
12. C Carls vs Krause  1-0571928HamburgA29 English, Four Knights, Kingside Fianchetto
13. Capablanca vs C H Reid 0-1201928Simul, 32bA29 English, Four Knights, Kingside Fianchetto
14. J Gudmundsson vs L Prokes 0-1311930Hamburg OlympiadA29 English, Four Knights, Kingside Fianchetto
15. G A Thomas vs Colle 0-1471930FrankfurtA29 English, Four Knights, Kingside Fianchetto
16. I Mazel vs Lisitsin  ½-½271931USSR ChampionshipA29 English, Four Knights, Kingside Fianchetto
17. P Vaitonis vs M Feigin  1-03619333rd Match Riga - KaunasA29 English, Four Knights, Kingside Fianchetto
18. V Mikenas vs E Andersen  ½-½471933Folkestone OlympiadA29 English, Four Knights, Kingside Fianchetto
19. S A Ordel vs A S Blankstein  0-1301935Kharkov 1st CategoryA29 English, Four Knights, Kingside Fianchetto
20. Szabo vs J Balogh  ½-½191935TatatovarosA29 English, Four Knights, Kingside Fianchetto
21. Kashdan vs J Belson  1-034193536th ACF Congress. Championship FInalA29 English, Four Knights, Kingside Fianchetto
22. P Vaitonis vs I Pleci 0-1361935Warsaw OlympiadA29 English, Four Knights, Kingside Fianchetto
23. P Vaitonis vs Szabo 1-0321935Warsaw OlympiadA29 English, Four Knights, Kingside Fianchetto
24. Lisitsin vs E Zagoryansky  1-0351936Trade Unions ChampionshipA29 English, Four Knights, Kingside Fianchetto
25. M L Hanauer vs W Adams  1-0431936United States ChampionshipA29 English, Four Knights, Kingside Fianchetto
 page 1 of 132; games 1-25 of 3,288  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Dec-19-04  tomh72000: <Willem Wallekers> Surely there are worst things in the world? I would much rather use descriptive than for example the "1.e2-e4 e7-e5 2.Ng1-f3" style, which I find effective only at inducing headaches and nausea.
Dec-19-04  Minor Piece Activity: Lol both induce nausea for me. ;) It's not hard to learn descriptive but algebraic is so much more common today and somewhat better IMO. <Ruy> I used to play the English at one point and this is a great defense, probably one of the best. Black has very good dynamic chances in this line especially if he decides to play Bb4 and go into a formation similar to the Nimzo but better IMHO because white doesn't have d4 in. Kasparov vs Karpov, 1987 is the classic example and went a long way in developing the theory for this opening. You can play d6 and block in your bishop if you really don't want to give up the bishop pair but it's not in the spirit of this line and isn't very good either. You can also play d5 instead which is a lot more aggressive (ends up in a sort of reverse Sicilian Dragon) but I've found that black's position is a bit loose, might not be that great against a good player who knows what he is doing.
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: Ruy Lopez, this is potentially an excellent choice vs. the English, as Black can to some extent dictate the course of events. White can't really vary without allowing equality; for example, 3.g3 is strongly met by 3...c6. If you are good at keeping your minor pieces active, and if you are good at exploiting pawn weaknesses, and if you are good at defusing the potential menace of the two Bishops, *and* you can learn a lot of theory, you should have excellent results.
Dec-20-04  EnglishOpeningc4: <Ruy> this variation is a strong one for black, but I think the variation where black plays ...f5 before developing his knight is better
Dec-20-04  EnglishOpeningc4: N McDonald-Thipsay
Lloyds Bank London 1986
1.c2-c4 e7-e5 2.♘b1-c3 ♘b8-c6 3.g2-g3 g7-g6 4.♗f1-g2 ♗f8-g7 5.♘g1-f3 d7-d6 6.d2-d3 f7-f5 7.0-0 ♘g8-f6 8.♗c1-g5 h7-h6 9.♗g5xf6 ♕d8xf6 10.♘c3-d5 ♕f6-f7 11.b2-b4 0-0 12.♖a1-b1 g6-g5 13.a2-a4 ♘c6-d8 14.b4-b5 c7-c6 15.♘d5-b4 ♗c8-e6 16.♘f3-d2 ♖a8-c8 17.♘d2-b3 g5-g4 18.b5xc6 b7xc6 19.♘b3-a5 ♕f7-d7 20.♘b4-a6 f5-f4 21.♗g2-e4 ♕d7-f7 22.♘a6-b4 d6-d5 23.♗e4-h1 f4-f3 24.e2xf3 g4xf3 25.♖f1-e1 ♗e6-g4 26.♘b4-c2 d5-d4 27.c4-c5 ♘d8-e6 28.♘a5-c4 ♕f7-h5 29.♖b1-b7 ♘e6-g5 30.h2-h4 ♘g5-h3+ 31.♔g1-f1 ♗g7-f6 32.♖e1-e4 ♗f6xh4 33.♘c4xe5 ♘h3xf2 34.g3xh4 ♘f2xe4 35.d3xe4 ♗g4-h3+ 36.♔f1-g1 f3-f2+ 37.♔g1-h2 ♕h5xd1 38.♘c2xd4 ♕d1xh1+ 39.♔h2xh1 f2-f1♕+ 40.♔h1-h2 ♕f1-g2# 0-1
Dec-20-04  ruylopez900: Thanks to all who responded and to Minor Piece Activity for providing the educating game.
Dec-21-04  KKW: DO you guys know any good responses for white after 1. c4 c5
Dec-22-04  ruylopez900: <KKW> You might wand to try the page with c4 c5 played. However I've always known the four knights variation there (ie the diagram above with black pawn from e5 to c5. good luck with finding the information.
Dec-23-04  KKW: Thanks a lot!
Jul-10-05  aaroncummings: play my aaron cummings
Oct-13-05  Averageguy: I always lose against the English. Here is one game I played one and a half weeks ago. I was black and I lost horribly, and I'm not sure where I went wrong. 1.c4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.Nf3 Nc6 4.g3 Bc5 5.Bg2 0-0 6.0-0 d6 7.Na4 Be6 8.Nxc5 dxc5 9.b3 Nd7 10.d3 h6 11.Bb2 f5 12.e3 Qe8 13.d4 e4 14.d5 exf3 15.Bxf3 Bf7 16.dxc6 bxc6 17.Bxc6 Rd8 18.Qc2 Qe6 19. Bg2 Bh5 (a horrible blunder which I have no excuse for)20.Bd5 Resigns. I'm not sure where I went wrong, so comments on this game would be welcomed.
Oct-13-05  Koster: < Averageguy > After 7. Na4 would be a good time to move forward with 7...e4 followed by Re8 and Bf5 gaining space. The e pawn cramps white and is hard to remove without trading most of white's active pieces. You don't want to give up the bishops without getting something in return. 15... Nde5 16. Bg2 Rad8, pinning white's d pawn was better than Bf7, which just loses a pawn. 19...Nf6 looks forced. White should still win but it will take a while.
Oct-13-05  Averageguy: <Koster>Thanks for the comments.
Dec-06-05  Waffles: This is a very powerful system for white. Black does have some very viable options, though. One option is playing an immediate d5 and after cxd5 nxd5 bg2 nb6 0-0 be7, black has a huge space advantage and its a fairly equal game. The other option is playing this line: 1.c4 e5 2.nc3 nf6 3.nf3 nc6 4.g3 bb4 4.bg2 0-0 5.0-0 e4 6.ng5 Bxc3 7.bxc3 re8 8.f3 E3! A strong pawn sacrafice that Karpov first used against Kasparov in their match. Kasparov is .5/2 against this sacrafice with the black pieces. Against this with the white pieces, I play and recommend the move 9.d4!


Dec-06-05  Waffles: not a huge space advantage* just a normal space advantage.*
Dec-30-05  Kwesi: Are there any games in the database where black goes for a reversed yugoslav?

1. c4 Nf6
2. Nc3 e5
3. Nf3 Nc6
4. d3 d5
5. cxd5 Nxd5
6. g3 Be6
7. Bg2 f6
8. O-O Qd7
9. Bd2 Bc5
10. Rc1 Bb6
with ...O-O-O and ...h5 in mind

The games would be very interesting but maybe not so good for black due to whites extra tempo.

Dec-30-05  Averageguy: <kwesi> There is only one game in the DB with 6...Be6 and that is Ragozin vs V Petrov, 1937.
Dec-30-05  Kwesi: So the reversed Yugoslav Attack isn't a popular idea then =)
Dec-31-05  Averageguy: <Kwesi> I guess not.
Mar-11-06  miguel12: I am having trouble coming up with a way to get an advantage as white in the line 1 c4 e5 2 nc3 nf6 3 nf3 nc6 4 g3 bc5. Any suggestions?
Premium Chessgames Member
  tpstar: <miguel12> The database gives 1) 5. Bg2, 2) 5. d3, and 3) 5. Nxe5 Opening Explorer If you don't the 5. Nxe5 Fork Trick idea, then 5. Bg2 is most consistent and Black has these options Opening Explorer On either 5 ... d6 or 5 ... 0-0, I would think 6. 0-0 gives you a playable game, although maybe not the opening advantage you want. You might investigate 4. d4 ed 5. Nxd4 Opening Explorer as being more dynamic.

If you're unsure which lines you like, try playing them out against Little ChessPartner a few times. Good luck.

Mar-27-06  miguel12: Another question about this line - in the reversed dragon, 1 c4 e5 2 nc3 nf6 3 nf3 nc6 4 g3 d5 5 cxd5 nxd5 6 bg2 - why is 6...Nxc3 wrong? A few months ago, I saw in the MCO opening book that Tal had a line ending with , so white should have a large advantage, but i have forgotten the line, and my chessmaster 8000 program cant find it! Any help?
Aug-16-06  Dom Cournoyer: 6... Nxc3 is not so bad. But, it will be easier for White to get the center.
Premium Chessgames Member
  WTHarvey: Here are some traps n zaps from A29 games:
May-15-09  santi.zubi: Miguel Nxc3 is not a good exchange as you will reinforce the white center with a pawn on c3 and open up the b-file for a rook.

Hey guys another really good choice for white versus the pin on b4 is to play 7.Ne1! and recapture your knight with the d-pawn(8.bxc3 d5!), by doing so you will get an open central file and after Nc2, Ne3 and Nd5!you will get an edge, main line goes: 7.Ne1 Bxc3 8.dxc3 h6(otherwise the pin becomes a problem as the knight parries the white control of d5 Uhlmann Reshevsky 1976)9.Nc2 b6(d6 also playable) 10.Ce3 Bb7 11.Cd5 Ce5 12.b3 Rfe8

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