|The English Opening is the chess opening 1.c4 (in algebraic notation), the fourth most popular opening move in chess. White hopes to control the center by first gaining support on the side. Common responses for Black are 1...e5 (which can lead to positions similar to the Sicilian Defense but with opposite colors), 1...c5 or 1...Nf6. White has the option of opening the game early with d4, or to prepare with a fianchetto of the king´s bishop (g3 and Bg2).|
If White does play d4, then the English can transpose into either the Queen´s Gambit or an Indian Defense.
Although there are many lines of the English with a distinct character, it also frequently transposes into other openings. For example, after
the game has transposed into the Grünfeld Defence, usually reached by the move order
- 1.c4 Nf6 2.Nc3 g6 3.d4 d5
- 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5
The opening derives its name from the English (unofficial) world champion, Howard Staunton, who played it during his 1843 match with Amant. It fell out of favor (the opening was notably disdained by Morphy), but is now recognized as solid hypermodern play. Botvinnik, Karpov, and Kasparov all employed it during their world championship matches, and Bobby Fischer created a stir when he switched to it from the King´s Pawn against Spassky in 1972.