ForumHelpSearchMy ProfileSite InfoGuests InfoRepertoireLinks

The Latest Developments - December 2002

First, I must apologise for the tardiness of this update, but like so many of my colleagues, I will certainly produce the January one more quickly!

Thanks to all those that wrote with questions, both here and on the Forum, I have answered some here, the others in my latest E-mailbag.


To download the December '02 Flank Openings games directly in PGN form click here: Download Games

English 1...e5

English 1...c5

English 1...Nf6 & others



English Opening



[A26]: On the Forum Edward Dearing was wondering about the Botvinnik System, 1.c4 e5 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.g3 g6 4.Bg2 Bg7 5.d3 d6 6.e4 f5 7.Nge2 Nf6 8.0-0 0-0 9.Nd5 and now the move Ne7!?.

and so I have had a good look at this in the notes to the game Belotti,B - Collutiis,D.

[A26]: Although it is only a quick game, I always take notice when the World number one plays the English, and in particular the Botvinnik System. Actually his move-order was not the most accurate, and to see why have a look at Kasparov,G - Paehtz,E.

[A29]: The Dragon Reversed is one of Black's best systems against the English, in my opinion, so it was with some enjoyment that I played through the game Cvitan,O - Sermek,D, where White managed to achieve a 'Sicilian' exchange sacrifice and won easily.



[A33]: It is time to have another look at 6 a3 in the Four Knights, one of the more popular moves at the moment, and in Avrukh,B - Sutovsky,E Black tried my preferred system, 6...Nxd4 7 Qxd4 b6 when White replied with the strongest move, Korchnoi's 8 Qf4!

Black tried a new idea, but with his king stuck in the centre was unceremoniously mown-down by White's tactical skill.


1...Nf6 & others

[A10]: Avrukh,B - Shachar,E features another emphatic victory from Avrukh, but this time in a pure positional style. One of the pleasures of playing the English Opening occurs when your opponent tries to play a Stonewall Dutch formation against you, and Black must have been sorely regretting his choice of opening when he found his bishop on f7, and devoid of squares!

[A10]: 'Not another Botvinnik System you cry!' Well, yes, and no, as in Damljanovic,B - Kindermann,S White plays the standard set-up, but Black responds with one of his pet plans involving ...c5, ...e5, and then ...Nd4. Against this White played an excellent pawn sacrifice and won nicely. This plan is one to remember!

[A19]: Subscriber Paul Cumbers wrote: «The game Williams v Emms (Hastings Masters '95) saw a very interesting gambit with: 1.c4 c5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.e4 Nc6 4.g3 e6 5.Bg2 d5!?

when after 6.exd5 exd5 7.Nxd5 Nxd5 8.Bxd5, Black had good compensation for the pawn.

Has this line (with 5...d5!?) received any attention since? Is it any good? I've tried it a couple of times myself as Black (once, unsuccessfully of course, against Matthew Turner!)...»

This line can arise from a number of different move-orders, for instance 1 c4 Nf6 2 Nc3 e6 3.e4 c5 and now instead of the powerful move 4 e5! White can try to keep d5 controlled by 4 g3 Nc6 5.Bg2, say. So, in answer to your question, yes this line has been played since, and yes, it is very good (I would definitely not allow it if I had White).

Anyway, have a look at the game Hertneck,G - Zeller,F where White gets beautifully mangled.



[A06]: More original play from Speelman, this time against Cooper at the 4NCL. A reversed Nimzo structure is reached, and White wins comfortably, however, there is more to this game than meets the eye, and Black could have caused the GM difficult problems, see Speelman,J - Cooper,J.


Don't forget to pop over to my December E-mailbag!

Please feel free to share any of your thoughts with me, whatever they are, suggestions, criticisms (just the polite ones, please), etc. Drop me a line at

Till next month, Tony K

English 1...e5

English 1...c5

English 1...Nf6 & others