Welcome to my English Opening game with Denis (The Ancient Brit) page!

On this page I have posted my game where I played The English Opening against Denis (The Ancient Brit) at Stan’s NetChess.

This game includes analysis and diagrams.  I was actually playing against his chess software, named Dave, at a 1792 rating level. Denis is 68 years old and is from Bangor, Wales.

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[Event “Game 287786”]
[Site “Stan’s NetChess”]
[Date “2004.12.19”]
[Round “?”]
[White “mserovey”]
[Black “The Ancient Brit”]
[Result “1-0”]

1. c4 g6 2. Nc3 Bg7 3. g3 Nc6 4. Bg2 Bxc3 5. bxc3 Ne5 6. Qb3 d6 7. d4 Nd7 8.
e4  a5 9. Ne2 Ngf6 10. O-O c5 11. f4 O-O 12. h3 Ne8 13. g4 cxd4 14. cxd4 Kh8 15.
Rb1  f6 16. Qc3 Nc7 17. e5 fxe5 18. dxe5 dxe5 19. Bb2 Ne6 20. Bd5 Ng7 21. fxe5
Rxf1+  22. Rxf1 e6 23. Be4 Qe8 24. Qf3 a4 25. Ba3 Qg8 26. Bd6 Ra6 27. Bxb7 Bxb7 28.
Qxb7 Ra8 29. Qxd7 h5 30. Qf7 Qxf7 31. Rxf7 Kg8 32. Rf6 Rc8 33. c5 g5 34.
gxh5  Nxh5 35. Rg6+ Ng7 36. Rxg5 Kf7 37. Nd4 Rh8 38. Kg2 Rh4 39. Rg4 Rh8 40. c6
Nf5  41. Nxf5 exf5 42. Rxa4 Ke6 43. c7 Kd7 44. Rb4 Rg8+ 45. Kf3 Rc8 46. Rb8 Rxc7
47.  Bxc7 Kxc7 48. Rf8 1-0

1. c4 g6 2. Nc3 Bg7 3. g3 Nc6 4. Bg2

English Opening after 4.Bg2

English Opening after 4.Bg2

I usually play the English Opening in this move order so that I can see what Black does before I commit some of my pieces and pawns. I get more flexibility this way.

Bxc3?

English Opening after 4... Bxc3?

English Opening after 4… Bxc3?

The software, Dave, played a move that leaves “his” Kingside position a little weak. There is now a dark-squared weakness around where the King is going to castle to.

5. bxc3 Ne5

English Opening after 5... Ne5

English Opening after 5… Ne5

Black moves the Knight for a second time, before completing his development, to try to grab a pawn. The Knight gets kicked shortly and has to move again, wasting more time.

6. Qb3 d6 7. d4 Nd7

English Opening after 7... Nd7

English Opening after 7… Nd7

This is the third time that this Knight has moved. White now has slight lead in development and more space.  Now, White expands in the Center.

8. e4 a5 (Does nothing.) 9. Ne2 Ngf6 10. O-O c5

English Opening after 10... c5

English Opening after 10… c5

Here Black tries to undermine White’s pawn structure in the Center. Now, White has an even bigger lead in development.

11. f4

English Opening after 11. f4

English Opening after 11. f4

At this point Denis stated that his program, Dave, had a worried look on his face because of my broad pawn center. I want Black to capture on d4 and undouble my pawns. Later, he obliges. A general rule of opening development is to castle by move ten. Black missed this by one move.

O-O 12. h3 Ne8

English Opening after 12... Ne8

English Opening after 12… Ne8

Undevelops a piece. Although Nimzovitch and Réti were both known to play moves like these, they always did so to reposition the knights to better squares. I didn’t see that happening here.

13. g4 cxd4 14. cxd4 Kh8

English Opening after 14... Kh8

English Opening after 14… Kh8

Black’s last move does nothing. Now, I have the exact setup that I wanted. White has a big lead in both space and development. This position is quite typical of the way I like to play the English Opening.

15. Rb1f6 16. Qc3

English Opening after 16. Qc3

English Opening after 16. Qc3

Now, White controls both long diagonals. I’m planning to break open the Center with simultaneous attacks on both the pawn on b7 and Black’s King.

Nc7 (The third time that this Knight has moved.) 17. e5 fxe5 18. dxe5 dxe5 19. Bb2

English Opening after 19. Bb2

English Opening after 19. Bb2

The Black pawn on e5 is pinned to the Black King so I don’t need to be in a hurry to recapture it. By putting the Bishop on b2 I’m threatening mate. Also, I didn’t want to recapture with my King after 19. fxe5 Rxf1+. Also, I didn’t want to take my white-squared Bishop off the long diagonal. Now, I can recapture with my Rook on b1 and keep control of the f file.

Ne6 (Fourth time this Knight has moved.) 20. Bd5 Ng7 (fifth time) 21. fxe5

English Opening after 21. fxe5

English Opening after 21. fxe5

Now White can recapture the Pawn. White has isolated pawns on a2, c4, and e5. Black has the isolated pawn on e7. If Black allows me to play e6 I’ll win a piece because of the threat on both knights.

Rxf1+ 22. Rxf1 e6 (Stops my threat of mate after e6.) 23. Be4

English Opening after 23. Be4

English Opening after 23. Be4

I placed my Bishop here in order to keep control of both long diagonals and to keep pressure against Black’s Kingside. White no longer has e6 as a threat, but still can keep pressure on the Black Kingside with other moves.

Qe8 24. Qf3 a4 25. Ba3

English Opening after 25. Ba3

English Opening after 25. Ba3

Now, White give up the long diagonal from a1 to h8. The Pawn on e5 blocks the diagonal anyway. I’m tempting Black to play 25… Nxe5 26. Qf8+ Qxf8 27. Rxf8#. This is possible because Black has yet to develop his Queenside Rook and Bishop. White has a tremendous lead in both space and development!

Qg8 26. Bd6

English Opening after 26. Bd6

English Opening after 26. Bd6

Protecting the Pawn on e5. Now Black can take it because Black doesn’t have to capture my Queen after Qf8 because it is no longer a check.

Ra6? (Finally develops that Rook! However, Ra7 protects the Pawn on b7.) 27. Bxb7 Bxb7 28.Qxb7 Ra8?

English Opening after 28... Ra8?

English Opening after 28… Ra8?

The Knight was lost either way. I think that Rb6 was stronger because it grabs the open b file and after 29. Qxd7 Rb2 30. Nc3 Rc2 Black can get one of his pawns back. White is still better, though.

29. Qxd7 h5 (Gives the Black King a little room to run.) 30. Qf7 Qxf7 31. Rxf7

English Opening after 31 Rxf7

English Opening after 31 Rxf7

Now, White controls the f file and Black’s second rank. White also has a passed Pawn on the c file and an extra Bishop.

Kg8 (This stops White from playing Rf8+ forcing the exchange of rooks.)  32. Rf6 Rc8 33. c5 g5 34. gxh5 Nxh5

English Opening after 34... Nxh5

English Opening after 34… Nxh5

Now, White has a choice between playing Rxe6 and Rg6+ winning the g Pawn. I chose the latter move hoping to win that Knight too.

35. Rg6+ Ng7 36. Rxg5 Kf7

English Opening after 36... Kf7

English Opening after 36… Kf7

This breaks the pin on the Knight at g7 and protects the Pawn on e6. Now White has an extra Bishop and passed pawns on both the c file and the h file. Black is clearly lost here.

37. Nd4 Rh8 38. Kg2 Rh4 39. Rg4

English Opening after 39. Rg4

English Opening after 39. Rg4

Because I’m up material I want to trade rooks. I’m also thinking about sacrificing the Rook for the Knight on g7 and counting on my passed pawns to compensate for the exchange sacrifice. The pawns would be easier to queen without the Black Rook in my way! However, I decided to push the passed c Pawn first and save the sacrifice for later. It turns out that it wasn’t necessary to win.

Rh8 40. c6 Nf5 41. Nxf5 exf5 42. Rxa4 Ke6 43. c7 Kd7 44. Rb4 Rg8+ 45. Kf3 Rc8 46. Rb8

English Opening after 46. Rb8

English Opening after 46. Rb8

This is the position that I wanted ever since about move 42. If Black plays 46… Rxb8?? then 47. cxb7=Q and Black is quickly mated after that! If Black plays 46… f4 I simply ignore the Pawn and play 47. Rxc8 Kxc8 48. a4 and Black can’t stop both the h Pawn and the a Pawn from queening. Or, I can simply play 48. h4 and Black has to guard the c Pawn and thus cannot stop the h Pawn.

Rxc7 47. Bxc7 Kxc7 48. Rf8 1-0

English Opening after 48. Rf8 (Final position)

English Opening after 48. Rf8 (Final position)

Mike Serovey, MA, MISM

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