Welcome to my English Opening game (ECO A15) with H. Ross page!

On this page I have posted one my chess games in which I played the White side of the English Opening.

The game includes analysis and diagrams. This game went 77 moves before Black resigned. I was up a pawn for most of the endgame and just kept trading down until I got a position that was King versus King and pawn. He could not stop me from queening that last pawn. This game was nothing brilliant, just grinding my opponent down until I had a clear win. Sometimes, wearing my opponent down is the only way to win.

Florida Class Championship
Round 5, Board 21
Game Played 25 February 1990
White: Mike Serovey (1772)  Black: H. Ross (1723)

1. c4 Nf6 2. g3 Nc6 3. Bg2 e6

English Opening after 3... e6.

English Opening after 3… e6.

Black’s strategy is one that I rarely see against the English opening.

4. d3 Bc5 5. e3 O-O 6. Nf3 d5 7. cxd5 exd5 8. O-O Bg4 9. Qc2 Bb6

English Opening after 9... Bb6.

English Opening after 9… Bb6.

Black has a lead in development which gives him a slight advantage, but it doesn’t last long.

10. a3 Rb8 11. d4 Ne7 12. Nc3 c6 13. Bd2 Bf5 14. Qb3 Bd3

English Opening after 14... Bd3.

English Opening after 14… Bd3.

Both sides have developed all of their pieces and the material is still even. Now Black tries to take advantage of some light-squared weaknesses in White’s position.

15. Rfc1 Bc4 16. Qd1 Nf5 17. Ne5 Ba6 18. b4 Nd6 19. Na4 Bc7 20. Nc5 Bc4

English Opening after 20... Bc4.

English Opening after 20… Bc4.

Black is trying to avoid doubled pawns so he puts his light-squared Bishop on a square that allows him to recapture with a Knight. However, capturing on c4 with a pawn does give Black a passed pawn that White would have to deal with.

21. Nxc4 Nxc4 22. Bf1 b5 23. Qc2 Bd6 24. Bd3 Bxc5 25. dxc5 Nxd2

English Opening after 25... Nxd2.

English Opening after 25… Nxd2.

The Black Knight at c4 was on a strong outpost square and was causing some problems for White. If White captured on c4 with his Bishop then Black would end up with a passed pawn on the c file. The White Bishop on d2 wasn’t really doing anything so Black would have been better off leaving his Knight on c4. Now, White will have a Bishop versus a Knight in the endgame, which can be a sigh advantage for White.

26. Qxd2 Nd7 27. Qc2 g6 28. Bf1 Ne5 29. Bg2 Nc4

English Opening after 29... Nc4.

English Opening after 29… Nc4.

Black has maneuvered his remaining Knight to the strong outpost square of c4. White has his Bishop back on g2 where it belongs. Black now has some dark-squared weaknesses around his King but White cannot easily take advantage of this, though.

30. Rd1 Qf6 31. Ra2 Rfd8 32. Re1 Ne5 33. f4 Nc4 34. e4 dxe4 35. Bxe4 Rd4

English Opening after 35... Rd4.

English Opening after 35… Rd4.

At this point it is hard to say if we are still in the middle game or now in the endgame. Either way, this game goes on for another 42 moves! Black controls the d file while White controls the e file. White wants the pawn at c6 but after Black’s next move needs to guard d1 instead.

36. Qg2 Rbd8 37. Bf3 Rd2 38. Rxd2 Rxd2 39. Qh3 Qd4+ 40. Kh1

English Opening after 40. Kh1.

English Opening after 40. Kh1.

After taking another look at this position I realized that 40… Nxa3 still loses after 41. Qh6! threatening 42. Re8#. So play would continue with 41… Qd8 42. f5 gxf5 43. g4 Kh8 44. gxf5 f6 45. Qh5 Kg7 46. Qg4+ Kh8 47. Bxc6!! Nc2 48. Re8+ Qxe8 49. Bxe8 Ne3. 50. Qh5 Rd1+ 51. Qxd1 Nxd1 52. c6 Nf2+ 53. Kg2 Ne4 54. c7 Nd6 55. Bxb5 Kg7 56. Ba6 Kf8 57. Kf3 Ke7 58. c8=N+ Nxc8 59. Bxc8 and White is up a whole Bishop and thus winning.

Ne3 41. Qc8+ Kg7 42. Qe8 Nd5 43. Qe5+!

English Opening after 43. Qe5+!

English Opening after 43. Qe5+!

White has now forced the exchange of the queens which eliminates any concerns about getting checkmated in the corner. Now the tide starts to turn in White’s favor. This goes to show that the game isn’t over until it is over.

Qxe5 44. Rxe5 f6 45. Re6 Rd3 46. Bxd5 cxd5

English Opening after 46... cxd5.

English Opening after 46… cxd5.

We are now in a rook and pawn endgame. Each side has a passed pawn but White ends up winning a pawn somehow in the following series of pawn captures.

47. Re7+ Kh6 48. Rxa7 d4 49. Rd7 Rd1+ 50. Kg2 d3 51. c6 Rc1 52. Rxd3 Rxc6 53. Rd5 Rc3 54. Rxb5 Rxa3

English Opening after 54... Rxa3.

English Opening after 54… Rxa3.

White is now up a passed pawn on the b file but his Rook belongs behind that pawn, not in front of it. After a few moves play switches to the Kingside. However, White manages to keep his extra pawn for the rest of this game.

55. Rb8 Rb3 56. b5 Kh5 57. Kh3 f5 58. b6 g5 59. fxg5 f4 60. b7 f3

English Opening after 60... f3.

English Opening after 60… f3.

White has a passed pawn on b7 but now must abandon it in order to deal with Black’s passed pawn on f3. White is now up 2 pawns but only manages to keep one of them.

61. Rf8 Rxb7 62. Rxf3 Kxg5 63. Rf8 Rg7

English Opening after 63... Rg7.

English Opening after 63… Rg7.

White has trapped the Black King on the g and h files. I think that Black’s last move was played in order to prevent 64. Rg8+ which would either have trapped the Black King on the h file or forced it away from White’s pawns. Another try was 63… Rb3.

64. g4 Rg6 65. Rf5+ Kh6 66. Kh4 Kg7

English Opening after 66... Kg7.

English Opening after 66… Kg7.

Notice how Black is forced to retreat while White advances his King and pawns.

67. h3 h6 68. Kh5 Rc6 69. h4 Rd6 70. Ra5 Kg8 71. g5 hxg5 72. hxg5 Rd1

English Opening after 72... Rd1.

English Opening after 72… Rd1.

Notice how the Black King is trapped in a corner. He must remain there in order to prevent White from queening his pawn. Also note that White is the only one with any pawns left. White’s next move pins the Black King to his first rank. Black has a spite check and then he has to deal with back rank mate threats.

73. Ra7 Rh1+ 74. Kg6 Rf1 75. Ra8+ Rf8 76. Rxf8+ Kxf8 77. Kh7 1-0

English Opening after 77. Kh7 (Final position).

English Opening after 77. Kh7 (Final position).

White forced the exchange of rooks on f8 which put the Black King out of position to prevent Kh7. There is now way that Black can prevent White from queening his only pawn and White definitely knows how to checkmate with a King and a Queen!

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