Welcome to my English Opening (ECO A25) game with Houle 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.

[Event “ICC 60 0”]
[Site “Internet Chess Club”]
[Date “2006.07.18”]
[Round “-“]
[White “OnGoldenPawn”]
[Black “Houle”]
[Result “0-1”]
[ICCResult “White got disconnected and forfeits”]
[WhiteElo “1549”]
[BlackElo “1574”]
[Opening “English: Sicilian reversed”]
[ECO “A25”]
[NIC “EO.20”]
[Time “20:13:47”]
[TimeControl “3600+0”]

1. c4 e5 2. Nc3 Nc6 3. g3 f5 4. Bg2 Nf6 5. d3 d6 6. e4 Be6 7. Nd5 h6 8. Ne2
fxe4 9. dxe4 Be7 10. O-O O-O 11. f4 Na5 12. b3 c6 13. Nxf6+ Bxf6 14. f5 Bf7
15. Ba3 Be7 16. g4 b5 17. cxb5 cxb5 18. Qd2 Qb6+ 19. Kh1 Rab8 20. Rfd1 b4
21. Bc1 Rfd8 22. Qe3 Qb7 {White got disconnected and forfeits} 0-1

Online Chess Game
Game Played 18 July 2006
White: Mike Serovey (1549) Black: Houle (1574)

1. c4 e5 2. Nc3 Nc6 3. g3 f5

English Opening after 3... f5.

English Opening after 3… f5.

Here Black challenges the Center with f5. White can play 4. d4 and transpose into a Dutch Defense, but has a different plan in mind. Also, White doesn’t know the Dutch Defense. White is planning to play the Tom Stiers line in the Botvinick System.

4. Bg2 Nf6 5. d3 d6

English Opening after 5... d6.

English Opening after 5… d6.

I spent some time thinking about what to play at this point in the game. I considered playing 6. e3 as well as 6. e4. If I had played 6. e3 I would have followed up with 7. Nge2 and attacking on the Queenside. Instead I decided to follow my original plan of playing 6. e4.

6. e4 Be6

English Opening after 6... Be6.

English Opening after 6… Be6.

Black is threatening to play fxe4 and after dxe4 capture to pawn on c4. This game is very similar to one that Mikhail Botvinick played and in that game he played Nd5 so that is what I played here.

7. Nd5 h6 (To keep the White Bishop off g5.) 8. Ne2 fxe4 9. dxe4 Be7 10. O-O O-O

English Opening after 10... 0-0.

English Opening after 10… 0-0.

Both sides are pretty well developed but White still needs to decide where to put his dark-squared Bishop. White opts to expand on the Kingside here.

11. f4 Na5 (Knights usually do NOT belong on the edge of the board.)12. b3 c6

English Opening after 12... c6.

English Opening after 12… c6.

Black is forcing the White Knight on d5 to move. White’s choices are to retreat the Knight to c3, capture the Black Bishop on e7 or capture the Black Knight on f6. White opted for the last choice because the Black Bishop is blocked in by his own pawns and thus is a “tall pawn”. The Black Knight on f6 is active at this point in the game. There is nothing wrong with playing the Knight back to c3, but it doesn’t do anything either.

13. Nxf6+ Bxf6 14. f5 Bf7

English Opening after 14... Bf7.

English Opening after 14… Bf7.

White continues to expand on the Kingside and Black keeps his Bishop aimed at d5. The Black pawn on d6 is now a target that White will put pressure on.

15. Ba3 (Adding to the pressure on d6.) Be7 16. g4 b5

English Opening after 16... B5.

English Opening after 16… B5.

Black’s dark-squared Bishop isn’t doing much. Black expands on the Queenside to get some counter play. White wants to keep the pressure on d6.

17. cxb5 cxb5 18. Qd2 Qb6+ 19. Kh1 Rab8

English Opening after 19... Rab8.

English Opening after 19… Rab8.

Black wants to take the pressure off d6 by blocking the Bishop at a3 and forcing the Bishop to retreat. White keeps pressure on d6 by bringing a Rook over to d1.

20. Rfd1 b4 21. Bc1 Rfd8 22. Qe3 Qb7 0-1

English Opening after 22... Qb7 (Final position).

English Opening after 22… Qb7 (Final position).

At this point in the game the ICC server disconnected White for no apparent reason! White honestly thought that Black was the one who got disconnected and waited about 20 minutes for Black to reconnect. When White finally realized that he was the one disconnected from the server and reconnected it was too late to finish the game. His opponent was already playing someone else. My analysis of this position shows that White’s best move here is to play 23. Qf3 to prevent Black from playing d5. White could then continue with Be3, Rd2 and Rad1 to keep pressure on d6.

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