The English Defence (1 d4 e6 2 c4 b6) is a dynamic, counter-attacking line, initially investigated by English grandmasters. Black aims to set White difficult problems to solve at the very earliest stage of the game. Black's play is provocative – aiming to lure White into establishing a big pawn centre. This is a risky strategy as White falls behind in development and Black switfly becomes very active. However, if White's response is more circumspect then Black can often manoeuvre into favourable structures reminiscent of positions arising from the Nimzo-Indian Defence, the Queen's Indian Defence or even the Dutch.
José González provides an excellent analysis of this complex opening and carves out a powerful repertoire for Black covering all lines after 1 d4. It is possible for White to avoid the "English battle" by playing either 2 Nf3 or even 2 e4 (a rare move for 1 d4 players but seen occasionally). Gonzalez champions an aggressive variant of the Dutch against 2 Nf3 and outlines a simple but effective French Defence repertoire to counter 2 e4.
- A complete repertoire for Black to counter 1 d4.
- The question and answer approach provides an excellent study method.