There are litterally a dozen of popular choices for Black against 1. c4, and the most popular ones are covered in the following opening lines: 1… Nf6 in Lines 009-017, 1… e5 in Lines 005-008 and 1… c5 in Lines 003-004.
For the Queen’s Gambit Declined fans, the most natural choice against the English Opening is the Agincourt Defense 1… e6. If White replies with 2. g3 or 2. Nf3, usually a type of Catalan or Neo-Catalan Defense occurs, while after 2. d4 d5 or 2. Nc3 d5 3. d4 the game transposes to the Queen’s Gambit Declined. Sometimes after 2. Nc3 Black opts for a sort of Queen’s Indian Defense with 2… b6, and here, apart from a transposition to a variation of the English Defense with 3. d4, White also has an interesting possibility in 3. e4 Bb7 4. Nge2, followed by d2-d4.
The Anglo-Dutch 1… f5 is a preference of the Dutch Defense aficionados. Besides shifting to Dutch with 2. d4, White can postpone, or even completely avoid playing d2-d4, like in the following line 2. g3 Nf6 3. Bg2 g6 4. Nc3 Bg7 5. d3, with the idea e2-e4.
Apart from the mentioned lines, Black also has the following options: 1… c6 (usually the preference of the Slav Defense players), 1… g6 or 1… d6, often transposing to some of the Indian Defenses, or 1… b6 with similar position like in the 1… e6 2. Nc3 b6 variation.
[Diagram: White to Move] L. Van Wely – J. Piket, Tilburg 1997. Black’s last move was careless c7-c5. How can White exploit his opponent’s mistake?
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