[February 08, 2018] Updated Opening Line from Dragan Paunović:
English Opening, Symmetrical Variation

[Line 003 : 1. c4 c5 without 2. Nf3]

Move 2. Nf3 often appears from another move order (1. Nf3 c5 2. c4) and can be found in our Line 019, while the other logical continuation 2. Nc3 often transposes to other opening lines.

Most of the Line 003 covers early kingside fianchettoes from both sides – 2. g3 g6 3. Bg2 Bg7 4. Nc3 Nc6, and since move 5. Nf3 is dealt with in our Line 004, other White’s fifth move reactions are examined here.

One popular setup is 5. e3, followed by Nge2, O-O and d2-d4. Black either makes symmetrical piece arrangement, or opposes White’s plan with e7-e5.

A modern approach from White is the early queenside advance 5. a3, followed by Rb1 and b2-b4. Again, Black has many choices. Among them, we recommend either the slightly committal 5… d6 6. Rb1 a5 7. e3 e5, or the flexible 5… b6 with Bb7, e7-e6 and Nge7.

[Diagram: Black to Move] White has just played the intermediate move Rf1-d1, but it turns out that Black has a better choice than to retreat his Queen to f5. So, what is the superior alternative here?

Click here to see the line in our viewer…

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