English Miniatures

No, we are not talking about tiny replicas of various English manors or of small red-coated toy soldiers.

What we mean are chess games lasting twenty-five moves or less and that begin with the move 1.c4 (the English Opening).

The English opening can be an independent opening but it can also easily transpose into other openings such as the myriad of Indian Defences (1.d4 Nf6 2.c4), the Marcozy Bind in the Sicilian (1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 g6 5.c4), and the Reti (1.Nf3 d5 2.c4).

But we’ll keep to independent lines for this miniatures post. These lines include, after 1.c4, 1…Nf6, 1…e5,  and 1…c5.

Now, sit back and enjoy the games!

1.c4 (Various replies)

Arndt-Schulze Bisping
corres., 1987
1.c4 b5 2.cxb5 e5 3.e4 d5 4.exd5 Qxd5 5.Nc3 Qe6 6.Qf3 c6 7.bxc6 Nxc6 8.Nb5 Qd7 9.Bd3 Bb7 10.Be4 Nf6 11.Ne2 Nd4 12.Nbxd4 Nxe4 13.Qf5 exd4 14.Qe5+ (Black gets a lot of play after 14.Qxd7+ Kxd7) 14…Kd8 15.f3 Nc5 16.Qxd4 Qxd4 17.Nxd4 Nd3+ 18.Ke2 Ba6 0-1

Enghien 1999
[IM Peters, LA Times]
1.c4 c6 2.e4 d5 3.cxd5 cxd5 4.exd5 Nf6 5.Nc3 Nbd7 6.Nf3 a6 7.d4 Nb6 8.Ne5 Nbxd5?? (Black stands only a shade worse after 8…Nfxd5 9.Bd3, while 8…g6 9.Be2 Bg7 10.Bf3 O-O 11.Qb3 e6 12.dxe6 Bxe6 13.Qd1 Nfd5 gives him some compensation for his pawn.) 9.Qa4+! Bd7 10.Nxd7 (If 10…Qxd7, White wins material by 11.Bb5 axb5 12. Qxa8) 1-0

Irina Krush-Krupkova
Women’s Ol.
Elista, 1998
[Notes by Chess Life]
1.c4 g6 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nc3 d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.Qa4+ Bd7 6.Qh4 Nxc3 7.Qd4 f6 8.Qxc3 Nc6?! (Best is 8…e5!, and if White likes material then 9.Nxe5 fxe5 10.Qxe5+ Qe7 11.Qxh8 Nc6 is the way to go.)9.b4 e5? (9…a6)10.b5 Nd4 11.Nxd4 exd4 12.Qc4 b6 13.g3 Bc5 14.Bg2 Rc8 15.O-O Qe7 16.Bb2 Qe6 17.Bd5 Qd6 18.e3 Bxb5?? 19.Qxb5+ c6 20.Qa6 1-0

1.c4 Nf6

“bigt111210” (1346)-Escalante (1978)
“Let’s Play!”
www.chess.com, Jan. 2014

1.c4 Nf6 2.f3? e5! 3.e4 Nxe4! 4.fxe4 Qh4+ 5.Ke2 (Better is 5.g3 Qxe4+ 6.Qe2 Qxh1 7.Qxe5+ and White has some counterplay.) 5…Qxe4+ 6.Kf2 Bc5+ 7.Kg3 (Even after 7.d4, Black still has a forced mate after 7…Bxd4+)7…Qf4+ 8.Kh3 d5+ 9.g4 h5 10.Be2 (10.Kh4 g5+ 11.Kh3 hxg4+ 12.Kg2 Qf2+) 10…hxg4+ 11.Kg2 12.Qf2mate 1-0

Mrs. Bruce-Dr. Gray
England 1960 something
1.c4 Nf6 2.g3 c6 3.Bg2 d5 4.cxd5 cxd5 5.Nf3 Nc6 6.d4 g6 7.Nc3 Bg7 8.O-O O-O 9.Bd2 Ne4 10.e3 Bg4 11.h3?! Nxd2 12.Qxd2 Bf5 13.Nh4 Be6 14.Rac1 Qd7 15.Kh2 g5 16.Nf3 g4 17.Ng5 (17.Nh4 Bf6) 17…gxh3 18.Nxe6 hxg2 19.Nxf8

19…gxf1=N+ (Always good to see an underpromotion, especially one that wins the game!) 20.Rxf1 Rxf8 0-1

de Veauce-Cafferty
Birmingham, England 1974
1.c4 Nf6 2.Nc3 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.e4 Bb7 5.e5 Ne4 6.Bd3 Nxc3 7.dxc3 d6?! 8.Ng5 dxe5?

9.Nxf7! Qf6 (9…Kxf7? loses faster to 10.Bg6+.) 10.Nxh8 g6 11.Qg4 Qxh8 12.Qxe6+ Be7 13.Bg5 1-0

Nuremburg, 1988
1.c4 Nf6 2.Nc3 d6 3.g3 g6 4.Bg2 Bg7 5.Nf3 O-O 6.O-O Nbd7 7.b3 Re8 8.Bb2 e5 9.Qc2 c6 10.d4 Qc7 11.Rfd1 Nh5 12.dxe5 dxe5 13.Ne4 c5 14.Nd6 Re7 15.Ng5 Nb6 16.Nb5 1-0 (White has an overwhelming position. One line is 16…Qb8 17.Rd8+ Bf8 18.Rad1 a6 19.Qd3, with the idea of 20.Rxf8+.)

Russia 1939
[You’ll find this one in Chernev’s 1000 Best Short Games (game  #115).]
1.c4 Nf6 2.Nc3 d5 3.cxd5 Nxd5 4.e4 Nb4 5.Qa4+ N8c6 6.d4 Bd7 7.Bb5 Nxd4 8.Kf1 Nxb5 9.Qxb4 e5 10.Qc4 Nxc3 11.bxc3 (11.Qxc3 Bb5+ 12.Ke1 Bb4! 13.Qxb4 Qd3 -+) 11…a6 12.a4 Bb5 0-1

World Jr. Ch.
Romania 1991
1.c4 Nf6 2.Nc3 g6 3.g3 Bg7 4.Bg2 O-O 5.d3 d6 6.Rb1 e5 7.Nf3 Nc6 8.O-O a5 9.a3 h6 10.b4 axb4 11.axb4 Nh5 12.b5 Ne7 13.Bd2 f5 14.Qc2 f4 15.Rfc1 g5 16.Nd5 Nf6 17.Nxe7+ Qxe7 18.Bc3 Qf7 (So far Black has only the tiniest advantage. But now White makes three lemon moves.) 19.Rf1?! Qh5 20.Bb2? Bh3 21.c5? (But then, what else?) 21…Ng4 0-1

French Teams Ch., 1991
1.c4 Nf6 2.Nc3 g6 3.g3 Bg7 4.Bg2 O-O 5.d3 d6 6.Rb1 e5 7.Nf3 Nc6 8.O-O Bf5!? (More aggressive than the usual 8…h6.) 9.Re1 Qd7 10.Bg5 Bh3 11.Bxh3 Qxh3 12.Nd5 Ng4 13.Ne3 f5 14.Nxg4 fxg4 15.Nh4 Bf6 16.Bxf6 Rxf6 17.Rf1 g5 0-1

1.c4 e5

Sylvain Zinser (2295)-Gedeon Barcza (2490)
Birseck, Switzerland, May 1971
1.c4 e5 2.Nc3 d6 3.g3 f5 4.Bg2 Nf6 5.e3 Be7 6.Nge2 O-O 7.O-O c6 8.b3 Qe8 9.d4 Qh5 10.Ba3 Re8 11.dxe5 dxe5 12.Bxe7 Rxe7 13.Qc2 Be6 14.Rad1 Nbd7 15.Na4 Rf8 16.Rfe1 Ne4 17.f4 Ndf6 18.Nec3 Bc8 19.Qe2 Qxe2 20.Rxe2 b5 0-1

Venice, 19741.c4 e5 2.g3 Nf6 3.Bg2 Nc6 4.Nf3 Bc5 5.d3 O-O 6.O-O d6 7.Nc3 Bd7 8.e3 += Bb4?! 9.Ne2 e4 10.dxe4 Nxe4 11.Qc2 Re8 (11…Bf5? 12.Nh4)12.a3 Bc5 13.b4 Bb6 14.Bb2 +/- Qe7 (Interesting, and perhaps even better is 14…Nxf2!? 15.Kxf2!?) 15.Nf4 Nf6 16.Ng5! Ne5 17.Nd5 (17…Qd8 18.Bxe5 Rxe5 19.Nxf6+)1-0

Gausdal, 1991
1.c4 e5 2.g3 Nc6 3.Bg2 g6 4.Nc3 Bg7 5.d3 f5 6.e4 d6 7.Nge2 Nf6 8.O-O O-O 9.Nd5 Ne7 10.Nxf6+ Bxf6 11.d4 c6 12.dxe5 Bxe5 13.Bh6 Re8 14.Nd4 fxe4 15.Bxe4 d5 16.cxd5 Nxd5 17.Re1 Nf6 18.Qb3 Kh8 19.Nf3 Be6 20.Qb7 Re7 21.Qc6 Ne4 22.Rad1 Qe8 23.Ne5 1-0

S. Lorenz (2287)-A. Orlov (2364)
Germany, 2001
1.c4 e5 2.g3 Nc6 3.Bg2 g6 4.Nc3 Bg7 5.e4 d6 6.Nge2 Be6 7.d3 Qd7 8.Nd5 Nce7 9.d4 c6 10.Nxe7 Nxe7 11.d5 Bh3 12.O-O h5 13.dxc6 bxc6 14.Bxh3 Qxh3 15.Qxd6 Rd8 16.Qa3 h4 17.Qf3 Qxf1+ 0-1

J. Grant (2201)-Harborne
Great Britain Ch., 2002
1.c4 e5 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.g3 Bb4 4.Nd5 Bc5 5.Bg2 d6 6.e3 f5 7.Ne2 e4 8.d4 exd3 9.Nef4 Nb4 10.O-O Nxd5 11.cxd5 Qf6 12.Qxd3 Ne7 13.Bd2 Ng6 14.Bc3 Qf7 15.Ne6 Rg8 16.Qb5+ Qd7 17.Nxc7+ 1-0

GM van den Doel-FRITZ 6
Dutch Ch.
Rotterdam, 2000
1.c4 Nf6 2.Nc3 e5 3.e4?! Bc5 4.g3 O-O 5.Bg2 Nc6 6.Nge2!?  d6 7.d3? Ng4! (A brutal response from the computer!) 8.O-O f5 9.Na4 (9.exf5 also loses.)9…Nxf2 10.Rxf2 Bxf2+ 11.Kxf2 f4 (11…fxe4+ 12.Kg1 exd3) 12.gxf4 exf4 13.Ng1 Qh4+ 14.Kf1 f3 15.Nxf3 Qxh2 0-1 (Black threatens …Bh3 and …Ne5.)

GM H. Olafsson-D. Mayers (1908)
US Summer Open, 2001
1.c4 e5 2.Nc3 g6 3.d4 d6 4.dxe5 dxe5 5.Qxd8+ Kxd8 6.f4 Be6 7.e4 Nd7 8.Nf3 f6 9.Be2 Bc5 10.Rf1 c6 11.f5 Bf7 12.g4 g5 13.h4?

13…h5 14.hxg5 hxg4 15.g6 gxf3 16.gxf7 f2+ 17.Kd2 Nh6 18.Nd1 Nxf7 19.Nxf2 Ke7 20.Ng4 Nd6 21.Bd3 Rag8 22.Ne3 Rg3 23.Ke2 Bxe3 24.Bxe3 Rhh3 0-1

1.c4 c5

GM Karl Robatsch-IM Silvino Garcia Martinez
Chigorin Memorial
Sochi, 1974
1.c4 c5 2.Nf3 g6 3.d4 Bg7 4.e4 Qa5+ 5.Nc3 Nc6? (Black would do better with 5…d6 or 5…e6. In any case, Black is lacking in development.) 6.d5 Nd4?! (Perhaps Black would do better with 6…Ne5. But things are already looking dismal.) 7.Bd2 Qb6 8.Nxd4  Bxd4 9.Rb1 d6 10.Nb5 Bg7 11.Qa4 Bd7

12.Ba5! Qa6 (12…Bxb5 13. cxb5 +-) 13.Nc7+ Kf8 14.Qa3 1-0

B. Corneliussen-M. Jensen
Lyngby, 1991
1.e3 e5 2.c4 c5 3.Nc3 Ne7 4.Nb5 d5 5.Qa4 Bd7 6.Nd6mate 1-0

Brian Ruggerio (2063)-Richard Dumerer (1750)
US Amateur Team Ch., Midwest, 1997
1.c4 c5 2.b3 Nc6 3.Bb2 e6 4.g3 Nf6 5.Bg2 Be7 6.Nf3 O-O 7.O-O Rb8 8.Nc3 a6 9.Rc1 b6 10.e3 Bb7 11.Qe2 Re8 12.Rfe1 Bf8 13.Ng5 d5 14.cxd5 exd5

15.Nxd5 Nxd5 16.Qh5 h6 17.Qxf7+ Kh8 18.Bxd5 Ne7 19.Ne6 Nf5 20.Nxd8 1-0

E. Rios (2125)-A. Guetchkov (2173)
World Open, 2001
1.e4 c5 2.c4 Nc6 3.Nc3 g6 4.g3 Bg7 5.Bg2 e6 6.Nge2 d6 7.d3 Nge7 8.O-O O-O 9.Be3 Nd4 10.Rb1 Nec6 11.a3 Rb8 12.b4 b6 13.f4 Bb7 14.Qd2 f5 15.h3 Qd7 16.Kh2 Nxe2 17.Nxe2 Nd4 18.Nc3 Ba8 19.Qf2 h6 20.Ne2 Nc2 21.Nc1 Qa4 22.b5 fxe4 23.dxe4 Qxc4 24.Rd1 Bxe4 25.Rxd6 0-1

H. Itkis (2120)-Jeremy M. Volkmann
US Open, 2004
1.c4 Nf6 2.g3 g6 3.Bg2 c5 4.Nc3 Bg7 5.e3 O-O 6.Nge2 e6 7.d4 cxd4 8.exd4 d5 9.O-O dxc4 10.Qa4 Bd7 11.Qxc4 Bc6 12.Bf4 Qb6 13.Bxc6 Nxc6 14.Na4 Qb4 15.Qxb4 Nxb4 16.Bd6 Nc6 17.Bxf8 Kxf8 18.Rac1 Ne4 19.Rfd1 Rd8 20.Kf1 Nd6 21.f3 Nxd4 22.Nxd4 Bxd4 23.f4 Ne4 24.Rc4 1-0

John Moriarty (1941)-Donald Reithel (2087)
CCLA, 2002
1.c4 c5 2.g3 Nf6 3.Bg2 Nc6 4.Nc3 g6 5.a3 e6!? (Correspondence players love to try out novelties. Here, the more common move is 5…d6.) 6.Rb1 (A reasonable reply.) 6…d5 (There is ample opportunity for independent study.) 7.Nh3 d4 8.Ne4 Nxe4 9.Bxe4 a5 10.Nf4 Qc7 11.O-O Bd7 12.b3 Ra6 13.e3 Bg7 14.Bb2 O-O 15.Qc2 Ne7 16.Kg2 f5 17.Bf3 Rd6 18.h4 Bc6 19.e4 fxe4 20.Bxe4 d3! 0-1 (The bishop can’t take the pawn, the queen could take it but it loses immediately to 21…Bxd3, and the queen is also lost after 21.Qc3.)