English Opening Anglo-Indian Defense Nimzo-English

How to Play the English Opening: Anglo-Indian Defense, Nimzo-English

  • 1. c4: This initial move by White indirectly occupies the center and controls the d5 square. It’s characteristic of the English Opening and sets up flexible development.
  • 1… Nf6: Black responds by developing a knight and controlling the central e5 and d4 squares. It’s a move that keeps options open.
  • 2. Nc3: White develops another knight, reinforcing control over the center, and preparing for a possible central advance with d4.
  • 2… e6: Black prepares to develop the light-squared bishop, potentially to b4 or d6, and opens paths for castling.
  • 3. Nf3: White continues their development with an emphasis on central control and preparation for short castling.
  • 3… Bb4: Black opts for the Nimzo-English variation, pinning the knight on c3 and exerting influence over the center, particularly the e4 square.

Variations of the English Opening: Anglo-Indian Defense, Nimzo-English

Variation 1: 3… d5

In this variation, Black plays 3… d5, directly challenging the center and opening lines for their pieces. It’s a solid continuation aimed at quickly activating Black’s minor pieces.

Variation 2: 3… b6

With 3… b6, Black prepares to fianchetto their dark-squared bishop, which can lead to more flexible pawn structures and dynamic play on the queen’s side.

Variation 3: 3… c5

This move aims to counter the White center directly with 3… c5, challenging the d4 pawn and seeking more active play in the center. It can lead to asymmetrical pawn structures and tactical possibilities.

English Opening: Anglo-Indian Defense, Nimzo-English

The game has started with the English Opening, specifically transitioning to a variation of the Anglo-Indian Defense known as the Nimzo-English. The algebraic notation so far is 1. c4 Nf6 2. Nc3 e6 3. Nf3 Bb4. Let’s explore strategies and tactics for both sides and consider possible continuations with d2, g3, or g4.

Current Position

White: They have opted for the English Opening, characterized by its flexibility and center control from a distance. With c4, Nc3, and Nf3, White seeks dominance in the center and prepares for a potential d4.

Black: Responding with Nf6 and e6, Black is preparing their play in the center and keeping flexible options. The move Bb4 pins the knight on c3, exerting pressure and aiming to influence White’s central play.

Strategies and Tactics


  • d2: This move prepares the advance e4, consolidating center control. It also frees up the bishop on c1 and connects the rooks.
  • g3: It aims to fianchetto the bishop, controlling central squares and long diagonals. This also sets up a safe short castling.
  • g4: This is a more aggressive and less common move, seeking to gain space on the kingside and potentially launch an attack there. However, it weakens White’s kingside squares.


  • They must be vigilant about White’s central plans. Keeping the bishop on b4 may be crucial to exert pressure on the knight on c3.
  • Preparation for d5 can be an objective, aiming to counterattack in the center.
  • It’s also vital to consider the development of minor pieces and king safety, possibly with a short castling.

Next Moves


  • d2: If Black plays d5, White can consider e4. If Black plays b6, preparing bishop fianchetto, White can continue their normal development and possibly e4 in the future.
  • g3: White would focus on developing the bishop to g2 and short castling. Then they could play d4 or e4 depending on Black’s response.
  • g4: A g4 move indicates a more aggressive game. White can follow with h3 and possibly Ng5, aiming to control f5 or attack on h7.