For many great players from different generations the English opening has been a logical complement to 1.d4. By delaying the advance of the d-pawn White can avoid certain popular defences such as the Nimzoindian or the Grünfeld, to return to the 1.d4 paths a few moves later. But White can go further and build up a purely English repertoire, based on 1.c4 and 2.g3, which is the aim of these two DVDs. There are a few move orders or systems (most typically the King’s Indian) where White’s objectively best idea might be transposing to 1.d4 anyway (which I frequently do in my games) but while mentioning this in all relevant cases I have analyzed genuine English systems, leading to interesting play.
The first DVD includes the systems 1...e5, the Dutch and Indian setups. The “Reversed Sicilian” arising after 1...e5 is one of the main challenges for White. But his extra tempo is likely to offer him at least the slightly more pleasant position even after Black’s best play. The Dutch poses no problems if White intends to keep play within English territory. The King’s Indian is more challenging from this point of view and I usually transpose to the fianchetto system with d2-d4. But in the videos I have examined a double fianchetto move order, which is also entirely sound.
The second DVD includes the systems with 1...c5, 1...c6 and 1...e6. Even though the so called Symmetrical English main tabiya arising after four moves is perfectly symmetrical indeed, play remains rich in possibilities and White’s extra tempo allows him maintaining at least some light middlegame pressure. The Slav and Queen’s Gambit setups are very sound strategically, as they challenge White in the fight for the d5-square and the light squares in general. In both cases the best plan for White is to ignore the threat ...dxc4 and to refrain from making efforts to retrieve the pawn at once.
Mihail Marin, born in 1965, has several times been Romanian champion and first made the leap over the Elo barrier of 2600 in 2001. Marin possesses a rare gift for a grandmaster - he is able to explain in readily comprehensible terms the ideas behind moves, variations and positions. This ability is there for all to admire in his contributions to ChessBase Magazine. Marin has written some books which have earned the highest of praise, among which are “Secrets of Chess Defence” and “Learn from the legends”.
Minimum: Pentium III 1 GHz, 1 GB RAM, Windows 8.1, DirectX9 graphic card with 256 MB RAM, DVD-ROM drive, Windows Media Player 9 and internet connection for program activation. Recommended: PC Intel Core i7, 2.8 GHz,
4 GB RAM, Windows 10, DirectX10 graphic card (or compatible) with 512 MB RAM or better, 100% DirectX10 compatible sound card, Windows Media Player 11, DVDROM drive and internet connection for program activation.