5 Best Books and Courses to learn English Opening

English opening is 4th most popular from white. White starts with 1.c4 and then plays on the queenside with various different plans. The main plan of the English Opening is to open the bishop via g2 and then do a short castle and start an attack on the Queen’s side. Black also gets a decent position in almost every variation. 

The English Opening is quite popular with 2000-2400 rated chess players. Above 2400 chess players mostly choose e4 or d4. 

The main advantage of playing English Opening is it is very easy and flexible to play for the white side. In most of the variations, white’s plan is clear and easy. Black needs to know the entire theory and should play accurately to maintain equality.

Why should you choose English Opening?

  • If you are a beginner, you should focus more on Middlegame and basic endgames. To do this, you can choose English Opening, which requires very less preparation.
  • It is a very easy play against English Opening. But in reality, black needs to be very careful about their decisions. One mistake and white can take complete control. 
  • English opening is also a good mixture of positional and tactical chess. You can go for it if you like to play both aspects. 
  • There are only two main openings for black to choose from. 1st is 1…e5 and second it 1….c5. Because of fewer choices, preparing for the English Opening becomes very easy.
  • Usually, players often ignore preparing against English Opening as they think that we can manage. This is a huge advantage for white to take an easy victory.
  • English opening is a very good option as your second repertoire. Whether you are an e4 or d4 player, English opening is suitable for everyone.

Best books and courses to learn English opening

Now we will see some of the best chess books and courses to prepare English Opening. 

1- Opening Repertoire – The English by David Cummings

This book is a complete solution for those who want to learn English Opening. The author analyzed both variations critically and covered all the lines. English Openings are very tricky for both sides if didn’t analyze properly. 

This book is recommended for beginners to club players. After studying this book, you will get all the basic knowledge of English Opening, and even you will get prepared for the tournament! 

Buy now on Amazon

2- Grandmaster Repertoire – English Opening by Mihail Marin

Grandmaster Repertoire is a very high-quality and in-depth series by Quality Chess. In this book series, GM Mihail Marin, who is a very strong chess player, analyzes all possible variations in detail. There is a total of 3 parts written under this series.

Part 1 deals with 1.c4 e5, and part 2 deals with all other options except c5 and e5. The last part covers 1.c4 c5. Once you finish these three parts, you will not need any other repertoire.

As the name suggests, this repertoire is created by Grandmaster and created for all levels of players. Although, beginners will find the variations too hard. This is why I am suggesting this book to club players and the advanced levels. 

Buy now on Amazon

3- English Opening: Complete Repertoire for White with IM David Fitzsimons (Chess Course)

The screenshot is taken from www.modern-chess.com

IM David Fitzsimons is a very strong International Master. In this video course, he covered everything about 1.c4. This repertoire is created by The Chess World and is available on the Modern Chess website. You can use code nikhil45 to get flat 45% off all Modern Chess products.

In this course, David included only top-quality variations, which are really valuable and result-oriented to beat your opponent. This course is recommended for up to 2000 chess players. 

Buy now on Modern Chess

4- 1.c4 e5 – Complete Repertoire for Black by Davorin Kuljesevic

The screenshot is taken from www.modern-chess.com

This video course is to prepare against 1.c4. Davorin recommends 1…e5, which is by far the best chess opening to play against 1.c4. Some players also called this reverse Sicilian, but the plans are very different. 

Davorin Kuljesevic is also an author of a very famous book, how to study chess on your own, which becomes a best seller. This course is also available on Modern Chess, and you code mentioned above and get 45% off. 

Buy now on Modern Chess

5- Counter the English Opening by GM Hovhannes Gabuzyan

This excellent course is by ChessMood and is recommended for all players. GM Gabuzyan recommended a symmetrical setup against English Opening. Here are a few key points you will learn from this course 

  • A step-by-step guide on how to play Symmetrical English with 1…c5! 
  • A rare but perhaps the strongest continuation against one of White’s solid setups — Botvinnik System
  • The strategy for both sides in this Opening.

ChessMood is a membership platform where you will get various courses and various online group events starting at just $29 per month. You will also get one-on-one coaching if you opt for a higher plan. Apart from that, everyone gets community access and various other benefits.

Try ChessMood membership for 7 days!

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How to prepare English opening?

You can purchase any book or course from the above list. Then finish that book or course and properly analyze all the variations and positions. After preparing for the Opening, play a lot of games online or with your chess-playing partner and analyze them properly. 

Completing a basic understanding of theory from the book and then analyzing different positions properly is the key to success. You can learn about any opening by following these steps. 

Is English Opening suitable for beginners?

English opening is easy to play, and many players choose this to avoid theory. White’s plan is very simple in the Opening. This is why English Opening is an excellent choice for beginners. 

How to counter English Opening?

The best openings to play against English openings are 1…e5 and 2….c5. Apart from these two lines, many sidelines are not recommended. If you are an attacking player, go for 1…e5, and if you like to play solid structure, then go for 1…c5. 

The best way to counter English Opening is to start playing aggressively and create a sharp attack on the king’s side. According to the engine, this is not the best way, but it works very well in a practical game.