Destroy Everyone With This Universal Chess Opening System

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🔹 Learn the English Opening –

♛ Find the variations and games shown in the video in this blog-post –

In this video lesson, GM Igor Smirnov shares a simple, universal, and aggressive chess opening system for White: the English Opening, starting with 1.c4. Even if you typically play 1.e4 or 1.d4 as White, learning this opening system is straightforward.

One of the most common responses from Black is 1…e5, known as the Reversed Sicilian or the King’s English Variation. Continuing with 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.e4 leads us into the Four Knights System, Nimzowitsch Variation.

This variation is both tricky and aggressive, and has a substantial 60% win rate for White. Even Magnus Carlsen has employed this opening in his games.

► Chapters

00:00 Simple & Universal Chess Opening for White
00:06 English Opening, Four Knights System
01:23 1) If Black plays 6…Bd6
04:08 2) If Black plays 5…Bxf2+
06:21 3) If Black plays 6…Bxd4
08:28 4) Common tactics by Black (refutation)
09:59 5) Carlsen vs Giri (Black’s correct response)
11:07 Can you find Carlsen’s winning move?

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  1. ► Chapters

    00:00 Simple & Universal Chess Opening for White

    00:06 English Opening, Four Knights System

    01:23 1) If Black plays 6…Bd6

    04:08 2) If Black plays 5…Bxf2+

    06:21 3) If Black plays 6…Bxd4

    08:28 4) Common tactics by Black (refutation)

    09:59 5) Carlsen vs Giri (Black's correct response)

    11:07 Can you find Carlsen's winning move?

  2. Rb8! If Kxb8, Qa8#. If Kd7, Rxd8, black recaptures with K or B, then Rd1 winning the queen

  3. rb8 check,kd7 the best move,then rd1 winning the black queen

  4. My guess for the winning move in the replies.

  5. Rb8+, King escape Kd7 (if Kxb8 then Qa8#), Rxd8+, and if king or bishop recapture white Rd1 pins and wins queen…this is all I could see.

  6. Thanks GM Igor Smirnov sir for English opening lines shown 🎉❤

  7. Puzzle: 1. Rb8 +
    1…K:a8 2.Qa8#
    1…Kd7 2.Qa4 + Rc6 3. R:d8 + B:d8 4. Rd1 pinning the Queen too

    2…Qc6 3.B:c6

  8. Bf4 looks nice, but I think Rb8 being a forcing move makes it the stronger option

  9. Very interesting but a little error @9:48 it's not a "complete devastation" for blacks because after Bc6 (attacking g2, whites have to react, so they can't take the knight yet) then knight Nd7 (defending f6) the position is not far from equal .

  10. The English and Catalan are dangerous openings

  11. For the puzzle in the final position, the move should be Rb8+, sacrificing the ROOOOOK! Black has 2 legal moves, Kxb8 will be a terrible blunder since then Qa8 will be checkmate. If black plays Kd7 to dodge the attack,
    Qa4+ Rc6
    Bxc6 Qxc6

    Rb7+ Ke8
    and white will be up a queen

    if black plays Kd6 after Rb7+, then
    Bf1+ Kd5
    Rd1# will be checkmate

  12. Carlsen's winning move:
    Rb8+ Kxb8…

    or better still…
    Rb8+ Kc7…
    Rxd8+ Kxd8
    Rd1 Qxd1
    Bxd1 …

  13. There’s one little problem about using this as a “universal” system, which is that 1…Nf6 is about 5 times more common a reply to the English than 1…e5, then there is…😊

  14. 00:00:41 Play Pawn E4 after Knight to C6 to gain a positional advantage.
    00:01:11 Utilize the move Knight takes C5 as a temporary sacrifice to create a double attack and regain your piece.
    00:01:45 Take advantage of opponents' mistakes, such as playing Bishop D6, to disrupt their position.
    00:02:28 Surprise opponents by not recapturing the bishop and instead attacking their Knight.
    00:03:10 Weaken opponents' position by exploiting dark squares after their move G6.
    00:03:24 Move your queen back to a safe square as a prophylactic measure against potential threats.
    00:03:35 Capitalize on opponents' weaknesses by playing Bishop G5 to put pressure on their position.
    00:04:56 Exploit opponent's misplaced Knight by threatening it with moves like King to G1 and H3.
    00:05:12 Sacrifice a Knight on F6 to open up opponent's king and launch a strong attack.
    00:08:38 Counter opponent's tactical opportunities by sacrificing a Knight on F6 to initiate a powerful attack.
    00:08:59 Refute opponent's tactical moves by sacrificing a Knight on F6 to open up their king for attack.
    00:10:32 Challenge opponent's position by playing Queen F3 to apply pressure and create discomfort.
    00:10:55 Block opponent's castling by playing Bishop H6 and maintain pressure on their position.

  15. How about Rfd1. The black response isn't forced but I think they're all losing the queen or checkmate. If Qxd1 then Bxd1. Looks like with any other queen move, White can do either Rb8# or Qa8#, depending on the black queen's choice. Black can go Qxh2 to delay the game for slightly longer but king takes it and then the attack continues.

  16. Igor says that 6… Bb4 is "difficult to spot." In the Lichess database, it is the most common move for black at 34% of games with that position. Bd6 is close behind at 32% and is a real mistake, as Igor shows, but I feel he misrepresents the frequency of Bb4. In general, I have noted that he will specifically state when the move is the most common (e.g., "… and most of the time, your opponent will just …." If he doesn't spell it out like that, there is a good chance that what he is showing you is not the most common move. In this case, he says is "usually, in SIMILAR SITUATIONS, the best thing black SHOULD do is …" and then he presents 6… Bd6. I strongly recommend that when people follow these videos — whether from Igor or GothamChess or Eric Rosen or whoever — is try the moves yourself in Lichess with Stockfish analysis. Then you will know what moves opponents really play and where the dangers might be.

    I will say for clarification that if black does make the best moves, the situation is still pretty much even, with just a slight advantage for white, so it isn't like there is a lot of danger in this opening. As long as you know the right moves, you'll do fine.

  17. Hey Igor,could u pls recommend an universal opening against the Stonewall,and the London which also works for the queen's gambit.

  18. I would play Rb8+, Kd7 Rxd8+, KxR (otherwise black stays a rook down) Rd1 pinning the queen against the king

  19. Rb8+ initiates a mate in 12 moves. Pretty amazing!! 1.Rb8+ Kd7 2.Qa4+ Rc6 3.Bc6+ Qc6 4.Rb7+ Ke8 5.Qc6+ Bd7 6.Rd7, Rd7 7.Rd1, g5 8 Qc8+ Rd8 9.Rd8+ Bd8 10.Bc5, f6 11.Qe6+ Be7 12.Qe7#

  20. Rb7 looks pretty great, but its not forcing. Doesn't seem as good as Rb8

  21. Rb8+ is the key move.
    If 1 … Kxb8, 2. Qa8++
    If 1 …. Kd7, 2. Rxd8+ Kxd8 or Bxd8 3. Rd1 taking the queen in the next move

  22. Brother, you have motivated me into giving this game up. I have played thousands of games trying to employ all your strategies. My ELO still posts at 850 and win like never. Not once have I seen any of my opponents move as you describe. Which then leaves me in some clustered problem.

    Clearly this is not for me.

    Thank you

  23. This opening is working very well for me. Won 3 in a row with it! Thank you so much for sharing. My rating has gone up almost 200 points in the last 2-3months from watching your videos. I don't play often, but I feel like I have a much better grasp on the game now. I'm becoming obsessed. 😆

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