The English Opening (1.c4) got its name because it was first used in international competition by an Englishman: 19th-century world chess champion Howard Staunton. But it achieved the great popularity it enjoys today with the help of a Russian: the author of this definitive book, former world champion Anatoly Karpov. Among its advantages, as Karpov demonstrates, is that it can transpose into many other openings, including the Queen s Gambit Declined, the Reti, the Caro-Kann, the Sicilian with colors reversed, or the Polish any one of which may provide a winning edge by leading an opponent into unfamiliar territory. This kind of flexibility is what every player needs, and Karpov provides it with a thoroughness no one else could possibly match.
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