Foxy 195: 1...b6, A Dynamic Universal Repertoire: The Owens/English Defense - Chess Opening Video Download
The Owens Defense and English Defense (Download)
A lifetime repertoire that you don't need a lifetime to learn!
The Owens Defense (1.e4 b6 2.d4 e6) and English Defense (1.d4 b6 2.c4 e6) form an opening system which is relatively unknown, and which offers your opponent many chances to go wrong. In essence, White will gain a broad pawn center which Black will set about undermining.
Black intends to control the center with minor pieces, and to dismantle White with the pawn breaks ...f5, ...d5, and/or ...c5, with speedy attacks from the start. Black's plan is easy to remember, following up by ...Bb7, ...Bb4, ...f5, and ...Qh4 or ...Ne7. He often develops Bishops before Knights and brings out the Queen early.
So is 1…b6 the final frontier of opening theory in our computer age? The positions that we reach are fresh, original, and remarkably diverse - and Black scores 51% to 65% in most lines! In addition, 1...b6 has been played at the highest level in chess, including these top players:
GMs Carlsen, Nakamura, Nepominachtchi, Firouzja, Kamsky, and Kramnik, along with British players from the seventies onward such as GMs Tony Miles, Ray Keene, Michael Stean, James Paskett, Daniel King, Julian Hodgson, Michael Basman, Andrew Martin, Jon Speelman, Nigel Short, Simon Williams, and Michael Adams. So it makes sense that the opening is called the English Defense!