The only thing that deters me from playing 1. c4 followed by a Kingside Fianchetto is 1...e5 the Reversed Sicilian (also called the King's English).

I like quiet, positional, strategic and maneuvering games (not wild tactical games with direct attacks on the Kings), but I'm not so sure if 1...e5 will lead to that kind of games.

I know that any opening can be tactical or positional: some Sicilian Najdorf are very boring, and some Slav Exchange are extremely wild...

But I would like to know on average if 1. c4 e5 tends to lead to positions which are closer to being 'quiet, solid, positional, strategic' or closer to being 'sharp, wild, tactical, chaotic'.

  • 1
    Why don't you study all the games of Petrosian and just choose his openings?
    – magd
    Commented Jun 9, 2015 at 10:38

2 Answers 2


I would definitely classify these positions as rather quiet. Black is lacking the tempo to build up an attacking position, like white does in the sicilian:

For example in this line the knight usually goes back to b6, something white (i.e. Nb3) would never play against the dragon. And of course d4 is much easier to achieve for white here, than d5 is for black in the sicilian. That'll lead to some exchanges with white banking on his strong g3-bishop.

[FEN ""]
1. c4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.g3 d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.Bg2 Nb6

Of course you still have to pick the right subvariations to avoid sharp lines, but that should be an achievable task. If I knew a variation that forces a sharp tactical fight onto white, I would play it with black. But I don't.


Exeter chess club provides a good overview of all the systems against the English https://exeterchessclub.org.uk/content/ideas-behind-english-opening .. including some positional setups: * Reversed Closed Sicilian * with Semi-Slav pawn structure (as an alternative)

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