Wing Gambit

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Wing Gambit
a b c d e f g h
8
Chessboard480.svg
a8 black rook
b8 black knight
c8 black bishop
d8 black queen
e8 black king
f8 black bishop
g8 black knight
h8 black rook
a7 black pawn
b7 black pawn
d7 black pawn
e7 black pawn
f7 black pawn
g7 black pawn
h7 black pawn
c5 black pawn
b4 white pawn
e4 white pawn
a2 white pawn
c2 white pawn
d2 white pawn
f2 white pawn
g2 white pawn
h2 white pawn
a1 white rook
b1 white knight
c1 white bishop
d1 white queen
e1 white king
f1 white bishop
g1 white knight
h1 white rook
8
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1
a b c d e f g h
Moves 1.e4 c5 2.b4
ECO B20
Named after Position description
Parent Sicilian Defence

In chess, Wing Gambit is a generic name given to openings in which White plays an early b4, deflecting an enemy pawn or bishop from c5 so as to regain control of d4, an important central square. (Or in which Black plays ...b5, but Wing Gambits offered by Black are very rare.)

The most common Wing Gambit is in the Sicilian Defence (1.e4 c5 2.b4). The most important Wing Gambit is the Evans Gambit (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.b4), treated separately.


In the Sicilian Defence[edit]

The Wing Gambit in the Sicilian Defence runs 1.e4 c5 2.b4 (see diagram). After Black takes with 2...cxb4, the usual continuation is 3.a3 bxa3 (3...d5! is more recently considered superior, when White must avoid 4.exd5 Qxd5 5.axb4?? Qe5+ winning the rook, a blunder actually seen in tournament play in Shirazi–Peters, Berkeley 1986; instead 5.Nf3 is better) and now the main line is 4.Nxa3, though 4.Bxa3 and 4.d4 are also seen. It is also possible to decline (or at least delay acceptance of) the gambit with 2...d5.

For his pawn, White gets quicker development and a central advantage, but it is not generally considered one of White's better choices against the Sicilian and it is virtually never seen at the professional level. Amongst amateurs it is more common, though still not so popular as other systems.

After Black's 2...cxb4, another popular third move alternative for White is 3.d4. GMs George Koltanowski, David Bronstein and World Champion Alexander Alekhine have played this line.

It is also possible to prepare the gambit by playing 2.a3!? followed by 3.b4; or White can postpone the gambit one move by playing the Wing Gambit Deferred, 2.Nf3 d6 3.b4. The Portsmouth Gambit runs 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.b4, where Black is disinclined to refuse the gambit due to the positional threat 3.b5, displacing the knight and disrupting Black's smooth development.

In other openings[edit]

There are two Wing Gambits in the French Defence, 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 c5 4.b4 and 1.e4 e6 2.Nf3 d5 3.e5 c5 4.b4. They can transpose into each other, and both are quite rare. A related idea is found in the Caro-Kann Defence after 1.e4 c6 2.Ne2 d5 3.e5 c5 4.b4, however Black can immediately achieve an advantage by playing 4...d4! (this move is also strong in the second French line given above). Even rarer is the Wing Gambit in the Bishop's Opening, 1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Bc5 3.b4, which has some resemblance to the Evans Gambit.

There are several other "Wing Gambits" in various openings, but they are very rare, and not as notable as the openings mentioned above:

References[edit]

External links[edit]