The Sicilian Wing Gambit is never popular with good players, thus, it is only played as a surprise. But, how to deal with this unexpected surprise? It seems to me that all responses would just worsen Black's position. What to do if I face it?

[White "Wing"]
[Black "Gambit"]
[fen ""]

1.e4 c5 2.b4
  • The term "wing gambit" is at least sometimes used for more different openings. Do you mean "How to handle 1. e4 c5 2. b4?! as Black"?
    – Keba
    Mar 21, 2015 at 12:42
  • @Keba, that's how I interpreted it, and added pgn for clarification. Amr, is this your intent?
    – ETD
    Mar 21, 2015 at 12:44

5 Answers 5


The easy way out is to just play 2…b6. This move certainly doesn't "just worsen" blacks position:

  • Now both players can fiancetto the bishop, but a black bishop on b7 actually has a target, the e4-pawn.
  • If white plays 3.bc bc the b-line is open. This makes the option of 0-0-0 quite unattractive, an option that is much more often utilised by white, especially in the sicilian.
  • If white doesn't take on c5, he will sooner or later have to deal with the threat against b4. Actually, he will have to evaluate the threat against b4 every move!
  • 1
    2....b6, an interesting idea! Although it cannot be the refution of 2.b4, it does take white out of his comfort zone.
    – Maxwell86
    Jun 18, 2015 at 20:04

I take the pawn and use it to cramp White's QN.

[fen ""]
1. e4 c5 2. b4 cxb4 3. a3 d5! 4. exd5 Qxd5 5. Nf3 e5

Black has a pawn, controls the center, and it's difficult for White to develop to effective squares.


The classic counterattack is 3.... d5. This attacks the White pawn and improves (not worsens) Black's position. If White plays e5, Black plays e6 and transposes into a quasi French defense, or just takes the a pawn, with a pawn up.

White's better bet is to exchange the e pawn for the d pawn, but then Black's queen ends up in a dominating position in the center because White can't move Nc3 to chase the queen.


What about 2...e6:

[fen ""]
1. e4 c5 2. b4 e6

It forces whites to reconsider its agressive behavior while giving good opportunities for blacks.

  • 3
    Do you mean 2... e6? Mar 22, 2016 at 13:34
  • @DagOskarMadsen Yes indeed, edited :) Mar 22, 2016 at 15:43
  • 2
    Play usually continues 3.bxc5 Bxc5 4.d4. This looks pretty good for White.
    – Stephen
    Mar 22, 2016 at 19:50

Step back for a moment and consider ideas: With 2. b4, white sacrifices a pawn for virtually nothing. His idea is to get a pawn on d4 without exchanging it for the black c-pawn (the basic underlying idea of 1...c5), but black will have ...d5 as a response and be fine. So, you accept the pawn with 2...cxb4 (there is no good reason not to - do not play in fear), and now white has to chose between 3. a3, a quasi-Volga gambit in reverse, or go for 3. d4. Both moves are met with 3...d5 by black. Black will end up with quicker development and a better pawn structure and should have an advantage going into the middlegame.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.