Wednesday, May 25, 2011

On a Wing and a Gambit

by John Hurt, 1973 Tennessee Chess Champion

According to chess writer, Elliot Fletcher, the title "Wing Gambit" was applied to the variation of the King's Bishop's opening when White played 3. b4 after the moves 1. e4 e5 2. Bc4 Bc5 3. b4

However, for the past seventy years, it has been used to denote the move b4 by White against the Sicilian Defence (after 1.e4 c5).
The idea behind b4 is to challenge Black's c5 and obtain control of the center by d4.  Also, it opens up the Queen's side for deployment of White's pieces Bb2 or Ba3 and Rb1.  Although current chess theory regards the Wing Gambit as being impetuous, the Gambit produces interesting and exciting chess.

The main line of the Sicilain "Wing Gambit" goes as follows:  1.e4 c5 2. b4 cb4 3. a3 d5 4. ed5 Qd5 5. Nf3 e5 6. ab4 Bb4

Now White has three moves: A) 7. c3   B) 7. Na3   C) 7. Ba3.  We will give one example from each: