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How punish wing gambit to Sicilian: 1.e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. b4!?

@Paradise_Pete You're right on all counts, thanks! I don't know what I was thinking with Qa5. Maybe I thought I saw a tactic, IDK.

@nayf Clearly you have a strong desire to punish white for the sin of b4 :-)

In this opening, I think the way to punish him is to get developed and get solid. Then white will think "I have no good targets and I'm down a pawn. Maybe I should rethink this wing gambit thing."

@Paradise_Pete I've got to play the opening at slower time controls and learn/get accustomed to several variations, pitfalls, etc. For instance, on one where I lost, I played 3...Nxb4 4 c3 Nc6 but then HE fianchettoed before me, which he can now do in one move as b2 has been vacated. Then I had to fight defensively for that diagonal, I can't play g3 immediately, and nothing's safe and nothing's developed except the c6 N that has moved 3 times. No doubt there are sound moves for each variation but I have to learn them. I thought I had a good handle on main lines of Sicilian and hyperaccelerated dragon (up to a point; I'm a mediocre 2000), but this NON-main line is annoying.

What do you think of Sargon's preferred 3...b6?

@nayf b6 I don't like. White trades and then Bb5, and now he's got an improved version of the Rossolimo.

I don't see how white is finachettoing in a way that causes you trouble on that diagonal. Are you saying he played Bb2 instead of d4? If so, that's terrible. If not, then what's the issue? After d4 cd cd, you play g6.

@Paradise_Pete
Look at the first game listed in #13. 13...Rg8 is a mouse slip - intended Rf8 - but even by move 12 it feels like a lost game. His aggressive pawn pushes appear to have paid off, and his fianchetto pre-empted mine so that I was struggling to fianchetto myself.

@nayf His 7 d5 was a blunder. You could have won on the spot with Bg7. I did mention this tactic in #10 :-)

@Paradise_Pete
Ah now I get it. So if 7. d5 Bg7, then he doesn't have much choice except 8. dxc3 Bxa1 and I'm up an exchange and a strong position. I remember when you said it in #10 but wasn't looking at a board and didn't quite get it; I didn't realise he has no real reply to Bg7. Very amateurish of me to play the cowardly 7...Nb8 instead of looking for a counterattack. Only excuses are bullet and unfamiliarity with opening, but thanks to you the latter is being rectified.

@nayf I'm guessing that in bullet that the d5 blunder will happen fairly often - it looks like a strong move. BTW, the only reason I'm at all familiar with the opening is that I tried it with white for a bit. I quickly abandoned it after realizing that against a competent defense white is simply worse out of the opening. That's not a good thing :-)

@Paradise_Pete Yeah, the more so as it's common in Sicilian for White to harrass the knights with aggressive pawn pushes, and black instinctually to look for safe havens. A favourite piece of advice I heard from an FM whose name I forget (Israeli lecturing at St. Louis club) is rid oneself of the amateur instinctive habit of immediately putting one's hand /cursor on a piece being attacked, instead of looking for the strongest move (which is often a counterattack).
Yes, in my OP I implied that I thought the wing gambit deserves punishment, because advancing the b2 pawn 2 squares instantly weakens white's queenside, before anything aside from the f3N has been developed. But one needs to learn it one way or another.
So if you don't play Sicilian you usually play e5 as black (to e4)?

@nayf Yes, many/most players simply react to whatever the last move was. I play the caro kahn, but I'm not crazy about it. I think black's best reply these days is considered to be e5, but for me there's too much to learn. I only play recreationally. I played a lot back in high school, with some reasonable success (team national high school champs, individual under 21 state champ) but that was a long time ago and the amount of theory one had to know at that level was tiny compared to today's game. Now I'm old and can't remember much of anything :-)


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