The Lisitsin gambit usually involves a bishop on d3 and a knight on g5. From's gambit has only a bishop on d6, but the gambit-accepting side has less development than the Lisitsin. How would this affect the play in both openings, and is the Lisitsin gambit good while the From Gambit dubious?


As a person who has experience in the Bird's and Dutch openings, I would say that both of them are somewhat bad responses to the Birds or Dutch. In the From's, generally white has the edge but its not as if black doesn't have counterplay. In the Lisitsin, usually something like 1Nf3 f5 2e4 fxe4 3Ng5 Nc6 4d3 e3 is something close to equal.

There is a version of the from's gambit that goes 1f4 e5 2fxe5 d6 3exd6 Bxd6 4Nf3 Nf6, which is similar to lisitsin as black often plays Ng4. In the "main" variation of the froms, black is playing g5 and white typical response is to play g3, d4 Qd3. In the lisitsin, however, as white is more developed, black often gives the pawn pack to neutralize the attack.

So the answer the question, The main difference between the from's gambit and the lisitsin gambit is that in the Froms gambit, white often keeps the extra pawn, parries black threats, and has an edge(though positions are often complicated with chances for both sides). In the Lisitsin gambit, white's attack is often neutralized because black gives back his extra pawn in order to not allow white to develop the light square bishop quickly. The game is close to equal.

So in both gambits, if the acceptor doesn't hasn't much knowledge in the gambit, it can be very dangerous. However, if the acceptor is an experienced dutch player or bird player, then there will be no problems and the gambiteer would have had better chances with more mainstream responses.


Chessplayers need to think of the opening more in terms of plans than in moves. Whether either the From or Lisitsin is good or bad, and any benefit from White's additional move in Lisitsin isn't as important as familiarity with this pattern:

rnbqkbnr/pppppppp/8/8/8/8/PPPPPPPP/RNBQKBNR w KQkq - 0 1
[Result ""]
1. g4 e5 2. f3 Qh4#  

Oh, everyone knows that one. But it's at the heart of From's Gambit, because 3...Bd6 threatens mate in 3.

Relating the Fool's Mate pattern to Dutch and Bird games enables you to play many good ones. I always get a kick out of Teed-Delmar because Delmar was such a good player:

rnbqkbnr/pppppppp/8/8/8/8/PPPPPPPP/RNBQKBNR w KQkq - 0 1
[White "teed"]
[Black "delmar"]
[Result "1-0"]

1. d4 f5 2. Bg5 h6 3. Bh4 g5 4. Bg3 f4 5. e3 h5 { Part of the disaster stems
from Black being good enough to find a move like this. Qh5+ is cut off by the
rook, and if 6. exf4, then 6...h4 traps the bishop in a different way.}  6. Bd3
Rh7 7. Qxh5+  1-0

And this one:

rnbqkbnr/pppppppp/8/8/8/8/PPPPPPPP/RNBQKBNR w KQkq - 0 1

1. d4 f5 2. h3 Nf6 3. g4 fxg4 4. hxg4 Nxg4 5. Qd3 Nf6 6. Rxh7  

We used to think Gibaud-Lazard was the shortest game by masters on record: 1. d4 Nf6 2. Nd2 e5 3. dxe5 Ng4 4. h3 Ne3 0-1

There are dozens or hundreds of brilliant miniatures in the From Lisitsin family. Play in that style, and you'll enjoy it tremendously.

  • In yourseoncd game, you mean 6...Rh6, not 6...Rh7. Although I am not convinced this is too relevant to the question... – Evargalo Sep 8 '20 at 15:08
  • Right, thank you. It's 6...Rh6. I think my answer is wholly relevant to the question. Whether it's a From Gambit or a Lisitsin Gambit, the moves aren't as important as the style plus the plan of checkmating them on that Foolish diagonal. – friscodelrosario Sep 8 '20 at 15:58

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