Lisitsin Gambit

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Lisitsin Gambit
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
c7 black pawn
d7 black pawn
e7 black pawn
g7 black pawn
h7 black pawn
f5 black pawn
e4 white pawn
f3 white knight
a2 white pawn
b2 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
h1 white rook
Moves 1.Nf3 f5 2.e4
Origin G. Lisitsin vs N. Riumin,
Moscow (1931)
Named after Georgy Lisitsin
Parent Zukertort Opening

The Lisitsin Gambit is a chess opening characterised by the moves:

1. Nf3 f5
2. e4


Became widely known in 1931 when it was played (and probably for the first time in official matches) by Georgy Lisitsin against Nikolai Riumin in their fight at Moscow for the first round of the USSR Chess Championship.[1]


The Lisitsin Gambit is registered in Encyclopedia of Chess Openings under the code A04.[2]

The gambit which alternatively can be transposed to the lines of Dutch Defence and is quite easy to learn these lines in relation to the lines of the Dutch Defence.[3]

It should be noted that White can delay the gambit for one move, playing first 2.d3 wherein Black often continue with 2...d6, or any other move, depending on the variation of the Dutch which trying to apply. Then White can try here the gambit playing 3.e4. This variation is referred by some researchers as improved Lisitsin Gambit.[4]

Black continuations[edit]

2. e4 is a very counter-intuitive move, as after the pawn is captured White does not get to make a developing move but must move an already developed piece again. However, practice has shown that the knight landing on g5 is hard to chase away and creates certain tactical threats (more than simply Nxe4!) that compensate for the lost pawn.

  • 2...e5 transposes to the notorious Latvian Gambit. This may actually be a good practical choice for someone who knows nothing about the Lisitsin, as it gives Black a greater initiative.
  • 2...fxe4 is the only way to challenge White's idea. Wilhelm Steinitz said "the way to refute a gambit is to accept it."

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Georgy Lisitsin vs Nikolai Nikolaevich Riumin, USSR Championship (1931)". Retrieved 2016-03-13.
  2. ^ "Lisitsin Gambit (A04)". Retrieved 2016-03-13.
  3. ^ Gordon, Stephen W. (1994). The Lisitsin Gambit. The House of Staunton. ISBN 0875682502.
  4. ^ Bosch, Jeroen (2003). Secrets of Opening Surprises. 1. New In Chess. ISBN 978-9-0569-1098-3.