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Zugzwang

  • GM Julio_Becerra
  • | Jul 29, 2009
  • | 8629 views
  • | 27 comments

Zugzwang: A situation in which a player is limited to moves that cost pieces or have a damaging positional effect or A situation in a chess game in which a player is forced to make an undesirable or disadvantageous move.

According to Nimzowitsch, writing in the Wiener Schachzeitung in 1925, this term originated in "Danish chess circles.” But the man who popularized the word was the immortal Aaron Nimzowitsch himself in his classical books “My System” and “Chess Praxis.”

Today I want to show you the “Zugzwang Immortal Game” between Saemisch-Nimzowitsch, Copenhagen 1923. Harry Golombek called it the “finest possible example of Zugzwang.” Fred Reinfeld considered it Nimzowitsch’s “most famous game.”

It seems Alekhine studied “My System”, and he applied the same method to the propagator! In the game Alekhine-Nimzowitsch, San Remo 1930, we will see another impressive zugzwang, this time with Nimzowitsch as victim!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Homework!!

Comments


  • 5 years ago

    gambit156

    total nasty!!

  • 5 years ago

    dpenaranda

    Yes...that game it is also recognized as the Alekhine's gun.

    http://www.chess.com/article/view/alekhines-gun

    This is another article (in chess.com) about this zugzwang position (game) but refering to Alekhine's gun.

    Thanks!

  • 5 years ago

    hwatuseke

    Good Game

    Thank's

  • 5 years ago

    invaderX17

    rf3 is for the homework. then white would be in a situation like this:

  • 5 years ago

    EternalChess

    Rf3 for the homework

    When will we get to know the answer?

  • 5 years ago

    abcfls

    Great article Julio! A rare and awful theme.

  • 5 years ago

    WindowsEnthusiast

    I've seen that position before-1...Rf3! leaves White badly tied up. If 2.Qxf3 then 2...Qh2#. If 2.R(anywhere) then 2...Rxf2 wins white's queen or mates.That leaves pawn moves: 2.c3 b5 3.b3 c4 4.b4 and black has a choice of 4...g5, 4...Kh6, 4...Kh7, 4...Kh8, and 4...Kg8, which all maintain the zugzwang. Note that 4...Kf6??, 4...Kf7??, and 4...Kf8?? lose to 5.Qxf3+ (check! so Black can't play Qh2#).

  • 5 years ago

    pologab

    a very strong strategy move...zugzwang

  • 5 years ago

    I_M_Nameless

    Or perhaps Rh8?...

  • 5 years ago

    crazy_attack

    Homework: is it Rf3?

  • 5 years ago

    chhatch

    Hmm... perhaps I should have read this article before the games I just played. I encountered several such situations.

  • 5 years ago

    Marshal_Dillon

    Ah yes, zugzwang, that condition in which any move you might choose to make automatically loses. Tongue out

  • 5 years ago

    KKM

    my favorite zugzwang is when a rook or queen checks the king on the bank rank and the king can't block the check thus forcing the king to lose a piece on the back rank nasty ^_^

  • 5 years ago

    Gerik

    This is an excellent and highly instructive article. I have been the victim of zugzwang in several games.

  • 5 years ago

    PsychoMath

    I like the idea of zugzwang... it's kind of like stalemate, except good for you.

  • 5 years ago

    Politicalmusic

    Nice Julio... I've seen that Alekhine game puzzle a lot of time but didn't know it was from that game!  Thanks!

  • 5 years ago

    madpawn

    I am still waiting to play a classic type game that I can call the Madpawn Immortal.

    THANKS FOR POSTING.

  • 5 years ago

    pawnkeeper

    Chessboy 96 says black Re2 and wins the Queen, it's not blacks turn. and if black did do that he would lose the rook and a bishop for a rook. 

  • 5 years ago

    percivalfox

    plural of Zugzwang is Zugzwängen Smile. I'm sorry, I just wanted to use my german keyboard appropriately for once^^...

  • 5 years ago

    kitifolen

    nice&intructive article...i need to do my homework now taking into account im not into chess books!!!

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