• Last updated on 1/22/16, 6:51 AM.

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The German word zwischenzug means 'in-between move', and it is a common tactic that occurs in almost every game of chess! It is also known as an `intermezzo`.

Picture your opponent making a move that directly threatens one of your pieces: instead of responding directly to the threat, you make another even more forcing move, like a check or mate threat.  

You expect the normal recapture on e2 isn't it. But 2.Nxe7+! wins a pawn because black is in check 2...Kh8 3.Rxe2. White is a pawn up.


  • 7 years ago · Quote · #1


    Do not assume that the opponent has to counter your threats immediately, no matter how great they may appear in your eyes.

    Is an exception a check?

  • 7 years ago · Quote · #2


    lol and we can surprise our friends with our awesome chess volcabulary!

  • 7 years ago · Quote · #3


    0 reads?

  • 7 years ago · Quote · #4


    interesting strategy. can you use this move to force a checkmate?

  • 7 years ago · Quote · #5


    great article! 

  • 6 years ago · Quote · #6


    No because you can do the "correct" move instead of doing the obvious. There is no exception for zwichenzug.

  • 6 years ago · Quote · #7


    even if you don't gain a tangible advantage, Zwichenzug makes you look good! Wink

  • 5 years ago · Quote · #8



  • 5 years ago · Quote · #9


    a nice play...usually leads to mate if ask me..

  • 5 years ago · Quote · #10


    This is just so weird.

    1. You seem like a genius when you say, "I won by an unforeseen zwischenzug."

  • 4 years ago · Quote · #11


    this is also known as desparado

  • 4 years ago · Quote · #12


    pronounciation = tsvishen-tsoog

  • 4 years ago · Quote · #13


    I dropped in to a local chess club one day and played against one of their more seasoned players.  This guy had a habit of moving his Queen into the center of the board at some point in the middlegame.  I set up a series of moves that sprung a surprise attack at his Queen, while simultaneously threatening mate in 1, using different routes along the board so that he could not block both at once.  He protected his Queen and lost the game.  I did this three games in a row.  Now years later I'm discovering it's called Zwischenzug.

  • 4 years ago · Quote · #14


    If a player can react with a  zwischenzug, the instigating move was not the best.

  • 4 years ago · Quote · #15


    BlessedStar wrote:

    this is also known as desparado

    A desperado is a piece that is en prise, and has no escape, so it sells its life as dearly as possible for example grabbing a pawn before it gets captured.

    A zwischenzug is a surprising move that comes instead of a routine recapture, for example.  You think that your opponent has to recapture, but instead he gives check with a completely different piece, a move you may have overlooked because you were so focused on the recapture.

  • 4 years ago · Quote · #16


    0 reads? wow!

  • 23 months ago · Quote · #17


    Hey guys, this is an example of a zwischenzug, this is still a game in progress, but I played two zwischenzugs in the game, and it has my opponent in a huge disadvantage right now.


  • 17 months ago · Quote · #18



  • 17 months ago · Quote · #19


    Good information

    I knew about the "in between move" but i did not knew it had a term or name ! 

    i think both Anand and Carlsen missed "in between move" in one of their world championship game i read somewhere....

  • 15 months ago · Quote · #20


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