Zugzwang

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For the musical work written by Juan Maria Solare, see Zugzwang (musical work).
Not to be confused with Zwischenzug, which is playing a move not normally expected..

Zugzwang (German for "compulsion to move", pronounced [ˈtsuːktsvaŋ]) is a situation found in chess and other games, where one player is put at a disadvantage because he must make a move when he would prefer to pass and not to move. The fact that the player is compelled to move means that his position will become significantly weaker. A player is said to be "in zugzwang" when any possible move will worsen his position.[1]

The term is also used in combinatorial game theory, where it means that it directly changes the outcome of the game from a win to a loss, but the term is used less precisely in games such as chess.[2][3] Putting the opponent in zugzwang is a common way to help the superior side win a game, and in some cases, it is necessary in order to make the win possible.[4]

The term "zugzwang" was used in German chess literature in 1858 or earlier,[5] and the first known use of the term in English was by World Champion Emanuel Lasker in 1905.[6] The concept of zugzwang was known to players many centuries before the term was coined, appearing in an endgame study published in 1604 by Alessandro Salvio, one of the first writers on the game, and in shatranj studies dating back to the early 9th century, over 1000 years before the first known use of the term.

Positions with zugzwang occur fairly often in chess endgames. According to John Nunn, positions of reciprocal zugzwang are surprisingly important in the analysis of endgames.[7][8]


Etymology[edit]

According to chess historian Edward Winter, the term had been in use in German in the 19th century.[5]

Pages 353–358 of the September 1858 Deutsche Schachzeitung had an unsigned article 'Zugzwang, Zugwahl und Privilegien'. F. Amelung employed the terms Zugzwang, Tempozwang and Tempozugzwang on pages 257–259 of the September 1896 issue of the same magazine. When a perceived example of zugzwang occurred in the third game of the 1896–97 world championship match between Steinitz and Lasker, after 34...Rg8, the Deutsche Schachzeitung (December 1896, page 368) reported that 'White has died of zugzwang'.

The earliest known use of the term "zugzwang" in English was on page 166 of the February 1905 issue of Lasker's Chess Magazine.[6] The term did not become common in English-language chess sources until the 1930s, after the publication of the English translation of Nimzowitsch's My System in 1929.[5]

History[edit]

The concept of zugzwang, if not the term, must have been known to players for many centuries. Zugzwang is required to win the elementary (and common) king and rook versus king endgame,[9] and the king and rook (or differently-named pieces with the same powers) have been chess pieces since the earliest versions of the game.[10]

Katai, 9th century
a b c d e f g h
8
Chessboard480.svg
c5 black king
e5 white king
d3 white rook
e2 black knight
8
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1
a b c d e f g h
White to move and win

Other than basic checkmates, the earliest use of zugzwang may be in this study by Zairab Katai, which was published sometime between 813 and 833, discussing shatranj. After

1. Re3 Ng1
2. Kf5 Kd4
3. Kf4

puts Black in zugzwang, since 3... Kc4 4. Kg3 Kd4 5. Re1 and White wins.[11]

Polerio, 1585
a b c d e f g h
8
Chessboard480.svg
g6 black pawn
h5 black pawn
h4 white pawn
a2 black pawn
b2 black king
d2 white king
c1 white rook
8
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1
a b c d e f g h
White to play and win

The concept of zugzwang is also seen in the 1585 endgame study by Giulio Cesare Polerio, published in 1604 by Alessandro Salvio, one of the earliest writers on the game.[12] The only way for White to win is 1.Ra1 Kxa1 2.Kc2, placing Black in zugzwang. The only legal move is 2...g5, whereupon White promotes a pawn first and then checkmates with 3.hxg5 h4 4.g6 h3 5.g7 h2 6.g8(Q) h1(Q) 7.Qg7#.[13]

Joseph Bertin refers to zugzwang in The Noble Game of Chess (1735), wherein he documents 19 rules about chess play. His 18th rule is: "To play well the latter end of a game, you must calculate who has the move, on which the game always depends."[14]

Philidor, 1777
a b c d e f g h
8
Chessboard480.svg
a4 white queen
d3 white king
b2 black rook
b1 black king
8
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1
a b c d e f g h
After 36.Kc3, Black is in zugzwang, since he must move his rook away from his king.

François-André Danican Philidor wrote in 1777 of the position at below right that after White plays 36.Kc3, Black "is obliged to move his rook from his king, which gives you an opportunity of taking his rook by a double check [sic], or making him mate".[15] Lasker explicitly cited a mirror image of this position (White: king on f3, queen on h4; Black: king on g1, rook on g2) as an example of zugzwang in Lasker's Manual of Chess.[16] The British master George Walker analyzed a similar position in the same endgame, giving a maneuver that resulted in the superior side reaching the initial position, but now with the inferior side on move and in zugzwang. Walker wrote of the superior side's decisive move: "throwing the move upon Black, in the initial position, and thereby winning".[17]

Morphy, 1840s?
a b c d e f g h
8
Chessboard480.svg
a8 black king
b8 black bishop
c8 white king
a7 black pawn
b7 black pawn
b6 white pawn
a2 white rook
8
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1
a b c d e f g h
White to play and mate in two moves

The great American player Paul Morphy (1837–1884), like Salvio and Philidor an unofficial World Champion, is credited with composing the position at right "while still a young boy". After 1.Ra6, Black is in zugzwang and must allow mate on the next move with 1...bxa6 2.b7# or 1...B (moves) 2.Rxa7#.[18]

Zugzwang in chess[edit]

There are three types of chess positions:

  1. each side would benefit if it were his or her turn to move
  2. only one player would be at a disadvantage if it were his or her turn to move
  3. both players would be at a disadvantage if it were their turn to move.

The great majority of positions are of the first type. In chess literature, most writers call positions of the second type zugzwang, and the third type reciprocal zugzwang or mutual zugzwang. Some writers call the second type a squeeze and the third type zugzwang.[19]

Normally in chess, having tempo is desirable because the player who is to move has the advantage of being able to choose a move that improves his or her situation. Zugzwang typically occurs when "the player to move cannot do anything without making an important concession".[20][21]

Hooper & Whyld 1992, p. 458
a b c d e f g h
8
Chessboard480.svg
c8 black king
c7 white pawn
d6 white king
8
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1
a b c d e f g h
White to move draws; Black to move loses.
Flear 2004, p. 11
a b c d e f g h
8
Chessboard480.svg
d6 black king
b5 black pawn
d5 black pawn
f5 black pawn
b4 white pawn
d4 white king
f4 white pawn
c3 white pawn
8
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1
a b c d e f g h
Black to move. Black is in zugzwang because he must move and lose the game.

Zugzwang most often occurs in the endgame when the number of pieces, and so the number of possible moves, is reduced, and the exact move chosen is often critical. The first diagram at right shows the simplest possible example of zugzwang. If it is White's move, he must either stalemate Black with 1. Kc6 or abandon the pawn, allowing 1... Kxc7 with a draw. If it is Black's move, the only legal move is 1... Kb7, which allows White to win with 2. Kd7 followed by queening the pawn on the next move.

The second diagram at right is another simple example. Black, on move, must allow White to play Kc5 or Ke5, when White wins one or more pawns and can advance his own pawn toward promotion). White, on move, must retreat his king, when Black is out of danger.[22] The squares d4 and d6 are corresponding squares. Whenever the white king is on d4 with White to move, the black king must be on d6 to prevent the advance of the white king.

In many cases, the player having the move can put the other player in zugzwang by using triangulation. This often occurs in king and pawn endgames. Pieces other than the king can also triangulate to achieve zugzwang, such as in the Philidor position. Zugzwang is a mainstay of chess compositions and occurs frequently in endgame studies.

Examples from games[edit]

Fischer versus Taimanov, second match game[edit]

Fischer vs. Taimanov, 1971, second game
a b c d e f g h
8
Chessboard480.svg
f6 white king
f5 white bishop
g5 black knight
h5 white pawn
f4 black king
8
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1
a b c d e f g h
Position after 85.Bf5, Black is in zugzwang

Some zugzwang positions occurred in the second game of the 1971 candidates match between Bobby Fischer and Mark Taimanov.[23] In the position in the diagram, Black is in zugzwang because he would rather not move, but he must: a king move would lose the knight, while a knight move would allow the passed pawn to advance.[24] The game continued:

85... Nf3
86. h6 Ng5
87. Kg6

and Black is again in zugzwang. The game ended shortly (because the pawn will slip through and promote):[25]

87... Nf3
88. h7 Ne5+
89. Kf6 1–0

Fischer versus Taimanov, fourth match game[edit]

Fischer vs. Taimanov, 1971, fourth game
a b c d e f g h
8
Chessboard480.svg
c7 black king
e7 black knight
a6 white king
b6 black pawn
g6 black pawn
a5 black pawn
c5 black pawn
f5 black pawn
h5 black pawn
a4 white pawn
f4 white pawn
h4 white pawn
c3 white pawn
f3 white bishop
g3 white pawn
b2 white pawn
8
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1
a b c d e f g h
Position after 57.Ka6

In the position on the right, White has just gotten his king to a6, where it attacks the black pawn on b6, tying down the black king to defending it. White now needs to get his bishop to f7 or e8 to attack the pawn on g6. Play continued:

57... Nc8
58. Bd5 Ne7
59. Bc4! Nc6
60. Bf7 Ne7

Now the bishop is able to make a tempo move. It is able to move while still attacking the pawn on g6, and preventing the black king from moving to c6.

61. Be8

and Black is in zugzwang. Knights are unable to make a tempo move,[26] so moving the knight would allow the bishop to capture the kingside pawns. The black king must give way.

61... Kd8
62. Bxg6! Nxg6
63. Kxb6 Kd7
64. Kxc5

and White has a won position. Either one of White's queenside pawns will promote or the white king will attack and win the black kingside pawns and a kingside pawn will promote. Black resigned seven moves later.[27][28][29] Andy Soltis says that this is "perhaps Fischer's most famous endgame".[30]

Tseshkovsky versus Flear, 1988[edit]

Tseshkovsky vs. Flear, 1988
a b c d e f g h
8
Chessboard480.svg
d7 black bishop
f7 black rook
h7 black king
d6 white pawn
e5 white king
g5 white queen
8
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1
a b c d e f g h
Position after 86. Ke5. Black to move is able to hold the draw.

This position from a 1988 game between Vitaly Tseshkovsky and Glenn Flear at Wijk aan Zee shows an instance of "zugzwang" where the obligation to move makes the defense more difficult but it does not mean the loss of the game. A draw by agreement was reached eleven moves later.[31][32]

Reciprocal zugzwang[edit]

Hooper 1970, p. 21
a b c d e f g h
8
Chessboard480.svg
c8 black king
c7 white pawn
b6 white king
8
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1
a b c d e f g h
Reciprocal zugzwang, White to move draws, Black to move loses

A special case of zugzwang is reciprocal zugzwang or mutual zugzwang, which is a position such that whoever is to move is in zugzwang. Studying positions of reciprocal zugzwang is in the analysis of endgames.[7][8] A position of mutual zugzwang is closely related to a game with a Conway value of zero in game theory.[33]

In a position with reciprocal zugzwang, only the player to move is actually in zugzwang. However, the player who is not in zugzwang must play carefully because one inaccurate move can cause him to be put in zugzwang.[34] That is in contrast to regular zugzwang, because the superior side usually has a waiting move to put the opponent in zugzwang.[8]

First example[edit]

The diagram on the right shows a position of reciprocal zugzwang. If Black is to move, he must move 1... Kd7 and lose because White will move 2. Kb7, promote the pawn, and win. If White is to move, he must either move 1. Kc6 which is a draw because it stalemates Black or he must abandon the pawn, which is also a draw after Black captures the pawn. Since each side would be in zugzwang if it were his move, it is a reciprocal zugzwang.[35][36]

Second example[edit]

Flear 2004, p. 22
a b c d e f g h
8
Chessboard480.svg
c7 black king
c5 white king
c4 white pawn
8
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1
a b c d e f g h
Reciprocal zugzwang or mutual zugzwang: White to move draws, Black to move loses

Another example is shown in the diagram on the right – if White is to move the game is drawn; if Black is to move he loses. With White to move:

1. Kd5 Kd7
2. c5 Kc7
3. c6 Kc8!
4. Kd6 Kd8!

Black has the opposition and draws because 5. c7+ Kc8 6. Kc6 is stalemate.

If Black is to move, White wins

1. ... Kd7
2. Kb6 Kc8
3. Kc6 Kd8

and White wins with

4. Kb7

or

4. c5,[37] (see king and pawn versus king endgame).

Examples from play[edit]

Kalashnikov vs. Karpov, analysis position
a b c d e f g h
8
Chessboard480.svg
d7 black king
e5 white rook
g5 white pawn
e4 white king
f1 black rook
8
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1
a b c d e f g h
Analysis position after alternate 49th move for Black. Mutual zugzwang: White to move draws, Black to move loses.

The position at right is a position that could have occurred in the 1961 game between Viacheslav Kalashnikov and the young Anatoly Karpov. White to move in this position draws, but Black to move loses. Karpov's 49th move in the actual game avoided the zugzwang and the game was drawn.[38] This is one of 209 mutual zugzwang positions in the rook and pawn versus rook endgame.[8]

Karpov vs. Kasparov, analysis position
a b c d e f g h
8
Chessboard480.svg
b5 black pawn
c5 white knight
d5 black pawn
b4 white pawn
c4 black bishop
d4 white pawn
f4 black king
a3 white pawn
f2 white king
8
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1
a b c d e f g h
Mutual zugzwang, White to move draws, Black to move loses

The second position is an analysis position from the ninth game of the 1984 World Chess Championship between Anatoly Karpov and Garry Kasparov. The alternate move 45... Ke6 is considered and this position could result after move 57. White to move draws; Black to move loses. It would have been White's move in this analysis position. Kasparov played a different 45th move and Karpov won after seventy moves.[39][40]

Trébuchet[edit]

Flear 2004, p. 13
a b c d e f g h
8
Chessboard480.svg
d5 black pawn
e5 white king
c4 black king
d4 white pawn
8
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1
a b c d e f g h
Trébuchet (extreme mutual zugzwang), whoever moves loses

An extreme type of reciprocal zugzwang, called trébuchet, is shown in the third diagram. It is also called a full-point mutual zugzwang because it will result in a loss for the player in zugzwang, resulting a full point for his opponent.[41] Whoever is to move in this position must abandon his own pawn, thus allowing his opponent to capture it and proceed to promote the remaining pawn, resulting in an easily winnable position.[42]

Examples[edit]

Silman, p. 98
a b c d e f g h
8
Chessboard480.svg
h6 black pawn
e5 black pawn
h5 white king
e4 white pawn
b3 black king
c3 white pawn
8
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1
a b c d e f g h
White to move. Black wins by reaching a trébuchet.

This diagram shows a position in which a trébuchet can be reached to win the game. The first king to reach the blocked pawns will win. Play continues:

1. Kxh6 Kxc3
2. Kg5 Kd3!

2... Kd4 loses because after 3. Kf5 Black is on the wrong side of the trébuchet.

3. Kf5 Kd4!

and Black wins the pawn and the game (see King and pawn versus king endgame).[43]

a b c d e f g h
8
Chessboard480.svg
a5 black pawn
a4 black king
b4 black pawn
c4 white king
a3 black pawn
a2 white pawn
8
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1
a b c d e f g h
Reciprocal zugzwang: whoever is on move loses

Another simple example is seen in the diagram at right. Black, on move, must play 1...b3, allowing 2.axb3#. White, on move, must move the king away, allowing 1...b3, with an easy win for Black.

Example in study[edit]

van Zuylen & van Nyewalt, 1792
a b c d e f g h
8
Chessboard480.svg
a7 black pawn
d7 black pawn
h6 black king
g5 black pawn
h5 white pawn
g4 white king
b2 white pawn
c2 white pawn
8
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1
a b c d e f g h
Mutual zugzwang

This position is a mutual zugzwang from a 1792 study. The first player to move runs out of moves and loses.[44]

Analysis from game[edit]

Analysis from Najdorf vs. Mecking, 1978
a b c d e f g h
8
Chessboard480.svg
a6 black pawn
c6 black pawn
h6 black pawn
b5 black pawn
g5 black king
h5 white pawn
b4 white pawn
f4 black pawn
g4 white pawn
a3 white pawn
c3 white pawn
f3 white king
8
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1
a b c d e f g h
Whoever is to move loses.

In this analysis from a 1978 game between Miguel Najdorf and Henrique Mecking, whoever is to move loses. (It would have been White's move had the analysis position occurred in the game[45]

Example in game[edit]

Verőci vs. Bohmgren, 1972
a b c d e f g h
8
Chessboard480.svg
f8 black king
h7 black pawn
a6 black pawn
c6 black pawn
f6 white king
a5 white pawn
c5 white pawn
f5 white pawn
8
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1
a b c d e f g h
Whoever moves loses; Black to move in the game resigned

In this position from a game at the 1972 Chess Olympiad, whoever moves loses. In the game, it was Black's move, who resigned.[46]

In endgame study[edit]

a b c d e f g h
8
Chessboard480.svg
f5 white knight
h5 white knight
d3 black king
f3 black queen
g3 white knight
c1 white king
h1 white knight
8
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1
a b c d e f g h
Position discovered by Bourzutschky – whoever moves loses

Marc Bourzutschky has used computer analysis to find some complicated trébuchet positions. If White is to move in this position, Black quickly drives White's king toward the corner and mates no later than move 8, e.g. 1.Kb2 (1.Nhg7 Qf4+ or 1.Nh4 Qe3+ also leaves White's king in trouble) Qg2+ 2.Kb3 Qb7+! 3.Ka3 Qb6 4.Nf4+ Kc4! 5.Ka2 Qb3+! 6.Ka1 Kb4 7.Ng7 Ka3 8.Nge6 Qb2#. Black on move must give ground, enabling White to gradually improve the positions of his pieces, e.g. 1...Kc4 (1...Kc3 allows 2.Nf2! Qxf2 3.Ne4+) 2.Kd2! Kd5 3.Ne3+ Ke5 4.Ng7 and White mates by move 42 according to Bourzutschky.– scroll down to No. 282

Mined squares[edit]

a b c d e f g h
8
Chessboard480.svg
b6 black king
d6 black pawn
e6 white circle
c5 black circle
d5 white pawn
f5 white king
8
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1
a b c d e f g h
Squares marked with dots are mined squares for the king of that color

Corresponding squares are squares of mutual zugzwang. When there is only one pair of corresponding squares they are called mined squares.[47] A player will fall into zugzwang if he moves his king onto the square and his opponent is able to move onto the corresponding square. In the diagram on the right, if either king moves onto the square marked with the dot of the same color, he falls into zugzwang if the other king moves into the mined square near him.[48]

Zugzwang helps the defense[edit]

Based on Varga vs. Acs
a b c d e f g h
8
Chessboard480.svg
h6 black bishop
b5 white knight
c5 black king
h5 white pawn
a4 white pawn
c2 white king
8
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1
a b c d e f g h
Black to move puts White in zugzwang

Zugzwang usually works in favor of the stronger side, but sometimes it aids the defense. In this position based on a game between Zoltán Varga and Peter Acs, it saves the game for the defense:

1... Kc4!! Reciprocal zugzwang
2. Nc3 Kb4 Reciprocal zugzwang again
3. Kd3 Bg7 Reciprocal zugzwang again
4. Kc2 Bh6
5. Kd3 Bg7
6. Nd5+ Kxa4
7. Ke4 Kb5
8. Kf5 Kc5
9. Kg6 Bd4
10. Nf4 Kd6
11. h6 Ke7
12. h7 Bb2

This position is a draw and the players agreed to a draw a few moves later.[49]

Benko
a b c d e f g h
8
Chessboard480.svg
c8 black bishop
d8 black king
b6 white pawn
b5 white bishop
c5 white king
8
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1
a b c d e f g h
1. Kc6! wins, 1. Kd6 draws
Benko
a b c d e f g h
8
Chessboard480.svg
d8 black king
b7 black bishop
b6 white pawn
d6 white king
e6 white bishop
8
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1
a b c d e f g h
Position after 3... Bb7!, draw because of zugzwang

In this position from Benko, White should win but makes an error and gets into zugzwang, which enables Black to draw.

1. Kd6? Bb7
2. Bd7 Bf3
3. Be6 Bb7!

and Black draws because White is in zugzwang.[50]

In a study[edit]

Amelung, 1901; Maizelis, 1956
a b c d e f g h
8
Chessboard480.svg
c7 white king
b5 black king
b4 black pawn
b1 white rook
8
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1
a b c d e f g h
White to move wins; Black to move draws

This position is a 1901 endgame study by Amelung. White to move wins by taking the opposition after 1. Kb7! and putting Black in zugzwang, e.g. 1... Kc4 2. Kb6 b3 3. Ka5 Kc3 4. Ka4 b2 5. Ka3 and White wins the pawn. In 1956 Ilyia Maizelis pointed out that Black to move can take the opposition and put White in zugzwang:

1... Kc5!
2. Kb7 Kb5!
3. Ka7 Ka5!

and White cannot make progress.[51]

Zugzwang in the middlegame and complex endgames[edit]

Alex Angos notes that, "As the number of pieces on the board increases, the probability for zugzwang to occur decreases."[52] As such, zugzwang is very rarely seen in the middlegame.[53]

Sämisch versus Nimzowitsch[edit]

Sämisch vs. Nimzowitsch, 1923
a b c d e f g h
8
Chessboard480.svg
g8 black king
d7 black queen
g7 black pawn
a6 black pawn
d6 black bishop
e6 black pawn
h6 black pawn
d5 black pawn
f5 black rook
b4 black pawn
d4 white pawn
e4 black pawn
d3 black bishop
e3 white queen
g3 white pawn
h3 white pawn
a2 white pawn
b2 white pawn
d2 white bishop
f2 black rook
g2 white bishop
b1 white knight
e1 white rook
g1 white rook
h1 white king
8
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1
a b c d e f g h
White resigned.

The game Fritz Sämisch versus Aron Nimzowitsch, Copenhagen 1923,[54] is often called the "Immortal Zugzwang Game". According to Nimzowitsch, writing in the Wiener Schachzeitung in 1925, this term originated in "Danish chess circles".[5] Some consider the final position to be an extremely rare instance of zugzwang occurring in the middlegame.[55] It ended with White resigning in the position in the diagram.

White has a few pawn moves which do not lose material, but eventually he will have to move one of his pieces. If he plays 1.Rc1 or Rd1, then 1...Re2 traps White's queen; 1.Kh2 fails to 1...R5f3, also trapping the queen, since White cannot play 2.Bxf3 because the bishop is pinned to the king; 1.g4 runs into 1...R5f3 2.Bxf3? Rh2 mate. Angos analyzes 1.a3 a5 2.axb4 axb4 3.h4 Kh8 (waiting) 4.b3 Kg8 and White has run out of waiting moves and must lose material. Best in this line is 5.Nc3!? bxc3 6.bxc3, which just leaves Black with a serious positional advantage and an extra pawn.[56] Other moves lose material in more obvious ways.

However, since Black would win even without the zugzwang,[57] it is debatable whether the position is true zugzwang. Even if White could pass his move he would still lose, albeit more slowly, after 1...R5f3 2.Bxf3 Rxf3, trapping the queen and thus winning queen and bishop for two rooks.[58] Wolfgang Heidenfeld thus considers it a misnomer to call this a true zugzwang position.[59] See also Immortal Zugzwang Game: Objections to the sobriquet.

Steinitz versus Lasker[edit]

Steinitz vs. Lasker, 1896–97
a b c d e f g h
8
Chessboard480.svg
g8 black rook
b7 black king
c7 black pawn
b6 black pawn
c6 black bishop
a5 black pawn
d5 black queen
f5 white pawn
g5 white bishop
a4 white pawn
c4 black pawn
d4 white pawn
h4 black pawn
c3 white pawn
h3 white pawn
d2 white queen
h2 white king
f1 white rook
8
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1
a b c d e f g h
Position after 34...Rg8!

This game between Wilhelm Steinitz versus Emanuel Lasker in the 1896–97 World Chess Championship,[60] is an early example of zugzwang in the middlegame. After Lasker's 34...Re8–g8!, Steinitz had no playable moves, and resigned.[61][62][63][64] White's bishop cannot move because that would allow the crushing ...Rg2+. The queen cannot move without abandoning either its defense of the bishop on g5 or of the g2 square, where it is preventing ...Qg2#. White's move 35.f6 loses the bishop: 35...Rxg5 36. f7 Rg2+, forcing mate. The move 35.Kg1 allows 35...Qh1+ 36.Kf2 Qg2+ followed by capturing the bishop. The rook cannot leave the first rank, as that would allow 35...Qh1#. Rook moves along the first rank other than 35.Rg1 allow 35...Qxf5, when 36.Bxh4 is impossible because of 36...Rg2+; for example, 35.Rd1 Qxf5 36.d5 Bd7, winning. That leaves only 35.Rg1, when Black wins with 35...Rxg5! 36.Qxg5 (36.Rxg5? Qh1#) Qd6+ 37.Rg3 hxg3+ 38.Qxg3 Be8 39.h4 Qxg3+ 40.Kxg3 b5! 41.axb5 a4! and Black queens first.[61] Colin Crouch calls the final position, "An even more perfect middlegame zugzwang than ... Sämisch–Nimzowitsch ... in the final position Black has no direct threats, and no clear plan to improve the already excellent positioning of his pieces, and yet any move by White loses instantly".[65]

Podgaets versus Dvoretsky[edit]

Podgaets vs. Dvoretsky, USSR 1974
a b c d e f g h
8
Chessboard480.svg
f8 black rook
a7 black pawn
g7 black king
a6 white pawn
b6 black pawn
d6 black pawn
g6 black pawn
c5 black pawn
d5 white pawn
g4 black knight
h4 black queen
b2 white pawn
c2 white pawn
f2 white pawn
g2 white queen
f1 white rook
g1 white king
h1 white bishop
8
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1
a b c d e f g h
Position after 29.Qg2
Podgaets vs. Dvoretsky
a b c d e f g h
8
Chessboard480.svg
a7 black pawn
a6 white pawn
b6 black pawn
d6 black pawn
g6 black pawn
h6 black king
c5 black pawn
d5 white pawn
c4 white pawn
g4 black knight
h4 black queen
f3 black rook
b2 white pawn
f2 white pawn
g2 white queen
f1 white rook
g1 white king
h1 white bishop
8
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1
a b c d e f g h
Final position, after 30...Kh6!!

Soltis writes that his "candidate for the ideal zugzwang game" is the following game Soltis 1978, p. 55 : Podgaets–Dvoretsky, USSR 1974 1.d4 c5 2.d5 e5 3.e4 d6 4.Nc3 Be7 5.Nf3 Bg4 6.h3 Bxf3 7.Qxf3 Bg5! 8.Bb5+ Kf8! Black exchanges off his bad bishop, but does not allow White to do the same. 9.Bxg5 Qxg5 10.h4 Qe7 11.Be2 h5 12.a4 g6 13.g3 Kg7 14.0-0 Nh6 15.Nd1 Nd7 16.Ne3 Rhf8 17.a5 f5 18.exf5 e4! 19.Qg2 Nxf5 20.Nxf5+ Rxf5 21.a6 b6 22.g4? hxg4 23.Bxg4 Rf4 24.Rae1 Ne5! 25.Rxe4 Rxe4 26.Qxe4 Qxh4 27.Bf3 Rf8!! 28. Bh1 28.Qxh4? Nxf3+ and 29...Nxh4 leaves Black a piece ahead. Ng4 29.Qg2 (see diagram at left) Rf3!! 30.c4 Kh6!! (diagram at right) Now all of White's piece moves allow checkmate or ...Rxf2 with a crushing attack (e.g. 31.Qxf3 Qh2#; 31.Rb1 Rxf2 32.Qxg4 Qh2#). That leaves only moves of White's b-pawn, which Black can ignore, e.g. 31.b3 Kg7 32.b4 Kh6 33.bxc5 bxc5 and White has run out of moves.[66] 0–1

Harper versus Zuk[edit]

Harper vs. Zuk
a b c d e f g h
8
Chessboard480.svg
g8 black king
a7 black pawn
g7 black knight
b6 black pawn
d6 black pawn
c5 black pawn
d5 white pawn
h5 black pawn
b4 white pawn
c4 white pawn
e4 black queen
g4 black pawn
h4 white pawn
a3 white pawn
g3 white pawn
g2 white rook
h2 white queen
f1 black rook
g1 white knight
h1 white king
8
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1
a b c d e f g h
Position after 36...Rf1: White is utterly helpless

Harper–Zuk, Halloween Open, Burnaby, British Columbia 1971[67] is a grisly example of zugzwang in the middlegame. White's queen, rook, knight, and king have a total of one legal move (Qh3), which loses the queen, rook and king on successive moves (... gxh3 followed by ... Qxg2#). The game concluded: 37.b5 Kh8 37...Nf5 and Nd4–e2 was crushing, but letting White self-destruct is even quicker. 38. a4 Kh7 39. a5 Kg8 0–1 After 40.axb6 axb6, white is forced to play 41.Qh3, and then it is mate in two: gxh3 42.Kh2 Qxg2#.

Van Dongen versus Wijsman[edit]

Van Dongen vs. Wijsman, Eindhoven 2005
a b c d e f g h
8
Chessboard480.svg
g8 black king
g7 white pawn
h7 black rook
a6 black pawn
f6 black pawn
g6 white king
h6 white pawn
a5 white pawn
f5 white pawn
b4 black pawn
c4 black rook
d4 black pawn
e4 black pawn
c3 black knight
d3 white rook
e3 white rook
8
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1
a b c d e f g h
Position after White's 74th move

An unusual example of zugzwang in a complicated endgame occurred in the position at right. On the previous move Black, with a winning position, had played 73...d4? and White responded 74.Rd2–d3!!, when Black, a knight up with three dangerous passed pawns, suddenly must fight for a draw. Tim Krabbé explains that the pawns on d4 and e4 are blocked and pinned, the knight is bound to the defense of e4, the rook is bound to the defense of d4, and the pawn on b4 is bound to the defense of the knight. Krabbé analyzes as best for Black 74...b3! 75.Rxd4 Rxd4 76.Rxc3 Rd8 77.Rxb3 Re8 78.Re3 Re5 79.Rc3 (79.Kxf6? Rxa5 82.Kg6 Ra1 83.f6 Rg1+ wins) Re8 80.Re3 Re5 81.Rc3 and the game will end in a draw by repetition of moves. Instead, Black played 74...Nb5? 75.Rxe4 Nd6 76.Re6 Rc6 77.Rxd4 Rxh6+ 78.Kxh6 Nxf5+ 79.Kg6 1–0.[68]

Zhilin versus Chernov[edit]

Zhilin vs. Chernov, 1960
a b c d e f g h
8
Chessboard480.svg
f8 black king
b7 black pawn
d7 black bishop
g7 black pawn
c6 black pawn
f6 white pawn
g6 white pawn
h6 black pawn
d5 black pawn
e5 white queen
d4 white pawn
a3 black queen
c3 white pawn
g3 white king
8
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1
a b c d e f g h
With 1. Kh4! Black is in zugzwang after some pawn moves

In the game between Vitaly Valentinovich Zhilin and Chernov (or Tchernov) in the 1960 USSR championship, White was a pawn down and just sacrificed a bishop on h3. After 1. Kh4! Black is placed in zugzwang after moving his b- and h-pawns. The game continued:

1. Kh4! b6
2. Kh5 b5
3. Kh4 h5
4. Kxh5

Now Black is in zugzwang and resigned,.[69][70]

Fischer versus Rossetto[edit]

Fischer vs. Rossetto, 1959
a b c d e f g h
8
Chessboard480.svg
c8 black rook
f8 black knight
b7 white rook
c7 white pawn
g7 black king
h7 black pawn
a6 black pawn
g6 black pawn
e5 black pawn
f5 black pawn
b3 white bishop
f3 white pawn
a2 white pawn
g2 white pawn
h2 white pawn
g1 white king
8
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1
a b c d e f g h
Position after 33. Ba4–b3!, Black is in zugzwang

In this 1959 game[71] between future World Champion Bobby Fischer and Héctor Rossetto, 33. Bb3! puts Black in zugzwang.[72] If Black moves the king, White plays Rb8, winning a piece (...Rxc7 Rxf8); if Black moves the rook, 33...Ra8 or R...e8, then 34.c8=Q+ and the black rook will be lost after 35.Qxa8, 35.Qxe8 or 35.Rxe7+ (depending on Black's move); if Black moves the knight, Be6 will win Black's rook. That leaves only pawn moves, and they quickly run out.[73] The game concluded:

33...a5
34.a4 h6
35.h3 g5
36.g4 fxg4
37.hxg4 1–0.[74]

Example from Euwe and Meiden[edit]

From Euwe & Meiden
a b c d e f g h
8
Chessboard480.svg
a8 black rook
c8 black rook
g8 black king
a7 black pawn
b7 white rook
f7 black pawn
g7 black pawn
c6 black pawn
d6 black queen
e6 black knight
h6 black pawn
d5 black pawn
f5 white bishop
d4 white pawn
e3 white pawn
h3 white pawn
a2 white pawn
c2 white queen
f2 white pawn
g2 white pawn
c1 white rook
g1 white king
8
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1
a b c d e f g h
Position after 24. Bf5, a full board zugzwang

In this example from a master versus amateur game in the book by Euwe and Meiden, Black is in a full board zugzwang. Any move by a black piece loses at least a pawn.[75]

Zugzwang Lite[edit]

a b c d e f g h
8
Chessboard480.svg
b8 black rook
c8 black bishop
d8 black queen
e8 black king
g8 black knight
h8 black rook
d7 black pawn
e7 black pawn
f7 black pawn
g7 black bishop
h7 black pawn
c6 black knight
g6 black pawn
b5 black pawn
b4 white pawn
c3 white knight
g3 white pawn
d2 white pawn
e2 white pawn
f2 white pawn
g2 white bishop
h2 white pawn
b1 white rook
c1 white bishop
d1 white queen
e1 white king
g1 white knight
h1 white rook
8
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1
a b c d e f g h
Hodgson vs. Arkell after 9...axb5; according to Rowson, White is in Zugzwang Lite
a b c d e f g h
8
Chessboard480.svg
b8 black rook
d8 black queen
f8 black rook
g8 black king
d7 black bishop
e7 black pawn
f7 black pawn
g7 black bishop
h7 black pawn
c6 black knight
d6 black pawn
f6 black knight
g6 black pawn
b5 black pawn
b4 white pawn
c3 white knight
d3 white pawn
f3 white knight
g3 white pawn
d2 white bishop
e2 white pawn
f2 white pawn
g2 white bishop
h2 white pawn
b1 white rook
d1 white queen
f1 white rook
g1 white king
8
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1
a b c d e f g h
Portisch vs. Tal, position after 13...Bd7; White to play, but Black has the easier game

Jonathan Rowson coined the term Zugzwang Lite to describe a situation, sometimes arising in symmetrical opening variations, where White's "extra move" is a burden.[76] He cites as an example of this phenomenon in Hodgson versus Arkell at Newcastle 2001. The position at left arose after 1.c4 c5 2.g3 g6 3.Bg2 Bg7 4.Nc3 Nc6 5.a3 a6 6.Rb1 Rb8 7.b4 cxb4 8.axb4 b5 9.cxb5 axb5 Here Rowson remarks, "Both sides want to push their d-pawn and play Bf4/...Bf5, but White has to go first so Black gets to play ...d5 before White can play d4. This doesn't matter much, but it already points to the challenge that White faces here; his most natural continuations allow Black to play the moves he wants to. I would therefore say that White is in 'Zugzwang Lite' and that he remains in this state for several moves." The game continued 10.Nf3 d5 11.d4 Nf6 12.Bf4 Rb6 13.0-0 Bf5 14.Rb3 0-0 15.Ne5 Ne4 16.h3 h5!? 17.Kh2 The position is still almost symmetrical, and White can find nothing useful to do with his extra move. Rowson whimsically suggests 17.h4!?, forcing Black to be the one to break the symmetry. 17...Re8! Rowson notes that this is a useful waiting move, covering e7, which needs protection in some lines, and possibly supporting an eventual ...e5 (as Black in fact played on his 22nd move). White cannot copy it, since after 18.Re1? Nxf2 Black would win a pawn. After 18.Be3?! Nxe5! 19.dxe5 Rc6! Black seized the initiative and went on to win in 14 more moves.

Another instance of Zugzwang Lite occurred in Lajos Portisch versus Mikhail Tal, Candidates Match 1965, again from the Symmetrical Variation of the English Opening, after 1.Nf3 c5 2.c4 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.g3 g6 5.Bg2 Bg7 6.0-0 0-0 7.d3 a6 8.a3 Rb8 9.Rb1 b5 10.cxb5 axb5 11.b4 cxb4 12.axb4 d6 13.Bd2 Bd7. Soltis wrote, "It's ridiculous to think Black's position is better. But Mikhail Tal said it is easier to play. By moving second he gets to see White's move and then decide whether to match it."[77] 14.Qc1 Here, Soltis wrote that Black could maintain equality by keeping the symmetry: 14...Qc8 15.Bh6 Bh3. Instead, he plays to prove that White's queen is misplaced. 14...Rc8! 15.Bh6 Nd4! Threatening 15...Nxe2+. 16.Nxd4 Bxh6 17.Qxh6 Rxc3 18.Qd2 Qc7 19.Rfc1 Rc8 Although the pawn structure is still symmetrical, Black's control of the c-file gives him the advantage.[77] Black ultimately reached an endgame two pawns up, but White managed to hold a draw in 83 moves.[78] See First-move advantage in chess#Symmetrical openings for more details.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Soltis 2003a, p. 78
  2. ^ Berlekamp, Conway & Guy 1982, p. 16
  3. ^ Elkies 1996, p. 136
  4. ^ Müller & Pajeken 2008, pp. 173
  5. ^ a b c d Winter 1997
  6. ^ a b Winter 2008
  7. ^ a b Nunn 1995, p. 6
  8. ^ a b c d Nunn 1999, p. 7
  9. ^ Soltis 2003a, p. 79
  10. ^ Davidson 1981, pp. 21–22,41
  11. ^ Soltis 2009, p. 15
  12. ^ Angos 2005, pp. 108–9
  13. ^ Sukhin 2007, pp. 21,23
  14. ^ Hooper & Whyld 1992, pp. 38–39
  15. ^ Philidor 2005, pp. 272–73
  16. ^ Lasker 1960, pp. 37–38
  17. ^ Walker 1846, p. 245
  18. ^ Shibut 2004, p. 297
  19. ^ Hooper 1970, pp. 196–97
  20. ^ van Perlo 2006, p. 479
  21. ^ Müller & Lamprecht 2001, p. 22
  22. ^ Flear 2004, pp. 11–12
  23. ^ Fischer vs. Taimanov 1971
  24. ^ Wade & O'Connell 1972, p. 413
  25. ^ Kasparov 2004, p. 385
  26. ^ Nunn 1995, p. 7
  27. ^ Silman 2007, pp. 516–17
  28. ^ Averbakh 1984, pp. 113–14
  29. ^ Flear 2007, pp. 286–87
  30. ^ Soltis 2003b, p. 246
  31. ^ Flear 2007, p. 241
  32. ^ Tseshkovsky vs. Flear, 1988
  33. ^ Stiller 1996, p. 175
  34. ^ Müller & Pajeken 2008, p. 179
  35. ^ Hooper 1970, p. 21
  36. ^ Averbakh 1993, p. 35
  37. ^ Flear 2004, p. 22
  38. ^ Károlyi & Aplin 2007, p. 22
  39. ^ Kasparov 2008, p. 111
  40. ^ Károlyi & Aplin 2007, p. 269
  41. ^ Nunn 2002, p. 4
  42. ^ Flear 2004, p. 13
  43. ^ Silman 2007, p. 98
  44. ^ Speelman 1981, p. 43
  45. ^ Silman 2007, pp. 385–87
  46. ^ Nunn 2010, pp. 104–6
  47. ^ Dvoretsky 2003, p. 87
  48. ^ Dvoretsky 2006, p. 19
  49. ^ Müller & Pajeken 2008, pp. 179–80
  50. ^ Fine & Benko 2003, pp. 153–54
  51. ^ Angos 2005, pp. 109–10
  52. ^ Angos 2005, p. 178
  53. ^ Angos 2005, p. 183
  54. ^ Sämisch vs. Nimzowitsch
  55. ^ Reinfeld 1958, p. 90
  56. ^ Angos 2005, p. 180
  57. ^ Nunn 1981, p. 86
  58. ^ Horowitz 1971, p. 182
  59. ^ Golombek 1977
  60. ^ "Steinitz vs. Lasker, World Championship Match 1896–97". Retrieved 2008-12-24. 
  61. ^ a b Reinfeld & Fine 1965, p. 71
  62. ^ Whyld 1967
  63. ^ Soltis 2005, pp. 89–90
  64. ^ Soltis 2005, p. 90
  65. ^ Crouch 2000, pp. 36–37
  66. ^ Soltis 1978, pp. 55–56
  67. ^ Harper vs. Zuk
  68. ^ Open chess diary 261–80
  69. ^ Nunn 1981, pp. 86–87
  70. ^ van Perlo 2006, p. 71
  71. ^ Fischer vs. Rossetto
  72. ^ Soltis 2003b, p. 34
  73. ^ Giddins 2007, p. 108
  74. ^ Fischer 2008, p. 42
  75. ^ Euwe & Meiden 1978, pp. 125–26
  76. ^ Rowson 2005, p. 245
  77. ^ a b Andrew Soltis, "Going Ape", Chess Life, February 2008, pp. 10–11.
  78. ^ "Portisch vs. Tal, Candidates Match 1965". ChessGames.com. Retrieved 2009-03-30. 

Bibliography

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]