Null move

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In game theory, a null move or pass is a decision by a player to not make a move when it is that player's turn to move. Even though null moves are against the rules of many games, they are often useful to consider when analyzing these games. Examples of this include the analysis of zugzwang (a situation in chess or other games in which a null move, if it were allowed, would be better than any other move),[1] and the null-move heuristic in game tree analysis (a method of pruning game trees involving making a null move and then searching to a lower depth).[2]


  1. ^ Beal, Don F. (1990), "A generalised quiescence search algorithm", Artificial Intelligence, 43 (1): 85–98, doi:10.1016/0004-3702(90)90072-8.
  2. ^ Goetsch, G.; Campbell, M. S. (1990), "Experiments with the null-move heuristic", in Marsland, T. Anthony; Schaeffer, Jonathan (eds.), Computers, Chess, and Cognition, Springer-Verlag, pp. 159–168.