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WikiProject Chess (Rated B-class, Mid-importance)
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good example?[edit]

In my opinion, the game in the diagram doesn't illustrate what I think Zwischenzug is. I may be wrong, but I thought Zwischenzug came in two flavors:

1. as a tempo move. For instance, if a rook, bishop, or queen is attacking on a rank, file, or diagonal, (or a king attacking something) it moves to another square on that line and the opponent is in zugzwang.

2. pretty much as described in the first paragraph. For instance, your opponent forks two of your pieces. But you give check with one of them, opponent has to get out of check, then you rescue the other one.

To me, the game shown doesn't illustrate it. --Bubba73 23:13, 25 May 2005 (UTC)

I agree that the position isn't a typical zwischenzug. Typically one is expecting a certain move (or one of a very small number of moves) and the zwischenzug is outside of that set of moves. But what is the expected move in the given sequence? White surely doesn't expect Black to queen the pawn and lose it. White just thinks he has defended adequately and is waiting for Black to make some other plan. Black's winning move is surprising, to be sure, and interferes with White's planned tactical sequence, but that seems to be a few croutons short of a salad.
In my experience a zwischenzug interrupts a chain of "if I do X, he MUST do Y, and then I can do Z". It turns out that my opponent doesn't have to do Y, and I never get to do Z, but if I didn't think "he must do Y" then any move other than Y isn't really a zwischenzug. The thoguht process given in the article is a subtly different "if I do X, then he CAN'T do Y, or else I can do Z". Sure enough, the opponent DOESN'T do Y, so it isn't clear in what sense the move actually played is a zwischenzug. --Fritzlein 03:10, 27 May 2005 (UTC)
I agree this isn't a good example, so I removed it. Broken S 23:44, 24 September 2005 (UTC)

....but the article still needs an example[edit]

I can see from the previous versions of the article that an incorrect example of zwischenzug was posted and then removed, but the example should have been edited or replaced. Completely getting rid of a section of an article without attempting to fix it isn't a very good thing to do on wikipedia.-- 18:11, 6 November 2005 (UTC)Ikiroid


A year later, it looks like there are two extremely good examples. I don't think this article is a stub anymore. If no one disagrees, I'm going to remove the stub template from the article.

...Done. --Jorend 19:46, 29 November 2006 (UTC)


Can someone post a pronounciation of Zwischenzug? Is it Zwee-shen-zug? Zwee-shen-zoog? or something else? Ziiv 08:06, 27 January 2007 (UTC)

It's a German word, pronounced "tsvishen-tsook". 14:28, 9 February 2007 (UTC)


The last line says: "After a move like 11.Qc1, Black could then either take the bishop or consider still a further zwischenzug with 11...Bd6 or 11...g5.". I understand the whole article, except for the last move. Why would black play g5? What am I missing here? Thanks. Van der Hoorn 18:52, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

c8 black rook
e8 black bishop
g8 black king
b7 black rook
d7 black pawn
e7 black pawn
a6 black pawn
b6 black pawn
c6 black pawn
b5 black queen
a4 black knight
h4 black bishop
a3 black pawn
b3 white pawn
d3 white bishop
a1 white pawn
b1 white pawn
e1 white bishop
g1 white pawn
h1 white pawn
Because the f4 bishop is pinned against White's king, so it can't move and Black will soon capture it. However, he might prefer to do this with his bishop or pawn rather than his knight if he wants to leave the knight in a good position. Here's the situation:

Not B-class[edit]

I do not think this article is up to B-class standards, because it is missing a lot of content. There is no History section, the Lead seem to be a full section while it should be a summary of the rest of the article, the fact that it is a common tactical feat could be expanded, etc. My own inclination would be to rate it as Start-class but I may be biased by the fact that it is a short article; so for the moment I will rate it as C-class. Please feel free to discuss the matter. SyG (talk) 09:08, 28 June 2008 (UTC)

What is the "history" of Zwischenzug in chess? I sure haven't heard of any. It is a short article, but there isn't much to say on the subject. The paper encyclopedias have a lot less than this. The Oxford Companion has two sentences, an example, and then one paragraph of discussion. Golombek has about two sentences and an example. Sunnucks has no entry. Bubba73 (talk), 00:21, 6 July 2008 (UTC)
I also believe that the article is of "high" importance because it comes up so frequently in games. Bubba73 (talk), 03:33, 6 July 2008 (UTC)
I think the zwischenzug is a moderately important tactical idea, so I have no problem with the "Mid" importance level. Otherwise, I agree with Bubba73. This article is as good as the entries for "zwischenzug" in every print chess encyclopedia or dictionary in English put together. We're getting awfully utopian if we're debating whether it's Start-Class or C-Class. Looks like a solid B to me. Krakatoa (talk) 07:06, 6 July 2008 (UTC)
I fully agree the paper encyclopediae have a lot less than this. My assessment of articles is more done in comparison with Wikipedia:Version 1.0 Editorial Team/Assessment than with other encyclopediae. In that respect my estimates against Wikipedia:Version 1.0 Editorial Team/Assessment/B-Class criteria would be:
  • "suitably referenced": yes it is, even if the reference of the first section is a bit weak (not that authoritative)
  • "reasonably covers the topic, and does not contain obvious omissions or inaccuracies": no because of some missing sections like "History", "Impact on the game", ... The "history" of Zwischenzug could contain two different sections, one dealing with the history of the word, and another dealing with the history of the trick itself.
  • "has a defined structure, including a lead section and all appropriate sections of content": no because the article seems like just a list of examples. Also, the Lead should not contain any information that is not in the other sections, while here the Lead is constructed as a section in itself.
  • "reasonably well written": yes it is, as far as B-class would be concerned.
  • "contains supporting materials": yes it does.
  • "presents its content in an appropriately accessible way": yes it does, even if chess articles will always have a problem with the notation.
This is why I would not say this article is up to B-class for the moment. SyG (talk) 07:30, 6 July 2008 (UTC)
I don't know what exactly to do with the first paragraph of the lead in a short article like this. It seems that if I have a separate section explaining what zwischenzug means (rather than explaining that in the lead itself), I'll basically end up just repeating the first paragraph - so the reader will read two essentially identical paragraphs, with one different paragraph sandwiched in between them. That can't be good.
Asking when the first zwischenzug occurred is sort of like asking when the first fork appeared. There's no way we can ever know. I mentioned the earliest example I know of (1924), but there is no way that can be the first. Surely players like Staunton, Anderssen, Morphy, Steinitz, etc. must have had occasion to play zwischenzugs, whether or not they called them that. I did find some interesting stuff by Edward Winter on the first use of the term itself, which turns out to have been in 1938 by my almost-namesake Fred Reinfeld. He also used it in 1941, in an example cited by the OED, so he was evidently a real linguistic pioneer here. I think the article is about as good as I can make it. Krakatoa (talk) 09:21, 6 July 2008 (UTC)
The section you added is exactly what I was thinking to. Great! SyG (talk) 10:11, 6 July 2008 (UTC)
There just isn't that much "history" for something like this. Opening theory has developed and continues to develop. The rules change with time. But has zwischenzug theory changed? Are there books written about zwischenzug theory? Bubba73 (talk), 14:53, 6 July 2008 (UTC)

(Unindent) Glad we finally managed to get the article to SyG's satisfaction, more or less. :-) To answer Bubba73's questions, I think the answer is "no" to both. It's sort of like "fork theory"; there is no such thing. Either the zwischenzug works or it doesn't. That's true whether you're living in, say, Philidor's time (virtually none of his games survive, but I'm sure he must have played some zwischenzugs), or ours. Krakatoa (talk) 16:08, 6 July 2008 (UTC)

In all seriousness, SyG, I thought you were being totally unreasonable, but now the article is better than I thought was possible. Thanks for the prod. Krakatoa (talk) 17:47, 6 July 2008 (UTC)
Yes, I've worked on several articles SyG demoted from B to C, and in (I think) all of the cases, the lead section was not proper. I didn't know until recently that the lead was supposed to be able to stand on its own and summarize the rest of the article. I wrote them more as an introduction. But to say that a history section is missing when there just isn't anything that fits is a bit different. What is the history of the checkmate with K+R vs. K? What was the first endgame with opposite colored bishops? It must have occurred shortly after the bishop got its current move about 500 years ago, but no one knows. It is like asking who is the first person to see the Moon. Bubba73 (talk), 22:10, 6 July 2008 (UTC)
The concept that the lead should stand on its own is also relatively new to me. I don't like that rule when one is dealing with short articles, and don't think it works well for them, as discussed above. (You just end up saying everything twice.) It works somewhat better for longer articles, but even there I'm not wild about it. (My original lead for First-move advantage in chess got a lot longer than what I'd written, but I'm happy with it.)
I basically agree with you on the history part, too. I do think that coming up with what Winter says about the earliest use of the term "zwischenzug" was useful and interesting. But on the other part, you're right of course. One can with much effort find early examples of what we'd call zwischenzugs, but there's no way one will come up with anything like "the first zwischenzug." Nor do I think that trying to chronicle the history of zwischenzugs (as distinct from the history of use of the word zwischenzug) is very useful. I don't think it makes any sense to, say, talk about how zwischenzugs have evolved over the centuries (while one can talk about how opening theory, conceptions about White's advantage, players' views on exchange sacrifice, etc. have evolved). Ironically, if I recall correctly, SyG himself couldn't get bughouse chess to FA because people demanded a history section, an impossible task since no one's written about the history and original research is forbidden. Trying to come up with "zwischenzug history" is even more daunting: while someone had to come up with the rules of bughouse chess, and so it's in principle possible to document that, zwischenzugs occur in a completely ad hoc, random way. Krakatoa (talk) 23:52, 6 July 2008 (UTC)
And thanks for adding the stuff from Winter. Bubba73 (talk), 00:16, 7 July 2008 (UTC)
Reading your comments, I understand finding "the first" zwischenzug is just looking for El Dorado, and I do not want to look like Aguirre. A possible way of circumvent the difficulty would be to use sentences like "zwischenzug has always been used as an important tactical resource, and its use can be traced back as early as XXXX in the game Durand against Dupont". That way we do not care about the first, but we still give a bit of history with the first we could find. SyG (talk) 18:23, 12 July 2008 (UTC)
I don't know of any reference that says that zwischenzug has always been used (but it must be true). Similarly, I don't know of any reference that says there have always been opposite-colored bishop games, etc. The later must have occurred shortly after the bishop got its current move, but I don't know of any source that says that. Zwischenzug must have been used even before the current rules, but I don't know of anything that says that. In this case he did find the first use of the word, but what was the first use of the term "opposite colored bishops"? Most of your "missing history section"s are the same way. Bubba73 (talk), 23:40, 12 July 2008 (UTC)

L. Steiner-Helling - move numbering wrong[edit]


In this section:

 Instead, Black first played the zwischenschach 16...Bh2+! Now 17.Kxh2 Qxf2 loses White's queen. The game continued 18.Kf1 Bg3!

I think that "The game continued" should go to move 17, because "17.Kxh2 Qxf2" never happened. Am I right? If so, every number after that should be fixed. - Dan Morris —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:46, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

You are right, I corrected it. Bubba73 (talk), 15:20, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

another example[edit]

My 60 Memorable Games as one on page 289, Fischer-Benko, 1963. I may enter it someday. I think there is at least one more in the book. Bubba73 (talk), 02:53, 4 January 2009 (UTC)

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