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Thread: ZwisChenZug

  1. #1
    CC Candidate Master hitman84's Avatar
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    ZwisChenZug

    What does "Zwis chen Zug" mean i came across in an old book.
    Last edited by hitman84; 07-12-2005 at 03:40 AM.

  2. #2
    CC Grandmaster Spiny Norman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hitman84
    What does "Zwis chen Zug" mean i came across in an old book.
    I believe the literal translation is something like: Between course (courtesy of Babelfish, I don't speak German ... and don't mention the war!)

    It means an intermediate move that disrupts the expected flow of moves ... it might be a check against your opponents king that you play before making an obvious recapturing move, or some other kind of intermediate threat.

    Here's an example that I played in a recent (losing) game. My move 38 is a useful check as it forces black's king backwards before I retreat the knight. Of course, it wasn't enough to help me win the game! But afterwards my opponent said that he "hadn't seen that move coming" so I guess it at least had a small surprise factor. Others can probably offer better examples of a more powerful zwischenzug.

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    Reader in Slood Dynamics Rincewind's Avatar
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    I believe Frosty is right on the money. It is an inbetween move. You sometimes also see the italian word intermezzo used with similar meaning.
    So einfach wie möglich, aber nicht einfacher - Albert Einstein

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    an in-between move before an obvious one(like a recapture)is known as a zwischenzug.

  5. #5
    CC International Master ElevatorEscapee's Avatar
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    Is it just me, or does the Wiki defenition leave something lacking:

    "Zwischenzug is where one player threatens the other and, instead of countering the direct threat from player one (as expected), player two plays a move which poses an even more serious threat to player one. The first player must then counter the threat from player two, which will ideally change the entire situation to the second player's advantage. Such moves are also called intermezzos, or intermediate moves."

    I always thought of zwischenzugs as occuring in the middle of a sequence of forcing moves, where, instead of a forcing move, the attacking player plays an 'inbetween' move, which subtly rearranges the pieces to make the combination work.
    Last edited by ElevatorEscapee; 27-08-2006 at 12:42 PM.
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    Reader in Slood Dynamics Rincewind's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ElevatorEscapee
    Is it just me, or does the Wiki defenition leave something lacking:

    "Zwischenzug is where one player threatens the other and, instead of countering the direct threat from player one (as expected), player two plays a move which poses an even more serious threat to player one. The first player must then counter the threat from player two, which will ideally change the entire situation to the second player's advantage. Such moves are also called intermezzos, or intermediate moves."

    I always thought of zwischenzugs as occuring in the middle of a sequence of forcing moves, where, instead of a forcing move, the attacking player plays an 'inbetween' move, which subtly rearranges the pieces to make the combination work.
    You seem to viewing zwischenzug as a combinatorial tool for the instigator of the forcing sequence. Wiki seems to be viewing it as a defensive resource to be used against a combination. Other than that I can't see any difference.

    I think most often zwischenzugs are defensive resources which invalidate combinations. Attacking zwischenzugs are usually just called brilliancies.
    So einfach wie möglich, aber nicht einfacher - Albert Einstein

  7. #7
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ElevatorEscapee
    Is it just me, or does the Wiki defenition leave something lacking:

    "Zwischenzug is where one player threatens the other and, instead of countering the direct threat from player one (as expected), player two plays a move which poses an even more serious threat to player one. The first player must then counter the threat from player two, which will ideally change the entire situation to the second player's advantage. Such moves are also called intermezzos, or intermediate moves."
    I think of a zwischenzug as any move that defers what would normally be an expected reply (typically a player, rather than recapturing immediately, does something else first and then recaptures later.)

    Here is a failed example I saw in a rated G60 tonight which I thought was interesting.

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    (Probably not quite the exact position - unsure about the q-side pawns, but essentially correct.)

    White is totally winning and plays 1.Bxf6. Black attempts a zwischenzug (and a swindle) with 1...Rxh2 threatening mate rather than take the bishop back at once. If White takes the rook, White loses her queen, and ...Rh1# is threatened. Black was probably hoping for 2.Kf1?? to avoid the mate when 2...Rh1+ 3.Ng1 Rxg1+ wins white's queen and black is winning without ever needing to recapture the bishop!

    Nice try but unfortunately for Black, 2.Qd3 was check. 2...Qg6 and white swaps queens then gets the rook, or 2...g6 3.Rh8 mate, so Black resigned.
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