61 votes

Demystifying Seirawan-Kasparov 1983 king and pawn endgame

In this game Kasparov is showing a perfect demonstration of the triangulation technique in order to Zugzwang the white king. To be in a Zugzwang means, any move loses or more generally, worsens your ...
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22 votes
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Are there any symmetric zugzwang positions?

You can easily construct many such positions. For instance: 4k3/8/3P1P/8/8/3p1p2/8/4K3 w - - 0 1 First to move loses - either by moving a king and allowing the opponent to promote or by losing one (...
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  • 3,642
18 votes
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Can a zugzwang be a bad move?

So a player puts another player in zugzwang, and the other player makes a move. However, after that move, the first player doesn't have good moves either and it's a reverse zugzwang, or a self-...
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  • 77.8k
15 votes

What is the difference between a waiting move and zugzwang?

Zugzwang is when one side would like to "pass" but cannot. With a waiting move, you essentially do "pass". A waiting move could lead to zugzwang if one side has the ability to play ...
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  • 15.6k
13 votes

Midgame zugzwang?

There is the famous Immortal Zugzwang Game, Saemisch vs. Nimzowitsch, where White ended up in a near-zugzwang situation in the middlegame. In the final position, White, even being a Knight ahead, ...
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  • 23.9k
10 votes

Is this selfmate solvable or fixable?

First the verdict on the posted problem. It has certainly no solution in up to 12 moves (checked by Popeye v4.79). And the author of the Gustav software which specializes in selfmates says that there ...
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  • 9,458
9 votes
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Helpful Zugzwang?

Like Brian Towers wrote, a zugzwang by definition can't be helpful to the recipient, but if we go past the terminology and look at your second question: "white forces black to make a move that gives ...
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  • 10.3k
9 votes
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Trying to remember a zugzwang puzzle/study position

The original position has the White King on a4, no White pawn. It's the end of a composed study by Gorgiev that I find as #753 in Sutherland and Lommer's 1234 Modern End-Game Studies (1938, Dover ...
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8 votes

Demystifying Seirawan-Kasparov 1983 king and pawn endgame

This is a stunning endgame. It is impressive how Kasparov perfectly used reserve tempi to reach the winning position in the diagram where triangulation is all that remains after Seirawan's 40. e4?? ...
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  • 4,018
8 votes

Can a zugzwang be a bad move?

You may be thinking of what is known as "reciprocal zugzwang" which are positions where either side would stand worse for having the move. They are very common in endgames, and feature ...
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8 votes

What is the difference between a waiting move and zugzwang?

A waiting move is a move to wait and see what your opponent will do. If you are in zugzwang then all moves worsen your position.
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  • 4,018
7 votes
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The highest amount of moves by the losing side in a zugzwang

The following are full-point zugzwangs, so both sides are losing if either moved! [Title "Noam Elkies. EG 128, Apr 1998, p.53, 10967 (v)"] [StartFlipped "0"] [fen "8/8/k7/8/K7/RNbn4/B7/1R6 w - - 0 1"]...
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  • 5,600
7 votes

Full board with full point mutual zugzwang

Here's a position with all pieces where either side to play loses. Seeing why it's a loss takes some analysis. With Black moving first, White's best plan is to open up the Bishop on f1 pinning the ...
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  • 71
7 votes
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Why can't knights lose tempo?

You seem to get the meaning/importance of tempo a bit wrong - it's not about getting back to the old square, it's about losing one move during the process, thus forcing the opponent to make his turn ...
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  • 561
7 votes

What is zugzwang in chess?

Here are some zugzwang positions which have been shown in answers to earlier threads: 4k3/8/3P1P/8/8/3p1p2/8/4K3 w - - 0 1 First to move loses (posted by GloriaVictis at this question on symmetrical ...
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  • 5,600
6 votes
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Are there any Chess960 positions where Black has the advantage?

It happens that someone tried to evaluate all 960 positions with an engine. Several positions got a score of 0.00, but none of them offered any advantage for black. Of course, those conclusions are ...
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  • 12.9k
6 votes

Are there any symmetric zugzwang positions?

In all the chess books I've read, "trébuchet" is actually one particular case of a full-point double-zugzwang: the most minimalist one you can get, with only one pawn for each player: 8/8/8/...
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  • 12.9k
5 votes

Is this selfmate solvable or fixable?

Is there a solution? I don't think so. If the White queen goes to a square where it can interpose, then Black can just play BxB. If, for example, White tries Qe8-d7 or Qe8-e6, hoping Black will move ...
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  • 15.6k
5 votes

What is zugzwang in chess?

Zugzwang is a situation where every single one of a player's moves loses, but if he didn't have to move then he'd be fine. Consider this position: White King on d5, White pawn on e4, Black King on ...
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5 votes

Helpful Zugzwang?

No. If you look up the meaning of "zugzwang" you will see something like Zugzwang (German for "compulsion to move") is a situation found in chess and other games wherein one player is put at a ...
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  • 77.8k
4 votes

Why can't knights lose tempo?

Yes - A king can take two moves to go from e1 to d2 - Ke1-d1-d2 and also one move - Ke1-d2. Taking two moves is called triangulation or losing a tempo. A rook can take two moves to go from e1 to e3 ...
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  • 1,765
4 votes

Midgame zugzwang?

I think you partially answered the question yourself. I can think of 3 scenarios. In very closed positions like this game of Nakamaura against Rybka neither side may be able to improve the position, ...
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  • 20.4k
4 votes

The highest amount of moves by the losing side in a zugzwang

If you allow promoted pieces in the diagram: The following is a half-point zugzwang. [Title "half-point zugzwang: WTM draws. BTM loses in 14"] [StartFlipped "0"] [fen "3q4/8/4q3/2Q5/k7/8/8/2K4Q b - - ...
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  • 5,600
4 votes

Can a zugzwang be a bad move?

If we had enough computing power, every board state could be assigned a score recursively according to these rules: A win is 1 for the winning player and 0 for the losing player. A draw is 0.5 for ...
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3 votes

Is this selfmate solvable or fixable?

[Edit: D M found an error in my solution. The key reductions are correct but I missed a branch for Black (9. .. Be4) that evades all of those reductions.] I think I found the solution (16 moves on ...
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  • 2,472
3 votes

Book recommendation on zugzwang

If you are in Zugzwang, by definition, there is nothing you can do, because any possible move leads to a disadvantage. Most typically Zugzwang appears in endgames with few pieces, particularly in ...
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  • 20.4k
3 votes

What is zugzwang in chess?

Zugzwang, compulsion-to-move, is where a player is forced to disadvantage their position, or obscure their strategy, tactics, or attacks by moving. Example #1 8/8/8/3pK3/2kP4/8/8/8 w - - 0 1 ...
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3 votes

Full board with full point mutual zugzwang

If you literally mean all pieces, the simple answer would be no, there are simply too many free pieces to move that you cannot enforce a real zugzwang scenario there. Note that, if all pieces are ...
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  • 235
3 votes
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Mutual Zugzwangs & Longest Checkmates (DTM, DTC and DTZ) in the endgame KRPP vs. KRP

I have been able to find information for everything asked of. However, I have not found any large surveys; just mere snippets. Mutual Zugzwangs This page on http://ruszchessstudies.blogspot.com/ ...
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3 votes

Can a zugzwang be a bad move?

Actually, what the poster describes is possible and not at all incompatible with the definition of zugzwang! To avoid all references to concrete positions, let us define: Full point zugzwang: If ...
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