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Part 13i of an Online Tutorial Written by Jeremy Cone

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Did those songs you were hearing end? Would you like to hear them again?


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That's Some Pretty Interesting English, Jeremy

I know the first question running through your mind is, "What exactly is zwischenzug?" (let alone how you spell it). Zwischenzug is a german term which translates to, "in-between move" in English.

"Alright", you think. "In between what exactly?". Good question! Zwischenzg terms out to be a rather complicated tactic, that sometimes doesn't even look like a tactic! It's one of those ones where you go, "Whoa, how'd I lose a piece?". The move can be both very subtle to the point that some don't consider it a tactic, or a move which you watch in horror as your pieces get snapped off the board.

The Zwischenzug falls in between a series of moves, but not just any series of moves, ones in which the player falling for the zwischenzug feels the sequence is forced while his opponent demonstartes to him that it certainly isn't! Most commonly these fall in between trades where you feel a recapture is the only proper means of play.

If the sequence is seemingly forced, then wouldn't that man I'd be in trouble if I didn't do what was expected? Certainly not! Most common zwischenzugs involve threatening a piece or giving check so that the opponent is forced to respond, leaving you in the driver's seat. Let's take a look at an example to show the zwischenzug in action:

A dangerous game for both sides. Touchy, to say the least. Should either player slip just once, the opponent will capitalize and most definitely win the game should he not blunder. Understandably, black wishes to simplify the position a little so that his nerves aren't such a wreck. He decides to play 1. ... Rxh4. Now black expects white to play 2. Qxh4 and the game will continue a little more simplified. No such luck for black, white is able to spot a block buster zwischenzug which is entirely forced (no working out of variations) and shoves some material into white's pocket. White doesn't play the inferior 2. Qxh4, but instead plays the fantastic 2. Qd8+!. Don't see it? Don't worry, you will. Forced from black is, 2. ... Kh7 when white now takes his rook with 3. Qxh4+ Kg8 4. Qxg3 and white says thanks for the rook. That didn't seem like the ordinary trade that black was looking for!

There will be no examples for this section, it's up to you to find the pattern of the zwischenzug as it varies from game to game. Good luck!

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This page was last updated on: Tuesday, March 17, 1997.

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