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Zugzwang is not really a tactic.

It is a situation where one player is put at a disadvantage because he has to make a move when he would prefer to pass and make no move. We have already met that situation in the Rook VS Lone King checkmate.

What Is A Zugzwang ?

Now let’s check a real classic, taken from the basic King and pawn endgames, and detailed in the difference between stalemate and checkmate.

A Crucial Endgame Zugzwang

Mutual Zugzwang

The previous position is one of the most important endgame positions. Yet it is not the only common example of zugzwang in the endgame. The following position, known as the “Trebuchet”, is a classic.

Similarly, if Black plays and moves the King away from his pawn, then White can capture it and win !

In a typical game, if the possibility of a Trebuchet arises, you always want to reach this opposition with your opponent’s turn to play.

Test Yourself

In this section, we will discover together a few interesting positions and famous studies about the Zugzwang. Those positions are much harder than the ones we studied previously, so don’t worry if you did not find the solution !

A last Beautiful Example

This last example is probably a bit hard to be shown as a quizz, so I am delivering it directly to you. I hope you will enjoy this very elegant Zugzwang combination !

This is yet another tactical pattern. It is very important that you learn to recognize every tactical patterns at first sight. That’s why I recommend that you study a lot of tactical positions and do some tactical training.

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