Tuesday, 9 October 2007


Zugzwang (German for "compulsion to move", IPA: [ˈtsuːk.tsvaŋ]) is a term used in combinatorial game theory and in other types of games (particularly in chess). Zugzwang means that one player is put at a disadvantage because he has to make a move—the player would like to pass and make no move. The fact that the player must make a move means that his position will be significantly weaker than the hypothetical one in which it is his opponent's turn to move. In combinatorial game theory, it means that it directly changes the outcome of the game from a win to a loss. The term is used less precisely in other games. Game theory does not apply directly to chess (Berlekamp, et al. 1982:16) (Elkies 1996:136).

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zugzwang

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