Chess: history, terminology. Life is a game: zugzwang is an additional motivation, not an end

Checkers and chess are some of the most popular modern games. It is difficult to find a modern person who has never in his life moved figures on a black-and-white board, thinking over ingenious maneuvers. But few people, except professional players, are familiar with chess terminology. However, these concepts are often used to describe real events in public life. Zugzwang is one such term.

zugzwang is

A bit of history

Checkers and chess are quite ancient games. Scientists around the world could not determine when they appeared. It is believed that checkers were played in ancient Babylon. Chess appeared later - about one and a half thousand years ago, in India. Today, both games are considered intellectual and occupy a significant place in the leisure of people who want to learn to think logically. And thanks to the development of computers and smartphones and the ubiquity of high-speed Internet, you can now fight with a virtual adversary everywhere, rather than wait for friends to gather at the table. At the same time, you can choose a player according to your level, and not be afraid that zugzwang is the only possible way to end a gambling match.

checkers and chess

The most important

The study of any new subject always begins with a conceptual apparatus. In order to be able to independently come up with an interesting maneuver, you must first familiarize yourself with descriptions of thousands of already played combinations. And this cannot be done without knowledge of the terms. Education in any section begins with a story about how the figures are called. The trainer explains to beginners that the queen, tour, officer and horse are incorrect designations. The listed figures are called as follows: queen, rook, elephant and horse. The first two belong to the category of “heavy”, the second - “light”. In total, each player has eight pawns, two bishops, a horse and a rook, one queen and a king. All figures go differently. Pawns - horizontally and vertically, bishops - diagonally, horses - the letter "G". Queens and kings are more mobile pieces, so they combine the styles of others.

Board and designation of moves

The chess field consists of 64 cells: one half is white, the other is black. On both sides are "white" and "black" troops. The conditional line that separates them is called the demarcation line. The beginning of the party, or its debut, is a variety of gambits and defenses. The second and longest phase is the middlegame. It ends in defeat, draw and victory. Zugzwang is just an intermediate result. If a player has exceeded the allotted time to think about a move, then he is considered a loser. In this case, they say that he was in time trouble.

The moves of each player are recorded on a special form. In their description, both abbreviated names of the figures (Kr, F, C, L, K) are used, as well as the designations of horizontals (Latin letters) and verticals (numbers). Castles are written with zeros.

chess zugzwang

Chess terminology

The names of many game situations are used to explain the real events of public life. It is difficult to find a person who does not know what a mat is. Unlike the shah, it is already impossible to save the king in this situation, and the outcome of the game becomes a foregone conclusion. A pat is actually a forced draw, since none of the players have the opportunity to make a move. Castling in chess is connected with the defense of the king, it can be short and long. Zugzwang - this is a situation in which any next move by one of the parties will lead to a deterioration in the game situation for her. A fork is a situation when two enemy figures are immediately under attack.

zugzwang position

Zugzwang position

For the first time this term is found in German chess literature dating back to the 19th century. Its English counterpart was widely adopted after its use by world champion Emmanuel Lasker in 1905. But the very concept of zugzwang was known to players long before the term appeared. In 1604, Alessandro Salvio, one of the first chess researchers, first described this state of affairs. Although some scholars claim that zugzwang was described in Persian texts about the shatrange, which date back to the 9th century of a new era.

Life is a game

Little girls and boys love dolls and toy soldiers. With the help of them, they play real-life situations. With age, experience is accumulating, but the need to simulate events does not disappear. Checkers, and especially chess, are a vivid example of this. They allow you to escape from real life, and at the same time to train your concentration and memory. Zugzwang in chess teaches that sometimes there is simply no better way out, so you need to act and not procrastinate, looking for a nonexistent move. Sometimes it’s useful to let things go by themselves, wait, and then take matters into your own hands. A check is not the end, but a motivation to put more effort. The main thing is to prevent the mat! Although no one has yet canceled the opportunity to improve their skills and replay the game, so everything is curled only by you!


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