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Compiled by iron maiden

Zugzwang means move-compulsion, in the sense that there is no direct threat to the player whose turn it is, but every move he makes hurts his position. This collection features some of chess history's most extraordinary examples of zugzwang. If you find any that I'm missing, drop me a line!

The most famous zugzwang
Saemisch vs Nimzowitsch, 1923  
(E18) Queen's Indian, Old Main line, 7.Nc3, 25 moves, 0-1

37...Re3! Five pieces, no moves.
P Nikolic vs Ivanchuk, 2004 
(D11) Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, 37 moves, 0-1

45. Bc5 forces Black onto the dark square "minefield"
K Spraggett vs G Glen, 1975 
(C02) French, Advance, 45 moves, 1-0

Lasker chains up the old lion with 34...Rg8!!
Steinitz vs Lasker, 1896 
(C54) Giuoco Piano, 39 moves, 0-1

39...h6! forces Lasker to wreck his own queenside
Lasker vs Capablanca, 1936 
(B58) Sicilian, 54 moves, 0-1

Alekhine's cannon has Nimzo offsides
Alekhine vs Nimzowitsch, 1930 
(C17) French, Winawer, Advance, 30 moves, 1-0

The chess artist creates a picturesque bind with 26...c4!
J Kaplan vs Bronstein, 1975 
(C11) French, 26 moves, 0-1

33. g3! and not even Marshall can get out
Pillsbury vs Marshall, 1901 
(D02) Queen's Pawn Game, 33 moves, 1-0

34. b4 and Black must choose his poison
Bagirov vs K Grigorian, 1976 
(A01) Nimzovich-Larsen Attack, 30 moves, 1-0

Torre exemplifies the power of the pin
L Ogaard vs E Torre, 1976 
(A43) Old Benoni, 33 moves, 0-1

42...Qd1 provides a fine finish to Adams's masterpiece
Ivanchuk vs Adams, 1991 
(C89) Ruy Lopez, Marshall, 42 moves, 0-1

White wishes he were paralyzed after 41...Qd2!
J Bernstein vs Marshall, 1915 
(C49) Four Knights, 41 moves, 0-1

After 54...Ke7, Rauzer has to make way for the Black knight
V Rauzer vs F Bohatirchuk, 1934 
(C75) Ruy Lopez, Modern Steinitz Defense, 55 moves, 0-1

Another nice zugzwang by Bohatirchuk after 46...h3!
Ilyin-Zhenevsky vs F Bohatirchuk, 1924 
(C62) Ruy Lopez, Old Steinitz Defense, 52 moves, 0-1

45...Rc1 zugzwangs the zugzwanger
Nimzowitsch vs Capablanca, 1927  
(B12) Caro-Kann Defense, 46 moves, 0-1

"Old Lasker" gives us a glimpse of the Lasker of old
T H Tylor vs Lasker, 1936 
(C49) Four Knights, 45 moves, 0-1

41. Rxc8 and soon Black runs out of pawn moves
B Thelen vs F Treybal, 1927 
(D63) Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense, 49 moves, 1-0

65...Bd4! and Reshevsky is cornered
Reshevsky vs Bronstein, 1953 
(E68) King's Indian, Fianchetto, Classical Variation, 8.e4, 65 moves, 0-1

38...Nf5 leaves Najdorf strangled on the back rank
Najdorf vs Averbakh, 1953 
(E17) Queen's Indian, 41 moves, 0-1

This zugzwang cost Bronstein the title
Botvinnik vs Bronstein, 1951 
(E60) King's Indian Defense, 57 moves, 1-0

41. b4! forces van Wely to abandon his queenside pawns
Anand vs Van Wely, 1997 
(B08) Pirc, Classical, 41 moves, 1-0

The infamous "Tomb Game"
B Harper vs R Zuk, 1971 
(E97) King's Indian, 39 moves, 0-1

White must move into a skewer after 44...Kd4!
L Carranza vs Capablanca, 1911 
(C46) Three Knights, 44 moves, 0-1

Exchange sac for strangulation
Radjabov vs Topalov, 2003 
(E10) Queen's Pawn Game, 61 moves, 0-1

M Mukhitdinov vs R Nezhmetdinov, 1954 
(C68) Ruy Lopez, Exchange, 40 moves, 0-1

An unwelcome discovery ahead after 93...Kd5
Karpov vs G Needleman, 2005 
(E62) King's Indian, Fianchetto, 96 moves, 0-1

46... e5! runs White's rooks and bishop out of squares
G G Haase vs O Sarapu, 1969 
(D32) Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch, 47 moves, 0-1

That's me in the corner
Korchnoi vs O Renet, 1990 
(A15) English, 47 moves, 1-0

35...Kb7 compels White to make way for...Rg8
D Foord vs C Crouch, 2006 
(B23) Sicilian, Closed, 35 moves, 0-1

Tal traps a rook
Tal vs S Saeed, 1985 
(D51) Queen's Gambit Declined, 58 moves, 1-0

After 41. Qc8, the black knight is living on borrowed time
Torre vs J Araiza Munoz, 1926 
(A48) King's Indian, 45 moves, 1-0

43. b4 and moving either black piece allows mate
V Small vs Panno, 1988 
(C03) French, Tarrasch, 43 moves, 1-0

King walk for zugzwang
D Kosic vs T Christensen, 2005 
(D30) Queen's Gambit Declined, 55 moves, 1-0

63...Rg3 forces White's king away (...Rf2 is also zugzwang)
Yusupov vs Kasparov, 1990 
(E69) King's Indian, Fianchetto, Classical Main line, 63 moves, 0-1

34 games

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