A Zugzwang Victory

Post date: Jun 03, 2010 9:34:2 PM

I have played many thousands of chess games, and have heard the chess term Zugzwang many times, but my chess skill level has never progressed to the point where it actually appeared in one of my games - until now. Zugzwang occurs when a chess player would rather pass (make no move) than make any move, because any move would lead to a weakening of his position and certain defeat. Of course, there are no "passes" allowed in chess, so when Zugzwang hits, many chess players quickly resign. This happened in a recent game with my chess buddy Ken Henkelman. The game (I played White) involved the usual Gucco Piano vs Scicilian/Dragon/King's Indian Two Knight Defense. I played well throughout the game, and Ken gave away a pawn in the late middle game, which increased his difficulties. Finally, the game ended with Zugzwang. It is the first time that I have ever won a game against a strong player with the Zugzwang tactic. I present this game for your consideration.


May 12, 2010 Waco Tx Barnes & Noble

WHITE (DeVries) BLACK (Henkelman)

-1- e4 c5

-2- Nf3 Nc6

-3- Bc4 Nf6

-4- d3 g6

-5- 0-0 Bg7

-6- c3 0-0

-7- Bg5 d6

-8- h3 a6

-9- QNd2 Be6

-10- Re1 Qd7

-11- Kh2 QRc8

-12- Rc1 h6

-13- Be3 b5

-14- B x B Q x B

Ken and I have played this variation before - I am always a bit surprised that

Ken takes with the Queen rather than the King Bishop pawn.

-15- b3 Ne5

-16- N x N Q x N check

-17- g3 g5

-18- f4 P x P

-19- B x P Qe6

-20- Qf3 Nd7

-21- Qe3 Ne5

-22- Nf3 Kh7

-23- c4 P x P

-24- QP x P Nc6

-25- KRd1 Nd4

-26- Qd3 Qg6

-27- N x N B x N

-28- Be3 Be5

-29- Bf4 Qf6

-30- Rf1 Rg8?

Ken loses a pawn.

-31- B x B Q x B

-32- R x P check Rg7

-33- R x R check K x R

-34- Qe2 Rf8

-35- Qg4 check Kh7

-36- Rc2 Rg8?

-37- Qf5 check Q x Q

-38- P x Q Kg7

It can't ever hurt to trade queens when you are one pawn ahead.

-39- Rf2 Kf6

-40- g4 Rg5

-41- Re2 h5

-42- Re6 check Kf7

-43- Re4 P x P

-44- RP x P Kf6

-45- Kg3 Rg8

-46- Rf4 Rh8

-47- g5 check Kf7

-48- g6 check Kf8

-49- Kg5 Rh2

-50- f6 Rg2 check

-51- Kf5 Rf2 check

-52- Rf4 R x R

-53- K x R P x P

-54- Kf5 Kg7

-55- a3 a5

-56- a4! Zugzwang! Resigns