Zwischenzug is a German word which means “in-between moves”. In-between moves are a little bit difficult to identify. Furthermore, the main reason for this is because of this nature they can be even quite unexpected. In addition, This also is named in intermezzo, intermediate moves, and in-between moves.
On the other hand, this tactic became fairly common, but it was impossible to track and point out the first played zwischenzug. Even though, it can e traced to Paul Morphy’s era. This first game is a great example of a zwischenzug (Intermediate Moves) used to develop an initiative.
Intermediate Moves Example 01: Theodore Lichtenhein vs. Paul Morphy
Paul Charles Morphy (June 22, 1837 – July 10, 1884) was an American chess player. He was considered to be the greatest chess master of his era and an unofficial World Chess Champion. A chess prodigy, he was called “The Pride and Sorrow of Chess”. Bobby Fischer ranked him among the ten greatest players of all time, and described him as “perhaps the most accurate player who ever lived”
The great Paul Morphy was always tactically alert as you can see in this game. This is a great example of Morphy using Intermediate Moves.
Intermediate Moves Example 02: Magnus Carlsen vs. Viswanathan Anand
Magnus Carlsen (born 30 November 1990) is a Norwegian chess grandmaster and the current World Chess Champion. He was a two-time World Rapid Chess Champion and four-time World Blitz Chess Champion. His peak classical rating of 2882, achieved in 2014, is the highest in history.
He surpassed a rating of 2800 at age 18 and reached number one in the FIDE world rankings aged 19, becoming the youngest person ever to achieve those feats. Carlsen became World Champion in 2013 by defeating Viswanathan Anand. Magnus retained his title against Anand in 2014 for the second time.
This position is from the 2014 World Championship match between Magnus Carlsen and Viswanathan Anand. Anand missed his opportunity to use a powerful zwischenzug had strong winning chances.
Try out these zwischenzug problems to test your knowledge in Intermediate Moves!
Zwischenzug Practice Example 01:
Zwischenzug Practice Example 02:
Zwischenzug is a powerful idea you can use in chess! Do not assume that you or your opponent have to make the obvious move—There could be a stronger continuation just waiting to be played!