Zugzwang: How to Win at Chess and Life | Word of the Week #5

Zugzwang: How to Win at Chess and Life | Word of the Week #5


Hey there! Welcome to The Selcouth Mind! Have you ever played chess? It’s a complex game where one wrong move
can take you from winning to losing. It’s a game of skill and logic with each
player trying to outsmart the other, ultimately requiring one of them to move “in Zugzwang”. What is “Zugzwang”? It is “a position in which a player is obliged
to move but cannot do so without disadvantage”. To put it more simply, “Zugzwang” is “a
position in which any decision or move will result in a problem”. It comes from two German words, “zug”,
meaning “move” and “zwang”, meaning “compulsion” or “obligation”. The term has been in use in German writings
about chess since 1858 or earlier. English chess players adopted the word in
1904. The term “Zugzwang” is rarely used outside
of chess, but that is not the only game where you might experience it. Checkers and Jenga both offer opportunities
to force your opponent into making a bad move. Have you ever forced someone into “Zugzwang”
while playing a game? Let me know in the comments below! Being forced to make a decision where there
are no good options extends beyond the world of games. In politics, the candidates up for election
may all be terrible options. Relationships are no exception; the infamous
question “Does this make me look fat?” is a good example of being “in Zugzwang”. Can you think of any other real-life examples? If so, I’d love to hear them! Thanks for watching! If you enjoyed this video, please consider
subscribing. I’ll see you again soon. Until then, stay curious!

2 thoughts on “Zugzwang: How to Win at Chess and Life | Word of the Week #5

  1. My Zug Zwang in real life is the vote we had in the 2017 UK general election. There was not a single party worthwhile to lead this time but we still had to choose one!

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