Monday, 14 December 2009


zugzwang (chess) n a blockade position in which any move is disadvantageous to the blockaded player. [Origin German] Chambers, 1998

I like this word a lot. I'm pretty sure you can apply it to lots of other games too. And, in fact, I'm pretty sure I've been in conversations that could very accurately be described as zugzwangs.


  1. hi there,
    your blog was just forwarded to me and i look forward to "following" you on this journey. :)

    i am an english teacher and require my students to learn 26 new vocabulary words every semester, one for each letter of the alphabet. let me know if you run out of words and i'll send you some. :)