Intermediate Moves: An Important Resource

The intermediate move (also called an in between move, intermezzo or zwischenzug) is an important tactical rsource. It appears in many chess games, either on the board or in calculations of players, and the idea is very simple. It is an unexpected movement that interrupts an apparently forced tactical sequence and changes the outcome of the game.

Here are a couple of examples:

This next position shows some characteristics which make intermediate moves possible: unprotected pieces and a check in the middle of a sequence:

While it is rare to see a GM oversight because of an intermediate move, it is really common to see beginners games where they overlook this resource. Here are 2 more examples taken from the practice of my students where an intermediate move decides the game:

Here are some tips for recognizing intermediate moves:

• Look for threats of mate (example 2), attacks on the queen and checks (examples 1 and 4). These are very common ways examples of intermediate moves and need to be examined.

• If, in the middle of a combination, both players are left with a threatened piece of equal value, sacrificing it can be a form of intermediate move (example 3).

• It is important to take into account the possibility of a counter by our opponent. (Example 2)

Here I leave you with 3 exercises of intermediate moves and will show you the solutions next time:

Andres Guerrero

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About Andres Guerrero

Hi, I`m going to talk a little about me. My name is Andres Guerrero, I´m from Venezuela, my age 26. Chess has been part of my life since I was a child. I began participating in tournaments when I was seven, and I won the National Championship in all categories until Junior. I`ve got important results as active player, getting the FIDE master title and two norms of MI. I also participated in Tromso Olympiad 2014 as a member of Venezuelan team. I`ve been present in Spain Championship Honor Division 2014 as a member of Equigoma Team, and I`ve got the chance of being in front of some of the best players of the world, as Vaselin Topalov in Gibraltar Open and Judith Polgar in Tromso 2014. Nevertheless, my passion is teaching and spreading chess, that´s why I´m very pleased of being a contributor in this blog and I hope all chess lovers who visit it can take some advantage of my posts