Often your opponent is defending an endgame, and he has arranged his pawns and pieces on just the right squares to defend against each and every threat you may have.

However, if it is his move, he will have to move a pawn or a piece away from its current position and so weaken his own position – sometimes fatally. This state of affairs is called ‘Zugzwang’ and sometimes it is the only way to win an endgame.

In this week’s problem, White uses Zugzwang to break down the resistance of Black. How can White to move win the game?

The solution to last Monday’s problem is that White plays 1 Qe5+ Bxe5 2 Bxc3+ Bxc3 3 Kxc2 Be1 4 Kd3 Bxf2 5 Ke4 and draws the game as Black will only have a Bishop and a King left.

Steven Carr


Author: Steven Carr

I am 57 years old, and I am trying to improve my standard of play. From 1998 to 2012, I had a break from chess, playing very few games in that period. I now play more competitive chess and I currently have a English grading of 184. I hope to get a grading of over 200 one day. I normally play in the Merseyside League and play Board 1 for Wallasey.