Scrabble Bingo of the Day: ZUGZWANG


ZUGZWANG  n pl. -S  a situation in chess that forces a disadvantageous move

81 points (31 points without the bingo)

You may not ever get a chance to play zugzwang on the Scrabble board, since it requires two G tiles and two Z tiles (obviously one Z being a blank), but you've probably already experienced it if you play chess frequently.

Scrabble Bingo of the Day: ZUGZWANG Black to move. Black is in zugzwang because he must move and lose the game.

A zugzwang, which means "compulsion to move" in German, is when a player is required to make an undesirable or disadvantageous move in chess, when they would rather not make a move at all. In the United States, before and directly after World War II, it was sometimes referred to as squeeze, straightjacket and move-bound, until zugzwang itself took precedence as the main term.

Scrabble Bingo of the Day: ZUGZWANG The most famous of all zugzwangs: Samisch vs. Nimzovich, 1923. White to move and lose.

Being forced into a zugzwang by your opponent usually results in pieces being taken and positional disadvantage that usually takes the player from a draw to a loss or from a win to a draw.

So, just what is a Scrabble Bingo?

A bingo is when a player empties his or her rack in one turn, placing all seven of their letters on the board to create a word that's at least seven letters long. The term "bingo" is used primarily in the U.S., but elsewhere it's simply known as a "bonus" because you get a bonus of 50 points added to your turn's score. "Scrabble Bingo of the Day" will focus on these high scoring plays, teaching you some interesting and possibly unusual seven-letter or longer words accepted in a game of Scrabble.

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