ZWISCHENZUG: a chess tactic in which a player, instead of playing the expected move (commonly a recapture of the capturer of a piece that the opponent has just captured) first interpolates another move, posing an immediate threat that the opponent must answer, then plays the expected move. Ideally, the zwischenzug changes the situation to the player’s advantage, such as by gaining material or avoiding what would otherwise be a strong continuation for the opponent.
I love that a word like this exists. I have no idea how to pronounce it. I wish I did. I’d really like to use it in a sentence. I’d like to reclaim it as a parenting word and start dropping it casually into conversations at Son and Daughter’s schools.
This word packs a punch. It encapsulates so many parenting tactics. Unpredictability. Waiting for the right moment. Distraction. Keeping the end game in mind. Turning the tables. Stalling for time.
It’s the power of the unexpected to gain the upper hand on one’s opponent – whether that opponent goes by the name Boredom, Fatigue, Misbehavior, or some other moniker.