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a situation in which a player is limited to moves that cost pieces or have a damaging positional effect.
Contemporary Examples

The Belarusian opposition is trapped in a zugzwang: personal casualties are the cost of their political progress.
Forget Kim Jong Un—China’s New Favorite Dictator Is Belarus’s Aleksandr Lukashenko. Kapil Komireddi January 27, 2014

a position in which one player can move only with loss or severe disadvantage
(transitive) to manoeuvre (one’s opponent) into a zugzwang


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