Foreign Words in Chess

There are a lot of foreign words and phrases used in English chess terminology. Some of them are:

  • En passant (French: “in passing”): this is the special pawn capture rule.
  • En prise (French): it means that a piece is unprotected and free to be taken.
  • Zugzwang (German): the situation where it would be fine if you could “pass” but any move will lose.
  • Zwischenzug (German): an “in-between move” in a chess combination.
  • J’adoube: (French for “I adjust”). Player often say this when fiddling with the pieces. Or you can just say “I adjust” or “adjust”, which is English for adjusting.
  • Trebuchet: a particular position in King-and-pawn endgames.

Did I miss any? There’s probably a lot more foreign words or phrases used in chess.

Related Chess Rules Topics

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