Tuesday, 14 July 2009

ABC Wednesday - Z

Z is for Zugzwang

A chess term for when a player whose turn it is to move has no move that does not worsen their position. From the German Zug (move) and Zwang (compulsion, obligation)

Whoever makes the next move will loose the pawn and cannot stop the opponent and will thus lose the game.

Should I continue the German language theme. These chess pieces are in a space called Coronation Gardens. They were created by Timothy Shutter in 2000-01, revamping the original gardens which came about because the Luftwaffe were targeting the shipyard, to disable the shipbuilding capabilities, in a two year period, 1940/41called the Barrow Blitz (blitzkrieg). I don't think much damage was done to the shipyard but they hit quite a lot of the town, including this space where a Baptist Church and a Temperance Hotel stood. The garden, I presume, was created in 1953, as that is the year Queen Elizabeth came to the throne

And here is a chess piece outside which is the Queen. In the background are the Law Courts where the Crown prosecutes and so at the moment (until the Queen pops off) it is Regina versus the defendant. (A nice link between the two spaces). The defendants who are found guilty are in a bit of an end game so perhaps they are Zugzwang also.

Now you may have noticed that although there is lots of green grass in this garden, no flowers. This is because two years ago United Utilities dug the whole place up to put in drainage shafts, storm drains and tanks. A huge project covering a large area of the town which seemed to go on for ever. People got cross when the project finished but no sign of the garden reappearing but now it has been replaced, but only with shrubs. It used to be a Kaleidoscope of colour in the summer complete with banks of flowers on a slope. A pale shadow now but those minute empty beds promise something might happen.

Here is part of the wall of Coronation Garden made of St Bees Sandstone with stone cushions to sit on while you wait for the bus. Ah that decision when you have just missed a bus and you think, I wonder if it will be quicker to walk. Is this compulsion a Zugzwang. Yes if you set off and the next bus overtakes, but perhaps Zugzwang would not be the first word to cross my lips.

Zip over to ABC Wednesday to be amaZed at the different interpretations of the letter Z.


Mara said...

I've never understood chess, but it always looks like such a dignified game!
I hope the gardens will be flowering soon again. A garden without flowers isn't a garden in my opinion.

Regina said...

A nice Z. Great post.

Irene Toh said...

It's a new word for me and nice lead in to the Coronation Garden.

Jay said...

What an interesting post! Another word I had never heard but I know its meaning very well. I've had plenty of zugswang in Scrabble games recently. Do I exchange my tiles, thus earning nothing for that move, or place one or two for few points, losing the only consonants I have? I can't win!

kml said...

I must do that all the time when I play - I hardly ever win! Great post!