Open main menu

A transposition in chess and other chess-like games is a sequence of moves that results in a position which may also be reached by another, more common sequence of moves. Transpositions are particularly common in the opening, where a given position may be reached by different sequences of moves. Players sometimes use transpositions deliberately in order to avoid variations they dislike, lure opponents into unfamiliar or uncomfortable territory or simply to worry opponents.[1][2]

In chess the verb "transpose" means to shift the game onto a different opening track from which it started.

Transposition tables are an essential part of a computer chess program.

Contents


ExamplesEdit

Positions reached by different routesEdit

abcdefgh
8
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
8
77
66
55
44
33
22
11
abcdefgh
Position can arise from Queen's Gambit or English Opening.

For instance, the first position can be obtained from the Queen's Gambit:

1. d4 d5
2. c4 e6
3. Nc3 Nf6

But this position can also be reached from the English Opening:

1. c4 Nf6
2. Nc3 e6
3. d4 d5

so the English Opening has transposed into the Queen's Gambit.

This position is the Blackmar–Diemer Gambit:

1. d4 d5
2. e4

But this position can also be reached from the Scandinavian Defence:

1. e4 d5
2. d4
abcdefgh
8
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
8
77
66
55
44
33
22
11
abcdefgh
Position can arise from French Defense or Petrov Defense.

The second position shows another example. The position can arise from the French Defence:

1. e4 e6
2. d4 d5
3. exd5 exd5
4. Nf3 Nf6

The identical position can also be reached, with two extra moves played by each side, from the Petrov Defense:

1. e4 e5
2. Nf3 Nf6
3. Nxe5 d6
4. Nf3 Nxe4
5. d3 Nf6
6. d4 d5[3]
abcdefgh
8
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
8
77
66
55
44
33
22
11
abcdefgh
Isolani position which can arise from the Queen's Gambit, Nimzo-Indian and Caro–Kann among other openings.

The position on the right, featuring an isolani can be reached by many different openings and move orders. For example, there's the Nimzo-Indian Defence:

1. d4 Nf6
2. c4 e6
3. Nc3 Bb4
4. e3 0-0
5. Bd3 c5
6. Nf3 cxd4
7. exd4 d5
8. 0-0 dxc4
9. Bxc4 Nc6
10. a3 Be7

Caro–Kann Defence:

1. e4 c6
2. d4 d5
3. exd5 cxd5
4. c4 Nf6
5. Nc3 e6
6. Nf3 Bb4
7. Bd3 dxc4
8. Bxc4 0-0
9. 0-0 Nc6
10. a3 Be7

Transposition possibilities of some openingsEdit

Some openings are noted for their wide range of possible transpositions, for example the Catalan Opening and Sicilian Defence.[2][4]

For a simple example, the opening moves 1.d4 e6 can transpose very quickly into a wide range of openings, including:

abcdefgh
8
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
8
77
66
55
44
33
22
11
abcdefgh
Queen's Gambit Declined, after 2.c4 d5. The QGD itself offers a wide range of transpositional possibilities.
abcdefgh
8
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
8
77
66
55
44
33
22
11
abcdefgh
After 2.c4 Nf6. This could develop in many ways, including: Queen's Gambit Declined, Nimzo-Indian Defense, Queen's Indian Defense or Modern Benoni Defense.
abcdefgh
8
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
8
77
66
55
44
33
22
11
abcdefgh
Dutch Defense, after 2.c4 f5
abcdefgh
8
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
8
77
66
55
44
33
22
11
abcdefgh
English Defense, after 2.c4 b6
abcdefgh
8
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
8
77
66
55
44
33
22
11
abcdefgh
French Defence, after 2.e4 d5
abcdefgh
8
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
8
77
66
55
44
33
22
11
abcdefgh
Franco-Benoni, after 2.e4 c5. This can transpose into various types of Benoni Defense after 3.d5, into the Alapin Variation of the Sicilian Defense after 3.c3, or into main lines of the Sicilian Defense after 3.Nf3 cxd4 4.Nxd4.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Mark Weeks. "Chess Opening Tutorial : Introduction to 1.d4". about.com. Archived from the original on 2008-01-25.
  2. ^ a b Soltis, A. (2007). Transpo Tricks in Chess. Batsford. ISBN 0-7134-9051-9. See review at "Transpo Tricks in Chess – review". chessville.com. Archived from the original on 2008-04-18.
  3. ^ Hooper, David; Whyld, Kenneth (1992). The Oxford Companion to Chess. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-866164-9.
  4. ^ Fine, R. (1990) [1943]. Ideas Behind the Chess Openings. Random House. ISBN 0-8129-1756-1.