Chess Wiki
Advertisement

Tempo is a "turn" in chess. If you reach the same position with one more move than expected, then you lose a tempo, likewise, saving a move is called gaining a tempo.

a b c d e f g h
8 a8 b8 c8 d8 r e8 f8 g8 k h8 r 8
7 a7 p b7 p c7 d7 e7 R f7 R g7 p h7 7
6 a6 b6 c6 p d6 e6 f6 g6 h6 p 6
5 a5 b5 c5 d5 e5 f5 g5 h5 5
4 a4 b4 c4 d4 e4 f4 g4 h4 4
3 a3 b3 P c3 d3 e3 f3 g3 h3 3
2 a2 P b2 c2 P d2 e2 f2 g2 h2 2
1 a1 b1 K c1 d1 e1 f1 g1 h1 1
a b c d e f g h
The sequence 1...Rxg7+ Kf8 2.Rf7+ Kg8 reaches the same position but with black down a pawn. This is gaining tempo.
a b c d e f g h
8 a8 R b8 N c8 B d8 K e8 Q f8 B g8 N h8 R 8
7 a7 P b7 P c7 P d7 e7 f7 P g7 P h7 P 7
6 a6 b6 c6 d6 e6 f6 g6 h6 6
5 a5 b5 c5 d5 P e5 P f5 g5 b~ h5 5
4 a4 b4 c4 d4 e4 f4 g4 h4 4
3 a3 b3 c3 d3 p e3 f3 g3 h3 3
2 a2 p b2 p c2 p d2 e2 p f2 p g2 p h2 p 2
1 a1 r b1 n c1 ~~ d1 k e1 q f1 b g1 n h1 r 1
a b c d e f g h
2...Bb4+ loses tempo. White can simply respond with 3.c3 and black wastes a move moving their bishop back.

LightPawnThis article is a stub. Please help us by improving or adding on to it.

Advertisement