This term is used to describe a position over a chess board where a player is forced to make an undesirable move (since its his/her turn). If it was not his/her turn then the player might escape the situation "by not moving at all". If there was an option that a player need not move or give up his/her turn then also the situation is saved.
But the tragedy of zugzwuang is that one must move, one can't sit idle and just escape the situation. Its a bit tragic since its normally good to move.
We face similar situation in life too, probably not using the term. A situation where you must make a decision and you don't want to! You want to enjoy the present time, being in an unclear and ambigous state!
Any decision will be harmful for the person, I mean the person may think that way. We never know the outcome of an event in real life. (There may not be any outcome of different type of any event in real life, because: "we who were living are now dying, with a little patience", but that's a different subject of discussion).
(Keeping it in abstract terms makes it easy to understand, once we start giving concrete examples stuff may get confusing….I will try concrete examples in second phase of this writing…it gets confusing not because I have any doubt on readers ability of understanding, but because when one compares two events there are not only similarities that exist; there are so many different ways to look at events similar in nature).
It may appear to some that their whole life is in zugzwuang; those people like to stay where they are, they don't want to make new moves, just enjoy the current time. But that's just a feeling of zugzwuang, may not be reality. In reality they will eventually move and might enjoy moving in a direction; but the feeling exists!
May be zugzwuang exists in human life all the time in a form of abstract feeling like this!
"Social skills, such as communicating and interacting with others, could be lost, along with emotions such as love, sympathy, trust and respect"…by Oliver Curry (Evolutionary theorist)
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