This week’s New In Chess Podcast episode features an interview with Natasha Regan and Matt Ball.

Natasha Regan is perhaps best known for co-authoring “Game Changer,” a book about Google’s AI-powered AlphaZero chess engine, with grandmaster Matthew Sadler. This year, Natasha collaborated with Matt Ball to create “Zwischenzug!”, a book entirely dedicated to the concept of the zwischenzug, also variously known as the in-between move, intermediate move or intermezzo. They dive deep into the concept and draw parallels with related ideas in different abstract strategy games, such as go and shogi. What are “tenuki” and “aji”? Does the applicability of such concepts carry over into chess as well?

Interviewed by Remmelt Otten, Natasha and Matt answer these and many more questions!

The concept of the zwischenzug is best explained by this simple diagram below, which is also discussed in the podcast.

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00:06 – Intro
02:14 – How Matt and Natasha met
02:53 – Why name the book “Zwischenzug”?
04:09 – How did the idea to write the book come about?
05:13 – How does one become an official FIDE coach?
07:05 – Why should people buy the book instead of using some online course?
08:33 – How should a student use the book?
09:43 – How the online "pre-move" makes people forget about in-between moves
11:25 – The beauty of the zwischenzug move
12:48 – How common are zwischenzugs?
14:01 – The unbelievable amount of zwischenzugs that occurred in the Ding-Nepo match
16:10 – Natasha and Matt coming up with new phrases to describe specific zwischenzug situations
18:29 – AD BREAK
19:11 – Matt gives the listener a visualisation exercise
22:34 – Natasha's affinity for abstract games such as go and shogi
25:39 – Natasha carrying over phrases from go into chess
25:57 – “Tenuki"
27:10 – “Aji
30:50 – Natasha and Matt's participation in the European Senior Team Championship,  using Puzzle Rush in preparation
36:12 – What books do Natasha and Matt recommend for chess improvement?
38:14 – Outro