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 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.
In chess the verb "transpose" means shifting the game on to a different opening track from that on which it started.
Transposition tables are an essential part of a computer chess program.
Positions reached by different routes
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.
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
can also be obtained in the Petrov Defense:
- 1. e4 e5
- 2. Nf3 Nf6
- 3. Nxe5 d6
- 4. Nf3 Nxe4
- 5. d3 Nf6
- 6. d4 d5
Transposition possibilities of some openings
Some openings are noted for their wide range of possible transpositions, for example the Catalan Opening
and Sicilian Defence
For a simple example, the opening moves 1. d4 e6 can transpose very quickly into a wide range of openings, including: