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ChessOps - CHESS "TEMPO"

In chess, a "tempo" is a gain in time-units (represented by moves). When one player gains a tempo, it effectively means that his opponent has been forced to waste one or more moves.

A tempo is usually gained by developing a piece that attacks another of greater value, which must at once move or be lost. The benefit to the player gaining a tempo is that it enables him to marshall his forces more swiftly and effectively. In the opening part of a game, this usually results in a lead in development.

The Centre Counter-Defence includes a good example of a tempo gained by White in an attack on Black's prematurely-developed Queen. Similarly the Meran Variation of the Queen's Gambit demonstrates a tempo gained by Black. The Hennig-Schara Gambit also illustrates a couple of tempi, as does a Scholar's Mate refutation. A White loss of tempo in the Nimzowitsch Attack of the Steinitz Ruy Lopez shows how Black has a resulting move in hand compared to the same position reached via the Exchange Philidor.

Basics Terms.2 - Gambits Terms.4 - Open Games & Close Openings