I see that the MacMillan Open Dictionary thinks Zugzwang has entered the (non-chess) English language:
The Spanish debt-drama shows that Europe is in Zugzwang – a situation in chess when there is no useful move – every possible move will make the situation worse.
(Submitted from United Kingdom)
What do people think? I find this claim highly dubious. The writer, Laine Redpath Cole, also seems to suffer from the ‘the Germans have a word for it but we don’t’ disease.
Zugzwang is used in English as a chess word. It comes from German, and in German it’s used both as a chess word and in a figurative sense. But the example ‘submitted from United Kingdom’ above explains the word in attempting to introduce it.
It looks to me like the work of a translator from German who didn’t know what to do. And it comes up with reference to the EU.
Via Lisa John