In general as well as more specifically in chess.

It seems some people use "turno", "jugada" and "movimiento" interchangeably, but is there any technical difference (like one is a single play and another is a full turn)?

  • It depends on the sentence. In informal play, there is one other expression you'll want to learn -- "vas tú," "voy yo" -- which can also be used as questions. That is a way of talking about whose turn it is. // I'll let someone who is a more regular chess player, or who knows something about tournament play, answer. Dec 21, 2019 at 16:57
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    My husband is a chess player and uses "jugada" and "movimiento" interchangeably, as synonyms. He doesn't use "turno" with this meaning, but he has heard to use it as a synonym of "jugada" and "movimiento".
    – Charo
    Dec 21, 2019 at 17:52

2 Answers 2


Movimiento is the most general of the three words you are comparing. You can understand it as any intentional and organic change, generally strategic, in the development of any activity. It is not necessarily from the scope of games or sports. The chess player makes "movimientos" (or "movidas"), but so do the military strategist, the broker and the politician.

A jugada, on the other hand, could be understood as a movimiento in the scope of a sport or game (although of course you can use it metaphorically in phrases like "el presidente hizo una buena jugada al despedir a sus asesores").

A turno occurs in activities in which the participants make their movimientos or jugadas in a certain period of time, which is successive and has been assigned according to rules. In chess each turno is a jugada, but there are other games, such as soccer, in which the jugadas are not taken in turnos.


Movimiento = movement, from the verb "mover" (to move). It means that you perform any change on your desk.

Turno = turn, it's the time when you can do a "movimiento", but you can also skip your turn and let the other player go ahead.

Jugada, altough it can be a synonym of "movimiento", I don't see them to be equal. As I see it, "jugada" is "an intelligent plan to achieve your goals". It can have more than one step, so it could be more than one "movimiento"

In sum: Turno - time Movimiento - any kind of movement Jugada - one or more "movimientos" that have been studied in order o achieve something.

  • This might be right, but it seems most people say "deshacer jugada" for "undo your last move"/"takeback last move" which contradicts the difference you suggest. Dec 22, 2019 at 3:10
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    @Turkeyphant I do agree fully with this answer (Spanish from Spain). I would say "deshacer la última jugada" or "deshacer el último movimiento" interchangeably. As explained in the answer, "jugada" can be a synonym of "movimiento" meaning "move", but it can also be used to refer to a multi-step "strategy" or "play".
    – wimi
    Dec 22, 2019 at 10:18

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