# The Stacks Project

## Tag 0B0D

### 42.24. Moving Lemma

The moving lemma states that given an $r$-cycle $\alpha$ and a $s$ cycle $\beta$ there exists $\alpha'$, $\alpha' \sim_{rat} \alpha$ such that $\alpha'$ and $\beta$ intersect properly (Lemma 42.24.3). See [Samuel], [ChevalleyI], [ChevalleyII]. The key to this is Lemma 42.24.1; the reader may find this lemma in the form stated in [F, Example 11.4.1] and find a proof in [Roberts].

Lemma 42.24.1. Let $X \subset \mathbf{P}^N$ be a nonsingular closed subvariety. Let $n = \dim(X)$ and $0 \leq d, d' < n$. Let $Z \subset X$ be a closed subvariety of dimension $d$ and $T_i \subset X$, $i \in I$ be a finite collection of closed subvarieties of dimension $d'$. Then there exists a subvariety $C \subset \mathbf{P}^N$ such that $C$ intersects $X$ properly and such that $$C \cdot X = Z + \sum\nolimits_{j \in J} m_j Z_j$$ where $Z_j \subset X$ are irreducible of dimension $d$, distinct from $Z$, and $$\dim(Z_j \cap T_i) \leq \dim(Z \cap T_i)$$ with strict inequality if $Z$ does not intersect $T_i$ properly in $X$.

Proof. Write $\mathbf{P}^N = \mathbf{P}(V_N)$ so $\dim(V_N) = N + 1$ and set $X_N = X$. We are going to choose a sequence of projections from points \begin{align*} & r_N : \mathbf{P}(V_N) \setminus \{p_N\} \to \mathbf{P}(V_{N - 1}), \\ & r_{N - 1} : \mathbf{P}(V_{N - 1}) \setminus \{p_{N - 1}\} \to \mathbf{P}(V_{N - 2}), \\ & \ldots,\\ & r_{n + 1} : \mathbf{P}(V_{n + 1}) \setminus \{p_{n + 1}\} \to \mathbf{P}(V_n) \end{align*} as in Section 42.23. At each step we will choose $p_N, p_{N - 1}, \ldots, p_{n + 1}$ in a suitable Zariski open set. Pick a closed point $x \in Z \subset X$. For every $i$ pick closed points $x_{it} \in T_i \cap Z$, at least one in each irreducible component of $T_i \cap Z$. Taking the composition we obtain a morphism $$\pi = (r_{n + 1} \circ \ldots \circ r_N)|_X : X \longrightarrow \mathbf{P}(V_n)$$ which has the following properties

1. $\pi$ is finite,
2. $\pi$ is étale at $x$ and all $x_{it}$,
3. $\pi|_Z : Z \to \pi(Z)$ is an isomorphism over an open neighbourhood of $\pi(x_{it})$,
4. $T_i \cap \pi^{-1}(\pi(Z)) = (T_i \cap Z) \cup E_i$ with $E_i \subset T_i$ closed and $\dim(E_i) \leq d + d' + 1 - (n + 1) = d + d' - n$.

It follows in a straightforward manner from Lemmas 42.23.1, 42.23.2, and 42.23.3 and induction that we can do this; observe that the last projection is from $\mathbf{P}(V_{n + 1})$ and that $\dim(V_{n + 1}) = n + 2$ which explains the inequality in (4).

Let $C \subset \mathbf{P}(V_N)$ be the scheme theoretic closure of $(r_{n + 1} \circ \ldots \circ r_N)^{-1}(\pi(Z))$. Because $\pi$ is étale at the point $x$ of $Z$, we see that the closed subscheme $C \cap X$ contains $Z$ with multiplicity $1$ (local calculation omitted). Hence by Lemma 42.17.2 we conclude that $$C \cdot X = [Z] + \sum m_j[Z_j]$$ for some subvarieties $Z_j \subset X$ of dimension $d$. Note that $$C \cap X = \pi^{-1}(\pi(Z))$$ set theoretically. Hence $T_i \cap Z_j \subset T_i \cap \pi^{-1}(\pi(Z)) \subset T_i \cap Z \cup E_i$. For any irreducible component of $T_i \cap Z$ contained in $E_i$ we have the desired dimension bound. Finally, let $V$ be an irreducible component of $T_i \cap Z_j$ which is contained in $T_i \cap Z$. To finish the proof it suffices to show that $V$ does not contain any of the points $x_{it}$, because then $\dim(V) < \dim(Z \cap T_i)$. To show this it suffices to show that $x_{it} \not \in Z_j$ for all $i, t, j$.

Set $Z' = \pi(Z)$ and $Z'' = \pi^{-1}(Z')$, scheme theoretically. By condition (3) we can find an open $U \subset \mathbf{P}(V_n)$ containing $\pi(x_{it})$ such that $\pi^{-1}(U) \cap Z \to U \cap Z'$ is an isomorphism. In particular, $Z \to Z'$ is a local isomorphism at $x_{it}$. On the other hand, $Z'' \to Z'$ is étale at $x_{it}$ by condition (2). Hence the closed immersion $Z \to Z''$ is étale at $x_{it}$ (Morphisms, Lemma 28.34.18). Thus $Z = Z''$ in a Zariski neighbourhood of $x_{it}$ which proves the assertion. $\square$

The actual moving is done using the following lemma.

Lemma 42.24.2. Let $C \subset \mathbf{P}^N$ be a closed subvariety. Let $X \subset \mathbf{P}^N$ be subvariety and let $T_i \subset X$ be a finite collection of closed subvarieties. Assume that $C$ and $X$ intersect properly. Then there exists a closed subvariety $C' \subset \mathbf{P}^N \times \mathbf{P}^1$ such that

1. $C' \to \mathbf{P}^1$ is dominant,
2. $C'_0 = C$ scheme theoretically,
3. $C'$ and $X \times \mathbf{P}^1$ intersect properly,
4. $C'_\infty$ properly intersects each of the given $T_i$.

Proof. Write $\mathbf{P}^N = \mathbf{P}(V)$ so $\dim(V) = N + 1$. Let $E = \text{End}(V)$. Let $E^\vee = \mathop{\rm Hom}\nolimits(E, \mathbf{C})$. Set $\mathbf{P} = \mathbf{P}(E^\vee)$ as in Lemma 42.23.7. Choose a general line $\ell \subset \mathbf{P}$ passing through $\text{id}_V$. Set $C' \subset \ell \times \mathbf{P}(V)$ equal to the closed subscheme having fibre $r_g(C)$ over $[g] \in \ell$. More precisely, $C'$ is the image of $$\ell \times C \subset \mathbf{P} \times \mathbf{P}(V)$$ under the morphism (42.23.6.1). By Lemma 42.23.7 this makes sense, i.e., $\ell \times C \subset U(\psi)$. The morphism $\ell \times C \to C'$ is finite and $C'_{[g]} = r_g(C)$ set theoretically for all $[g] \in \ell$. Parts (1) and (2) are clear with $0 = [\text{id}_V] \in \ell$. Part (3) follows from the fact that $r_g(C)$ and $X$ intersect properly for all $[g] \in \ell$. Part (4) follows from the fact that a general point $\infty = [g] \in \ell$ is a general point of $\mathbf{P}$ and for such as point $r_g(C) \cap T$ is proper for any closed subvariety $T$ of $\mathbf{P}(V)$ (see proof of Lemma 42.23.7). Some details omitted. $\square$

Lemma 42.24.3. Let $X$ be a nonsingular projective variety. Let $\alpha$ be an $r$-cycle and $\beta$ be an $s$-cycle on $X$. Then there exists an $r$-cycle $\alpha'$ such that $\alpha' \sim_{rat} \alpha$ and such that $\alpha'$ and $\beta$ intersect properly.

Proof. Write $\beta = \sum n_i[T_i]$ for some subvarieties $T_i \subset X$ of dimension $s$. By linearity we may assume that $\alpha = [Z]$ for some irreducible closed subvariety $Z \subset X$ of dimension $r$. We will prove the lemma by induction on the maximum $e$ of the integers $$\dim(Z \cap T_i)$$ The base case is $e = r + s - \dim(X)$. In this case $Z$ intersects $\beta$ properly and the lemma is trivial.

Induction step. Assume that $e > r + s - \dim(X)$. Choose an embedding $X \subset \mathbf{P}^N$ and apply Lemma 42.24.1 to find a closed subvariety $C \subset \mathbf{P}^N$ such that $C \cdot X = [Z] + \sum m_j[Z_j]$ and such that the induction hypothesis applies to each $Z_j$. Next, apply Lemma 42.24.2 to $C$, $X$, $T_i$ to find $C' \subset \mathbf{P}^N \times \mathbf{P}^1$. Let $\gamma = C' \cdot X \times \mathbf{P}^1$ viewed as a cycle on $X \times \mathbf{P}^1$. By Lemma 42.22.2 we have $$[Z] + \sum m_j[Z_j] = \text{pr}_{X, *}(\gamma \cdot X \times 0)$$ On the other hand the cycle $\gamma_\infty = \text{pr}_{X, *}(\gamma \cdot X \times \infty)$ is supported on $C'_\infty \cap X$ hence intersects $\beta$ transversally. Thus we see that $[Z] \sim_{rat} - \sum m_j[Z_j] + \gamma_\infty$ by Lemma 42.17.1. Since by induction each $[Z_j]$ is rationally equivalent to a cycle which properly intersects $\beta$ this finishes the proof. $\square$

The code snippet corresponding to this tag is a part of the file intersection.tex and is located in lines 2549–2740 (see updates for more information).

\section{Moving Lemma}
\label{section-moving-lemma}

\noindent
The moving lemma states that given an $r$-cycle $\alpha$ and a $s$ cycle
$\beta$ there exists $\alpha'$, $\alpha' \sim_{rat} \alpha$ such that
$\alpha'$ and $\beta$ intersect properly (Lemma \ref{lemma-moving-move}).
See \cite{Samuel}, \cite{ChevalleyI}, \cite{ChevalleyII}.
The key to this is Lemma \ref{lemma-moving}; the reader may find
this lemma in the form stated in
\cite[Example 11.4.1]{F} and find a proof in \cite{Roberts}.

\begin{lemma}
\label{lemma-moving}
\begin{reference}
See \cite{Roberts}.
\end{reference}
Let $X \subset \mathbf{P}^N$ be a nonsingular closed subvariety.
Let $n = \dim(X)$ and $0 \leq d, d' < n$. Let $Z \subset X$ be a closed
subvariety of dimension $d$ and $T_i \subset X$, $i \in I$ be a finite
collection of closed subvarieties of dimension $d'$. Then there exists
a subvariety $C \subset \mathbf{P}^N$ such that $C$ intersects $X$
properly and such that
$$C \cdot X = Z + \sum\nolimits_{j \in J} m_j Z_j$$
where $Z_j \subset X$ are irreducible of dimension $d$, distinct from $Z$, and
$$\dim(Z_j \cap T_i) \leq \dim(Z \cap T_i)$$
with strict inequality if $Z$ does not intersect $T_i$ properly in $X$.
\end{lemma}

\begin{proof}
Write $\mathbf{P}^N = \mathbf{P}(V_N)$ so $\dim(V_N) = N + 1$ and set
$X_N = X$. We are going to choose a sequence of projections from points
\begin{align*}
& r_N :
\mathbf{P}(V_N) \setminus \{p_N\} \to \mathbf{P}(V_{N - 1}), \\
& r_{N - 1} :
\mathbf{P}(V_{N - 1}) \setminus \{p_{N - 1}\} \to \mathbf{P}(V_{N - 2}), \\
& \ldots,\\
& r_{n + 1} :
\mathbf{P}(V_{n + 1}) \setminus \{p_{n + 1}\} \to \mathbf{P}(V_n)
\end{align*}
as in Section \ref{section-projection}. At each step we will choose
$p_N, p_{N - 1}, \ldots, p_{n + 1}$ in a suitable Zariski open set.
Pick a closed point $x \in Z \subset X$. For every $i$ pick
closed points $x_{it} \in T_i \cap Z$, at least one in each irreducible
component of $T_i \cap Z$. Taking the composition we obtain
a morphism
$$\pi = (r_{n + 1} \circ \ldots \circ r_N)|_X : X \longrightarrow \mathbf{P}(V_n)$$
which has the following properties
\begin{enumerate}
\item $\pi$ is finite,
\item $\pi$ is \'etale at $x$ and all $x_{it}$,
\item $\pi|_Z : Z \to \pi(Z)$ is an isomorphism
over an open neighbourhood of $\pi(x_{it})$,
\item $T_i \cap \pi^{-1}(\pi(Z)) = (T_i \cap Z) \cup E_i$ with
$E_i \subset T_i$ closed and
$\dim(E_i) \leq d + d' + 1 - (n + 1) = d + d' - n$.
\end{enumerate}
It follows in a straightforward manner from
Lemmas \ref{lemma-projection-generically-finite},
\ref{lemma-projection-generically-immersion}, and
\ref{lemma-projection-injective} and induction that we can do this;
observe that the last projection is from $\mathbf{P}(V_{n + 1})$ and that
$\dim(V_{n + 1}) = n + 2$ which explains the inequality in (4).

\medskip\noindent
Let $C \subset \mathbf{P}(V_N)$ be the scheme theoretic closure of
$(r_{n + 1} \circ \ldots \circ r_N)^{-1}(\pi(Z))$. Because $\pi$
is \'etale at the point $x$ of $Z$, we see that the closed subscheme
$C \cap X$ contains $Z$ with multiplicity $1$ (local calculation omitted).
Hence by Lemma \ref{lemma-transversal-subschemes} we conclude that
$$C \cdot X = [Z] + \sum m_j[Z_j]$$
for some subvarieties $Z_j \subset X$ of dimension $d$. Note that
$$C \cap X = \pi^{-1}(\pi(Z))$$
set theoretically. Hence
$T_i \cap Z_j \subset T_i \cap \pi^{-1}(\pi(Z)) \subset T_i \cap Z \cup E_i$.
For any irreducible component of $T_i \cap Z$ contained in $E_i$ we
have the desired dimension bound. Finally, let $V$ be an irreducible
component of $T_i \cap Z_j$ which is contained in $T_i \cap Z$. To finish
the proof it suffices to show that $V$ does not contain any of the
points $x_{it}$, because then $\dim(V) < \dim(Z \cap T_i)$.
To show this it suffices to show that $x_{it} \not \in Z_j$
for all $i, t, j$.

\medskip\noindent
Set $Z' = \pi(Z)$ and $Z'' = \pi^{-1}(Z')$, scheme theoretically. By
condition (3) we can find an open $U \subset \mathbf{P}(V_n)$ containing
$\pi(x_{it})$ such that $\pi^{-1}(U) \cap Z \to U \cap Z'$ is an isomorphism.
In particular, $Z \to Z'$ is a local isomorphism at $x_{it}$.
On the other hand, $Z'' \to Z'$ is \'etale at $x_{it}$ by condition (2).
Hence the closed immersion $Z \to Z''$ is \'etale at $x_{it}$
(Morphisms, Lemma \ref{morphisms-lemma-etale-permanence}).
Thus $Z = Z''$ in a Zariski neighbourhood of $x_{it}$ which proves
the assertion.
\end{proof}

\noindent
The actual moving is done using the following lemma.

\begin{lemma}
\label{lemma-move}
Let $C \subset \mathbf{P}^N$ be a closed subvariety.
Let $X \subset \mathbf{P}^N$ be subvariety and let $T_i \subset X$
be a finite collection of closed subvarieties.
Assume that $C$ and $X$ intersect properly.
Then there exists a closed subvariety
$C' \subset \mathbf{P}^N \times \mathbf{P}^1$ such that
\begin{enumerate}
\item $C' \to \mathbf{P}^1$ is dominant,
\item $C'_0 = C$ scheme theoretically,
\item $C'$ and $X \times \mathbf{P}^1$ intersect properly,
\item $C'_\infty$ properly intersects each of the given $T_i$.
\end{enumerate}
\end{lemma}

\begin{proof}
Write $\mathbf{P}^N = \mathbf{P}(V)$ so $\dim(V) = N + 1$. Let
$E = \text{End}(V)$. Let $E^\vee = \Hom(E, \mathbf{C})$. Set
$\mathbf{P} = \mathbf{P}(E^\vee)$ as in Lemma \ref{lemma-make-family}.
Choose a general line $\ell \subset \mathbf{P}$ passing through $\text{id}_V$.
Set $C' \subset \ell \times \mathbf{P}(V)$ equal to the
closed subscheme having fibre $r_g(C)$ over $[g] \in \ell$.
More precisely, $C'$ is the image of
$$\ell \times C \subset \mathbf{P} \times \mathbf{P}(V)$$
under the morphism (\ref{equation-r-psi}). By Lemma \ref{lemma-make-family}
this makes sense, i.e., $\ell \times C \subset U(\psi)$. The morphism
$\ell \times C \to C'$ is finite and $C'_{[g]} = r_g(C)$ set theoretically
for all $[g] \in \ell$. Parts (1) and (2) are clear with
$0 = [\text{id}_V] \in \ell$. Part (3) follows from the fact
that $r_g(C)$ and $X$ intersect properly for all $[g] \in \ell$.
Part (4) follows from the fact that a general point $\infty = [g] \in \ell$
is a general point of $\mathbf{P}$ and for such as point
$r_g(C) \cap T$ is proper for any closed subvariety $T$ of $\mathbf{P}(V)$
(see proof of Lemma \ref{lemma-make-family}).
Some details omitted.
\end{proof}

\begin{lemma}
\label{lemma-moving-move}
Let $X$ be a nonsingular projective variety. Let $\alpha$ be an
$r$-cycle and $\beta$ be an $s$-cycle on $X$. Then there exists
an $r$-cycle $\alpha'$ such that $\alpha' \sim_{rat} \alpha$ and
such that $\alpha'$ and $\beta$ intersect properly.
\end{lemma}

\begin{proof}
Write $\beta = \sum n_i[T_i]$ for some subvarieties $T_i \subset X$
of dimension $s$. By linearity we may assume that $\alpha = [Z]$ for
some irreducible closed subvariety $Z \subset X$ of dimension $r$.
We will prove the lemma by induction on the maximum $e$ of the integers
$$\dim(Z \cap T_i)$$
The base case is $e = r + s - \dim(X)$. In this case $Z$ intersects
$\beta$ properly and the lemma is trivial.

\medskip\noindent
Induction step. Assume that $e > r + s - \dim(X)$. Choose an embedding
$X \subset \mathbf{P}^N$ and apply Lemma \ref{lemma-moving} to find a
closed subvariety $C \subset \mathbf{P}^N$ such that
$C \cdot X = [Z] + \sum m_j[Z_j]$ and such that the induction
hypothesis applies to each $Z_j$. Next, apply Lemma \ref{lemma-move}
to $C$, $X$, $T_i$ to find $C' \subset \mathbf{P}^N \times \mathbf{P}^1$.
Let $\gamma = C' \cdot X \times \mathbf{P}^1$ viewed as a cycle
on $X \times \mathbf{P}^1$. By Lemma \ref{lemma-transfer} we have
$$[Z] + \sum m_j[Z_j] = \text{pr}_{X, *}(\gamma \cdot X \times 0)$$
On the other hand the cycle
$\gamma_\infty = \text{pr}_{X, *}(\gamma \cdot X \times \infty)$
is supported on $C'_\infty \cap X$ hence intersects $\beta$ transversally.
Thus we see that $[Z] \sim_{rat} - \sum m_j[Z_j] + \gamma_\infty$
by Lemma \ref{lemma-rational-equivalence-and-intersection}. Since by
induction each $[Z_j]$ is rationally equivalent to a cycle which properly
intersects $\beta$ this finishes the proof.
\end{proof}

Comment #2758 by Ko Aoki on August 3, 2017 a 4:49 pm UTC

Typo in the first line: "a $s$ cycle $\beta$" should be replaced by "an $s$-cycle $\beta$".

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