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Chess Quotes


Chess holds its master in its own bonds, shackling the mind and brain so that the inner freedom of the very strongest must suffer."
Albert Einstein


"Tactics is knowing what to do when there is something to do; strategy is knowing what to do when there is nothing to do."
Savielly Tartakower, Grandmaster and theorist


"Although chess contains elements of sport and science, for me it is primarily an art."
Garry Kasparov


"The future of chess lies in the hands of this young man."
Mikhail Botvinnik, speaking of Garry Kasparov


"Probably he was justified in holding the opposition in contempt, but he need not have shown it so blatantly."
William Winter, speaking of Capablanca


"Pawns are the soul of chess."
François Philidor


"Chess is the touchstone of the intellect."
Goethe


"Morphy was perhaps the most accurate chess player who ever lived . . ."
Bobby Fischer


"Chess is as elaborate a waste of human intelligence as you could find anywhere outside an advertising agency."
Raymond Chandler


"When you absolutely don't know what to do anymore, it is time to panic."
John van der Wiel, Grandmaster


"All I want to do, ever, is play chess."
Bobby Fischer


"I consider Mr. Morphy the finest player who ever existed"
Adolf Anderssen


"Emanuel Lasker is the superman of the chess world."
Reuben Fine


"I was champion of the world for twenty-eight years because I was twenty years ahead of my time."
Wilhelm Steinitz (1836-1900)


"Howard Staunton was irascible, unlovable, stubborn, vengeful, disliked, admired . . . a man of high principles and low dealings."
Harold Schonberg


"His playing was fantastically complicated, more so than any player before or since . . . "
Bobby Fischer, speaking of Alexander Alekhine


"Neither before nor afterwards have I seen such flabbergasting quickness of chess comprehension."
Alexander Alekhine, speaking of José Raúl Capablanca.


" I believe in truth at the chessboard . . . "
Boris Spassky


" His weak points in chess are a secret."
Boris Spassky, speaking of Bobby Fischer


"I don't believe in psychology. I believe in good moves."
Bobby Fischer


"Chess is a sea in which a gnat may drink and an elephant may bathe."
Indian Proverb


"Chess is a sad waste of brains."
Sir Walter Scott


"Chess is everything — art, science, and sport.
Anatoly Karpov


"Now we see wherein lies the pleasure to be derived from a chess combination. It lies in the feeling that a human mind is behind the game dominating the inanimate pieces with which the game is carried on, and giving them the breath of life."
Richard Reti


"A chess game is divided into three stages: the first, when you hope you have the advantage, the second, when you believe you have an advantage, and the third . . . when you know you're going to lose!"
Savielly Tartakower, Grandmaster and theorist


"No chess grandmaster is normal; they only differ in the extent of their madness."
Viktor Korchnoi


"There are two types of sacrifices: correct ones and mine."
Mikhail Tal


"For me, this personality, notwithstanding his fundamentally optimistic attitude, had a tragic note. The enormous mental resilience, without which no chess player can exist, was so much taken up by chess that he could never free his mind of this game, even when he was occupied by philosophical and humanitarian questions."
Albert Einstein, in his foreword to Hannak's biography of Emmanuel Lasker


"To master chess, you must combine a kind of discipline normally associated with the hard sciences and a creative freedom akin to the inspiration of artists."
James Eade, Chess for Dummies




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