Famous chess quotes #2

These quotes are courtesy of "bud" who posted on rec.games.chess.analysis

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


Chess in general

\\\ skaak = dacke = escachs = sachy = skak = sakoj = shakki //
\\\\ echecs = catur = chess = scacchi = sachmatai = sjakk ///
\\\\ schaakspel = szachy = xadrez = sah = ajedrez = schack ///
\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ schachspiel = satranc = sakk //////////////////


"Of chess it has been said that life is not long enough for it, but that
is the fault of life, not chess."

-- Irving Chernev

"Chess is the gymnasium of the mind."

-- Pascal

"There are more adventures on a chessboard than on all the seas of the

-- Pierre Mac ORLAN, via Jose Spaleniec, Paris

"Chess is mental torture." -- KASPAROV
"When in doubt -- play chess." -- TEVIS
"Life is too short for chess." -- BYRON
"The loser is always at fault." -- PANOV
"Chess is a curse upon a man." -- H.G.WELLS
"Chess is the art of analysis." -- BOTVINNIK
"I hate anyone who beats me." -- LISA LANE
"Chess was Capablanca's mother tongue." -- RETI
"Let the perfectionist play postal." -- SEIRAWAN
"A good player is always lucky." -- CAPABLANCA
"There are no heroes in chess." -- CORY EVANS
"One bad move nullifies forty good ones." -- HOROWITZ
"The older I grow, the more I value Pawns." -- KERES

There is, of course, a very famous saying from Rueben Fine:
"I'd rather have a pawn than a finger."

About 40 players were watching an online broadcast of a major match.
One of the players was a pawn down, and there was some argument as to how
much compensation the other had. One of the masters present quoted Fine,

"As Reuben Fine said, "I'd rather have a pawn than a finger."

To which Grandmaster Roman Dzindzichashvili replied:
"It all depends: which pawn and which finger?" -- Duif

"A wood-pusher overlooks the ranks." -- RUSSIAN SAYING
"The hardest game to win is a won game." -- Em. LASKER
" Actually, the hardest game to win is a lost game." -- Dr.Dave
"There just isn't enough televised chess." -- LETTERMAN
"Some part of a mistake is always correct." -- TARTAKOVER
"Pawn endings are to chess what putting is to golf." -- PURDY
"There is no remorse like the remorse of chess." -- H.G.WELLS
"You can't play chess if you're groggy from pills." -- KARPOV
"All chess masters can play one game blindfolded." -- KOLTANOWSKI
"When the going gets tactical, the computers get going." -- HYATT
"Morphy was probably the greatest genius of them all." -- FISCHER
"No price is too great for the scalp of the enemy King." -- KOBLENTZ
"There are two types of sacrifices: correct ones and mine." -- TAL
"You cannot play at chess if you are kind-hearted." -- FRENCH PROVERB
"The life of the American chess master is a `vale of tears'." -- FRIAS
"Fame, I have already. Now I need the money." -- an elderly STEINITZ
"It's always better to sacrifice your opponent's men." -- TARTAKOVER
"An isolated Pawn spreads gloom all over the chessboard." -- TARTAKOVER
"The first principle of attack--Don't let the opponent develop!" -- FINE

"When you see a good move--wait--look for a better one." -- Em. LASKER
"Chess is played with the mind and not with the hands!" -- RENAUD and
"Creating an undesired stalemate is the height of stupidity." --
"To avoid losing a piece, many a person has lost the game." --
"The blunders are all there on the board, waiting to be made." --
"On the chess-board lies and hypocrisy do not survive long." -- Em.
"I think it's almost definite that the game is a draw theoretically." --


An excerpt from Murders in the Rue Morgue by Edgar Allan POE:

" Yet to calculate is not in itself to analyze. A chess-player, for
example, does the one without effort at the other. It follows that the
game of chess, in its effects upon mental character, is greatly
misunderstood. I am not now writing a treatise, but simply prefacing a
somewhat peculiar narrative by observations very much at random; I will,
therefore, take occasion to assert that the higher powers of the
reflective intellect are more decidedly and more usefully tasked by the
unostentatious game of draughts than by all the elaborate frivolity of
chess. In this latter, where the pieces have different and bizarre
motions, with various and variable values, what is only complex is
mistaken (a not unusual error) for what is profound. The attention is here
called powerfully into play. If it flag for an instant, an oversight is
committed, resulting in injury or defeat. The possible moves being not
only manifold but involute, the chances of such oversights are multiplied;
and in nine cases out of ten it is the more concentrative rather than the
more acute player who conquers."

Learning to play chess
"Chess rules and exercises - 5 hours
Elementary endings - 5 hours
Some openings - 10 hours
Combination - 20 hours
Positional play - 40 hours
Practical play with analysis - 120 hours
"Having spent 200 hours on the above, the young player, even if he
possesses no special talent for chess, is likely to be among those two or
three thousand chessplayers [who play on a par with a master]. There are,
however, a quarter of a million chessplayers who annually spend no fewer
than 200 hours on chess without making any progress. Without going into
any further calculations, I can assert with a high degree of certainty
that nowadays we achieve only a fraction of what we are capable of achieving."
-- Em. Lasker, Manual of Chess

(fortissimo) "Have you ever seen a monkey examining a watch?"

-- STEINITZ, impatient with an enquirer.

"We perceive after a careful consideration of the evolution of the chess
mind that such evolution has gone on, in general, in a way quite similar
to that in which it goes on with the individual chess player, only with the latter more rapidly."

-- Richard RETI

"The delight in gambits is a sign of chess youth... In very much the same
way as the young man, on reaching his manhood years, lays aside the Indian
stories and stories of adventure, and turns to the psychological novel, we
with maturing experience leave off gambit playing and become interested in
the less vivacious but withal more forceful manoeuvres of the position player."

-- Emanuel LASKER