on many webpages of my site, where you can study chess games and play against chess engines, a Java applet is used, which has served us for many years trouble-free. In the recent years however most modern browsers like MS Edge, Google Chrome, Opera have disposed the Java applets because of the "supposedly" untrustworthy safety, which is in my opinion unreasonably. Actually, without this pages my site is now half as valuable.
Here is a workaround for this issue.
If you donít see any Java applets (a green chess board with chess games) at the bottom of my pages, please install Mozilla Firefox until Version 51!!.
(IMPORTANT!) Beginning with Mozilla Firefox Version 52 Java applets wonít be supported by Firefox. Thatís why you have to install an older version of Firefox (until Version 51) to get full access to my website. Also you must (IMPORTANT!) deactivate automatic updates of Firefox. The automatic updates can be deactivated here: Tools/Options/Advanced/Update (about:preferences#advanced). Then Firefox will never be updated and you will always be able to see the Java applets on my website.
After you go to the website http://releases.mozilla.org/pub/firefox/releases/, find the version of Firefox that you want to install (e.g. 50.0.1/). Follow the link and you should come to a new page.
If your operating system is Windows, choose the link win32/. Now you reach a new page, where you can choose between all languages, including English.
After choosing "en-US/" you will come to another page.
Click on the file "Firefox Setup 50.0.1.exe" (42M) and download Firefox on your computer.
This is the file you need to install Firefox. The installation should be done offline, without internet connection.
If you already had Firefox on your computer (e.g. Version 52), itís necessary to uninstall it "correctly", otherwise it wonít work. With "correctly" I mean Control Panel / Add or Remove Programs.
If you werenít user of Firefox before, you can immediately start the installation.
After that you can open Firefox offline and forever forbid automatic updates. Then you can reconnect.
In the Java Control Panel, which you can find in different places, depending on your operating system, (in Windows 8.1/10 you can find it via pressing the start button in the taskbar) add the site http://www.grinis.de/ (donít forget the slash in the end), to the Exception Site List. You can find here how to do that. To configure the Exception Site List you should go to the tab "Safety". The List is shown in that tab. To add or delete any website, press "Edit Site List".
Now you have to enable Java in Mozilla Firefox. Here is the description, how to do it.
Now please open Firefox and the website http://www.grinis.de. After that go for instance to Steinitzís 475 chess games. If Firefox wants you to confirm, whether it shall run "supposedly untrustworthy" applications on my website, please confirm pressing "Yes", and you will see a green chess board at the bottom of the page.
As thereís a big amount of operating systems and browsers, please tell me, if you should have any issues or if the java applet can even be started on other browsers. Maybe on older browsers like Internet Explorer or Netscape Java will work even better.
Meanwhile, I gradually try to create alternative pages where you can watch chess games without Java. Though there are only about 400 games.
A Bishop and a Rook are ... stronger than a Knight and a Rook, but a Queen and a Knight may be stronger than a Queen and a Bishop.
Above all else, before playing in competitions a player must have regard to his health, for if he is suffering from ill-health he cannot hope for success. In this connection the best of all tonics is 15 to 20 days in the fresh air, in the country.
A championship contender in the early twentieth century needed charisma and a knack for cultivating sponsorship, and Rubinstein was the epitome of the shy and unsocial chess player. Now matter how great his chess skills, he lacked the people skills to be a self-promoter and fund-raiser.
A chess game is divided into three stages: the first, when you hope you have the advantage, the second when you believe that you have an advantage, and the third ... when you know youíre going to lose!
Alekhine is a player Iíve never really understood. He always wanted a superior centre; he manoeuvred his pieces toward the kingside, and around the 25th move, began to mate his opponent. He disliked exchanges, preferring to play with many pieces on the board. His play was fantastically complicated, more so than any player before or since.
All I expect are wins and to get pleasure from the game. And if someone thinks something about me, if someoneís dissatisfied with something ... thatís not my headache. I hope someday Iíll become World Champion Ė and Iíll make all these people happy. But even if for some reason that doesnít happen it wonít stop me getting pleasure from chess. Iím sure of that. (2012)
All that now seems to stand between Nigel and the prospect of the world crown is the unfortunate fact that fate brought him into this world only two years after Kasparov. (Garryís prophetic comment in 1987)
Although he was an outstanding player in his heyday, he was not one of that vanguard of chess thinkers, who blaze new trails and open new chess horizons. A populizer of Steinitzí ideas, Tarrasch made them accessible to ordinary players.
An exception was made with respect to me, because of my victory over Marshall. Some of the masters objected to my entry ... one of them was Dr. Bernstein. I had the good fortune to play him in the first round, and beat him in such fashion as to obtain the Rothschild prize for the most brilliant game ... a profound feeling of respect for my ability remained throughout the rest of the contest.
A popularly held theory about Paul Morphy is that if he returned to the chess world today and played our best contemporary players, he would come out the loser. Nothing is further from the truth. In a set match, Morphy would beat anybody alive today ...
Apparently, Morphyís style exerts an irresistable magnetic power for players of all times, and the return to a style of the highest degree is the dream of every chessplayer, not excluding even the Grandmasters.
As a person Alekhine was an enigma. He was focused on his chess and on himself to such a degree that in our countries he was jokingly called 'Alein-ich' (in German 'I am alone'). With such a frame of mind he could not have any real friends, only admirers and supporters.
As Rousseau could not compose without his cat beside him, so I cannot play chess without my kingís bishop. In its absence the game to me is lifeless and void. The vitalizing factor is missing, and I can devise no plan of attack.
As the pieces are set on the board both sides have the same position and the same amount of material. White, however, has the move, and the move is this case means "the initiative", and the initiative, other things being equal, is an advantage. Now this advantage must be kept as long as possible, and should only be given up if some other advantage, material or positional, is obtained in its place. White, according to the principles already laid down, develops his pieces as fast as possible, but in so doing he also tries to hinder his opponentís development, by applying pressure wherever possible. He tries first of all to control the center, and failing this to obtain some positional advantage that will make it possible for him to keep on harassing the enemy. He only relinquishes the initiative when he gets for it some material advantage under such favorable conditions as to make him feel assured that he will, in turn, be able to withstand his adversaryís thrust; and finally, through his superiority of material, once more resume the initiative, which alone can give him the victory. This last assertion is self-evident, since, in order to win the game, the opposing King must be driven to a position where he is attacked without having any way to escape. Once the pieces have been properly developed the resulting positions may vary in character. It may be that a direct attack against the King is in order; or that it is a case of improving a position already advantageous; or, finally, that some material can be gained at the cost of relinquishing the initiative for a more or less prolonged period.
A strong player requires only a few minutes of thought to get to the heart of the conflict. You see a solution immediately, and half an hour later merely convince yourself that your intuition has not deceived you.
As world champion I consider myself obliged to play constantly against the grandmasters who are closest to the chess throne. Therefore, I had not the slightest hesitation about the advisability of playing against Fischer at the (1970 Siegen) Olympiad.
A unit that holds two... In this case one pawn would hold two of the opponentís pawns. The student cannot lay too much stress on this principle. It can be applied in many ways, and it constitutes one of the principal weapons in the hands of a master.
Boris Vasilievich (Spassky) was the only top-class player of his generation who played gambits regularly and without fear ... Over a period of 30 years he did not lose a single game with the Kingís Gambit, and among those defeated were numerous strong players of all generations, from Averbakh, Bronstein and Fischer, to Seirawan.
Botvinnik almost makes you feel that difficulty attracts him and stimulates him to the full unfolding of his powers. Most players feel uncomfortable in difficult positions, but Botvinnik seems to enjoy them.
Botvinnik himself is always right at the front in chess theory; what becomes known to us today, was known to him yesterday. And that means that what will only be understandable to us tomorrow, Botvinnik already knows today.
Botvinnik tried to take the mystery out of Chess, always relating it to situations in ordinary life. He used to call chess a typical inexact problem similar to those which people are always having to solve in everyday life.
Brute-force programs play the best chess, so why bother with anything else? Why waste time and money experimenting with new and innovative ideas when we already know what works? Such thinking should horrify anyone worthy of the name of scientist, but it seems, tragically, to be the norm. Our best minds have gone into financial engineering instead of real engineering, with catastrophic results for both sectors.
But the thing that was great about Capablanca was that he really spoke his mind, he said what he believed was true, he said what he felt. He wanted to change the rules (of chess) already, back in the twenties, because he said chess was getting played out. He was right. Now chess is completely dead. It is all just memorisation and prearrangement. Itís a terrible game now. Very uncreative.
By strictly observing Botvinnikís rule regarding the thorough analysis of oneís own games, with the years I have come to realize that this provides the foundation for the continuos development of chess mastery.
By the time a player becomes a Grandmaster, almost all of his training time is dedicated to work on this first phase. The opening is the only phase that holds out the potential for true creativity and doing something entirely new.
By what right does White, in an absolutely even position, such as after move one, when both sides have advanced 1.e4, sacrifice a pawn, whose recapture is quite uncertain, and open up his kingside to attack? And then follow up this policy by leaving the check of the black queen open? None whatever! (on the Kingís Gambit)
Capablanca did not apply himself to opening theory (in which he never therefore achieved much), but delved deeply into the study of end-games and other simple positions which respond to technique rather than to imagination.
Capablanca plays very superficially sometimes, in a way that can only be ascribed to lack of concentration. This is an integral weakness of his make-up and can only be partially compensated by his employing his time allowance to the full.
Capablanca possessed an amazing ability to quickly see into a position and intuitively grasp its main features. His style, one of the purest, most crystal-clear in the entire history of chess, astonishes one with his logic.
Capablancaís play produced and still produces an irresistable artistic effect. In his games a tendency towards simplicity predominated, and in this simplicity there was a unique beauty of genuine depth.
Capablanca used to talk calmly and moderately about everything. However, when our conversation turned to the problems of the battle for the world championship, in front of me was a quite different person: an enraged lion, although with the fervour typical only of a southerner, with his temperamental patter, which made it hard to follow the torrent of his indignant exclamations and words.
Capablanca was among the greatest of chess players, but not because of his endgame. His trick was to keep his openings simple, and then play with such brilliance in the middlegame that the game was decided - even though his ooponent didnít always know it - before they arrived at the ending.
Chess can never reach its height by following in the path of science ... Let us, therefore, make a new effort and with the help of our imagination turn the struggle of technique into a battle of ideas.
Chess continues to advance over time, so the players of the future will inevitably surpass me in the quality of their play, assuming the rules and regulations allow them to play serious chess. But it will likely be a long time before anyone spends 20 consecutive years as number, one as I did.
Chess is far too complex to be definitively solved with any technology we can conceive of today. However, our looked-down-upon cousin, checkers, or draughts, suffered this fate quite recently thanks to the work of Jonathan Schaeffer at the University of Alberta and his unbeatable program Chinook.
Chess is not for the faint-hearted; it absorbs a person entirely. To get to the bottom of this game, he has to give himself up into slavery. Chess is difficult, it demands work, serious reflection and zealous research.
Chess players, people who travel all over the world, should be trusted or else not sent anywhere at all. Why are these four people (Antoshin and three other official 'minders') sent along to supervise us? With their meagre experience, all that thay did was interfere, more than ever before. And when they were needed, they werenít to be found ...
Chess strategy as such today is still in its diapers, despite Tarraschís statement 'We live today in a beautiful time of progress in all fields'. Not even the slightest attempt has been made to explore and formulate the laws of chess strategy. (1925)
Direct and violent attacks against the King must be carried en masse, with full force, to ensure their success. The opposition must be overcome at all cost; the attack cannot be broken off, since in all such cases that means defeat.
Do not permit yourself to fall in love with the end-game play to the exclusion of entire games. It is well to have the whole story of how it happened; the complete play, not the denouement only. Do not embrace the rag-time and vaudeville of chess.
During the course of many years I have observed that a great number of doctors, lawyers, and important businessmen make a habit of visiting a chess club during the late afternoon or evening to relax and find relief from the preoccupations of their work.
Endings of one rook and pawns are about the most common sort of endings arising on the chess board. Yet though they do occur so often, few have mastered them thoroughly. They are often of a very difficult nature, and sometimes while apparently very simple they are in reality extremely intricate.
Enormous self-belief, intuition, the ability to take a risk at a critical moment and go in for a very dangerous play with counter-chances for the opponent - it is precisely these qualities that distinguish great players.
Euweís chess talent is in origin purely tactical - unlike that of such masters as Steinitz, Rubinstein, Capablanca, and Niemtsovitch. But he is a tactician who is determined at all costs to become a good strategist, and by dint of a great deal of hard work he has had some measure of success.
Excellent! I will still be in time for the ballet! (upon defeating Ossip Bernstein in the famous 29 move exhibition game played in Moscow in 1914, and before setting off to the Bolshoi Theatre by horse-drawn carriage)
Failing an opportunity ... for direct attack, one must attempt to increase whatever weakness there may be in the opponentís position; or, if there is none, one or more must be created. It is always an advantage to threaten something, but such threats must be carried into effect only if something is to be gained immediately. For, holding the threat in hand, forces the opponent to provide against its execution and to keep material in readiness to meet it. Thus he may more easily overlook, or be able to parry, a thrust at another point. But once the threat is carried into effect, it exists no longer, and your opponent can devote his attention to his own schemes. One of the best and most successful manoeuvres in this type of game is to make a demonstration on one side, so as to draw the forces of your opponent to that side, then through the greater mobility of your pieces to shift your forces quickly to the other side and break through, before your opponent has had the time to bring over the necessary forces for the defence.
For me, chess is not a profession. It is a way of life, a passion. People may feel that I have conquered the peak and will not have to struggle. Financially, perhaps that is true; but as far as chess goes, Iím still learning a lot!
For me right now I think being the world number one is a bigger deal than being the world champion because I think it shows better who plays the best chess. That sounds self-serving but I think itís also right. (2012)
For my victory over Capablanca I am indebted primarily to my superiority in the field of psychology. Capablanca played, relying almost exclusively on his rich intuitive talent. But for the chess struggle nowadays one needs a subtle knowledge of human nature, an understanding of the opponentís psychology.
For six years now Iíve tried to kindle anger in myself toward Kasparov and fuse my anger into a sword with which I can truly smite him at least once, but I canít. Heís just not interesting to me, and thatís all there is to it.
For success I consider three factors are necessary: firstly, an awareness of my own strengths and weaknesses; secondly, an accurate understanding of my opponentís strengths and weaknesses; thirdly, a higher aim than momentary satisfaction. I see this aim as being scientific and artistic achievements, which place the game of chess on a par with other arts.
Fortified by strong nerves, devout optimism, great self-confidence, a philosophical temperament and a tremendous weight of experience, he feels confident in any position that is even remotely presentable, and is up to any task the world of his opponents may present him. (on Reshevsky)
Had I undergone the severe nursery and kindergarten schools, with their obliteration of personal responsibility, their indifference, their enforced adherence to the principle of "do as everyone else does", their adherence to a culture of kitsch and cliche, and the struggle for everything - for a toy or a place in the clique, for praise from the teacher or attention from the group - had I experienced this, Iím convinced I would have turned out differently, more conforming and less independent, and I never would have achieved what I have.
He can be regarded as the great master of simplification. The art of resolving the tension at the critical moment and in the most effacious way so as to clarify the position as desired is Capablancaís own.
He is not the most talented or the strongest player but certainly the most inconvenient player in the world! His ambition is not to play actively, but to paralyse his opponentsí intentions. (on Petrosian)
He who has a slight disadvantage plays more attentively, inventively and more boldly than his antagonist who either takes it easy or aspires after too much. Thus a slight disadvantage is very frequently seen to convert into a good, solid advantage.
He won a number of well-known games, by right from the opening holding his opponent in a vice prepared at home. And his grip was strong: after seizing his victim, he would no longer release him. (on Alekhine)
His play was highly diverse, he was always guided by the demands of the position, he employed a variety of opening variations, and, most important, he was the first prominent player to begin thinking not only in variations, but also schematically. (on Pillsbury)
How vain are our fears! I thought to myself. "Sometimes we fear that which our opponent (or fate) had never even considered! After this, then, is it any longer worthwhile to rack oneís brain to find new ghosts to fear? No, indeed: All hail optimism! (upon his opponent Mattison missing an unusual knight manouevre)
I canít count the times I have lagged seemingly hopelessly far behind, and nobody except myself thinks I can win. But I have pulled myself in from desperate (situations). When you are behind there are two strategies Ė counter-attack or all men to the defences. Iím good at finding the right balance between those.
I consider him a "real" World Champion, regardless of the fact that the win against Gelfand in the match wasnít convincing at all. But thatís a peculiarity of chess: your play can be not particularly convincing in tournaments and then once a year you defend the title of World Champion and the chess world continues to consider you the king. (on Anand)
I did not believe I was superior to him. Perhaps the chief reason for his defeat was the overestimation of his own powers arising out of his overwhelming victory in New York, 1927, and his underestimation of mine. (on Capablanca)
I didnít picture myself as even a grandmaster, to say nothing of aspiring to the chess crown. This was not because I was timid - I wasnít - but because I simply lived in one world, and the grandmasters existed in a completely different one. People like that were not really even people, but like gods or mythical heroes.
I do not play chess - I fight at chess. Therefore I willingly combine the tactical with the strategic, the fantastic with the scientific, the combinative with the positional, and I aim to respond to the demands of each given position.
I donít know whether computers are improving the style of play, I know they are changing it. Chess has become a different game, one could say that computers have changed the world of chess. That is pretty clear.
If in a battle, I seize a bit of debatable land with a handful of soldiers, without having done anything to prevent an enemy bombardment of the position, would it ever occur to me to speak of a conquest of the terrain in question? Obviously not. Then why should I do so in chess?
I find that chess is very useful when travelling alone in Turkey. ...Take yourself to the nearest teahouse. Order a glass of tea, and another or Raki, and set up a chess problem. Within seconds Turks will appear. They wonít play chess with you, but it starts a conversation.
If it is true that a playerís style is his person, then everyone plays as he is intended to by nature. I am naturally cautious, and I altogether dislike situations which involve risk.
If only I had had my duel with Fischer, my fighting level would be of a higher order. Once I had attained and mastered such a level - a level which for Kasparov is completely unattainable - I would have recalled it whenever necessary.
If we look in chess history for a 'double' of Petrosian, we arrive at Capablanca. Petrosian is not a tiger that pounces on its prey, but rather a python, that smothers its victim, or a a crocodile, waiting for hours for a convenient moment to land a decisive blow.
If you are going to make your mark among masters, you have to work far harder and more intensively, or, to put it more exactly, the work is far more complex than that needed to gain the title of Master.
If you have made a mistake or committed an inaccuracy there is no need to become annoyed and to think that everything is lost. You have to reorientate yourself quickly and find a new plan in the new situation.
I have heard so many times that Kortchnoi had the great misfortune of meeting me when his best playing was already behind him. Nothing of the sort! Kortchnoiís best years arrived exactly at the time he battled me.
I ... have two vocations: chess and engineering. If I played chess only, I believe that my success would not have been significantly greater. I can play chess well only when I have fully convalesced from chess and when the 'hunger for chess' once more awakens within me.
I learnt an enormous amount, but there came a point where I found there was too much stress. It was no fun any more. Outside of the chessboard I avoid conflict, so I thought this wasnít worth it. (on training sessions with Kasparov)
I like to think that the arc of my own career has in some ways mirrored the journey of chess. I learned to play in India, then moved to Spain so I could play the European circuit, and won my first world championship in Iran. Itís nice when your place in chess history has something to do with the bigger picture.
I love the game - and I hate the Russians because they've almost ruined it. They only risk the title when they have to, every three years. They play for draws with each other but play to win against the Western masters. Draws make for dull chess, wins make for fighting chess.
I mean, most of modern chess is his offering. Myself and the rest had those moves ready for us when we started out, but it had to take someone to discover them first. Bobby Fischer was that person. He was that person for entire generations of chess players. His was a singular life in that sense. Heís made it easier for us today.
In 1995 I played a match against (Kasparov) but it is amazing that in the next ten years I was second or third in the rankings ó most of the times second and he was first for this entire period ó and we just never played each other.
In an abstract way we may say that two or more pawns are strongest when they are in the same rank next to one another. Thus the centre pawns are strongest in themselves, so to speak, when placed at e4 and d4 (or e5 and d5), hence the question of advancing either the one or the other to the fifth rank is one that must be most carefully considered. The advance of either pawn often determines the course the game will follow. Another thing to be considered is the matter of one or more passed pawns when they are isolated either singly or in pairs. We might say that a passed pawn is either very weak or very strong, and that its weakness or strength, whichever happens to be in the case to be considered, increases as it advances, and is at the same time in direct relation to the number of pieces on the board. In this last respect it might be generally said that a passed pawn increases in strength as the number of pieces on the board diminishes.
In chess so much depends on opening theory, so the champions before the last century did not know as much as I do and other players do about opening theory. So if you just brought them back from the dead they wouldnít do well. They'd get bad openings.
In general I consider that in chess everything rests on tactics. If one thinks of strategy as a block of marble, then tactics are the chisel with which a master operates, in creating works of chess art.
... in itself the title of world champion does not give any significicant advantages, if it is not acknowledged by the entire chess world, and a champion who does not have the chess world behind him is, in my view, a laughing-stock.
In mathematics, if I find a new approach to a problem, another mathematician might claim that he has a better, more elegant solution. In chess, if anybody claims he is better than I, I can checkmate him.
In order to improve your game, you must study the endgame before everything else. For whereas the endings can be studied and mastered by themselves, the middle game and opening must be studied in relation to the end game.
In Russia the first player to devote all his life to the game, the man who initiated the habit of adopting a profound approach to chess, was Mikhail Ivanovich Tchigorin, and we can only speak of the existence of a Russian chess school from this time onward.
In the first case the attack must be carried on with sufficient force to guarantee its success. Under no consideration must a direct attack against the King be carried on a outrange unless there is absolute certainty in oneís own mind that it will succeed, since failure in such cases means disaster.
I played the strongest chess of my career in the period from 1958 to 1963, i.e. In the years when I was fighting for the chess crown. I was inspired by the struggle itself, but when a person has achieved his desire, his ardour cools. This is inevitable. As you grow older you become sated, and the sharpness of your feelings is gradually erased.
I repeat, that the first and main difficulty in making a positional exchange sacrifice is a psychological caution: after all, you have to give up a rook for a minor piece. The second difficulty is that the exchange is given up when this is not forced by circumstances. Therefore you must anticipate beforehand, in good time, how events will develop and take the necessary measures.
Ironically, the main task of chess software companies today is to find ways to make the program weaker, not stronger, and to provide enough options that any user can pick from different levels and the machine will try to make enough mistakes to give him a chance.
I started by just sitting by the chessboard exploring things. I didnít even have books at first, and I just played by myself. I learnt a lot from that, and I feel that it is a big reason why I now have a good intuitive understanding of chess.
I think the average player today is stronger than the average player 20 years ago. More people are playing and more people have access to more tools. The average depth in chess is higher. More people are getting GM title because the level is increasing. The players are stronger. (2012)
It is annoying that the rules of chess do not allow a pawn to take either horizontally or backwards, but only forwards ... This psychological tuning is ideal for attacking purposes, but what about for defence?
It is asserted that my favourite player is Capablanca. They have even pinned a label on me: "follower of the Capablanca style". In fact, for me there cannot exist any one idol in principle. Thus if I were to name a few names, I would give Nimzowitsch, Capablanca and Rubinstein.
It is a well known phenomenon that the same amateur who can conduct the middle game quite creditably, is usually perfectly helpless in the end game. One of the principal requisites of good chess is the ability to treat both the middle and end game equally well.
It is generally thought by amateurs that the Knight is the more valuable piece of the two, the chief reason being that, unlike the Bishop, the Knight can command both black and white squares. However, the fact is generally overlooked that the Knight, at any one time, has the choice of one colour only. It takes much longer to bring a Knight from one wing to the other. Also ... a Bishop can stalemate a Knight; a compliment which the Knight is unable to return.
It is important that you donít let your opponent impose his style of play on you. A part of that begins mentally. At the chessboard if you start blinking every time he challenges you then in a certain sense you are withdrawing. That is very important to avoid.
It is no secret that any talented player must in his soul be an artist, and what could be dearer to his heart and soul than the victory of the subtle forces of reason over crude material strength! Probably everyone has his own reason for liking the Kingís Gambit, but my love for it can be seen in precisely those terms.
It is the greatest weakness of the Bishop, that when the h-pawn Queens on a square of opposite colour and the opposing King is in front of the pawn, the Bishop is absolutely worthless. All that Black has to do is to keep moving his King close to the corner square.
It is unpleasant for the players, when the organizers arrange for play to take place in the morning. The games from such last rounds, in view of the large number of mistakes, are not fit for publication!
It seems to me that the reason for his tragic break with the chess world was the excessive demands he placed on himself as world champion. The solution to this stress was obvious - he stopped playing altogether. (on Fischer)
Itís generally - but erroneously - assumed that the best teachers are the best players, and that the best players can easily communicate the secrets of the game. Actually, the best teachers are often just interested amateurs...
Itís little quirks like this that could make life difficult for a chess machine.
It was an impressive achievement, of course, and a human achievement by the members of the IBM team, but Deep Blue was only intelligent the way your programmable alarm clock is intelligent. Not that losing to a $10 million alarm clock made me feel any better.
I was struck by his gaze. He was not at all the way he looked in photographs. I didnít see any severity in him, but rather a sort of gentleness and patience. Incidentally, I never saw that in him again. (on his 1st meeting with Fischer)
I will not hide the fact that I love to hear the spectators react after a sacrifice of a piece or pawn. I donít think that there is anything bad in such a feeling; no artist or musician is indifferent to the reactions of the public.
For all general theoretical purposes the Bishop and the Knight have to be considered as of the same value, though it is my opinion that the Bishop will prove the more valuable piece in most cases; and it is well known that two Bishops are almost always better than two Knights.
Just before a game, I try to keep a clear mind so that I can focus better. Iím the kind of person who plays fast and relies a lot on intuition, so being at peace with myself is vital. Saying my daily prayers helps me achieve this heightened state of mind.
Kortchnoi has maintained his drive by refusing to look back at what would be the glory days for just about anyone else. He is still driven by the game of chess and by an earnest desire to beat his opponent, not merely to do his best.
Lasker was perhaps the first of the great masters who understood the importance of preparing for competitions; before him, of course, they studied chess, but only in general, and they were not yet able to prepare concretely.
Like Dvoretsky, I think that (other things being equal) the analytical method of studying chess must give you a colossal advantage over the chess pragmatist, and that there can be no certainty in chess without analysis. I personally acquired these views from my sessions with Mikhail Botvinnik, and they laid the foundations of my chess-playing life.
Look at the catastrophic record Vishy Anand has against Garry Kasparov. Kasparov managed to beat him almost everywhere they played, even though Vishy Anand has belonged to the absolute top players in the world for fifteen years. This difference cannot be explained purely in chess terms, there must have been some psychology.
Morphy gained most of his wins by playing directly and simply, and it is simple and logical method that constitutes the true brilliance of his play, if it is considered from the viewpoint of the great masters.
Most players ... do not like losing, and consider defeat as something shameful. This is a wrong attitude. Those who wish to perfect themselves must regard their losses as lessons and learn from them what sorts of things to avoid in the future.
My congratulations to Magnus Carlsen for winning the London Chess Classic and for becoming the highest-rated chess player in the history of our game. 13 was always my number; born on the 13th and the 13th world champion, so it seems fitting that my record lasted 13 years! No one who has followed Magnus's career can be surprised that he is the one to break it. He did it in fine style in London, showing both brilliance and tenacity. (note read at closing ceremony of 4th LCC)
(My first tournament victory) endowed me with a curious psychological weakness which I have had to work long and hard to eradicate - if indeed I have eradicated it! - the impression that I could always, or nearly always, when in a bad position, conjure up some unexpected combination to extricate me from my difficulties. A dangerous delusion.
My forte was the middlegame. I had a good feeling for the critical moments of the play. This undoubtedly compensated for my lack of opening preparation and, possibly, not altogether perfect play in the endgame. In my games things often did not reach the endgame!
My study of chess was accompanied by a strong attraction to music, and it was probably thanks to this that I became accustomed to thinking of chess as an art, for all the science and sport involved in it.
Never before and never since have I seen - and I cannot even imagine, such an amazing rapidity of chess thinking that Capablanca possessed in 1913-14. In blitz games he gave all the St. Petersburg players odds of five minutes to one - and he won.
Ninety percent of the book variations have no great value, because either they contain mistakes or they are based on fallacious assumptions; just forget about the openings and spend all that time on the endings.
No fantasy, however rich, no technique, however masterly, no penetration into the psychology of the opponent, however deep, can make a chess game a work of art, if these qualities do not lead to the main goal - a search for truth.
Not without reason is he famed as a conaisseur of opening theory. To gain some advantage from the opening is vital to him, and he is willing to risk any difficulty or even hazard to attain, as quickly as possible, a position in which he feels at home. (on Alekhine)
Occasionally an opening is used against an opponent who is known to favour it himself. The idea is to force him to fight against his own weapons, when he will have to face not only real dangers but very often imaginary ones as well.
Of course, analysis can sometimes give more accurate results than intuition but usually itís just a lot of work. I normally do what my intuition tells me to do. Most of the time spent thinking is just to double-check.
Oh! this opponent, this collaborator against his will, whose notion of Beauty always differs from yours and whose means (strength, imagination, technique) are often too limited to help you effectively! What torment, to have your thinking and your fantasy tied down by another person!
On the whole, the life of a chess professional is not as easy as it appears at first sight. One needs to devote some ten hours a day to chess and to everything connected with it - physical and psycholgical preparation.
Part of my preparation for the World Champion match against Kasparov was to be ready for his off-board tactics. I did not to react to them at all. Once you start thinking about these things during the game, even analysing them, youíre caught.
People who want to improve should take their defeats as lessons, and endeavor to learn what to avoid in the future. You must also have the courage of your convictions. If you think your move is good, make it.
Perhaps chess is the wrong game for the times. Poker is now everywhere, as amateurs dream of winning millions and being on television for playing a card game whose complexities can be detailed on a single piece of paper.
Petrosian possesses a distinctive chess talent. Like Tal, he does not aim to play "by position", as it was understood earlier. But whereas Tal aimed to obtain dynamic positions, Petrosian created positions where events developed as though in a slow-motion film.
Playing black, I put great stake in the Ruy Lopez: I liked it, feel it, and understand it; in matches with Hjartarson and Timman it served me well. (on preparing World Championship match against Garry Kasparov)
Queen against Rook... This is one of the most difficult endings without pawns. The resources of the defence are many, and when used skilfully only a very good player will prevail within the limit of fifty moves allowed by the rules. (The rules is that at any moment you may demand that your opponent mate you within fifty moves. However, every time a piece is exchanged or a pawn advanced the counting must begin afresh.)
Reshevsky is the exception - he is an all-round player with an all-round temperament. He has no partiality for any special type of position; he likes and plays every sort of game equally well; it is this which distinguishes him from his fellow-masters.
Reti studies mathematics although he is not a dry mathematician; represents Vienna without being Viennese; was born in old Hungary yet he does not know Hungarian; speaks uncommonly rapidly only in order to act all the more maturely and deliberately; and will yet become the best chessplayer without, however, becoming world champion.
Self-confidence is very important. If you donít think you can win, you will take cowardly decisions in the crucial moments, out of sheer respect for your opponent. You see the opportunity but also greater limitations than you should. I have always believed in what I do on the chessboard, even when I had no objective reason to. It is better to overestimate your prospects than underestimate them.
Sometimes at lectures I am asked: how would the champions of the last century play today? I think that, after making a hurried study of modern openings, and watching one or two tournaments, the champions of the last century, and indeed the century before that, would very quickly occupy the same place that they occupied when they were alive.
Spassky is a player of enormous practical strength, versatile to the highest degree. He prefers clear methods of play, but he feels very much at home in complicated positions, full of tactical possibilities.
Spassky possesses enviable health, he is a good psychologist, and he subtly evaluates the situation, his strengths, and the strengths of his opponent. He rarely gets into time-trouble, he is a splendid athlete, and nothing frightens him. Spassky is always in a good, cheerful frame of mind.
Spassky was a complete and absolutely universal player. He was equally good at attacking, defending, and accumulating positional advantages. It was he who created the fashion for universality, which is alive to this day.
Staunton appears to have been afraid to meet Morphy and I think his fears were well-founded. Morphy would have beaten him, but it wouldnít have been the one-sided encounter that many writers now think it would. It would have been a great struggle.
Staunton was the most profound opening analyst of all time. He was more theorist than player, but nonetheless he was the strongest player of his day. Playing over his games, I discover that they are completely modern; where Morphy and Steinitz rejected the fianchetto, Staunton embraced it. In addition, he understood all of the positional concepts which modern players hold so dear, and thus - with Steinitz - must be considered the first modern player.
Sultan Khan had become champion of India at Indian chess and he learned the rules of our form of chess at a later date. The fact that even under such conditions he succeeded in becoming champion reveals a genius for chess which is nothing short of extraordinary.
... Tarraschís 'dogmas' are not eternal truisms, but merely instructional material presented in an accessible and witty form, those necessary rudiments from which one can begin to grasp the secrets of chess.
That he was a great endgame player is unquestionable. In fact, he was the greatest I have ever known. But he was also the most profound and the most imaginative player I have ever known. (on Emanuel Lasker)
The aim was simple: to deprive Karpov of his favourite occupation - standing at the board, staring straight at his opponent. While I was wearing these glasses, all he could admire was his own reflection.
The best chess masters of every epoch have been closely linked with the values of the society in which they lived and worked. All the changes of a cultural, political, and psychological background are reflected in the style and ideas of their play.
The best tournament that I have ever played in was in 1950. It was great Ė a waiter came to you during the game, and you could order anything you wanted to drink (even some vodka, if you liked). Pity, there are no longer tournaments organized in this manner.
The chess world is obligated to organize a match between the champion of the world and the winner of this Carlsbad tournament - indeed, this is a moral obligation. If the world of chess should remain deaf to its obligation, on the other hand, it would amount to an absolutely unforgivable omission, carrying with it a heavy burden of guilt. - (upon finishing clear first ahead of Capablanca in Carlsbad 1929, where current champion Alekhine did not participate)
The chief characteristics of Gellerís creativity are an amazing ability to extract the very maximum from the opening and a readiness to abandon positional schemes for an open game rife with combinations, or vice-versa, at any moment.
The days when it was possible to win a serious game only by merit of sporting character or depth of chess understanding have vanished forever. Chess knowledge has become dominant, bypassing all the other factors that contribute to success.
The fact that a player is very short of time is to my mind, as little to be considered as an excuse as, for instance, the statement of the law-breaker that he was drunk at the time he committed the crime.
The fatal hour of this ancient game is approaching. In its modern form this game will soon die a drawing death - the inevitable victory of certainty and mechanization will leave its stamp on the fate of chess.
The four squares, e4, e5, d4, and d5 are the centre squares, and control of these squares is called control of the centre. The control of the centre is of great importance. No violent attack can succeed without controlling at least two of these squares, and possibly three. Many a manoeuvre in the opening has for its sole object the control of the centre, which invariably ensures the initiative. It is well always to bear this in mind...
The gain of a pawn is the smallest material advantage that can be obtained in a game; and it often is sufficient to win, even when the pawn is the only remaining unit, apart from the Kings. It is essential, speaking generally, that the King should be in front of his pawn, with at least one intervening square.
The great mobility of the king forms one of the chief characteristics of all endgame strategy. In the middlegame the king is a mere "super", in the endgame on the other hand - on of the "principals". We must therefore develop him, bring him nearer to the fighting line.
The great World Champions Morphy, Steinitz, and Lasker were past masters in the art of Pawn play; they had no superiors in their handling of endgames. The present World Champion has not the strength of the other three as an endgame player, and is therefore inferior to them.
The infallible criterion by which to distinguish the true from the would-be strategist is the degree of originality of his conceptions. It makes little difference whether this originality is carried to excess, as was the case with Steinitz and Nimzowitsch.
The King, a purer defensive piece throughout the middlegame, becomes an offensive piece once all the pieces are off the board, and sometimes even when there are one or two minor pieces left. The handling of the King becomes of paramount importance once the endgame stage is reached.
The king, which during the opening and middlegame stage is often a burden because it has to be defended, becomes in the endgame a very important and aggressive piece, and the beginner should realize this, and utilize his king as much as possible.
The matter of the opposition is highly important, and takes at times somewhat complicated forms, all of which can be solved mathematically; but, for the present, the student should only consider the most simple forms ... In all simple forms of opposition, when the Kings are on the same line and the number of intervening squares between them is even, the player who has the move has the opposition.
The most intelligent inspection of any number of fine paintings will not make the observer a painter, nor will listening to a number of operas make the hearer a musician, but good judges of music and painting may so be formed. Chess differs from these. The intelligent perusal of fine games cannot fail to make the reader a better player and a better judge of the play of others.
The name of Alekhine is illuminated by the brilliance of his chess combinations. Alekhine possessed an exceptionally rich chess imagination, and his skill in creating combinative complications is incomparable.
The opposition can take the form ... which can be called actual or close frontal opposition; or this form ... which can be called actual or close diagonal opposition. Or again, this form ... which can be called actual or close lateral opposition. In practice they are all one and the same. The Kings always on squares of the same colour, there is only one intervening square between the Kings, and the player who has moved last "has the opposition".
The Opposition. When Kings have to be moved, and one player can, by force, bring his King into a position ... so that his adversary is forced to move and make way for him, the player obtaining that advantage is said to have the opposition.
The process of making pieces in chess do something useful (whatever it may be) has received a special name: it is called the attack. The attack is that process by means of which you remove obstructions.
The radiant combinations of this chess genius can be compared with the transparent music of Mozart, and his impeccable behaviour at the board and his precise observance of the chess rules, which he himself introduced, resemble the Mendeleyev Table of the elements. (on Morphy)
The range of circumstances in which it is possible to presuppose the presence of a combination is very limited. The presence of such circumstances is the reason for the genesis of the idea in the masterís brain.
There are some things we do much better than computers, but since most of chess is tactically based they do many things better than humans. And this imbalance remains. I no longer have any issues. Itís bit like asking an astronomer, does he mind that a telescope does all the work. He is used to it. It is just an incredible tool that you can use.
There is no disputing that in the eyes of Schlechter, Teichmann or even Rubinstein, the backward pawn was something more substantial than lively piece play, but in our day the latter is more often preferred.
There is no doubt that for Morphy chess was an art, and for chess Morphy was a great artist. His play was captivated by freshness of thought and inexhaustible energy. He played with inspiration, without striving to penetrate into the psychology of the opponent; he played, if one can express it so, 'pure chess'.
There wasnít any particular player I modeled my game after. I tried to learn from everyone and create my own style. I studied past players. Truth be told I never had a favorite player. Itís just not my nature to go around idolizing people. I just go try to learn.
The shortcoming of hanging pawns is that they present a convenient target for attack. As the exchange of men proceeds, their potential strength lessens and during the endgame they turn out, as a rule, to be weak.
The stock market and the gridiron and the battlefield arenít as tidy as the chessboard, but in all of them, a single, simple rule holds true: make good decisions and you'll succeed; make bad ones and you'll fail.
The task of the positional player is systematically to accumulate slight advantages and try to convert temporary advantages into permanent ones, otherwise the player with the better position runs the risk of losing it.
The triumph of the analytical movement, which formed in the '30's and '40's, was precisely what earned the Soviet masters the acclaim of chessplayers the world over. Unfortunately, it must also be noted that, for todayís chessmasters, the watchword is practicality.
The weaker the player the more terrible the Knight is to him, but as a player increases in strength the value of the Bishop becomes more evident to him, and of course there is, or should be, a corresponding decrease in his estimation of the value of the Knight as compared to the Bishop. In this respect, as in many others, the masters of today are far ahead of the masters of former generations. While not so long ago some of the very best among them, like Pillsbury and Tchigorin, preferred Knights to Bishops, there is hardly a master of today who would not completely agree with the statements made above.
The winning tactics in all these endings have merely consisted in keeping the opponentís Rooks tied to the defence of one or more pawns, leaving my own Rooks free for action. This is a general principle which can be equally applied to any part of the game. It means in general terms: Keep freedom of manoeuvre while hampering your opponent. There is one more thing of great importance, and that is that the winning side has always had a general strategical plan capable of being carried out with the means at his disposal, while often the losing side had no plan at all, but simply moved according to the needs of the moment.
This is the essential element that cannot be measured by any analysis or device, and I believe itís at the heart of success in all things: the power of intuition and the ability to harness and use it like a master.
Through chess I developed my character. Chess first of all teaches you to be objective. You can become a big master in chess only if you see your mistakes and short-comings. Exactly the same as in life itself.
... today many players, especially young ones, think that the older openings are so thoroughly analysed that nothing more can be tried. This is a serious mistake. The methods of positional play become deeper and finer each year. Being well acquainted with them it is possible even in openings which seem to be fully explored to find ways to create a real fight.
To give a fixed line of play would be folly. Each ending is different, and requires different handling, according to what the adversary proposes to do. Calculation by visualising the future positions is what will count.
To my surprise I found that when other top players in the precomputer age (before 1995, roughly) wrote about games in magazines and newspaper columns, they often made more mistakes in their annotations than the players had made at the board.
Too many times, people donít try their best. They donít have the keen spirit; the winning spirit. And once you make it you've got to guard your reputation - every day go in like an unknown to prove yourself. Thatís why I donít clown around. I donít believe in wasting time. My goal is to win the World Chess Championship; to beat the Russians. I take this very seriously.
Truth derives its strength not so much from itself as from the brilliant contrast it makes with what is only apparently true. This applies especially to chess, where it is often found that the profoundest moves do not much startle the imagination.
Two Rooks are slightly stronger than a Queen. They are slightly weaker than two Knights and a Bishop, and a little more so than two Bishops and a Knight. The power of the Knight decreases as the pieces are changed off. The power of the Rook, on the contrary, increases.
Ultimately, what separates a winner from a loser at the grandmaster level is the willingness to do the unthinkable. A brilliant strategy is, certainly, a matter of intelligence, but intelligence without audaciousness is not enough. Given the opportunity, I must have the guts to explode the game, to upend my opponentís thinking and, in so doing, unnerve him. So it is in business: One does not succeed by sticking to convention. When your opponent can easily anticipate every move you make, your strategy deteriorates and becomes commoditized.
Very often in a game a master only plays to cut off, so to speak, one of the pieces from the scene of actual conflict. Often a Bishop or a Knight is completely out of action. In such cases we might say that from that moment the game is won, because for all practical purposes there will be one more piece on one side than on the other.
Vishy (Anand) is a brilliant player. But it is very difficult to compete at 40. He is up against people half his age. I will be surprised if he can go on any longer. He can fight against anyone but time. (2009)
When Alekhine recognizes the weakness in his position he has a tendency to become very aggressive. Patient defence is not for him if he can see the slightest chance of creating an attack. Yet sound strategy often demands that you submit to the opponentís will so as to strengthen your weaknesses and get rid of defects in your game.
When asked, "How is that you pick better moves than your opponents?", I responded: Iím very glad you asked that, because, as it happems, there is a very simple answer. I think up my own moves, and I make my opponent think up his.
Whenever Black succeeds in assuming the initiative and maintaining it to a successful conclusion, the sporting spirit of the chess lover feels gratified, because it shows that the resources of the game are far from being exhausted.
When I started out playing chess as a kid I thought I should be world champion. As a kid you have no idea what that means and you only sort of picture it. It is hard to imagine that I waited all those years and it happened in a late stage of my career.
When I today ask myself whence I got the moral courage, for it takes moral courage to make a move (or form a plan) running counter to all tradition, I think I may say in answer, that it was only my intense preoccupation with the problem of the blockade which helped me to do so.
When I used to go to the Manhattan Chess Club back in the fifties, I met a lot of old-timers there who knew Capablanca, because he used to come around to the Manhattan club in the forties Ė before he died in the early forties. They spoke about Capablanca with awe. I have never seen people speak about any chess player like that, before or since.
When you sit down to play a game you should think only about the position, but not about the opponent. Whether chess is regarded as a science, or an art, or a sport, all the same psychology bears no relation to it and only stands in the way of real chess.
Winning is not a secret that belongs to a very few, winning is something that we can learn by studying ourselves, studying the environment and making ourselves ready for any challenge that is in front of us.
With a Knight and a Bishop the mate can only be given in the corners of the same colour as the Bishop... The ending can be divided into two parts. Part one consists in driving the Black King to the last line. We might begin, as is generally done in all such cases, by advancing the King to the centre of the board... The ending is rather laborious. There are two outstanding features: the close following by the King, and the controlling of the squares of the opposite colour of the Bishop by the combined action of the Knight and King. The student will do well to exercise himself methodically in this ending, as it gives a very good idea of the actual power of the pieces, and it requires foresight in order to accomplish the mate within the fifty moves which are granted by the rules.
Without false modesty I can say that in the whole of chess history, tournaments where on the one hand, all the stars of the chess world are gathered together, and on the other, the winner has demonstrated such notable superiority over the remaining contstants, can be counted on your fingers. (following his 11/13 victory in Linares 1993)
Yes, perhaps I like defending more than attacking, but who has demonstrated that defence is a less risky and dangerous occupation than attack? And are there so few games that have found their way into the treasury of chess thanks to a virtuoso defence?
You canít overestimate the importance of psychology in chess, and as much as some players try to downplay it, I believe that winning requires a constant and strong psychology not just at the board but in every aspect of your life.
Your Soviet players are cheating, losing the games on purpose to my rival, Botvinnik, in order to increase his points on the score. (to Stalin in Moscow 1936, where he finished clear 1st, one point ahead of Botvinnik)