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My YouTube channel eugnis22 - Video lesson 1 - Video lesson 2 - Video lesson 3 (bras) - Video lesson 4 - Video lesson 5 - Video lesson 6 - Video lesson 7 - Video lesson 8 - Video lesson 9 - Video lesson 10 - Video lesson 11
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.
Then download and install the latest version of Java or an older one.
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.
- A Bishop will often be worth more than three pawns, but a Knight very seldom so, and may even not be worth so much.
- About women: Chess is better.
- 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, after all, is a fight in which all possible factors must be made use of, and in which a knowledge of the opponentís good and bad qualities is of the greatest importance.
- 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!
- A considerable role in the forming of my style was played by an early attraction to study composition.
- A draw can be obtained not only by repeating moves, but also by one weak move.
- After I won the title, I was confronted with the real world. People do not behave naturally anymore Ė hypocrisy is everywhere.
- After reaching the heights, Bronstein was unable to maintain his concentration and play his best chess. He committed several of the worst errors of his career during his match with Botvinnik.
- A good player is always lucky.
- A knight ending is really a pawn ending.
- Alekhine developed as a player much more slowly than most. In his twenties, he was an atrocious chessplayer, and didnít mature until he was well into his thirties.
- Alekhine evidently possesses the most remarkable chess memory that has ever existed. It is said that he remembers by heart all the games played by the leading masters during the last 15-20 years.
- 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.
- Alekhine is dear to the chess world, mainly as an artist. Typical of him are deep plans, far-sighted calculation and inexhaustible imagination.
- Alekhineís real genius is in the preparation and construction of a position, long before combinations or mating attacks come into consideration at all.
World champion 1935-1937
1901 - 1981
- ... a lively imagination can exercise itself most fully and creatively in conjuring up magnificent combinations.
- All I ever want to do is just play chess.
- 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 lines of play which lead to the imprisonment of the bishop are on principle to be condemned. (on the closed Ruy Lopez)
- All my life I have studied deeply and carefully the work of this great player and, as well as I can, I have tried to convert the best of it to my own use. (on Lasker)
- All that matters on the chessboard is good moves.
- 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)
- Along with my retirement from chess analytical work seems to have gone too.
- 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.
- Although the knight is generally considered to be on a par with the bishop in strength, the latter piece is somehat stronger in the majority of cases in which they are opposed to each other.
- Americans really donít know much about chess. But I think when I beat Spassky, that Americans will take a greater interest in chess. Americans like winners.
- An amusing fact: as far as I can recall, when playing the Ruy Lopez I have not yet once in my life had to face the Marshall Attack!
- 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.
- An hourís history of two minds is well told in a game of chess.
- An isolated pawn spreads gloom all over the chessboard.
- Another of Rubinsteinís characteristic features is his dislike for melodramatics. Empty rhetoric and pretentious moves alike shock him to the core!
- Any experienced player knows how a change in the character of the play influences your psychological mood.
- A passed pawn increase in strength as the number of pieces on the board diminishes.
- A player, as the world believed he was, he was not, his studious temperament made that impossible; and thus he was conquered by a player and in the end little valued by the world, he died.
- 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.
- A queenís sacrifice, even when fairly obvious, always rejoices the heart of the chess-lover.
- A Rook will be worth a Knight and two pawns, or a Bishop and two pawns, but ... the Bishop will be a better piece against the Rook.
- A sacrifice is best refuted by accepting it.
- As a fellow traveller and a living witness of Spasskyís progress, I can testify that I know no man who is more capable of self-perfection than Spassky.
- 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.
World champion 1935-1937
1901 - 1981
- As a rule, the more mistakes there are in a game, the more memorable it remains, because you have suffered and worried over each mistake at the board.
- As far as Kortchnoi the chess player is concerned, he fulfilled himself as much as his strength and talent allowed.
- As long as my opponent has not yet castled, on each move I seek a pretext for an offensive. Even when I realize that the king is not in danger.
- 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.
- As to me, to be quite honest I feel rather ill at ease because against me Benko plays calmly and clearly. (on opponent Pal Benko)
- A strong memory, concentration, imagination, and a strong will is required to become a great chess player.
- 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.
- ... at the chessboard he was mighty, away from chess ... he was like a little boy who would get up to mischief and naively think that no one was watching him. - (on Alekhine)
World champion 1935-1937
1901 - 1981
- A thorough understanding of the typical mating continuations makes the most complicated sacrificial combinations leading up to them not only difficult, but almost a matter of course.
- Attackers may sometimes regret bad moves, but it is much worse to forever regret an opportunity you allowed to pass you by.
- 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.
- A win by an unsound combination, however showy, fills me with artistic horror.
- Before development has been completed no piece should be moved more than once, unless it is essential in order to obtain either material advantage or to secure freedom of action.
- Before Geller we did not understand the Kingís Indian Defence.
- Before the endgame the gods have placed the middlegame.
- Best by test. (on 1. e4)
- Bobby Fischer came back to chess! It was a miracle! I could never have missed it. No way!
- 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.
World champion 1935-1937
1901 - 1981
- 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 how difficult it can be to gain the desired full point against an opponent of inferior strength, when this is demanded by the tournament position!
- 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.
- But whatever you might say and whatever I might say, a machine which can play chess with people is one of the most marvellous wonders of our 20th century!
- By all means examine the games of the great chess players, but donít swallow them whole. Their games are valuable not for their separate moves, but for their vision of chess, their way of thinking.
- By positional play a master tries to prove and exploit true values, whereas by combinations he seeks to refute false values ... A combination produces an unexpected re-assessment of values.
- By some ardent enthusiasts chess has been elevated into a science or an art. It is neither; but its principal characteristic seems to be - what human nature mostly delights in - a fight.
- 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.
World champion 1935-1937
1901 - 1981
- 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.
World champion 1935-1937
1901 - 1981
- 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 phenomenal move-searching algorithm in those early years, when he possessed a wonderful ability for calculating variations very rapidly, made him invincible.
- 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.
- Capablanca was snatched too early from the chess world. With his death we have lost a great chess genius, the like of whom we will never see again.
- Capture of the adverse king is the ultimate but not the first object of the game.
- Carlsen will be ridiculously difficult to play against. (on the 2013 World Championship match)
- 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 demands total concentration.
- Chess is, above all, a fight.
- Chess is a fairy tale of 1001 blunders.
- Chess is a matter of delicate judgement, knowing when to punch and how to duck.
- Chess is a matter of vanity.
- Chess is a terrible game. If you have no center, your opponent has a freer position. If you do have a center, then you really have something to worry about!
- Chess is a unique cognitive nexus, a place where art and science come together in the human mind and are refined and improved by experience.
- Chess is everything: art, science, and sport.
- 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 imagination.
- Chess is infinite, and one has to make only one iíll-considered move, and oneís opponentís wildest dreams will become reality.
- Chess is life.
- Chess is like a language, the top players are very fluent at it. Talent can be developed scientifically but you have to find first what you are good at.
- Chess is like body-building. If you train every day, you stay in top shape. It is the same with your brain Ė chess is a matter of daily training.
- Chess is mental torture.
- Chess is my life.
- 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 is so inspiring that I do not believe a good player is capable of having an evil thought during the game.
- Chess is something more than a game. It is an intellectual diversion which has certain artistic qualities and many scientific elements.
- Chess is the art of analysis.
- Chess is the art which expresses the science of logic.
- Chess is war over the board. The object is to crush the opponentís mind.
- Chess, like any creative activity, can exist only through the combined efforts of those who have creative talent, and those who have the ability to organize their creative work.
- Chess, like love, like music, has the power to make men happy.
- Chess mastery essentially consists of analyzing chess positions accurately.
- 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)
- Chess strength in general and chess strength in a specific match are by no means one and the same thing.
- Chess will always be the master of us all.
- Chigorin, a genius of practical play, considers his privilege at every convenient opportunity to challenge the principles of contemporary chess theory.
- Chigorinís talent is enormous, and possibly he is a real genius. At times the depth of his ideas can be inaccessible to mere mortals.
- Concentrate on material gains. Whatever your opponent gives you take, unless you see a good reason not to.
- Confidence is very important Ė even pretending to be confident. If you make a mistake but do not let your opponent see what you are thinking then he may overlook the mistake.
- Contrary to many young colleagues I do believe that it makes sense to study the classics.
- Despite the development of chess theory, there is much that remains secret and unexplored in chess.
- 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.
- donít even mention losing to me. I canít stand to think of it.
- donít worry kids, you'll find work. After all, my machine will need strong chess player-programmers. You will be the first. (to Karpov & students, 1965)
- Drawn games are sometimes more scintillating than any conclusive contest.
- During a chess competition a Chessmaster should be a combination of a beast of prey and a monk.
- During a chess tournament a master must envisage himself as a cross between an ascetic monk and a beast of prey.
- 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.
- Even in the heat of a middlegame battle the master still has to bear in mind the outlines of a possible future ending.
- Even the laziest king flees wildly in the face of double check.
- Even the most distinguished players have in their careers experienced severe disappointments due to ignorance of the best lines or suspension of their own common sense.
- Every great master will find it useful to have his own theory on the openings, which only he himself knows, a theory which is closely linked with plans for the middle game.
- Every month I look through some ten thousand games, so not as to miss any new ideas and trends.
- Every move creates a weakness.
- Everyone has their nemesis. For me it was clearly Kasparov. I donít think I want to make excuses for that.
- 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)
- Excelling at chess has long been considered a symbol of more general intelligence. That is an incorrect assumption in my view, as pleasant as it might be.
- 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.
- Far from all of the obvious moves that go without saying are correct.
- Few things are as psychologically brutal as chess.
- First-class players lose to second-class players because second-class players sometimes play a first-class game.
- First restrain, next blockade, lastly destroy.
- Fischer is Fischer, but a knight is a knight! (on Fischerís claim that he could beat any woman at knight odds)
- Fischer is the first big-time professional in chess, and, in order to achieve success, he will resort to any means.
- Fischerís beautiful chess and his immortal games will stand forever as a central pillar in the history of our game.
- Fischerís integrity was evident in any one of his actions. Even his shortcomings were inseparable from him; they were aspects of his integrity.
- Fischerís strength can be evaluated only in comparison with the best chess players who surrounded him.
- For every door the computers have closed they have opened a new one.
- For me, chess is a language, and if itís not my native tongue, it is one I learned via the immersion method at a young age.
- 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 pleasure you can read the games collections of Andersson and Chigorin, but for benefit you should study Tarrasch, Keres and Bronstein.
- 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)
World champion 1935-1937
1901 - 1981
- From being an average member of society - featureless, unreasoning, submissive - he has become an independent, discerning thinker, and has gradually turned into a dissident. (on Spassky)
- Furman astounded me with his chess depth, a depth which he revealed easily and naturally, as if all he were doing was establishing well-known truths.
- Genius. Itís a word. What does it really mean? If I win Iím a genius. If I donít, Iím not.
- Great was Laskerís role in the social recognition of chess, the realization of its usefulness. "The game of chess eases our lifeís struggle", he said.
- Had Chigorin been able to rein in his fantasy on just a few occasions, the world might have had its first Russian champion decades before Alekhine.
- 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.
World champion 1935-1937
1901 - 1981
- He considered that chess was closest to an art, and he was able to demonstrate this with his optimistic, eternally youthful play. (on Alekhine)
- He deals with us like inexperienced fledglings. (after a 19 move loss vs. Alekhine in Bled 1931)
- He has an extreme capacity for work, extreme determination to win and extreme perfectionism. (on Kasparov)
- He is a poet who creates a work of art out of something which would hardly inspire another man to send home a picture postcard. (on Alekhine)
World champion 1935-1937
1901 - 1981
- 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)
- Heís unprincipled. (on Kasparov)
- He understood more about the use of squares than did Morphy, and contributed a great deal more to chess theory. (on Wilhelm Steinitz)
- He was a pioneer and one of the most profound researchers into the truth of the game, which was hidden from his contemporaries. (on Wilhelm Steinitz)
- He who fears the isolated queenís pawn should give up chess.
- 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 add status to any tournament I attend.
- I agree with the opinion expressed by many commentators that in the art of delicate strategic manoeuvring Garry Kasparov and Anatoly Karpov have no equals.
- I am not a chess historian - I myself am a piece of chess history, which no one can avoid. I will not write about myself, but I am sure that someone will write ...
- I am not some sort of freak. I might be very good at chess but Iím just a normal person.
- I am trying to beat the guy sitting across from me and trying to choose the moves that are most unpleasant for him and his style.
- I believe in magic ... There is magic in the creative faculty such as great poets and philosophers conspicuously possess, and equally in the creative chessmaster.
- I believe most definitely that one must not only grapple with the problems on the board, one must also make every effort to combat the thoughts and will of the opponent.
- I believe that Fischer surpassed all the former and currently living grandmasters in the ability to produce and process chess ideas.
- I cannot see myself playing beyond the age of 40.
- 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 canít play with you because I donít understand the way you play or your train of thought. (to Karpov)
- I claim that nothing else is so effective in encouraging the growth of chess stregth as such independent analysis, both of the games of the great players and your own.
- I consider chess an art, and accept all those responsibilities which art places upon its devotees.
- 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 consider myself to be an idler, too, but the dimensions of Spasskyís laziness were astounding.
- I could give any woman in the world a piece and a move; to Gaprindashvili even, a knight.
- I despise the media.
- 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 believe in psychology. I believe in good moves.
- I donít keep any close friends. I donít keep any secrets. I donít need friends. I just tell everybody everything, thatís all.
- 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 a mistake or an inaccuracy occurs, there is no need to assume 'all is lost' and mope - one must reorient oneself quickly, and find a new plan to fit the new situation.
- 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 I win a tournament, I win it by myself. I do the playing. Nobody helps me.
- 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 Petrosian played more boldly, he would be the strongest player in the world. (1962)
- If the defender is forced to give up the center, then every possible attack follows almost of itself.
- If the distinguishing feature of a genius is that he is far ahead compared with his epoch, then Morphy was a chess genius in the complete sense of the word.
World champion 1935-1937
1901 - 1981
- If they had played 150 games at full strength, they would be in a lunatic asylum by now. (on Kasparov and Karpov, 1987)
- If we have a reasonable plan we are heroes, if we have none we are cowardly blockheads.
- 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.
World champion 1935-1937
1901 - 1981
- 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 are weak in the endgame, you must spend more time analysing studies; in your training games you must aim at transposing to endgames, which will help you to acquire the requisite experience.
- If you donít win, itís not a great tragedy - the worst that happens is that you lose a game.
- 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.
- If you wish to succeed, you must brave the risk of failure.
- I get more upset at losing at other things than chess. I always get upset when I lose at Monopoly.
- I give 98 percent of my mental energy to Chess. Others give only 2 percent.
- I go over many games collections and pick up something from the style of each player.
- I have added these principles to the law: get the knights into action before both bishops are developed.
- I have always had a slight feeling of pity for the man who has no knowledge of chess.
- I have always thought it a matter of honour for every chess player to deserve the smile of fortune.
- I have found after 1.d4 there are more opportunities for richer play.
- I have found that after 1.d4 there are more opportunities for richer play.
- I have frequently stated that I regard chess as an art form, where creativity prevails over other factors.
- 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 known many chess players, but among them there has been only one genius - Capablanca!
- I have never in my life played the French Defense, which is the dullest of all openings.
- I have never said this before, but I think he is the only one who plays as well as I did at the same age. (on Kramnik)
- I have not given any drawn or lost games, because I thought them inadequate to the purpose of the book. (in 'My Chess Career', published in 1920)
- I have no time for any particular interests apart from chess.
- 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 know of no other grandmaster in our country, or the world, who has received such all-encompasing, massive support from the authorities. (on Kasparov)
- I know people who have all the will in the world, but still canít play good chess.
- 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 1.e4 very much, but my results are better with 1.d4.
- I like the moment I break a manís ego.
- I like to make them squirm.
- 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 lost the match. I blame only myself for this. There were many opportunities to win. But I missed them, no one else. (on Lyons/New York Match with Kasparov)
- 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 may be on old lion, but if someone puts his finger in my mouth, Iíll bite it off!
- 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.
- Iím not afraid of him. Heís afraid of me. Iím not afraid of him. (on Spassky)
- Iím not afraid of Spassky. The world knows Iím the best. You donít need a match to prove it.
- I must admit that, although I am an ardent admirerer of Grandmaster D. Bronstein, I do not quite understand his habit of thinking about his first move from 10 minutes to half an hour.
- 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 1996, the players at the VSB tournament in Amsterdam sent me a card for my wedding with this dedication 'Anand congrats on your wedding. You were a great player, now be ready to lose 50 pointsí.
- In Alekhine we are captivated by his exceptional combinative talent and his whole-hearted love for chess.
- In almost any position the boundless possibilities of chess enable a new or at least a little-studied continuation to be found.
- 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 a rook and pawn ending, the rook must be used aggressively. It must either attack enemy pawns, or give active support to the advance of one of its own pawns to the queening square.
- In a way players at the top should try to promote the game in their own countries as that is the legacy that makes you feel proud. If you have not done that you have failed as a sportsperson.
- In chess, as in life, a man is his own most dangerous opponent.
- In chess, as in life, opportunity strikes but once.
- In chess, as it is played by masters, chance is practically eliminated.
- 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 chess, there is only one mistake: over-estimation of your opponent. All else is either bad luck or weakness.
- Independence of thought is a most valuable quality in a chess-player, both at the board and when preparing for a game.
- Inevitably the machines must win, but there is still a long way to go before a human on his or her best day is unable to defeat the best computer.
- 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 general there is something puzzling about the fact that the most renowned figures in chess - Morphy, Pillsbury, Capablanca and Fischer - were born in America.
- ... 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 my games I have sometimes found a combination intuitively simply feeling that it must be there. Yet I was not able to translate my thought processes into normal human language.
- In my match with Bronstein I was frequently confused - I could not immediately understand what my opponent wanted to do!
- In my opinion, the style of a player should not be formed under the influence of any single great master.
- 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 some places words have been replaced by symbols which, like amulets from a witchís bag, have the power to consume the living spirit of chess.
- Intellectual activity is perhaps the greatest pleasure of life; chess is one of the forms of intellectual activity.
- In the current FIDE World Championship, on the knock-out system, weaker players have good chances. Those, who in a long match would practically have no chance, here may creep through.
- In the ending the king is a powerful piece for assisting his own pawns, or stopping the adverse pawns.
- 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.
- In the middlegame, the king is merely an extra, but in the endgame, he is one of the star actors.
- I personally never stood out amongst my contemporaries, because I always had to progress by hard work. Tal, on the other hand, there is an example of someone who did not have to work at it.
- I played like a child. (13 year old Magnus after a loss in the second game of a two game rapid chess match with Kasparov - after drawing the first game)
- 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 see my own style as being a symbiosis of the styles of Alekhine, Tal and Fischer.
- 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 still remember Botvinnikís reaction to each of my games, right from the opening moves. At first he would express amazement, then annoyance, and, finally irritation.
- It cannot be too greatly emphasized that the most important role in pawn endings is played by the king.
- I think itís almost definite that the game is a draw theoretically.
- 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 always better to sacrifice your opponentsí men.
- 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 fact that almost all the outstanding chess-players have been first-class analysts.
- 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 difficult to play against Einsteinís theory. (on his first loss to Fischer)
- It is easy to play against the young players, for me they are like an open book.
- It is even more absurd to compare Fischerís chess strength with that of Kasparov, in whatever way, than it is to compare Fischer and me.
- 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 not enough to be a good player... you must also play well.
- It is noteworthy that Spassky never in his life began a game with 1.Nf3 - this apparently seemed to him to be a 'half-move', whereas a normal move was the only one leading to an open battle.
- It is peculiar but a fact nevertheless, that the gamblers in chess have enthusiastic followers.
- It is rightly said that the most difficult thing in chess is winning a won position.
- It is said that an ounce of common sense can outweigh a ton of "variations".
- 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 is very difficult to play a single blitz game! You want to play for a long time. So I tend not to do that anymore.
- It is well-known that chess and music go well together, and many are those who have achieved unusual proficiency in both.
- It is with justice that he spent his final days in Iceland, the site of his greatest triumph. There he has always been loved and seen in the best possible way: as a chessplayer. (on Bobby Fischer)
- It must be clearly understood that Soviet players do not seek simple systems in the opening, but try to formulate opening systems in which everything is complicated, distinctive, or new.
- I took his death very badly ... the death of Fischer.
- Itís easy to get obsessed with chess. Thatís what happened with Fischer and Paul Morphy. I donít have that same obsession. (as interviewed in Time magazine)
- 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 just you and your opponent at the board and youíre trying to prove something.
- 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.
- Itís necessary to attack where your opponent is weak and you are strong.
- Itís true that in chess as in politics, fund-raising and glad-handing matter.
- 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.
- It would be as naive to study the song of the nightingale, as it would be ridiculous to try and win a Kingís Gambit against a representative of the old chess guard.
- Iíve seen - both in myself and my competitors - how satisfaction can lead to a lack of vigilance, then to mistakes and missed opportunities.
- I wasnít sure what square to take the rook to. Because there were three alternatives e8, d8 and c8, I decided to go for the middle one.
- I was staggered by his tenacity and resourcefulness in defence, and his composure and endurance after a defeat. (on Spassky)
- 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 was the strongest from 1964 to 1970, but in 1971 Fischer was already stronger.
- 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.
- I would never suggest to anyone that they drop school for chess. First of all even if you can make it in chess, your social skills need to be developed there.
- 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.
- Kasparov and I have nothing in common. For me chess was the end, for him it has merely been the means.
- King of chess (what he whispered to his wife before he died)
- Kortchnoi has a stable opening repertoire, with which he aims to lure his opponents into schemes where he is well versed.
- 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.
- Kortchnoi rarely declines any opportunity to gain material.
- Kortchnoiís heritage is many-faceted - over the decades he has several times corrected and changed his style. But the main thing has invariably remained his search for chess truth.
- Lasker thought that his rationalism rendered him immune from the surprises of chess theory.
- Lasker was my teacher, and without him I could not have become whom I became. The idea of chess art is unthinkable without Emanuel Lasker.
- 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 dogs who sniff each other when meeting, chess players have a ritual at first acquaintance: they sit down to play speed chess.
- 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.
- Like the alchemist of old, for ever searching for the philosopherís stone, the analyst today never stops looking for stronger moves to prevent the defender from establishing equality.
- Long analysis, wrong analysis.
- 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.
- Losing your objectivity almost always means losing the game.
- Loss generally occurs when a player overrates his advantage or for other reasons seeks to derive from a minute advantage a great return such as a forced win.
- Many chess players were surprised when after the game, Fischer quietly explained: 'I had already analyzed this possibility' in a position which I thought was not possible to forsee from the opening.
- Many have become chess masters - no one has become the master of chess.
- Many men, many styles; what is chess style but the intangible expression of the will to win.
- Memorization of variations could be even worse than playing in a tournament without looking in the books at all.
- Mistrust is the most necessary characteristic of the chess player.
- Modern computers have taken the place once occupied by woman chess players.
- 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.
- Morphy was probably the greatest genius of them all.
- Morphy was so far ahead of his time that it took another quarter century for these principles of development and attack to be rediscovered and formulated.
- 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 association with Kortchnoi is linked with many difficult moments, dark thoughts, disappointments, and despair, but I have nothing against Kortchnoi.
- 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 fascination for studies proved highly beneficial - it assisted my the development of my aesthetic understanding of chess, and improved my endgame play.
- (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 games with the 9th world champion (Tigran Petrosian) broadened my understanding of chess. Had it not been for these two defeats, I would possibly not have reached the top in chess.
- My love of dynamic complications often led me to avoid simplicity when perhaps it was the wisest choice.
- My opponent is Short and the match will be short. - Garryís quip before his 1993 PCA World Championship match with Nigel Short
- My opponents make good moves too. Sometimes I donít take these things into consideration.
- My sister bought me a set at a candy store and taught me the moves.
- My studies with Botvinnik brought me immense benefit, particularly the homework assignments which forced me to refer to chess books and to work independently.
- 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.
- My very first book was a games collection of Anatoly Karpov. On the whole I was attracted by positonal play with some tactics, and already then I was aiming for universality.
- Naturally, the psychological susceptibility of a match participant is significantly higher than a participant in a tournament, since each game substantially changes the over-all position.
- Nervous energy is the ammunition we take into any mental battle. If you donít have enough of it, your concentration will fade. If you have a surplus, the results will explode.
- 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 chess Grandmaster is normal; they only differ in the extent of their madness.
- 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.
- None of the great players has been so incomprehensible to the majority of amateurs and even masters, as Emanuel Lasker.
- No one ever won a game by resigning.
- No other great master has been so misunderstood by the vast majority of chess amateurs and even by many masters, as has Emanuel Lasker.
- No pawn exchanges, no file-opening, no attack.
- Not winning a tournament is not an option for me, unless itís no longer theoretically possible - then of course winning becomes impossible. But up to that point, not winning is just not an option.
- 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)
World champion 1935-1937
1901 - 1981
- Nowadays games immediately appear on the Internet and thus the life of novelties is measured in hours. Modern professionals do not have the right to be forgetful - it is 'life threatening'.
- Nowadays grandmasters no longer study their opponentís games so much, but they study his character, his behaviour and his temperament in the most thorough fashion.
- Nowadays, when youíre not a grandmaster at 14, you can forget about it.
- Now how the hell can I be Petrosianís second if it makes me sick to watch how he plays?
- 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.
- Of course, errors are not good for a chess game, but errors are unavoidable and in any case, a game without ant errors, or as they say 'flawless game' is colorless.
- Often, in the Ruy Lopez, one must be patient, wait and carry on a lengthy and wearisome struggle.
- 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!
- Oh, those exclamation points! How they erode the innocent soul of the amateur, removing all hope of allowing him to examine another playerís ideas critically!
- Once he fixated on an idea, his theoretical point became more important to him than winning, and this lack of competitive pragmatism prevented him from making it to the top. (on Mikhail Chigorin)
- One cannot help but admire the devilish determination and ingenuity of this man. (on Petrosian)
- One doesnít have to play well, itís enough to play better than your opponent.
- Only the player with the initiative has the right to attack.
- On the chessboard lies and hypocrisy do not last long.
- 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.
- Pawns not only create the sketch for the whole painting, they are also the soil, the foundation, of any position.
- 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.
- Personally, I like him very much. He was under a lot of pressure. He canít really do what he wants, he has to follow orders from Moscow. (on Spassky)
- 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.
- ... Pillsbury aspired for the candle of his life to burn constantly at both ends. 'Wine, women, and not harmless songs, but strong cigars' - this was Pillsburyís principle in life.
- Played 'a la Morphy'. What greater praise can be given?
- 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)
- Playing blindfold, like it or not, you have to make your body work at full power, otherwise you risk losing your orientation at the board.
- Playing for complications is an extreme measure that a player should adopt only when he cannot find a clear and logical plan.
- Playing rapid chess, one can lose the habit of concentrating for several hours in serious chess. That is why, if a player has big aims, he should limit his rapidplay in favour of serious chess.
- Play on both sides of the board is my favourite strategy.
- Poor Capablanca! Thou wert a brilliant technician, but no philosopher. Thou wert not capable of believing that in chess, another style could be victorious than the absolutely correct one.
World champion 1935-1937
1901 - 1981
- Psychologically, the choice of an appropriate opening is of the utmost importance for a playerís success in a tournament.
- Psychologically, you have to have confidence in yourself and this confidence should be based on fact.
- Psychology is the most important factor in chess.
- 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.
World champion 1935-1937
1901 - 1981
- Reti is a brilliant type of artist, who battles not so much with his opponents, as with himself, with his own ideals and doubts.
- Reti is the only grandmaster whose moves are often completely unexpected to me.
- 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.
- Ridicule can do much, for instance embitter the existence of young talents.
- Seize the initiative whenever the opportunity presents itself. To hold the initiative is already an advantage.
- 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.
- Setbacks and losses are both inevitable and essential if youíre going to improve and become a good, even great, competitor. The art is in avoiding catastrophic losses in the key battles.
- Shall we ever live to see the following wise prohibition - the audience is forbidden to smoke and the masters are forbidden to 'smoke out' the audience by playing exchanging variations?
- Show me three variations in the leading handbook on the openings, and I will show you two of those three that are defective.
- Some part of a mistake is always correct.
- Some people think that if their opponent plays a beautiful game, itís OK to lose. I donít. You have to be merciless.
- Some pieces in the Kingís Indian appear on a 'special price' list: the darksquare bishops are at the top of that list.
- 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.
- Sometimes the hardest thing to do in a pressure situation is to allow the tension to persist. The temptation is to make a decision, any decision, even if it is an inferior choice.
- 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 sits at the board with the same dead expression whether heís mating or being mated.
- 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.
- Spassky was the first of the great players who employed both 1.e4 and 1.d4 in equal measure and with identical success.
- Spielmann is, in fact, the hardest-working of all the masters, continually searching out the flaws in his game and striving to eliminate them.
- 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.
- Steinitz had perhaps only one deficiency: he was ahead of his generation by at least 50 years!
- Strategically important points should be overprotected. If the pieces are so engaged, they get their regard in the fact that they will then find themselves well posted in every respect.
- Strategy requires thought, tactics require observation.
World champion 1935-1937
1901 - 1981
- Suddenly it was obvious to me in my analysis I had missed what Fischer had found with the greatest of ease at the board. (on his game versus Fischer in the 1962 Varna Olympiad)
- 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.
- Tactics flow from a superior position.
- Tactics involve calculations that can tax the human brain, but when you boil them down, they are actually the simplest part of chess and are almost trivial compared to strategy.
- ... 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.
- Thanks to the Polgars the adjective menís before events and the "affirmative action" womenís titles such as Woman Grandmaster have become anachronisms (though thay are still in use).
- 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)
- Thatís what chess is all about. One day you give your opponent a lesson, the next day he gives you one.
- The ability to create and to control the tension of battle is perhaps the principal attainment of the great player.
- The ability to work hard for days on end without losing focus is a talent. The ability to keep absorbing new information after many hours of study is a talent.
- The aim of all maneuvers on an open file is the ultimate intrusion along this file onto the seventh or eights rank, i.e., into the enemy position.
- 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 beauty of a move lies not in itsí appearance but in the thought behind it.
- 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 indicator of a chess playerís form is his ability to sense the climax of the game.
- 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 best way to learn endings, as well as openings, is from the games of the masters.
- The biggest problem I see among people who want to excel in chess - and in business and in life in general - is not trusting their instincts enough.
- The Bishop will be stronger against pawns than the Knight, and in combination with pawns will also be stronger against the Rook than the Knight will be.
- The blunders are all there on the board, waiting to be made.
- The boy doesnít have a clue about chess, and thereís no future at all for him in this profession. (on student Anatoly Karpov)
- The cherished dream of every chessplayer is to play a match with the World Champion. But here is the paradox: the closer you come to the realization of this goal, the less you think about it.
- The 'chess machine,' by which admiring title he had been known, revealed the great drawback of a machine: it had not sufficient flexibility to adapt itself to altered circumstances. (on Capablanca)
World champion 1935-1937
1901 - 1981
- 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 combination player thinks forward; he starts from the given position, and tries the forceful moves in his mind.
- The criterion of real strength is a deep penetration into the secrets of a position.
- 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 defensive power of a pinned piece is but imaginary.
- The essence of Capablancaís greatness is his rare talent for avoiding all that can complicate or confuse the conflict.
World champion 1935-1937
1901 - 1981
- The essence of chess is thinking about what chess is.
- 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 first chess book that I read was Dufresneís self-tutor, published with Laskerís 'Common Sense in Chess' as an appendix.
- The first essential for an attack is the will to attack.
- The first great chess players, including the world champion, got by perfectly well without constant coaches.
- 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 future belongs to he who has the bishops.
- The future of chess lies in the hands of this young man. (on Kasparov at age 11)
- The game gives us a satisfaction that life denies us. And for the chess player, the success which crowns his work, the great dispeller of sorrows, is named 'combination'.
- The game is far more important than the final result.
- The game might be divided into three parts, the opening, the middle-game and the end-game. There is one thing you must strive for, to be equally efficient in the three parts.
- 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 greatest of the champions was, of course, Emanuel Lasker. At the chess board he accomplished the impossible!
- 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 hardest game to win is a won game.
- The highest art of the chessplayer lies in not allowing your opponent to show you what he can do.
- The ideal in chess can only be a collective image, but in my opinion it is Capablanca who most closely approaches this.
- 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 inspirational games of Alekander Alekhine, my first chess hero, find a place alongside the inspirational character of Winston Churchill, whose words and books I still turn to regularly.
- The isolated pawn casts gloom over the entire chessboard.
- 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 is a fighting piece - use it!
- The king pawn and the queen pawn are the only ones to be moved in the early part of the game.
- 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 laws of chess do not permit a free choice: you have to move whether you like it or not.
- The legend of the best player of chess has been destroyed. (on Fischer after his 1992 rematch with Spassky)
- 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 mistakes are there waiting to be made.
- 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 most powerful weapon in chess is to have the next move.
- 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 only positive contribution to chess from Fischer in the last 20 years. (on the Fischer clock)
- 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.
- Theory regards this opening as incorrect, but it is impossible to agree with this. Out of the five tournament games played by me with the Kingís Gambit, I have won all five.
- The passed pawn is a criminal, who should be kept under lock and key. Mild measures such as police surveillance are not sufficient.
- The playerís greatest art consists in exploring the possibilities of bringing the game to a position in which the normal relative values cease to exist.
- The power of hanging pawns is based precisely in their mobility, in their ability to create acute situations instantly.
- 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 are tough players and nice guys, and Iím a tough player
- There are two types of sacrifices: correct ones, and mine.
- There came a time when I realized that the ability to defend was - for a good chess player - insufficient. You canít be dependent upon your opponentís will, but must try to impose your will on him.
- There can be no finer example of the inspiring powers of competition to shatter the status quo than Hungaryís Judit Polgar.
- There is no better place for learning to work independently and to extend your horizon than in higher school.
- 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 is not a single true chess-player in the world whose heart does not beat faster at the mere sound of such long beloved and familiar words as 'gambit games'.
- There isnít a woman player in the world I canít give knight-odds to and still beat.
- There is only one thing in chess that Fischer does without pleasure - to lose!
- 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 rule by which a victor does not drop in his rating is logical, but unfair if we want the ELO coefficient to be an indicator of the true strength of a chess player relative to his contemporaries.
- The Ruy Lopez occupied a constant place in my opening repertoire. In it is reflected the classical interptetation of the problem of the centre.
- 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 student is warned against playing pawns in preference to pieces at the beginning of the game, especially pawn to Rookís third, which are moves very commonly indulged in by beginners.
- The student would do well to acquaint himself with various simple endings ... so as to acquire the habit of counting, and thus be able to know with ease when he can or cannot get there first.
- The system set up by F.I.D.E. ... ensures that there will always be a Russian world champion ... The Russians arranged it that way. (1962)
- The tactician must know what to do whenever something needs doing; the strategist must know what to do when nothing needs doing.
- 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 taunt from Kramnik about 'lending' me the title, was ridiculous.
- The technical phase can be boring because there is little opportunity for creavivity, for art. Boredom leads to complacency and mistakes.
- 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 truth is that my chess development was nothing out of the ordinary, and it proceeded probably at a pace no faster than others.
- The turning point in my career came with the realization that Black should play to win instead of just steering for equality.
- 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 winner of the game is the player who makes the next-to-last mistake.
- The winning of a pawn among good players of even strength often means the winning of the game.
- 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.
- They compare me with Lasker, which is an exaggerated honour. Lasker made mistakes in every game and I only in every second one!
- They knock me for my draws, for my style, they knock me for everything I do.
- 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.
- Those who think that it is easy to play chess are mistaken. During a game a player lives on his nerves, and at the same time he must be perfectly composed.
- Though I would have liked my chances in a rematch in 1998 if I were better prepared, it was clear then that computer superiority over humans in chess had always been just a matter of time.
- 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.
- Throughout my chess career I sought out new challenges, looking for things no one had done before.
- To avoid losing a piece, many a person has lost the game.
- ... 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 find the right plan is just as hard as looking for its sound justification.
- 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 improve at chess you should in the first instance study the endgame.
- To lose oneís objective attitude to a position, nearly always means ruining your game.
- 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.
- To my way of thinking, Troitzky has no peer among endgame compsers; no one else has composed so many and such varied endings of the first rank.
- 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.
- To play a match for the World Championship is the cherished dream of every chess player.
- To play for a draw, at any rate with white, is to some degree a crime against chess.
- To refer to the oft mooted question, "Which piece is stronger, the bishop or the knight?" it is clear that the value of the bishop undergoes greater changes than that of the knight.
- To this day Morphy is an unsurpassed master of the open games. Just how great was his significance is evident from the fact that after Morphy nothing substantially new has been created in this field.
- 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.
- Turning chess into poker and hoping for a 'bluff' is not one of my convictions.
- 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.
- Unfortunately, many regard the critic as an enemy, instead of seeing him as a guide to the truth ...
- Up to this point White has been following well-known analysis. But now he makes a fatal error: he begins to use his own head.
- Vanity should never tempt a player to engage in a combat at the risk of loss of health. It is bad enough to lose without the additional annoyance of paying doctors' bills.
- 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)
- Weak points or holes in the opponentís position must be occupied by pieces, not pawns.
- We are all, in a sense, Talís children; I grew up on his games and in my childhood I played in such a style.
- What I admired most about him was his ability to make what was in fact so difficult look easy to us. I try to emulate him. (on Fischer)
- What is the object of playing a gambit opening? ... To acquire a reputation of being a dashing player at the cost of losing a game.
- What I value more than anything in chess is logic. I am firmly convinced that in chess there is nothing accidental. This is my credo. I believe only in logical, "correct" play.
- 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 asked Fischer why he had not played a certain move in our game, he replied: 'Well, you laughed when I wrote it down'.
- When I began consciously working on myself and devising a universalism of the game, I did so mostly because Spasskyís game was distinguished by universalism.
- 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 I was a child I liked the games of Capablanca, and later I was captivated by Alekhineís play.
- When I was eleven, I just got good.
- When I was preparing for one term's work in the Botvinnik school I had to spend a lot of time on king and pawn endings. So when I came to a tricky position in my own games I knew the winning method.
- When my opponentís clock is going I discuss general considerations in an internal dialogue with myself. When my own clock is going I analyse conctrete variations.
- When playing against Kortchnoi you have to think not only about the current moves, but also about what the opponent may take the liberty of doing, and this is not the best atmosphere for creativity.
- When two pawns are free, or will be free, to advance to Queen, you can find out, by counting, which pawn will be the first to succeed.
- When you donít know what to play, wait for an idea to come into your opponentís mind. You may be sure that idea will be wrong.
- When you play against an experienced opponent who exploits all the defensive resources at his command you sometimes have to walk time and again, along the narrow path of 'the only move'.
- When you play Bobby, it is not a question if you win or lose. It is a question if you survive.
- When you see a good move, look for a better one.
- When your house is on fire, you canít be bothered with the neighbors. Or, as we say in chess, if your King is under attack, donít worry about losing a pawn on the queenside.
- 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.
- Where dangers threaten from every side and the smallest slackening of attention might be fatal; in a position which requires a nerve of steel and intense concentration - Botvinnik is in his element.
World champion 1935-1937
1901 - 1981
- White has no positional equivalent for the centralized pawn.
- Who else in chess history has won so many serious games with the help of brilliant tactical strokes? (on Alekhine)
- Whomever sees no other aim in the game than that of giving checkmate to oneís opponent will never become a good chess player.
World champion 1935-1937
1901 - 1981
- 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.
- With all his outward aplomb, ostentatious strength, and demonstrative assurance, Kortchnoi was always a rather unstable and doubting person.
- With each success the ability to change is reduced. My longtime friend and coach, Grandmaster Yuri Dokhoian, aptly compared it to being dipped in bronze. Each victory added another coat.
- With opposite coloured bishops the attacking side has in effect an extra piece in the shape of his bishop.
- Without error there can be no brilliancy.
- 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)
- Without technique it is impossible to reach the top in chess, and therefore we all try to borrow from Capablanca his wonderful, subtle technique.
- With so many victories coming relatively easily to his immense talent and fighting spirit, the final crucial ingredient of relentless work will guarantee his place in history. (on Magnus Carlsen)
- Yes, I have played a blitz game once. It was on a train, in 1929.
- 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 can only get good at chess if you love the game.
- 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.
- You could say that both Fischer and Carlsen had or have the ability to let chess look simple.
- You have to accustom yourself to practical study at home, you have to devote time to studies, to the history of chess, the development of chess, of chess culture.
- You have to have the fighting spirit. You have to force moves and take chances.
- You may learn much more from a game you lose than from a game you win. You will have to lose hundreds of games before becoming a good player.
- You must take your opponent into a deep dark forest where 2+2=5, and the path leading out is only wide enough for one.
- Young players expose themselves to grave risks when they blindly imitate the innovations of masters without themselves first checking all the details and consequences of these innovations.
- Your body has to be in top condition. Your Chess deteriorates as your body does. You canít separate body from mind.
- 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)
- You want to play the Kingís Gambit? Well, Black can draw after 3.Nf3. Play 3.Bc4 if you want to win!