Quotes

Here are some great quotes about chess tactics, chess strategy, chess psychology, and more.

When you see a good move, look for a better one.
― Emanuel Lasker

To succeed in chess, study the endgame before everything else.
Jose R. Capablanca

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.
Mikhail Tal

Play the opening like a book, the middle game like a magician, and the endgame like a machine.
Rudolf Spielmann

He played the middle game like a magician: all his pieces disappeared.
Michael Pastore

However hopeless the situation appears to be there yet always exists the possibility of putting up a stubborn resistance.
― Paul Keres

Chess is 99 per cent tactics. If you don’t pay attention to the tactics, no strategy you devise will fetch you rewards. Strategy can’t compensate for mistakes in execution. If you persist with neat execution, it will keep you in the game even if you’re not able to follow a broader strategy. Strategy without tactics, though, falls at the first hurdle. For me, strategizing for a game isn’t about putting together a specific manoeuvre of pieces. It’s about thinking what my opponent could be aiming for, knowing what my objectives are and then preparing to get what I want out of the game.
Viswanathan (Vishy) Anand, Mind Master: Winning Lessons From A Champion’s Life

Kids love games and chess is a game where you have to sit down and concentrate and it just helps in every way.”
Magnus Carlsen

To play a wrong note is insignificant; to play without passion is inexcusable.
― Ludwig van Beethoven

I want to show how rich chess is and what kind of history it has, through culture, literature, and education.
Judit Polgar

Win with grace, lose with dignity!
Susan Polgar

Chess can help a child develop logical thinking, decision making, reasoning, and pattern recognition skills, which in turn can help math and verbal skills.
Susan Polgar

Your chess openings should not be a weakness — they should be a weapon.
Michael Pastore

Chess teaches foresight, by having to plan ahead; vigilance, by having to keep watch over the whole chess board; caution, by having to restrain ourselves from making hasty moves; and finally, we learn from chess the greatest maxim in life – that even when everything seems to be going badly for us we should not lose heart, but always hoping for a change for the better, steadfastly continue searching for the solutions to our problems.
Benjamin Franklin

Chess is the gymnasium of the mind.
Blaise Pascal

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.
Alexander Alekhine

A good sacrifice is one that is not necessarily sound but leaves your opponent dazed and confused.
― Rudolf Spielmann

Chess is one of the few arts where composition takes place simultaneously with performance.
Garry Kasparov

Chess problems demand from the composer the same virtues that characterize all worthwhile art: originality, invention, conciseness, harmony, complexity, and splendid insincerity.
Vladimir Nabokov

Alekhine is a poet who creates a work of art out of something that would hardly inspire another man to send home a picture postcard.
Max Euwe, in: Fred Reinfeld (1956) Why You Lose at Chess, p. 180.

Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties.
Erich Fromm

But is it not already an insult to call chess anything so narrow as a game? Is it not also a science, an art, hovering between these categories like Muhammad’s coffin between heaven and earth, a unique yoking of opposites, ancient and yet eternally new, mechanically constituted and yet an activity of the imagination alone, limited to a fixed geometric area but unlimited in its permutations, constantly evolving and yet sterile, a cogitation producing nothing, a mathematics calculating nothing, an art without an artwork, an architecture without substance and yet demonstrably more durable in its essence and actual form than all books and works, the only game that belongs to all peoples and all eras, while no one knows what god put it on earth to deaden boredom, sharpen the mind, and fortify the spirit?
― Stefan Zweig, Chess Story