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Favorite Quotes on ChEsS

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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.

- Jose Capablanca

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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.

- Emanuel Lasker

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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 King's Gambit, I have won all five.

- David Bronstein

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'King of chess' … what Emanuel Lasker whispered to his wife before he died ...

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As I exercise these quotes, I have come to realize that Life is not only a chess game but also one long move of slow sacrifice. For what (whom) will you sacrifice your life?

- Nathanael Russell

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When the Chess game is over, the Pawn and the king go back to the same box.

- Irish proverb

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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.

 -  Wilhelm Steinitz *

* Marked the end of the 'Romantic Movement' and paved the way to the 'Classical Movement'

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Quiet moves often make a stronger impression than a wild combination with heavy sacrifices.

- Mikhail Tal

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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.

- Jose Capablanca

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The future belongs to he who has the bishops.

- Siegbert Tarrasch

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The process of rating players can be compared to the measurement of the position of a cork bobbing up and down on the surface of agitated water with a yard stick tied to a rope and which is swaying in the wind.

- Arpad Elo

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After a great deal of discussion in Soviet literature about the correct definition of a combination, it was decided that from the point of view of a methodical approach it was best to settle on this definition - A combination is a forced variation with a sacrifice.

- Alexander Kotov

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Haste is never more dangerous than when you feel that victory is in your grasp.

- Eugene Znosko-Borovsky

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"I love all positions. Give me a difficult positional game, I will play it. Give me a bad position, I will defend it. Openings, endgames, complicated positions, dull draws, I love them and I will do my very best. But totally won positions, I cannot stand them."

- Hein Donner, Clubblad DD, 1950

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"One can imagine a world without essays. It would be a little poorer, of course, like a world without chess, but one could live in it."

- Tobias Wolff, Old School, 2003

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Many men, many styles; what is chess style but the intangible expression of the will to win.

- Aaron Nimzowitsch

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No other master has such a terrific will to win. At the board he radiates danger, and even the strongest opponents tend to freeze, like rabbits when they smell a panther. Even his weaknesses are dangerous. As white, his opening game is predictable - you can make plans against it - but so strong that your plans almost never work. In the middle game his precision and invention are fabulous, and in the end game you simply cannot beat him.

- Anonymous German Expert (analyzing Bobby Fischer)

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The life of a chess master is much more difficult than that of an artist - much more depressing. An artist knows that someday there'll be recognition and monetary reward, but for the chess master there is little public recognition and absolutely no hope of supporting himself by his endeavors. If Bobby Fischer came to me for advice, I certainly would not discourage him - as if anyone could - but I would try to make it positively clear that he will never have any money from chess, live a monk-like existence and know more rejection than any artist ever has, struggling to be known and accepted.

- Marcel Duck amp

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"And his six pawns were scattered like the ships of the Armada that should have conquered England; the Lord blew, and they were all isolated."

- Hans Kmoch, Groningen 1946 tournament book

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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.

 -  Alexander Alekhine

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We often hear the terms 'positional' and 'tactical' used as opposites. But this is as wrong as to consider a painting's composition unrelated to its subject. Just as there is no such thing as 'artistic' art, so there is no such thing as 'positional' chess.

- Samuel Reshevsky

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

- Albert Einstein, in his foreword to Hannak's biography of Emanuel Lasker

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"The passion for playing chess is one of the most unaccountable in the world. It slaps the theory of natural selection in the face. It is the most absorbing of occupations. The least satisfying of desires. A nameless excrescence upon life. It annihilates a man. You have, let us say, a promising politician, a rising artist that you wish to destroy. Dagger or bomb are archaic and unreliable - but teach him, inoculate him with chess."

- H.G. Wells, Certain Personal Matters, 1898

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For the first lesson, I want you to play over every column of Modern Chess Openings, including the footnotes. And for the next lesson, I want you to do it again.

- Robert J. Fischer (advice to his biographer, Frank Brady, who had asked for chess lessons)

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The old chess is too limited. Imagine playing cards, black jack for example, and every time the dealer has the same starting hand you have the same starting hand. What's the point?

- Robert J. Fischer (response to prepared opening theory)

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