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Favorite Quotes on ChEsS

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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.

- Nimzowitsch

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"It is always better to sacrifice your opponent's men."

- Savielly Tartakower

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"Bobby never cared about money, though. His only desire was to prove that his choices were correct: He wanted chess to be important, because he was a chess player, and he wanted to be important. Bobby knew money was important, but he didn't have a clue why, outside of clothes and status. The only way he could accomplish what he wanted was to fight for a lot of money. Once he got it, he gave it away. He did not know how to spend it. And once he'd become champion, after, essentially, sacrificing his life for it, he didn't know how to spend his time."

- Bob Wade

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VocalTechnique wrote:
"Bobby never cared about money, though. His only desire was to prove that his choices were correct: He wanted chess to be important, because he was a chess player, and he wanted to be important. Bobby knew money was important, but he didn't have a clue why, outside of clothes and status. The only way he could accomplish what he wanted was to fight for a lot of money. Once he got it, he gave it away. He did not know how to spend it. And once he'd become champion, after, essentially, sacrificing his life for it, he didn't know how to spend his time."

- Bob Wade


Bobby Fischer played his Life like a game of chess where the objective is to win. His money was his pawns, his fame was his knights and bishops, and his skills over the board was his queen. He sacrificed all of this ... to win.

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"I think it's almost definite that the game is a draw theoretically."

- Robert J Fischer

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"Whoever has known bumper to bumper traffic snarls of a Sunday afternoon on the way home to the big city (and who has not?) would gladly give up a Rook for the open road."

- commenting on Spielmann-Eljaschoff, Munich 1903
- Tony Santasiere

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"First restrain, next blockade, lastly destroy."

- Aron Nimzowitsch (Strategy)

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"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

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"Like dogs who sniff each other when meeting, chess players have a ritual at first acquaintance: they sit down to play speed chess."

- Anatoly Karpov

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"... far more people make a living as professional chess players today than ever before. Thanks partly to the availability of computer programs and online matches, there has been a mini-boom in chess interest among young people in many countries. (2012)"

- Kenneth Rogoff

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Had I not played the Sicilian with Black I could have saved myself the trouble of studying for more than 20 years all the more popular lines of this opening, which comprise probably more than 25 percent of all published opening theory!

- Bent Larsen

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If we are to elevate the game of chess to a popular sport, grandmasters must become gladiators, otherwise the game will languish on the periphery, a voice crying in the wilderness, condemned to live and die on a cold arctic shore. (2012)

- Michael Basman

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"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."

- Aaron Nimzowitsch

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"Chess is ruthless: you've got to be prepared to kill people."

- Nigel Short

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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.

- Viktor Kortchnoi

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"Blitz chess kills your ideas."

 -  Bobby Fischer

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"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?"

- Aaron Nimzowitsch

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"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."

 - Anatoly Karpov (commenting on Alexander Alekhine)

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"The knight has a very peculiar movement. He moves to the third square distant, in an oblique direction, first through the adjoining square either way, and then to the next adjoining square either way again, entering into the one diagonally, and into the other sideways, and his move is always onto a square of a different colour from that which he previously occupied."

- (from: Chess & Draughts Made Easy c 1860)

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Once I asked Teichman what he thought of Bird's chess: "Same as his health," he replied, "always alternating between being dangerously ill and dangerously well."

- William Ewart Napier

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"The hardest part of chess is winning a won game."

- Frank Marshall

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"Begone! Ignorant and impudent knight, not even in chess can a King be taken."

- (reputedly stated to one of his knights in 1110 after he was nearly captured by enemy forces) - King Louis VI

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"You will already have noticed how often Capablanca repeated moves, often returning to positions which he had had before. This is not lack of deciciveness or slowness, but the employment of a basic endgame principle which is 'Do not hurry'."

- Alexander Kotov

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"No fool can play chess, and only fools do."

- German proverb

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"In chess the most unbelievable thing for me is that it’s a game for everybody: rich, poor, girl, boy, old, young. It’s a fantastic game which can unite people and generations! It’s a language which you’ll find people "speak" in every country. If you reach a certain level you find a very rich world! Art, sport, logic, psychology, a battlefield, imagination, creativity not only in practical games but don’t forget either how amazing a feeling it is to compose a study, for example (unfortunately that’s not appreciated these days but it’s a fantastic part of chess!)."

- Judit Polgar

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