The Greatest Chess Quotes of All Time

By Ian King

The game of chess is, undoubtedly, a beautiful thing…and like all beautiful things, a lot has been said about it over the years.
Below are some of the most intriguing and instructive chess quotes documented thus far.

“Chess is war over the board. The object is to crush the opponent’s mind.” – Bobby Fischer
“You can only get good at chess if you love the game” – Fischer
“Don’t even mention losing to me. I can’t stand to think of it.” – Fischer
“If you don’t win, it’s not such a great tragedy- the worst thing is to lose a game” – Fischer
“Psychologically, you have to have confidence in yourself and this confidence should be based on fact” –
“That’s what chess is all about. One day you give your opponent a lesson, the next day he gives you one”
“The turning point in my career came with the realization that Black should play to win instead of just
steering for equality” – Fischer
“Chess is a game of delicate judgement, knowing when to punch and how to duck” – Fischer
“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
“It’s funny, but many people don’t understand why I draw so many games nowadays. They think my
style must have changed but this is not the case at all. The answer to this drawing disease is that my
favorite squares are e6, f7, g7 and h7 and everyone now knows this. They protect these squares not
once, but four times!” – Tal
“There are two types of sacrifices: correct ones and mine” –Tal
“To play for a draw (especially with White) is to some degree a crime against chess”- Tal
“Quiet moves often make a stronger impression than a wild combination with heavy sacrifices”- Tal
“Fischer is Fischer, but a knight is a knight” –Tal
“Fischer is the greatest genius to descend from chess heaven”- Tal
“If Black is going for victory, he is practically forced to allow his opponent to get some kind of well-
known positional advantage” – Tal
“Unlike other games in which lucre is the end and aim, chess recommends itself to the wise fact that its
mimic battles are fought for no prize but honor. It is eminently and emphatically, the philosopher’/s
game”- Paul Morphy
“Every chess master was once a beginner”- Irving Chernev

“Avoid the crowd. Do your own thinking independently. Be the chess player, not the chess piece”- Ralph
“Chess makes man wiser and clear-sighted”- Vladimir Putin
“Chess is the gymnasium of the mind”- Blaise Pascal
“Chess doesn’t drive people mad, it keeps mad people sane”- Bill Hartston
“Chess, like love, like music, has the power to make men happy”- Siegbert Tarrrasch
“Chess is rarely a game of ideal moves. Almost always, a player faces a series of difficult choices
whichever move he makes”- David Shenk
“When you see a good move, look for a better one”- Emmanuel Lasker
“After a bad opening, there’s hope for the middle game. After a bad middle game, there’s hope for the
end game. But once you’re in the end game, the moment of truth has arrived”- Edmar Mednis
“Even a poor plan is better than no plan at all”- Mikhail Chigorin
“Tactics is knowing what to do when there’s something to do; strategy is knowing what to do when
there’s nothing to do.”- Savielly Tartakower
“Pawns are the soul of the game”- Francois-Andre Danican Philidor
“The passed pawn is a criminal who should be kept under lock and key. Mild measures, such as police
surveillance, are not sufficient.”- Aaron Nimzowitsch
“Modern chess is too concerned with things like pawn structure. Forget it, checkmates ends the game”-
Nigel Short
“Nobody ever won a chess game by resigning”- Tartakower
“The blunders are all there on the board, waiting to be made”- Tartakower
“It’s always better to sacrifice your opponent’s men”- Tartakower
One doesn’t have to play well, it’s enough to play better than your opponent”- Siegbert Tarrasch
“The pin is mightier than the sword”- Fred Reinfield
The only thing chess players have in common is chess”- Lodewijk Prins
“Those who say they understand chess, understand nothing”- Robert Hubner
“One bad move nullifies forty good ones”- Bernhard Horwitz
“If your opponent offers you a draw, try to work out why he thinks he’s worse off”- Nigel Short
“Play the opening like a book, the middle game like a magician and the end game like a machine”-
Rudolf Spielmann

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