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50 Greatest Chess Quotes Of All Time

Chess quotes through the ages have helped capture something very special about the game we all love. ichess.net have compiled 50 of the best of all time. Enjoy!

50 Greatest Chess Quotes Of All Time

Chess Quotes About Philosophy

  • “I have come to the personal conclusion that while all artists are not chess players, all chess players are artists.” – Marcel Duchamp
  • “Unlike other games in which lucre is the end and aim, [chess] recommends itself to the wise by the fact that its mimic battles are fought for no prize but honor. It is eminently and emphatically the philosopher’s game.” – Paul Morphy
  • “The beauty of chess is it can be whatever you want it to be. It transcends language, age, race, religion, politics, gender, and socioeconomic background. Whatever your circumstances, anyone can enjoy a good fight to the death over the chess board.” – Simon Williams
  • “Chess is the struggle against the error.” – Johannes Zukertort
  • “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 Charell
  • “Chess makes men wiser and clear-sighted.” – Vladimir Putin
  • “Chess is the gymnasium of the mind.” – Blaise Pascal
  • “Chess holds its master in its own bonds, shackling the mind and brain so that the inner freedom of the very strongest must suffer.” – Albert Einstein
  • “Chess is a war over the board. The object is to crush the opponent’s mind.” – Bobby Fischer

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Chess Quotes About Life

  • “I am convinced, the way one plays chess always reflects the player’s personality. If something defines his character, then it will also define his way of playing.” – Vladimir Kramnik
  • “The game of chess is not merely an idle amusement. Several very valuable qualities of the mind, useful in the course of human life, are to be acquired or strengthened by it… Life is a kind of Chess, in which we have often points to gain, and competitors or adversaries to contend with.” – Benjamin Franklin
  • “As proved by evidence, [chess is] more lasting in its being and presence than all books and achievements; the only game that belongs to all people and all ages; of which none knows the divinity that bestowed it on the world, to slay boredom, to sharpen the senses, to exhilarate the spirit.” – Stefan Zweig
  • “Chess doesn’t drive people mad, it keeps mad people sane.” – Bill Hartston
  • “In life, as in chess, one’s own pawns block one’s way.  A man’s very wealthy, ease, leisure, children, books, which should help him to win, more often checkmate him.” – Charles Buxton
  • “Chess is life in miniature. Chess is a struggle, chess battles.” – Garry Kasparov
  • “Chess, like love, like music, has the power to make men happy.” – Siegbert Tarrasch
  • “For in the idea of chess and the development of the chess mind we have a picture of the intellectual struggle of mankind.” – Richard Réti

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Chess Quotes About The Game

  • “I don’t believe in psychology. I believe in good moves.” – Bobby Fischer
  • Play the opening like a book, the middlegame like a magician, and the endgame like a machine.” – Rudolph Spielmann
  • “I used to attack because it was the only thing I knew. Now I attack because I know it works best.” – Garry Kasparov
  • “It is my style to take my opponent and myself on to unknown grounds. A game of chess is not an examination of knowledge; it is a battle of nerves.” – David Bronstein
  • “Chess is rarely a game of ideal moves. Almost always, a player faces a series of difficult consequences whichever move he makes.” – David Shenk
  • “When you see a good move, look for a better one.” – Emanuel Lasker
  • “After a bad opening, there is hope for the middle game. After a bad middle game, there is hope for the endgame. But once you are in the endgame, the moment of truth has arrived.” – Edmar Mednis
  • “Give me a difficult positional game, I will play it. But totally won positions, I cannot stand them.” – Hein Donner
  • “There is no remorse like the remorse of chess.” – H. G. Wells

Chess Quotes About Planning

  • “Half the variations which are calculated in a tournament game turn out to be completely superfluous. Unfortunately, no one knows in advance which half.” – Jan Timman
  • “Even a poor plan is better than no plan at all.” – Mikhail Chigorin
  • “Tactics is knowing what to do when there is something to do; strategy is knowing what to do when there is nothing to do.” – Savielly Tartakower
  • “In life, as in chess, forethought wins.” – Charles Buxton
  • “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.” – José Raúl Capablanca

Chess Quotes About Pawns

  • “Pawns are the soul of the game.” – François-André 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.” – Aron Nimzowitsch
  • “Modern chess is too much concerned with things like pawn structure. Forget it, checkmate ends the game.” – Nigel Short
  • “Pawn endings are to chess what putting is to golf.” – Cecil Purdy

Chess Quotes That Will Make You Laugh

  • “Nobody ever won a chess game by resigning.” – Savielly Tartakower
  • “The blunders are all there on the board, waiting to be made.” – Savielly Tartakower
  • “It’s always better to sacrifice your opponent’s men.” – Savielly Tartakower
  • “One doesn’t have to play well, it’s enough to play better than your opponent.” – Siegbert Tarrasch
  • “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.” – Siegbert Tarrasch
  • “Of chess, it has been said that life is not long enough for it, but that is the fault of life, not chess.” – William Napier
  • “Chess is beautiful enough to waste your life for.” – Hans Ree
  • “A chess game in progress is… a cosmos unto itself, fully insulated from an infant’s cry, an erotic invitation, or war.” – David Shenk
  • “It will be cheering to know that many people are skillful chess players, though in many instances their brains, in a general way, compare unfavorably with the cognitive faculties of a rabbit.” – James Mortimer
  • “The pen is mightier than the sword.” – Fred Reinfeld
  • “The only thing chess players have in common is chess.” – Lodewijk Prins
  • “Those who say they understand chess, understand nothing.” – Robert Hübner
  • “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

Conclusion:

We hope you enjoyed this collection of beautiful chess quotes and even gained new perspectives and views on the game we all love. It’s no secret that there are many more. So, what do you think? Any fabulous quotations that we have missed? Leave a comment and tell us about your favorite chess quotes!

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12 Comments

Joseph says:

Whow! No doubt, these re chess greatest quote.

RAvi says:

can someone post great chess players commenting on other great chess players? for example like how Alekhine said “Never before nor afterwards have I seen such flabbergasting quickness of chess comprehension.” about Capablanca

Vihanga Kodagoda says:

Queen does not matter in the end, if you could safe your own King your the winner

Joshua Cave says:

I don’t know how to play chess

Fernando Broca says:

But you can start now!

Mohit says:

I want to play with a good chess player

noah muhindi says:

It takes real effort to convert an ordinary pawn into a queen.

Pushp ahujs says:

No doubt fruitful and awesome

GM says:

Where did the phrase “Nobody’s pawn” come from? Unlike other pieces, pawns can become queens. In some openings, queens get traded as early as move 4. A pawn often just stands waiting for other pieces to kill each other and open up space for it to march forward and become a queen. I think that better phrase would be “nobody’s horse” because horses get moved all over the board and often are traded after doing so much hard work.

Judy Ann Cutillar says:

Chess is an art and i guess the chess players’ mind is the beautiful scenery.

Glen Davidson says:

Like life: Don’t move too quickly.

Vancleve Cantu says:

Great fun running across these quotes again. Here’s one of Mikhail Tals ‘there are two types of sacrifices, correct ones, and mine.’

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