Favorite Chess Quotes (most copied from Exeter Chess Club)


There are more adventures on a chessboard than on all the seas of the world." --  Pierre Mac ORLAN

The essence of chess is thinking about what chess is." --  David Bronstein

Some part of a mistake is always correct." -- TARTAKOVER

The winner of the game is the player who makes the next-to-last mistake" -- TARTAKOVER

The hardest game to win is a won game." --    Em. LASKER

There are two types of sacrifices: correct ones and mine." -- TAL

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

A chess game is divided into three stages: the first, when you hope you have the advantage, the second when you believe you have an advantage, and the third... when you know you're going to lose!" -- Xavier Tartakower

Whenever you have to make a rook move and both rooks are available for said move- you should evaluate which rook to move and, once you have made up your mind... MOVE THE OTHER ONE!!! " -- Oscar PANNO

Those chess lovers who ask me how many moves I usually calculate in advance, when making a combination, are always astonished when I reply, quite truthfully, 'as a rule not a single one' " -- Richard Reti

During a chess competition a chessmaster should be a combination of a beast of prey and a monk." -- Alexander Alekhine

In a sound position there are at least two alternatives that are "the only move" - Aaron Nimzovith

Dynamics triumphs over matter. - Nimzovitch

The ability to assess a position is just as essential as the ability to analyse variations -- A.Kotov

Conseils pratiques

When you see a good move--wait--look for a better one." -- Em. Lasker

The blunders are all there on the board, waiting to be made." -- X. Tartacover

Openings teach you openings. Endgames teach you chess!" -- Stephan Gerzadowicz,

In order to improve your game, you must study the endgame before everything else, for whereas the the endings can be studied and mastered by themselves, the middle game and the opening must be studied in relation to the endgame."-- Jose Raul Capablanca

It is not a move, even the best move, that you must seek, but a realisable plan" -- Eugene A. Znosko-Borovsky

In positions of strategic manoeuvring (where time is not of decisive importance) seek the worst-placed piece. Activating that piece is often the most reliable way of improving your position as a whole."-- Mark Dvoretsky & Artur Yusupov, Positional Play

The center of the board consist of fields, not pawns. You should protect your weak points and over-protect the strong ones in the center - A. Nimzovitch.

Beside prophylaxis the simultaneous mobility of the pawn mass is a main
postulate in my positional credo.
- Nimzovitch

A pawn has a natural expansive lust. - Nimzovitch

To me the passed pawn , as well as many other actors, has a soul, and like Man
he is the bearer of wishes and fears of which he is unaware.
- Nimzovitch

Try to get rid of the slavery under opening variations. Instead, learn a few
type positions and study them thoroughly. Capablanca is a master of type
- Nimzovitch

In my opinion the isolated d-pawn constitutes a crucial issue in positional
play. -

Nimzovitch about Over-zealous Activism etc.

A threat is stronger than its execution.
The amateur always assumes that every move has to achieve something immediately.

Sometimes it is better to look for a waiting move.

One of these modest little moves that may be more embarrassing to your opponent
then the biggest threat. (Nimzowitsch-Tarrasch, Breslau 1925).

A beginner is happy if he manages to checkmate his opponent. For the master it
is sufficient to discover the shadow of a weakness of the pawn structure
somewhere on the remote outskirts of the left hand side of the board.

Reflexions sur le jeu

Nimzowitsch' esthetic credo

"La beauté aux echecs ne vient jamais de l'accumulation de petits avantages ni de parties inspirées de variantes bien documentées (certainement pas !), la beauté vient de tout ce qui relie la diversité des possibilités (sur l'echiquier) avec les lois de la nature, révélant ainsi comment Dame nature s'acquite si bien de ses devoirs.(facon de dire qu'il faut s'attendre à ce que la nature fasse valoir ses droits jusque sur l'echiquier).

La partie xxxx nous donne un brilliant exemple de la "nouvelle esthetique" aux echecs:

"Par négligence les Noirs se sont laissés aller à un affaiblissement. Grace à un grand effort de volonté, ils trouvent un coup qui permet tout juste de tenir la position. Un terme est mis à la tendance affaiblissante. Puis vient l'avance (d'un pion ? partie non fournie mais pas tres important) positionellement contraire à toute probabilité et la partie est une nulle facile. Pourquoi alors les Noirs vont ils finir par gagner? Parceque que l'affaiblissement, qui a ete arrete par un violent effort de volonté, renfermait en lui une puissance latente qui alors eclata. Les specialistes des poumons le savent bien, un fois la croissance du mal arretee, alors arrive de facon infaillible une tendance à la guérison."

Aron Nimzowitsch "Chess Praxis", pp. 354-355, Dover 1962 
Traduction MdV