Chess Quotes

Thursday, June 30, 2005
By: Matthew Doucette

(Back to all quotes.)


“All I want to do, ever, is just play chess.” - Bobby Fischer

“All that matters on the chessboard is good moves.” - Bobby Fischer

“Best by test.” - Bobby Fischer, on 1. e4

“Bobby just drops the pieces and they fall on the right squares.” - Miguel Najdorf

“By this measure, I consider him the greatest world champion.” - Garry Kasparov, on the gap between Fischer & his contemporaries

“Chess is 99 percent tactics.” - Teichmann

“Chess is life.” - Bobby Fischer

“Chess is mental torture.” - Kasparov

“Chess is really 99 percent calculation.” - Soltis

“Chess is ruthless: you've got to be prepared to kill people.” - Nigel Short

“Chess is the art of analysis.” - Botvinnik

“Chess is war over the board. The object is to crush the opponent's mind.” - Bobby Fischer

“Chess mastery essentially consists of analysing chess positions accurately.” - Botvinnik

“Concentrate on material gains. Whatever your opponent gives you take, unless you see a good reason not to.” - Bobby Fischer

“Discovered check is the dive-bomber of the chessboard.” - Fine

“Do you realize Fischer almost never has any bad pieces? He exchanges them, and the bad pieces remain with his opponents.” - Yuri Balashov

“Don't even mention losing to me. I can't stand to think of it.” - Bobby Fischer

“Even a poor plan is better than no plan at all.” - Mikhail Chigorin

“Every pawn is a potential Queen.” - Mason

“Genius. It's a word. What does it really mean? If I win I'm a genius. If I don't, I'm not.” - Bobby Fischer

“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 Tinman

“I add status to any tournament I attend.” - Bobby Fischer

“I am the best player in the world and I am here to prove it.” - Bobby Fischer

“I despise the media.” - Bobby Fischer

“I don't believe in psychology. I believe in good moves.” - Bobby Fischer

“I don't keep any close friends. I don't keep any secrets. I don't need friends. I just tell everybody everything, that's all.” - Bobby Fischer

“I give 98 percent of my mental energy to chess. Others give only 2 percent.” - Bobby Fischer

“I like the moment when I break a man's ego.” - Bobby Fischer

“I like to make them squirm.” - Bobby Fischer

“I object to being called a chess genius, because I consider myself to be an all around genius, who just happens to play chess, which is rather different. A piece of garbage like Kasparov might be called a chess genius, but he is like an idiot savant, outside of chess he knows nothing.” - Bobby Fischer

“I think it's almost definite that the game is a draw theoretically.” - Bobby Fischer

“If I win a tournament, I win it by myself. I do the playing. Nobody helps me.” - Bobby Fischer

“If the student forces himself to examine all moves that smite, however absurd they may look at first glance, he is on the way to becoming a master of tactics.” - Purdy

“If you don't win, it's not a great tragedy - the worst that happens is that you lose a game.” - Bobby Fischer

“I'm not afraid of Spassky. The world knows I'm the best. You don't need a match to prove it.” - Bobby Fischer, just prior to their '72 match

“In complicated positions, Bobby hardly had to be afraid of anybody.” - Paul Keres

“In Fischer's hands, a slight theoretical advantage is as good a being a queen ahead.” - Isaac Kashdan

“It began to feel as though you were playing against chess itself.” - Walter Shipman, on playing against Fischer

“It is difficult to play against Einstein's theory.” - Mikhail Tal, on his first loss to Fischer

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

“It is, sadly, altogether too easy, in fact effortless, to find legions of people, not just chess players, who have every reason to say, and have (and please believe me that I do not do this out of spite or rancor) from the earliest days of Fischer's career to this very day, he has been labeled: brash, arrogant, selfish, self-centered, boorish, loutish, cruel, unreasonable, difficult, impossible, inconsiderate, ungrateful, petty, petulant, sulking, crass, insensitive, irrational, contentious, argumentative, aggravating, insulting, crazy, wicked, and mad. I would tend to agree.” - Paul Kollar

“It's always better to sacrifice your opponent's men.” - Tartakover

“Let's play. I'm willing to play anywhere.” - Bobby Fischer

“Life is too short for chess.” - Byron

“Lots of the time I'm traveling around. Europe, South America, Iceland. But when I'm home, I don't know, I don't do much. I get up at eleven o'clock maybe. I'll get dressed and all, look at some chess books, go downstairs and eat. I never cook my own meals. I don't believe in that stuff. I don't eat in luncheonettes or Automats either. I like a waiter to wait on me. Good restaurants. After I eat I usually call up some of my chess friends, go over and analyze a game or something. Maybe I'll go to a chess club. Then maybe I'll see a movie or something. There's really nothing for me to do. Maybe I'll study some chess book.” - Bobby Fischer

“Methodical thinking is of more use in chess than inspiration.” - Purdy

“My opponents make good moves too. Sometimes I don't take these things into consideration.” - Bobby Fischer

“My sister bought me a set at a candy store and taught me the moves.” - Bobby Fischer

“No price is too great for the scalp of the enemy King.” - Koblentz

“Of course a great player like that has no weak spots. What a player like that does have are absolutely strong spots, so you surely don't want him to utilize his strengths, because then your chances decrease to zero. It's not surprising - chess being as complicated as it is - that Fischer had the greatest problems with positions, which were unclear in an unthematic way. When in effect everything just depended on accurate calculation. In those kinds of positions, he is still better than me of course, but the difference is not that great anymore, because it's just extremely difficult for both of us. The chance that he will make an error increases, whereas in a thematic or technical position he will just play perfectly from beginning to end and your chances of surviving are zero.” - Edmar Mednis

“People have been playing against me below their strength for fifteen years.” - Bobby Fischer

“Play out a boring game to the end and funny things can happen; Fischer knew it.” - Hans Ree

“Psychologically, you have to have confidence in yourself and this confidence should be based on fact.” - Bobby Fischer

“Regardless of Bobby's recent hate-filled rantings, which I abhor, he is nonetheless one of the greatest chessplayers of all time.” - Frank Brady

“She and I just don't see eye to eye together. She's a square. She keeps telling me that I'm too interested in chess, that I should get friends outside of chess, you can't make a living from chess, that I should finish high school and all that nonsense. She keeps in my hair and I don't like people in my hair, you know, so I had to get rid of her.” - Bobby Fischer, speaking about his mother

“Tactics flow from a superior position.” - Bobby Fischer

“That's what chess is all about. One day you give your opponent a lesson, the next day he gives you one.” - Bobby Fischer

“The chess heroes nowadays should not forget that it was owing to Fischer that they are living today in four- and five- star hotels, getting appearance fees, etc.” - Lev Khariton

“The defensive power of a pinned piece is only imaginary.” - Nimzovich

“The huge egos of great chess players are legendary. Psychologists have been amazed by their vanity, have studied it, and anecdotes concerning it are abundant. But never before has there been such a prima donna as Bobby. Already he has managed to alienate and offend almost everybody in the chess world. That includes officials, patrons, writers, almost everybody and anybody who might be in a position to help him in his career.” - Al Horowitz

“The legend of the best player of chess has been destroyed.” - Garry Kasparov, on Fischer's play during most of the '92 rematch with Spassky

“The only positive contribution to chess from Fischer in the last 20 years.” - Viktor Korchnoi, on the Fischer clock

“The pin is mightier than the sword.” - Reinfeld

“The tactician knows what to do when there is something to do; whereas the strategian knows what to do when there is nothing to do.” - Gerald Abrahams

“The turning point in my career came with the realization that Black should play to win instead of just steering for equality.” - Bobby Fischer

“There are tough players and nice guys, and I'm a tough player.” - Bobby Fischer

“There are two types of sacrifices: correct ones and mine.” - Tal

“There's never before been a chess player with such a thorough knowledge of the intricacies of the game and such an absolutely indomitable will to win. I think Bobby is the greatest player that ever lived.” - Lisa Lane

“There's no one alive I can't beat.” - Bobby Fischer

“They're all weak, all women. They're stupid compared to men. They shouldn't play chess, you know. They're like beginners. They lose every single game against a man. There isn't a woman player in the world I can't give knight-odds to and still beat.” - Bobby Fischer

“When I was eleven, I just got good.” - Bobby Fischer

“When the chess game is over, the pawn and the king go back to the same box” - Irish saying, contributed by Etienne Goldstein

“When you play Bobby, it is not a question if you win or lose. It is a question if you survive.” - Boris Spassky

“When you see a good move wait - look for a better one.” - Emanuel Lasker

“You don't learn anything in school. It's just a waste of time. You lug around books and all and do homework. They give too much homework. You shouldn't be doing homework. Nobody's interested in it. The teachers are stupid. They shouldn't have any women in there. They don't know how to teach. And they shouldn't make anyone go to school. You don't want to go, you don't go, that's all. It's ridiculous. I don't remember one thing I learned in school. I don't listen to weakies. My two and a half years in Erasmus High I wasted. I didn't like the whole thing. You have to mix with all those stupid kids. The teachers are even stupider than the kids. They talk down to the kids. Half of them are crazy. If they'd have let me, I would have quit before I was sixteen.” - Bobby Fischer

“You have to have the fighting spirit. You have to force moves and take chances.” - Bobby Fischer

“You know you're going to lose. Even when I was ahead I knew I was going to lose.” - Andrew Soltis, on playing against Fischer

“Your body has to be in top condition. Your chess deteriorates as your body does. You can't separate body from mind.” - Bobby Fischer


About the Author: I am Matthew Doucette of Xona Games, an award-winning indie game studio that I founded with my twin brother. We make intensified arcade-style retro games. Our business, our games, our technology, and we as competitive gamers have won prestigious awards and received worldwide press. Our business has won $180,000 in contests. Our games have ranked from #1 in Canada to #1 in Japan, have become #1 best sellers in multiple countries, have won game contests, and have held 3 of the top 5 rated spots in Japan of all Xbox LIVE indie games. Our game engines have been awarded for technical excellence. And we, the developers, have placed #1 in competitive gaming competitions -- relating to the games we make. Read about our story, our awards, our games, and view our blog.