"My opponent left a glass of whisky 'en prise' and I took it 'en passant". - Henry Blackburne | SINCE 2007

Monday, June 4, 2007


Ten famous chess quotes.

Over time many chess players, commentators, writers, kibziters, grandmasters and grandpazters have made famous quotes. Here is my selection of my best 10. you can ignore number 11.

1. "If drink is the curse of the working classes and work is the curse of the drinking classes then chess is the curse of the thinking classes”
>> J. Ross

2. "The delight in gambits is a sign of chess youth... In very much the same way as the young man, on reaching his manhood years, lays aside the Indian stories and stories of adventure, and turns to the psychological novel, we with maturing experience leave off gambit playing and become interested in the less vivacious but withal more forceful manoeuvres of the position player."
>> Emanuel LASKER

3. "Pawns are born free, yet are everywhere in chains..."
>> rkennedy@freenet.columbus.oh.us (Rick Kennedy)

4. "Modern chess is too much concerned with things like pawn structure. Forget it - checkmate ends the game"
>> Nigel SHORT

5. "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!"
>> Savielly Tartakower

6. "Whereas the tactician knows what to do when there is something to do, it requires the strategian to know what to do when there is nothing to do"
>> Gerald ABRAHAMS (this seems to be fairly free translation of one of TARTAKOVER's aphorisms).

7. "During a chess competition a chessmaster should be a combination of a beast of prey and a monk."
>> Alexander ALEKHINE

8. "Before the endgame, the Gods have placed the middle game.”
>> Siegbert TARRASCH

9. " Reti studies mathematics although he is not a dry mathematician; represents Vienna without being Viennese; was born in old Hungary yet he does not know Hungarian; speaks uncommonly rapidly only in order to act all the more maturely and deliberately; and will become the best chessplayer without, however, becoming world champion. "
>> TARTAKOVER, Hypermodern Chess

10. Here are some of the questions and answers to an examination paper in chess that was given some time ago by Dr. TARRASCH. (...)

"Q: What is the object of playing a gambit opening?
A: To acquire a reputation of being a dashing player at the cost of losing a game.
Q: Account briefly for the popularity of the Queen Pawn Opening in matches of a serious nature.
A: Laziness.
Q: What is the duty of an umpire where a player wilfully upsets the board?
A: Remove the bottle.
Q: What exceptional circumstances will justify the stopping of clocks during a tournament game?
A: Strangling a photographer. "
>> Chess Review, 1935.

11. The fear of the pawn is the beginning of wisdom
>> Yours truly, 2007

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