Great chess quotes

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  • Re: Great Chess Quotes

    Great Chess Quotes

    November 9, 2016

    The blurb for a forthcoming sex-chess novel by a British Women’s Chess Champion.

    Expected Release: Late November 2016

    The Mating Game by Jovanka Houska & James Essinger

    A new romance novel from the British Women's Chess Champion

    Meet Ivana (‘call me Vanny’) Jones, a sexy, beautiful, warm-hearted professional chess-player. She has a problem: she’s only attracted to guys who can beat her… so what’s she to do when a chess amateur, the Russian billionaire Boris Bogolyubov, proposes marriage?

    Not only that, but as Vanny tries to achieve her lifelong dream of becoming a chess grandmaster, she develops a crush on Norwegian sex-god Sven while also falling for a stunning and adoring Frenchwoman. Meanwhile, Vanny’s hoping a revolutionary new drug treatment will save her best friend Charlotte’s life.

    Set in London, Monaco, Budapest, Helsinki, Odessa, New York… and Leicester, this sparkily written, passionate, emotional and entertaining novel will rock your boat… even if you’ve never shouted ‘Checkmate!’

    About the Authors

    Jovanka Houska is the current British Women’s Chess Champion, an international chess master and one of the world’s leading women chess-players. She has won many international tournaments and is a prolific author of books about chess. She also loves travelling to remote islands, yoga, gardening, and enjoys many of the things Vanny likes.

    James Essinger is a club-strength chess-player and a writer. Ada’s Algorithm, his biography of computer pioneer Ada Lovelace, has been published in the UK and the US and in a Spanish edition, and is to be filmed. He’s never lost at chess to Jovanka, but only because he’s too scared to play her.

    On the EC Forum, writers were trying to come up with other sexy chess titles and these made the list:

    64 Shades of Grey
    Bobby Fischer – My 60 Memorable Dames
    The Big Book of Busts by John Watson and Eric Schiller
    Sicilian Love (Polugaevsky)
    The Chess Player's Bedside Book


    • Re: Great Chess Quotes

      Great Chess Quotes

      November 15, 2016

      GMs Peter Svidler and Eric Hansen were commentating Game 3 of the 2016 WCC for online.

      They monitor the chatline from time to time and a chat came up describing Eric as a union between James Bond and a Toblerone. The guys collapsed in hysterics.

      Toblerone bars have chunky chocolate triangles standing on a flat strip. Recently, the company has changed the design with great spaces now between the triangles where they were once clustered together. This economic change is possibly due to the fall in the value of the British pound due to Brexit. The British public is outraged.

      The reference then might mean in Eric they are getting a cut-rate James Bond. Whatever it means, Peter and Eric found it hilarious!

      November 17 - The reference to Toblerone might be due to Eric's haircut. This tweet today during Game 5 of the WCC - Eric, do you think having a triangular head helps with calculations?
      Last edited by Wayne Komer; Thursday, 17th November, 2016, 05:45 PM.


      • Re: Great Chess Quotes

        Great Chess Quotes

        November 20, 2016

        We have recently seen both Maurice Ashley and Magnus Carlsen playing incognito outdoors in New York City.


        This quote from today:

        Hard not to feel a bit sad for all the chess hustlers in New York parks now getting hustled by visiting professionals :)


        • Re: Great Chess Quotes

          Great Chess Quotes

          November 29, 2016

          Mark Taimanov died on Monday, November 28, 2016 at the age of 90 years.

          With many successes in chess and in music, his one great regret was his performance against Bobby Fischer in their match of 1971.

          He wrote a whole book about it entitled How I Became Fischer’s Victim.

          Taimanov: As Fischer himself admitted at the time, the final score did not reflect the true balance of strength. The terrible feeling that I was playing against a machine which never made any mistakes shattered my resistance. Fischer would never concede any weakening of his position, he was an incredibly tough defender. The third game proved to be the turning point of the match. After a pretty tactical sequence, I had managed to set my opponent serious problems. In a position that I considered to be winning, I could not find a way to break through his defences. For every promising idea, I found an answer for Fischer, I engrossed myself in a very deep think which did not produce any positive result. Frustrated and exhausted, I avoided the critical line in the end and lost the thread of the game, which lead to my defeat eventually. Ten years later, I found at last how I should have won that fatal game, but unfortunately, it didn't matter anymore! I have written a book about this match, entitled "How I became Fischer's victim", it represents an essay on the American player and describes how I perceived his style and personality, once the match was over.


          And something to add to that from the comments of today:

          In the Brezhnev era, the Soviet chess authorities often had the grandmasters competing abroad sign some kind of paper to the effect of, "I promise to win the event and am aware of the repercussions should I not win." Though those repercussions were never as severe as what Taimanov faced.

          Taimanov's second, Evgeny Vasyukov, recently remembered the Fischer match. He said that one of the reasons of Taimanov's crushing loss was that Taimanov wanted to save as much foreign currency as possible and decided to do that... by eating almost nothing during the match. He was usually a big eater, and this voluntary diet adversely affected his form.

          And then he decided to hide the fact that he didn't buy as much food as expected by trying to smuggle those money back without declaring them. And, of course, that money was found on him together with Solzhenitsyn's book, which didn't help his case at all.


          • Re: Great Chess Quotes

            "Not for nothing do they call him the Russian Nigel Short." :)

            IM William Hartston, referring to future World Champion Garry Kasparov, annotating the game Kasparov 1-0 Pribyl, from Skara 1980, European Team Championship, a sparkling victory for then-IM Kasparov, not quite 17 years old, in British Chess Magazine, April 1980.


            • Re: Great Chess Quotes

              Great Chess Quotes

              November 29, 2016


              I first heard the term Armageddon at the Norway Super Tournament of 2013. I would be interested to know when it was first used for a tiebreak in chess.

              Dulf Calvin said this in ChessBase:

              In your recent Chessbase article on the Armageddon game, you ask who first coined the term. I may be mistaken, but I believe I was the first to do when I was the Editor and webmaster for the US Chess Federation's website, and wrote the weekly news column for them. The concept of a one-game-playoff was introduced in the 1997 FIDE world championship tournament, and we needed a quick descriptive phrase to distinguish it from "sudden death." Hence "Armageddon" – the end of the conflict. (FIDE had referred to it in the official rules as "one game sudden death," and we'd gotten a number of questions about it, so felt a new term would be useful.)


              The time control for Anand-Carlsen, WCC 2014 stated:

              The player with the white pieces shall receive 5 minutes, the player with the black pieces shall receive 4 minutes whereupon, after the 60th move, both players shall receive an increment of 3 seconds starting from move 61. In case of a draw the player with the black pieces is declared the winner.

              I have recently come across this clear explanation of the purpose of the Armageddon tiebreak:

              The goal of Armageddon is to fairly decide an event in a single game. It therefore has to produce a decisive result every time, which leads to the rule that Black wins in a draw. Something must then be done to compensate White for the huge advantage this gives Black, so White is given extra time. Experience suggests this is roughly even at the top levels. (It would be interesting to collect statistics from the events where the coin-toss winner gets to pick their Armageddon color--which color is favoured?)



              • Re: Great Chess Quotes

                Great Chess Quotes

                December 1, 2016

                From the English Chess Forum:

                Tony Miles once reviewed Eric Schiller's book Unorthodox Chess Openings in two words: "Utter crap," which is about as concise a review of a bad chess book as you can get.

                - That's quite surprising given the opening he used to defeat Anatoly Karpov in the European Team Championship in Skara in 1980!

                - He clearly commented about the book rather than the openings.



                • Re: Great Chess Quotes

                  Great Chess Quotes

                  December 4, 2016

                  Alluding to world champion chess while talking football to sports fans. This quoted by Paul Cooksey in the English Chess Forum Friday:

                  The Guardian's daily football newsletter The Fiver starts as follows today


                  The world is ridiculous. This week The Fiver has marvelled at the frothy-mouthed excitement that has been generated among nerdy folk with even more time on their hands than us by watching two men with brains the size of swollen marrows thinking really, really hard in public. Like, about as hard as it is possible to think. So hard, in fact, that if you hooked the content of their skulls up to a generator you could power Basingstoke for the weekend – and maybe even Bognor Regis.

                  And guess what? This nerdy trend isn’t going to just blow over like the way trucker caps with stupid slogans on them did in 2005. No, because Pep Guardiola and Antonio Conte are getting their very own version of Carlsen v Karjakin on this weekend, having spent much of the past few days spent hunched over tables glaring intensely at little pieces on a board while trying to second-guess which of the 1,347,567 possible ways Raheem Sterling might move on Saturday. Among other things.



                  • Re: Great Chess Quotes

                    Great Chess Quotes

                    December 16, 2016

                    When Maurice Ashley is about to do an interview during a tournament, he usually has a fulsome introduction of the player.

                    Thus, Peter Svidler is seven times Russian Champion; Fabiano Caruana is World Number Two player, U.S. Champion and reigning Olympic Champion; Vishy Anand is five times World Champion.

                    So, it was surprising in a post-mortem with Vladimir Kramnik, after his game with Nakamura in Round Five of the London Classic, that he began this way:

                    "He's the one who started this Berlin defense nonsense".

                    Prompting one kibitzer in the Chat Room to write:

                    “Maurice, Kramnik is standing next to you!”


                    • Re: Great Chess Quotes

                      Great Chess Quotes

                      December 27, 2016

                      Vassily Ivanchuk gave an interview to Evgeny Surov early in 2015. A translation can be found at:


                      He discusses what he was currently reading and his preference to reading written material rather than off of an electronic screen:

                      E.SUROV: What are you fond of doing at the moment?

                      V.Ivanchuk: By the way, recently I just loved the book by Yudasin, "Millennial Myth of Chess" - a wonderful book! I even wrote to the author, expressing my gratitude to him.

                      Many chess players have recommended this book, because it forces us to take another look at chess and chess players in the world; there are many interesting facts from history. Actually I read a lot of different things.

                      E.SUROV: more chess or more non-chess literature?

                      V.Ivanchuk: Basically, what comes across, and then, and more. Of course, reading and magazines, periodicals look.

                      E.SUROV: You read the old-fashioned way - on paper or electronic media too?

                      V.Ivanchuk: Usually the old fashioned way, and even if the book is on the Internet, I download and print it out on paper. I cannot read a book on a computer.

                      E.SUROV: And do you consider yourself a person who adapts to all the latest technology, gadgets, electronic media?

                      V.Ivanchuk: I try to keep up with the times but I still prefer live chat, I prefer to read the book, but not the text on the screen.

                      The book Vassily was impressed with has the title:

                      Tysjačeletnij mif šachmat : istoriko-filosofskoe issledovanie

                      Author: Leonid Grigorʹević Yudasin (1959-)
                      Moskva : Severnyj Palomnik (2004)
                      606 pages

                      I thought I might pick up a copy for my chess book collection but read a review first. It talked of the culturology of chess, aesthetic and linguistic aspects of life, attitudes of man and player, mathematical and philosophical symbolism, psychic aspects and the future of chess. And I decided that that I was not enough interested in those topics to buy the book and to try and translate parts of it!


                      • Re: Great Chess Quotes

                        Great Chess Quotes

                        January 1, 2017

                        In the latest issue of New In Chess (2016#8) there is the back page Q&A with Richard Rapport – 34 questions and answers.

                        The last one:

                        What is the best thing that was ever said about chess?

                        ‘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 Nekhemievich Tal.

                        The two questions that come to mind about that are

                        1) Did Tal actually say that?

                        2) What does it mean?

                        1) I have found several references to the quotation but not the source:



                        2) I take it to mean that in a complicated position, you make a sacrifice without being able to calculate all the lines and depend upon your nerve and skill to come out victorious.
                        Last edited by Wayne Komer; Sunday, 1st January, 2017, 05:53 PM.


                        • Re: Great Chess Quotes

                          Great Chess Quotes

                          January 10, 2016

                          From an interview with Vassily Ivanchuk on


                          Vassily Ivanchuk re Women's WCC in Iran boycott:

                          "Imagine a tournament in Scotland where men must wear kilts."


                          • Re: Great Chess Quotes

                            Great Chess Quotes

                            January 20, 2017

                            From ChessBase by Albert Silver


                            In round five at the 2017 Tata Steel Masters, Wesley So won a beautiful game against Harikrishna in which he completely asphyxiated his Indian opponent even with the queens off very early. Both players spent a great deal of time in the opening, working out the cunning complications, but the clincher came about after: they had unwittingly replayed the opening masterpiece by Kramnik against Nepomniachtchi in Dortmund 2015.

                            The curious thing in all this was that both player were following to the move a brilliant game by Vladimir Kramnik against Ian Nepomniachtchi played in 2015 in Dortmund. They followed it, not for five or ten moves, but a full 15. In fact, any doubts they did not know could be seen from the time spent after 17 moves: Wesley So had spent one hour and 21 minutes, while Pentala Harikrishna had used up one hour and 31 minutes. Astonishing.

                            Vladimir Kramnik was actually watching the game live as it unfolded, time spent and all, and was quite baffled. Even if Wesley So had been deliberately been luring Harikrishna to his death on the board, remembering it all, it hardly seems possible he would spend 81 minutes of his clock time, most of it very early, just to camouflage it. So what did the former World Champion think of all this?

                            He had a few wry comments, understandably. A player who has epitomized the standard bearer of opening preparation, out-thinking even his own great predecessor for the title, had to find this all just short of incomprehensible. Welsey So admitted he recognized the position somewhat, though failed to identify exactly where and when. There is no reason to doubt his sincerity, though Kramnik did point out, “Well it is logical that So was slightly more aware of the game since it was played two meters away from his”.


                            [Dortmund 2015 1. Caruana 5.5, 2. So 4.0, 3. Nisipeanu 4.0 and 4. Kramnik 3.5]


                            • Re: Great Chess Quotes

                              Great Chess Quotes

                              January 23, 2017

                              Think of the Bishops

                              In The Simpsons, Helen Lovejoy often uses the phrase “Think of the children”. While it seems an appeal to consider the rights of children, in debate, it has become a plea for pity, used as an appeal to emotion, it is a logical fallacy.

                              Is there something similar in chess? Perhaps; in a tweet today by Fabiano Caruana, who was watching the broadcast of the Tata Steel Masters 2017 at Wijk aan Zee.

                              In Round Eight games, both Magnus Carlsen and Anish Giri buried their bishops (and lost), causing Fabi to write this:

                              Giri entombs his bishop on a8, Carlsen puts his on h7 and plays d3. Why isn't anyone thinking of the bishops?


                              • Re: Great Chess Quotes

                                Great Chess Quotes

                                February 3, 2017

                                Premature Attackulation

                                In the Gibraltar Masters 2017 tournament Sutovsky played Topalov in Round Eight. In the interview after with Tania Sachdev, Veselin said this:

                                VT: At the beginning of the game I was kind of happy because, apparently he prematurely attacked me (giggles) but then, it turned out to be not so bad and then, I made a mistake and he had two winning moves but he missed and also he missed a draw and finally I won.


                                Topalov giggling is really something else. Everyone has seen the clip.

                                Later on, when Fabiano Caruana was talking in another Sachdev interview,


                                he started off, “I was hoping he would go for…” and he started giggling and then resumed, “a premature attack but he played pretty solidly…”

                                “Premature attackulation” became the catch phrase of the later rounds. The commentator, Simon Williams, used it to humorous effect.

                                I first heard of PA in a Danny Rensch video of his game against Teofrasto:


                                where White launches a kingside attack that is premature. The video was made in November of 2014.

                                A quick search on the Internet show the term being used as far back as 2005 in politics and video games. I’d be interested to know any further history of the term.