Great chess quotes

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Re: Great Chess Quotes

    Great Chess Quotes

    February 3, 2017

    There is a long interview with Sergey Karjakin on the RT News site:

    From it, one unexpected answer to a question about the future:

    RT: Many athletes actively get involved in business. In what sphere would you get involved in?

    SK: It’s too early to talk about that. The next 10-15 years I will dedicate to chess, and further along, we’ll see. Generally, I like the world of property. In a different life, I might have been a good real estate agent (laughs) but it’s not a thing I will get involved in right away.

    Ah, GM Sergey Karjakin, real estate agent. A picture to savor.


    • Re: Great Chess Quotes

      Great Chess Quotes

      February 7, 2017

      In the town I lived in as a boy, chess activity was at a low ebb in the ‘50s. There was no active chess club and everything I knew about chess came from chess books and magazines.

      Going to the University of Toronto changed everything, mainly through the Hart House Chess Club.

      It had a small library of books, among them bound issues of Chess Review from the past fifteen years. I used to read them voraciously.

      I wanted to collect tournament books but the only one I had was the Dover edition of New York 1924. And which were the most important tourneys of the past?

      In the December issue of Chess Review for 1946, Reuben Fine conducted the Game of the Month and analyzed the game Yanofsky-Botvinnik, Groningen 1946. That was good but the introduction was pure gold to me. Fine listed the most important tournaments up to that time.

      I give the whole introduction:

      Groningen, Another Landmark

      If, in the manner of the history textbooks, we were to enumerate the ten most important tournaments in chess history, Groningen would most certainly be included. The others, if I were to write the book, would be London 1851, Hastings 1895, Paris 1900, San Sebastian 1911, St. Petersburg 1914, New York 1924, Bled 1931, Nottingham 1936 and Avro 1938.

      Unlike most of the other tournaments, however, no sensational upsets occurred at Groningen. There were some who predicted that the Soviet masters would all finish much higher, but that prediction was not really based on sober knowledge. Others felt that Botvinnik would win by a much more substantial margin, and when he had the phenomenal score of 11-1 after twelve rounds, it certainly looked as though he would. But Euwe’s steady point-grinder and Botvinnik’s unexpected losses changed that.

      The most important result of Groningen was the considerable superiority shown by Botvinnik and Euwe. To my mind that both finished far ahead of Smyslov is more significant than the fact that Botvinnik nosed Euwe out by half a point. There can be little doubt that on present form these two are the strongest players in the world today.

      Furthermore, unlike some of their major rivals, they enjoy the whole-hearted financial and moral support of their national federations. Euwe is now in the employ of the Dutch Chess Federation and is devoting all his time to chess, while Botvinnik is officially allowed two days a week for chess and is unofficially free to spend as much extra time at the game as he cares to.

      The following game is noteworthy not merely because Botvinnik lost (that’s always news) but also because Yanofsky gives a hint of what he might be able to do with enough international practice. Technically its outstanding feature is Yanofsky’s tactical ingenuity after a bad start.

      Groningen 1946
      Round 15, Sept. 2, 1946
      Yanofsky, D. Abraham – Botvinnik, Mikhail
      C99 Ruy Lopez, Closed, Chagrin

      1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.c3 O-O 9.h3 Na5 10.Bc2 c5 11.d4 Qc7 12.Nbd2 cxd4 13.cxd4 Nc6 14.d5 Nb4 15.Bb1 a5 16.Nf1 Bd7 17.Bd2 Rfc8 18.Bxb4 axb4 19.Bd3 Bd8 20.Qd2 Qa5 21.Ne3 b3 22.a3 Qa4 23.Nd1 b4 24.Ne3 bxa3 25.Rxa3 Nxe4 26.Qd1 Qb4 27.Rxb3 Qa4 28.Bc2 Nc5 29.Rc3 Qb4 30.Qb1 g6 31.Rc4 Qb7 32.b4 Na6 33.Rxc8 Rxc8 34.Bd3 Nxb4 35.Re2 Ba5 36.Rb2 Rb8 37.Nd2 Qa7 38.Ndc4 Qc5 39.Nxa5 Qxa5 40.Nc2 Nxd3 41.Rxb8+ Kg7 42.Ne3 Qd2 43.Qf1 Nc5 44.Qd1 Qc3 45.Rb6 Ba4 46.Qf3 Qe1+ 47.Kh2 f5 48.Rxd6 f4 49.Nf5+ Kf7 50.Qg4 Ne4 51.Qh4 gxf5 52.Qxh7+ Ke8 53.Qg8+ 1-0

      There was my list of the ten best tournaments. It would be years before I could afford to complete my collection of them.

      To this day, I still consider Reuben Fine as one of the most informative of chess writers.


      • Re: Great Chess Quotes

        Great Chess Quotes

        February 18, 2017

        The Bucket List

        In the first round of Sharjah GP 2017, Alexander Grischuk was paired against Jon Ludvig Hammer. Jon had Black against a player whom he really respects and against whom he has a negative score. He talked later about losing the infamous "knight on the rim game" to Alexander at Norway 2015.

        In the game today, both players were in extreme time trouble by move 31 and playing on increment. Sasha Grischuk is notorious for time scrambles.

        The players agreed to a draw on move 41 with Hammer a pawn down. He tweeted later:

        Will cross “trick Grischuk in a time scramble” off my bucket list

        A bucket list is a list of things to do before you die. It comes from the term “kicked the bucket”. Hammer did not really trick Grischuk at the end; the position was equal. Still, being in a time scramble with him is one of those things you can talk of for the rest of your life.

        One non-personality bucket list has “mate by castling” and “underpromotion mate” as two of the items on it:


        • Re: Great Chess Quotes

          Great Chess Quotes

          February 28, 2017

          The Sharjah GP tournament finished recently. It has been criticized as being hastily thrown together with little initial advertising. There was no “no-draw before move 30” law and the Swiss format seemed unsuitable.

          74% of the games were drawn and, of those 60 draws, 18 ended in 23 moves or less, often with almost all the pieces still on the board.

          And what did the participants have to say? This from the Facebook of Pavel Eljanov:

          Was in very bad form in Sharjah but finished with two wins and reasonably acceptable 50% overall. It was well-organised - local people and World Chess (Agon?) were very friendly and tried hard to show a sincere hospitality!

          Concerning chess content, it was one of the most boring tournaments I ever played with so many quick draws every round.

          It's a complex topic but it seems that for the sake of attractiveness there should be invented some kind of no draw offer rule in every tournament.

          As usual I'm very much grateful for all support I had before and during tournament! I'll try to play better in the next stages.


          • Re: Great Chess Quotes

            Great Chess Quotes

            March 12, 2017

            Back in April of 2015 John Coleman asked on this forum:

            For a lecture I'm giving to beginners, does anyone know approximately how many books are available on the Sicilian? Just approximately.


            A consensus was that there were then 300 to 350 such books.

            I made the point that there were any number of Harlequin romances with “Sicilian” (a romantic figure) in the title.

            Chess players as a rule are probably not aware how bizarre some of the opening book titles may appear to the general public. For example, Accelerated Dragons by Silman, The Complete Polar Bear System by Danielsen, The Diamond Dutch by Moskalenko and The Fighting Fajarowicz by Harding.

            Last month, a friend asked what type of chess books I collected and I sent her a print-out of one page of my acquisitions in excel. I chose Sicilian openings specifically.

            Her reply:

            A lot of people would be surprised that many of these titles are about chess.

            Consider – she knows that The Sicilian is a book by Mario Puzo, which continues The Godfather saga. What must she think when she sees The Most Flexible Sicilian by Delchev and Semkov or Attacking the Flexible Sicilian by Semkov and Kotronias? It boggles the mind!


            • Re: Great Chess Quotes

              and dont forget the Lions Defence of the anti - Philidor, Lions Paw Lions Cave gambit.


              • Re: Great Chess Quotes

                Great Chess Quotes

                March 13, 2017

                The American Chess Magazine that debuted before the World Championship Match in New York (Nov. 2016) has yet to send out its second issue.

                In the meantime it is touting a package of video lessons called The Shankland Method.

                The advertising copy appears to be written by someone with a great deal of enthusiasm but little knowledge of premium chess.

                These three claims:

                - Discover the simple strategy Kramnik followed to leave Nigel Short busted and embarrassed in under 20 moves as white (hint: Kramnik didn’t use or need any tactics in this game!)

                - Learn the powerful opening preparation method that helped Anand predict the first 24 moves of an important game and win virtually without playing (you’ll soon begin to do this regularly in your own tournament games!)

                - Why in a critical game, Kasparov sacrificed his entire queen for a rook, then went on to dominate an opponent who most normal GMs are terrified of! (The formula for such deep sacrifices is revealed inside!)


                I should like to play over that Kasparov game. Did he have the option to sacrificing part of his queen at any time or just the entire queen?


                • Re: Great Chess Quotes

                  Great Chess Quotes

                  March 14, 2017

                  Hou Yifan’s Protest

                  In the last round of the Gibraltar tournament this year, WGM and World Champion Hou Yifan lost her game in just five moves.

                  Apparently she was upset that in the first nine rounds of the tournament, she had to play seven female players and suspected something was fishy with the pairings.

                  This is the way she protested – by obviously throwing the game.

                  Tests conducted after the tournament was over confirmed that the pairing was absolutely correct.

                  She has been praised for her brave stand and also condemned for unsportsmanlike conduct and had it suggested that she should not be allowed to play in FIDE tournaments for six months.

                  People have stated that they know statistics and there is something fishy about getting seven female opponents in a row. Others have said that they know statistics too and the pairings were correct.

                  Columnist Gregory Serper for has given a history of such protests in an article:


                  citing Heubner-Rogoff (1972) and Miles-Heubner (1985) among others.

                  His ringing phrase for such happenings:

                  Losing a game in a protest is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.


                  • Little moves and big differences

                    Originally posted by John Nunn
                    It's the little moves that often make a big difference.
                    from Understanding Chess Middlegames, p.47, 2014.
                    Dogs will bark, but the caravan of chess moves on.


                    • Great Chess Quotes

                      Great Chess Quotes

                      March 23, 2017

                      The Ridley Offer

                      There is quite a charming article on a chess term in the Muskogee Phoenix (Oklahoma) by Eric Morrow.


                      It combines Church History and chess. I cannot tell whether the term "Ridley Offer" is newly coined or whether it has been around for a long time.

                      2K5/bP6/8/1k6/5B2/8/8/8 w - - 0 1

                      Bishop Nicholas Ridley was burned at the stake for supporting the Church of England against the Roman Catholic Church in 1555. For his sacrifice, he is known as one of the Oxford Martyrs. Ridley Hall in Cambridge, England, was founded in 1881 in his memory for the training of Anglican priests; Ridley College in Canada and Ridley Melbourne, which is a theological college, were founded in his honor in 1889 and 1910, respectfully. And thus this week’s move is named in his honor: The Ridley Offer.

                      White’s pawn on b7 seeks to promote on b8, which is a dark-square. Black’s dark-square bishop simply seeks to sacrifice itself for the pawn when it promotes.

                      This would leave white with a king and bishop, only. Since this is not enough to mate, the game is drawn.

                      White wins by moving its bishop to e3.

                      This is the Ridley Offer. White’s bishop lures black’s bishop away from the a7-square and its eye on b8.

                      Ridley College is in St. Catharines, Ontario - once a private boarding school for boys, now co-ed.

                      A quote from The Works of Nicholas Ridley (1841):

                      He using all kinds of ways to mortify himself, was given to much prayer and contemplation: for duly every morning, so soon as his apparel was done upon him, he went forthwith to his bedchamber, and there upon his knees prayed the space of half an hour, which being done, immediately went to his study, (if there came no other business to interrupt him,) where he continued till ten of the clock, and then came to common prayer, daily used in his house. The prayers being done he went to dinner where he used little talk, except otherwise occasion by some had been ministered and then was it sober, discreet, and wise, and sometimes merry as cause required.

                      The dinner done, which was not very long, he used to sit an hour or thereabouts talking or playing at the chess: that done, he returned to his study.


                      • Re: Great Chess Quotes

                        Another 'roastee' of the Crown was Archbishop Thomas Cranmer who was burnt at the stake in 1556. This doesn't have anything to do with chess but Cranmer supervised and partially wrote the Church of England's Book of Common Prayer with the first edition published in 1549. I've always liked the first few words of Cranmer's preface to the B of CP because they so simply summarize humankind's place in the big picture:

                        "THERE was never any thing by the wit of man so well devised, or so surely established, which (in continuance of time) hath not been corrupted..."
                        "We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office." - Aesop
                        "Only the dead have seen the end of war." - Plato
                        "If once a man indulges himself in murder, very soon he comes to think little of robbing; and from robbing he comes next to drinking and Sabbath-breaking, and from that to incivility and procrastination." - Thomas De Quincey


                        • Re: Great Chess Quotes

                          Great Chess Quotes

                          March 31, 2017

                          There are some grandmasters that ordinary players venerate. Three of these are Tal, Jobava and Ivanchuk:


                          A fourth must surely be David Bronstein.

                          I remember laughing at the following written by Gligoric in his book on World Championships. David gets the goat of the patriarch Botvinnik in 1951.

                          Later on, he spends fifty minutes to make his first move against Boleslavsky in their Match of 1950:

                          Bronstein was a very correct player, as was also Botvinnik. But he also had his weaknesses; he loved to argue. Botvinnik, a very suspicious man (did the times in which his career began make him such?) proposed an innovation before their match started; namely that whenever the game was adjourned the secret move should be sealed in two separate envelopes, instead of one as was the custom. The second envelope should be handed to the assistant referee in order to prevent any dishonesty should the referee be a partisan of either one of the rivals (what an idea!) and should open the envelope, thus making it possible for the player to alter his move should he find by analysis that he had not sealed the best one.

                          Botvinnik considered that his request was a simple and happy solution in view of the importance of the match; and Bronstein was pleased that he had found a subject for argument. Botvinnik did not know Bronstein’s weakness and it irritated him that the matter was discussed for a whole month during the negotiations before the match. Bronstein painstakingly analyzed every possible consequence and rejoiced if he found defects in Botvinnik’s proposal. Every day brought a fresh comment from Bronstein and Botvinnik became more and more irritated. What if the move written in in the two envelopes was not identical? Botvinnik replied angrily and curtly: “Then the person concerned loses the game by default!” Finally Bronstein agreed to Botvinnik’s demands. But after what protracted negotiations!

                          There are men who make a religion of their profession. Their devotion to their calling resembles the service of a deity, which they have themselves created. Chess is not everywhere recognized as a vocation but if this noble game has its priests, then Bronstein was a priest of the spirit of chess.

                          Bronstein’s approach to a game was like entering into a trance. He often did not make the first move for a long time and the spectators were forced to go on looking at the demonstration board still in the initial position. Perhaps the game had not yet begun? But Bronstein’s clock had been ticking away, spilling out time, which could later prove precious to him. There must have been some singular beauty, some kind of enchantment, which the dance of the pieces evoked in the bowed head of this bald young man. In truth, he never repeated his record of watching the two motionless rows of pieces for fifty minutes, as in one match-game against Boleslavsky. Had he lost his sense of reality and practicality? Finally, he ‘remembered’ where he was and began to play.

                          From pages 4 and 5
                          The World Chess Championship
                          Part One
                          S. Gligoric, R. G. Wade
                          B. T. Batsford, London


                          • Re: Great Chess Quotes

                            Great Chess Quotes

                            April 3, 2017

                            Best Team Player Ever

                            From the ECForum and Nick Burrows:


                            I would be very surprised if anyone can beat the record of Tigran Petrosian:

                            6 individual Olympiad gold medals (9 team golds) with a record of 78 wins, 50 draws, 1 loss!

                            Any other candidates?

                            Christopher Kreuzer on the same forum, discussed the team records last year after Baku:


                            Cripes, some of these Soviet Olympiad records are incredibly impressive.

                            (The largest number of [Open] Olympiad games without losing by anyone is 19.)

                            Petrosian played 129 games and only lost one.
                            Bronstein played 49 games and lost one.
                            Spassky played 135 games and lost two.
                            Smyslov played 113 games and lost two.
                            Tal played 101 games and lost two.
                            Karpov played 68 games and lost two.
                            Botvinnik played 73 games and lost three.
                            Kasparov played 82 games and lost three.
                            Kramnik (before the 2016 Olympiad) had played 73 and lost three.
                            Kramnik (after the 2016 Olympiad) has played 81 and lost three.*
                            Polugaevsky played 76 games and lost four.

                            Petrosian's one loss was to Huebner at Skopje in 1972 when he lost on time at move 37 in a Rook and pawn ending that he might well have held.

                            * Kramnik played 8 games at the Baku Olympiad 2016 and lost none. Among his opponents were Eljanov, Nakamura, Radjabov and Adhiban.



                            • Re: Great Chess Quotes

                              "I resign, I resign, I resign."

                              Alleged chess quote.


                              • Re: Great Chess Quotes

                                Originally posted by Thomas Bean View Post
                                "I resign, I resign, I resign."
                                Said no chess player ever. :p