Great chess quotes

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  • Re: Great Chess Quotes

    You should add the word refreshingly in front of abnormal. (not just because you are a chessplayer but have a fine mind)


    • Re: Great Chess Quotes

      Great Chess Quotes

      January 20, 2018

      Shakhriyar Mamedyarov has had a very good year. At the present moment, he is playing in the Tata Steel Tournament and his live rating is 2813, which makes him World Number Two after Magnus Carlsen.

      When asked in a couple of interviews at Tata how he has raised his game to a new level, he has attributed it to getting married, to playing "old man chess" and to drinking less.

      By "old man chess", he means not playing tactical chess so that you either get a zero or a one, but a more strategical game.

      These two tweets in reaction to that:

      Tarjei J. Svensen - Mamedyarov explaining why he did so well in 2017: "I stopped drinking alcohol"

      Jonathan Tisdall - If I've got Shakh Mamedyarov's recent explanations for his great form right - cutting out alcohol, marriage and 'playing like an old man' - there is a lot of hope for the non-prodigies out there.

      During the commentary for Round Six of Tata, Robin van Kampen and Eric Hansen, the chessbrahs, found the marriage and the cutting down on alcohol to be stumbling blocks to improving their ratings dramatically!


      • Re: Great Chess Quotes

        Great Chess Quotes

        January 20, 2018

        From commentary to Round Five of Tata Steel 2018:

        Svidler on Carlsen-Kramnik: "I'm not the world's greatest authority on rook endings"

        Tex de Wit: "Who is?"

        Svidler: "The two guys playing the game"


        • Re: Great Chess Quotes

          Great Chess Quotes

          January 30, 2018

          Spassky meets Bogatirchuk

          This is taken from an article on the new book (2013) on Bogatirchuk by Voronkov. It is long, so I have edited and excerpted it for clarity.



          B. Spassky: I am, in my life, incredibly lucky. I believe that it was a gift of fate that in 1967 I was able to meet with Fedor Parfen'evich personally. It happened this way.

          In the summer of that year, I happened to meet in Sochi Kyiv master Ratner Sveshnikov. And then he said to me:

          "Boris, I know that you have to go to an international tournament in Winnipeg, Canada If you are lucky enough to meet Fedor Parfen'evich Bogatyrchuk, pass, please, my huge greetings and gratitude.". The fact is that during the war he helped master Ratner's sister in Kiev. It seems that Fedor Parfen'evich was chairman of the Red Cross Society.

          And then I had a meeting with Fedor Parfen'evich in Ottawa (before you get to Winnipeg, where the tournament took place, I had to fly through Toronto and Ottawa). When I arrived at the hotel in Ottawa, soon the phone rang: and the receptionist said that a gentleman was there to meet me. I went downstairs and saw that it was Fedor Bogatyrchuk. He immediately introduced himself, by a firm handshake. Very focused person, I thought that it consists of a forehead - so it was a huge forehead that just fascinated me. After a short walk he took me straight to his home, where we had a conversation. On the way he told me: "You know, Canadians are fools - they do not realize what a wonderful country they live in. I tensed. Then he asked me, how is Levenfish. I said that Gregory died in 1961. What Parfen'evich Fedor said. "It's a pity because we understood each other ..."

          I visited him at home; he introduced me to his wife and daughter, Tamara Fedorovna. Later I was in correspondence with her, she sometimes met me in Canada, looked after me. Was my driver, guide. She would have continued the work of his father. Fedor Parfen'evich generally liked to meet players, especially from the Soviet Union.

          We are awaiting with anticipation the republication of his book "My way of life to Vlasov and the Prague Manifesto." Because there the author talks about chess tournaments in which he participated. The first Moscow international tournament, and his meetings with Alekhine, Bogolyubov and so on. It is interesting that he belonged to a generation with Efim Bogolyubov, Alekhine and Levenfish, all born in the late 1880s and early 1890s.

          There was a whole galaxy of Soviet grandmasters starting with Romanovsky and Nenarokov (b. 1880), those in the last paragraph, born around 1890 and then Makogonov, Botvinnik and Levenfish (born in the period 1904-1911)

          When I was with Fedor Parfen'evich, he showed me his library and his desk. We talked about chess. He said that he did not like Petrosian as a world champion, he preferred Tal. Well, this is quite understandable. Both he and his friend Levenfish followed Tal's career.


          • Re: Great Chess Quotes

            Great Chess Quotes

            January 31, 2018

            A Description of Ivanchuk's Opening Choices

            GM Abhijeet Gupta on preparing to play Vassily Ivanchuk in Round Eight of the Tradewise Gibraltar Open 2018:

            Gupta said he didn't bother preparing. "[Ivanchuk] used to play everything from A00 to E99," Gupta said, referring to the entire taxonomy of chess openings.



            • Re: Great Chess Quotes

              Great Chess Quotes

              February 6, 2018

              There was a Russian grandmaster by the name of Fedor Ivanovich Duz-Khotimirsky. Sometimes, the last name is transliterated Chotimirski, Khotymirsky etc. The Russian is Фёдор Дуз-Хотимирский. His dates are born 1881, died 1965.

              He was a four-time winner of the Kiev championships of 1900, 1902, 1903 and 1906, He was a contemporary of Chigorin, Rubinstein, Marshall and Lasker.

              A collection of his best games came out in 1953 edited by Vasily Panov and published by Fizkultura I Sport (Moscow).

              I have gone into a lot of detail about this because the book is being auctioned off on eBay with a starting price of $25.00 The seller is someone from the Russian Federation.

              What makes the blurb for the book so memorable is that the seller has tried to use an online translator which has butchered the Duz-Khotimirsky name beyond all recognition.

              Here is the blurb from the eBay auction site. Believe me when I say that I have not altered one word!

              Chess book. Soviet.
              Duz-Hatkirby Selected party. 1954.
              The publishing house "Physical culture and sport". Moscow. 1954.
              The circulation of 20 000.
              Format dimensions 130 X200 mm
              Weight 120 grams.

              The name of one of the oldest Russian chess masters is now the honored master of sport Fedor Duz-Hotmassage well-known Soviet chess players. Very popular Duz-Hatkirby used among fans of chess games of the pre-revolutionary Russia. He was a pupil of M. Chigorin He is constantly involved in international tournaments. He managed to win in the game against Chigorin, Lasker, Rubinstein, Nimzovich, the champion of the US Marshall, and many others.

              In games played Duz-Hooterscom there are many interesnogo against chess strategy and tactics.
              Last edited by Wayne Komer; Wednesday, 7th February, 2018, 12:13 AM.


              • Re: Great Chess Quotes

                Great Chess Quotes

                February 20, 2018

                Igor Ivanov Remembered

                Peter Biyiasas and Duncan Suttles are not the only two players to have competed in both the Canadian and U. S. Championships.

                Igor Ivanov (1947-2005) played in the 1981, 1985, 1986, 1987, and 2004 Canadian Championships; in the 1989, 1991, 1992, 1996, 1998, and 2002 U. S. Championships; and in the 1987 British Championship.

                An impressive record that might never be surpassed.

                By John Donaldson, Newsletter #818 from the Mechanics' Institute:



                Noted added later:

                John Donaldson - In Newsletter #818 we wrote about the late Igor Ivanov's accomplishment of playing in three different national championships (Canadian, British and U.S.), but as the noted chess journalist John Henderson notes it might have been four. He writes

                Pity Igor narrowly failed to make it to the Soviet Championship - if he had, he would have been the only player to have played in the Soviet, Canadian, USA and British Championships!

                Garry Kasparov has much to answer for.

                Igor's near miss qualifying for the Soviet Championship that John refers to was an event held in Daugavpils, Latvia, in 1978. 64 players competed for one spot in the championship, and Garry and Igor tied for first with scores of 9 from 13. Their individual game was drawn and unfortunately the tie-breaker, alas for Igor, not arm wrestling, favored Garry.
                Last edited by Wayne Komer; Saturday, 24th February, 2018, 09:47 PM.


                • Re: Great chess quotes

                  Great Chess Quotes

                  March 1, 2018

                  From a discussion on the English Chess Forum on the Lomonosov 7-piece data base:

                  David Robertson - I think I've got Lomonosov on disk somewhere....

                  This reply from MSoszynski - Not at 100 TB you haven't. That's over 23,000 DVDs.



                  • Aagaard blows a tire

                    Originally posted by Jacob Aagaard
                    When I think I am being clever I am being really stupid.
                    This was a piece of advice, encouraging chess humility, with which plenty of thoughtful players might agree. But then, later on the same page [p. 21, Excelling at Positional Chess], he noted the following ...

                    Originally posted by Jacob Aagaard
                    I remember the Nobel Prize winner in Mathematics said that he felt he really understood a theory or concept only if he could grasp it in one unifying idea.
                    There has never been a Nobel Prize for Mathematics. Ever.
                    Dogs will bark, but the caravan of chess moves on.


                    • Re: Great chess quotes

                      Great Chess Quotes

                      March 3, 2018

                      We are indebted to Douglas Griffin for first presenting this quote:


                      "Vladimir Tukmakov describes his experience at Delhi in 1986, when he came up against the young Vishy 'I came for another easy point and was indeed free very soon - Anand spent less than 30 minutes on the whole game'."

                      Almost up to the very end everything was surprisingly easy. After nine rounds I had eight points including two quick draws with my compatriots. In the penultimate round I was supposed to play White with a boy whom I had barely noticed before. He played very quickly, but was still in the middle of the crosstable.

                      I came for another easy point and indeed was free very soon - in about two hours. I was defeated by all the signs of positional mastery, and Anand (of course it was him) spent less than thirty minutes for the whole game. I still won the tournament but I had never lost like that. The young man's undeniable talent made a big impression, but it was hard to imagine that in just four years Anand would be among the candidates for the world title.

                      The initial quote is from Tukmakov's book 'Profession: Chessplayer; Grandmaster at Work' (Russell Enterprises, 2012)

                      The game:

                      New Delhi 1986
                      Round 10
                      Tukmakov, Vladimir - Anand, Viswanathan
                      E18 Queen's Indian, old main line

                      1.c4 Nf6 2.Nc3 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.g3 Bb7 5.Bg2 Be7 6.d4 Ne4 7.Bd2 O-O 8.d5 f5 9.O-O Bf6 10.Rc1 Na6 11.Be1 Bxc3 12.Bxc3 Nxc3 13.Rxc3 Nc5 14.Nd2 Qf6 15.e4 a5 16.exf5 exf5 17.Re1 Rae8 18.Rxe8 Rxe8 19.Nf1 d6 20.Qc2 Bc8 21.Bh3 g6 22.b3 Bd7 23.Re3 Rxe3 24.Nxe3 f4 25.Bxd7 fxe3 26.Ba4 Nd3 27.Qe2 Qxf2+ 28.Qxf2 exf2+ 29.Kf1 Kg7 30.Bb5 Kf6 31.c5 Nxc5 32.Kxf2 Ke5 0-1

             has got this game with the names reversed!


                      • Re: Great chess quotes

                        Great Chess Quotes

                        March 9, 2018

                        When the World Rapid and Blitz Championships were announced for Saudi Arabia, Nigel Short was the first to say that he would participate. Magnus Carlsen was the second.

                        Players from certain countries would not receive visas or would receive them late. Why would Nigel, a loud critic of FIDE and its administration, go to Riyadh?

                        The response is in Short's column in New In Chess 2018#1:

                        Given the ethical uncertainties, why then did your scribe - a trenchant critic of the current maladministration - scurry to become the first entrant in the tournament - thereby handing FIDE an unexpected propaganda coup? Undoubtedly the massive $2 million prize-fund played a part in my decision, although I never considered it likely that I would be capable of competing for the very highest prizes. The opportunity to visit an important country - one that until as recently as 2016 fell outside the FIDE ambit - was perhaps a greater draw. But essentially, any potential scruples were swiftly assuaged by the firm conviction that chess players should never be placed in the position where they have to choose between making a moral stand and furthering their career. Besides, my mischievous nature wanted to see how the FIDE Vice Presidents from Israel, Iran and Qatar would react to seeing their own players getting well and truly shafted.


                        • Re: Great chess quotes

                          Great Chess Quotes

                          March 10, 2018

                          The Candidates began today in Berlin with organization by Agon.

                          Peter Doggers pointed out that the venue and broadcast had more than its share of difficulties:


                          To begin with, the official website was full of mistakes. For example, a clock that counted down to the start of the first round turned out to be location dependent, so that it would show a different time for viewers in different time zones

                          Also, a "Top 10" of players on the home page consisted of nine players and, for some reason, included Anish Giri, Hikaru Nakamura, Vishy Anand and Veselin Topalov (all participants in the 2016 edition). More importantly, basic information was almost impossible to find, such as the pairings or the start times of the games. On Twitter, users reported that they could not register and pay to watch.

                          Throughout the day, the official video commentary broadcast was watched by about 300 concurrent viewers. To compare, Wijk aan Zee this year had about 10,000, one of the PRO Chess League Saturday editions had more than 20,000, while Carlsen-Nakamura on 3 January had close to 40,000 maximum concurrent viewers.

                          The situation at the Kuhlhaus in Berlin also left a lot to be desired. For the spectators, who were paying 40 Euros for basic tickets (they will be 20 Euros tomorrow), there was no Wi-Fi available, and no proper food or drinks. Outside the venue, which is in a bit of a desolate area with only a train track and old buildings around, there's only one cafe nearby.

                          The venue is noisy with several players complaining of it. Grischuk was more candid today, saying: "It's a bad day for me for this question, because I think the playing conditions are absolutely terrible. Now that I've lost, it will sound like an excuse, but believe me it's not. There's not even water in the toilet!"

                          All this leads to the quote of the day:

                          from Nick Faulks on

                          I don't think it will come as a surprise to anyone that Agon are literally incompetent to organise a pissup in a brewery.


                          • Capa quote

                            "Nothing is so healthy as a thrashing at the proper time, and from few won games have I learned as much as I have from most of my defeats."

                            J.R. Capablanca, from My Chess Career, 1920, xv.
                            Dogs will bark, but the caravan of chess moves on.


                            • Re: Great chess quotes

                              Great Chess Quotes

                              March 11, 2018

                              In the old days, the Soviet players would train for a month at a dacha before a tournament.

                              How did Sergey Karjakin prepare for the Berlin Candidates?

                              In a luxurious Scottish castle!

                              "Sergey Karjakin, 28, hired out the Tower of Lethendy, an eight-bedroom baronial mansion set in 39 acres of Perthshire countryside to prepare for the World Chess Candidates tournament, which kicked off in Berlin yesterday. The winner of the event will earn the right to play a world title match later this year.

                              The Russian, who became the world's youngest grandmaster aged 12, spent most of February at the sprawling property, following a punishing schedule that included hours of chess strategy, physical workouts and a strict diet. His entourage included analysts who ran powerful computer programmes to identify the strengths and weaknesses of his opponents.

                              Residential training camps are more commonly associated with elite athletes such as boxers and footballers, but less so among chess players. There is growing recognition, however, that physical fitness can improve mental agility, cognition and stamina - essential qualities to succeed in gruelling duels over a board that can last for several hours.

                              "The depth of Sergey's preparation is unusual, most players will train at or near their homes," said chess journalist and international master Malcolm Pein. "But then again, this is one of the biggest chess tournaments. The winner has a chance to become the world No 1.""



                              • Never miss a chance to insult someone

                                GM N. Short: "Congratulations to Fabiano Caruana on the first victory in the Berlin Candidates. The Lord deserted Wesley So today. Apparently, he didn't pray fervently enough."

                                GM Wesley So is a devout Christian who prays before every match. See the article linked to below for more info.

                                Grandmaster under fire after mocking chess player's prayer


                                update: GM Short posted on GM Susan Polgar's Facebook page and, surprise surprise, stirred up a hornet's nest. I follow Polgar's F/b page, and found myself in an exchange of pleasantries with him. To be completely fair to GM Short, I had no idea that "So" many people make fun of his name and borrow the expression used by Kasparov in new and (lol) creative ways. [I have to confess I did the same here on CT when I remarked that in Kirsan's litigation "the defendant would be Short and his face would be long".]

                                I'm happy to report that I've now been insulted by one of the best chess players.
                                Last edited by Nigel Hanrahan; Tuesday, 13th March, 2018, 04:14 PM.
                                Dogs will bark, but the caravan of chess moves on.