Great chess quotes

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Re: Great chess quotes

    Great Chess Quotes

    March 24, 2018

    What is worse?

    It is bad when a player, noted for his strength and stability starts playing weakly and erratically and it is out there for all the world to see. This has happened to Vladimir Kramnik in the 2018 Candidates in Berlin.

    Leonard Barden in The Guardian - Kramnik defeated the tournament favourite Levon Aronian in a brilliant game given here last week and took the third-round lead but then completely lost his objectivity, began to play in a risky style and plummeted down the tournament table from 2.5/3 to 3.5/9.

    So, that is bad. What could be worse?

    Well, having Nigel Short following the tournament closely and tweeting on Kramnik's poor form:

    Vlad's play has been up and down like a wh*re's drawers, but it was a lovely finish today

    Vlad, the drunk machine-gunner, has proved again how dangerous he is


    To avoid offending, I have replaced one letter in the quote with an asterisk.
    Last edited by Wayne Komer; Saturday, 24th March, 2018, 02:52 PM.


    • Re: Great chess quotes

      Great Chess Quotes

      April 1, 2018

      What people say and what they really mean is a mainstay of humour.

      These comments scrawled on a correspondence chess card and what they really mean by Alex Dunne:

      I hope we have a good game! I hope I beat you!

      I offer a draw I am out of book with this move and have no idea how to proceed

      Great move! Are you sure you aren't using a computer?

      If 14...Nd7, then 15.Qd3. Please, don't look at 14...Nxe4!

      Resigns I will beat you next time!

      Good game! I enjoyed beating you after you left your Knight en prise.


      • Re: Great chess quotes

        Great Chess Quotes

        April 10, 2018

        The predominant woman chess-player of my generation was Nona Gaprindashvili. Born in Soviet Georgia in 1941 and sixth Women World Chess Champion.

        Judit Polgar and Hou Yifan are the strongest players of the present era.

        Pia Cramling (b. 1963) is a Swedish woman grandmaster with an impressive record of accomplishments in the 1980s and 1990s.

        To me, she is forever young.

        She recently was the subject of the interview on the back page of New in Chess - Just Checking

        Three of her quotes showing her as the player, the mother and the person:

        What was your best result ever?

        Plus-3 in the match Veterans vs. Ladies in Prague 1995. Beating legends like Portisch, Smyslov and Kortchnoi was a dream.

        What was the most exciting chess game you have ever seen?

        Every time my daughter gets into time trouble. I hardly dare to watch them.

        Is there something you'd love to learn?

        To play an instrument or sing well. Or to stand on my head.

        From New In Chess 2018#2, p.106
        Last edited by Wayne Komer; Wednesday, 11th April, 2018, 12:01 AM.


        • Re: Great chess quotes

          Great Chess Quotes

          April 11, 2018

          The first title match between Garry Kasparov and Anatoly Karpov, in 1985, stretched to 46 games and nearly five months play.

          From the obituary of Florencio Campomanes, former FIDE President, in the New York Times, May 2010:

          "Both men were clearly worn. Mr. Karpov, a man of small stature to begin with, had lost more than 20 pounds from the pressure and strain of the match. He starting playing listlessly and making mistakes, losing the 47th and 48th games. The match had seemed to reach a turning point.

          That was when Mr. Campomanes stepped in. At a raucous news conference in February 1985, he halted the match, saying that both men's health was deteriorating and that the match was unwinnable. Though Mr. Karpov protested, saying he wanted to continue, and Mr. Kasparov began shouting that he did, too, Mr. Campomanes would not change his mind."


          From The Chess Mind, the blog of Dennis Monokroussos


          SUNDAY, APRIL 8, 2018

          "The 100-game superfinal between Stockfish and Houdini has been a tale of three matches. In the first "match", Stockfish won three games and drew 17. In the next Stockfish steamrolled Houdini by an 11-4 margin, losing one game but winning eight. And then it slowed down: there were six draws, then two more Stockfish wins, and since then there have been 16 draws in a row. If this keeps up, Florencio Campomanes will be called in on a mission of mercy to stop the match, with a shorter match scheduled in about six months."


          • Re: Great chess quotes

            Great Chess Quotes

            April 16, 2018

            Both Jan Gustafsson and Nigel Short are playing in the Bangkok/Thailand Open.

            Today, in the fourth round Nigel was about to win his game and then...

            Nigel Short (tweet) - "Lose with dignity they say. I will try better next time - although it is a bit hard when your opponent is fully aware that you have not pressed your clock (in a winning position) and jumps up and down with glee the moment your flag falls."

            The game for historical purposes:

            Bangkok Open 2018
            Round 4, Apr. 16
            Gukesh, D. - Short, Nigel
            A04 Reti

            1.Nf3 c5 2.g3 g6 3.Bg2 Bg7 4.c3 Nf6 5.d4 Na6 6.O-O O-O 7.a3 d5 8.b4 b6 9.Bf4 cxd4 10.cxd4 Nc7 11.Nc3 Bb7 12.Rc1 Rc8 13.b5 Ne4 14.Nxe4 dxe4 15.Bxc7 Rxc7 16.Ne5 Rxc1 17.Qxc1 Qxd4 18.Nc6 Bxc6 19.bxc6 Rc8 20.Qc2 f5 21.Qb3+ Kf8 22.Rd1 Qe5 23.Rd5 Qc3 24.Qxc3 Bxc3 25.g4 e6 26.Rd6 Ke7 27.Rd7+ Kf6 28.Rxa7 h6 29.c7 Be5 30.Rb7 Bxc7 31.e3 Bd8 32.h3 Ra8 33.Bf1 Rxa3 34.Rb8 Bc7 35.Rc8 Rc3 36.Kg2 g5 37.gxf5 exf5 38.Rf8+ Ke5 39.Ba6 Rc6 40.Bc8 Rf6 41.Re8+ Kd6 42.f3 exf3+ 43.Kxf3 b5 44.e4 fxe4+ 45.Kxe4 b4 46.Kd3 Kd5 47.Bg4 Bd6 48.Rd8 Ke5 49.Re8+ Kd5 50.Rd8 Rf4 51.Kc2 Rf2+ 52.Kb3 Rf8 53.Rd7 Ke5 54.Rh7 Rf6 55.Rh8 Bf8 56.Rh7 Ra6 57.Rh8 Ra3+ 58.Kc2 Ra2+ 1-0


            • Re: Great chess quotes

              "Chess is the gymnasium of the mind."
              [Blaise Pascal, ultra-talented French polymath, lived from 1623-1662. He was a mathematician, physicist, inventor, writer, and Catholic theologian.]


              • Re: Great chess quotes

                "Chess is the gymnasium of the mind."
                [Blaise Pascal, 1623-1662, super-talented French polymath. He was a mathematician, physicist, engineer, writer, and Catholic theologian.]


                • Re: Great chess quotes

                  Great Chess Quotes

                  April 22, 2018

                  Arthur Koestler (1905-1983) was a Hungarian-British author and journalist. At the start of WWII he was imprisoned as an enemy alien and spent six weeks in London's Pentonville Prison before being released in December 1940.

                  From the Preface to the 1954 edition of his Scum of the Earth, as quoted in Chess Note No. 10803


                  "The second art that I acquired in Pentonville was so-called 'Marseilles chess.' It was invented by an elderly Frenchman, with a red scarf round his neck, who taught it to me during exercise hours. In this game, each player in turn makes two moves instead of one - the only restriction being that the first of the two moves should not be a check to the king. To the chess-addict this is a nerve-racking experience which shatters his outlook and upsets all his values. Hitler and the Gestapo have faded into the past, but the memory of Marseilles chess in Pentonville still makes me shudder."

                  London, 1954


                  • Re: Great chess quotes

                    Great Chess Quotes

                    May 1, 2018

                    We never use a quote from the same incident twice but here we relax that rule because of the colourful write-up of the Bangkok Open by Peter Frost:


                    "Round 4 saw the most talked about incident of the tournament. Short appeared to be on the verge of overcoming the determined resistance of Gukesh, having reached an ending with two extra pawns. Although the presence of bishops of opposite colours presented some technical difficulties, the Englishman seemed to be closing in on the full point. With a full five minutes remaining on his clock, Nigel made his move, and wrote it down on his scoresheet. He completely forgot to press his clock. The clock began to run down. Nigel, engrossed in the position, and assuming that his opponent's clock was running, never again looked at the clock. Gukesh, keeping very still, watched the seconds counting down from the corner of his eye with mounting anticipation.

                    Pandemonium broke out when 0.00 finally appeared on Nigel's clock. Eleven-year old Gukesh, unable to contain himself, jumped up and down in excitement next to the table ("in glee", the vanquished GM later said). Short, in a state of shock at his oversight and anger at his opponent's conduct, marched out of the room, leaving the scoresheets unsigned. It is understood that no-one stopped him to ask for a photo on this occasion.

                    It was also interesting to observe the two marquee players in action. Nigel Short wears a near permanent frown when playing, and looks constantly worried and fidgety. He seems rather like a schoolboy who is grappling with a maths problem that is far too hard for him.

                    Jan Gustafsson's fine positional sense enables him to know exactly where to place each piece, but he is at a total loss as to where to put his exceptionally long legs. One moment they are wrapped around his chair in the manner of a python strangling its prey, and the next they are flung off to the side and hoisted against the wall. He would benefit greatly from a false floor in which to deposit his bottom quarter."
                    Last edited by Wayne Komer; Tuesday, 1st May, 2018, 01:17 PM. Reason: duplicate submission of a previous quote


                    • Re: Great chess quotes

                      Great Chess Quotes

                      May 4, 2018

                      Vidit Santosh Gujrathi, the Indian grandmaster, is the subject of this quote, which is contained in a letter to New in Chess 2018#3:

                      Socrates or Plato

                      According to Saravanan (NIC 2018#2), Vidit says he found it difficult to read Homer (“Tough!”), Aristotle and Socrates (“Too Tough”). Reading Socrates isn’t just tough – it’s impossible. He wrote nothing. Our knowledge of Socrates comes mainly from Plato, but we have no idea how accurate Plato’s version is.

                      Chris Holmes
                      St. Maur des Fossés, France
                      Last edited by Wayne Komer; Friday, 4th May, 2018, 04:21 PM. Reason: triplicate posting


                      • Re: Great chess quotes

                        Great Chess Quotes

                        May 5, 2018

                        Clement Freud, the grandson of Sigmund Freud, British intellectual, covered the Fischer-Spassky Match for The Financial Times. I have a scrapbook of the match and some of his columns on the salmon-pink paper with which the FT was printed.

                        His description of the match appeared in the Financial Times of 8 July 1972 and is reproduced in “A Feast of Freud”, Bantam Press, 2009, a collection of his wittiest writings.

                        Some excerpts:

                        A week of waiting for P-Q4

                        “To attempt to be rational about an event as sensationally irrational as the world chess championship of 1972 is no easy matter. The fact is that for five long days officials, players, observers and prospective cash customers have been so bemused by the human tantrums and quirks of fate surrounding the match – or, to be strictly accurate, non-match-that the basic truth escapes them. A brace of players are about to compete for a prestigious title and a lot of money.

                        When Fischer failed to show up at the solemn opening ceremony – and for a teetotaller to shun a bunfight at which champagne is the order of the day seems rational to me – the Russians shrugged their shoulders and said, “That Fischer” (which probably sounds better in Russian).

                        When he was still absent at the time appointed for the commencement of the first game last Sunday, the Soviet delegation had two alternatives: to claim the match by default and leave, or to grin and wait for the challenger to turn up.

                        They sat tight, and in doing so had the prize money doubled by Mr. James Slater. To put it another way, their forebearance was rewarded by an extra £18,000 if their man lost, £30,000 if he won. They showed no gratitude, and on reflection – by the very nature of things – Mr. Jim Slater is unlikely ever to be voted Soviet Man of the Year…but when Fischer turned up they threatened to walk out.

                        The reasons, or rather the timing of the intended walkout were obscure and irrational, having about them the insane logic of a man waiting for a delayed train to come into the station before complaining to the railways board that it is too late, “Why did you not complain earlier?”, we asked the Russians over and over again. ”How can we complain that he is late when we don’t know when he will come?”, they replied.”

                        Two and a half more pages of the madness that had us sitting on the edge of our seats in 1972!
                        Last edited by Wayne Komer; Saturday, 5th May, 2018, 08:46 PM. Reason: quadriplate duplication


                        • Re: Great chess quotes

                          Great Chess Quotes

                          May 5, 2018

                          Paco Vallejo’s Tax Troubles

                          This on March 24, 2018 from Peter Doggers at


                          ‘Francisco Vallejo Pons left the European Individual Championship, currently underway in Batumi, Georgia, after the fifth round. On Facebook he revealed having troubles in his personal life, most notably being chased by the Spanish tax authority, which is trying to seize more than half a million euros.

                          "We go back to the year 2011. I play some online poker, for fun, I'm not a gambler by any means. I lost everything, a few thousand and I stopped playing. Then I stopped.

                          In 2016 I received a letter from the [Spanish tax authority] requesting more than 6 figures! More than half a million euros because I played poker and I lost. It seems a macabre joke, but it is not, from that moment begins a snowball that crushes you."

                          As it turns out, Vallejo has become the victim of an old Spanish law (which ceased to exist in 2012, a year after he stopped playing poker online) under which any online "gambling" earnings are subject to 47 percent taxes, while any losses cannot be deducted. The Spanish tax authority started to investigate Vallejo in 2016, and looked back for five years, just enough to decide his earnings still fell under the old law.

                          "As of 2016, lawyers begin, meetings begin with the [Spanish tax authority], I start canceling tournaments, skin infections begin due to nerves, I have to cancel my participation with the national team because I honestly cannot stand the pressure, in more than one game I practically have tears in the eyes.

                          To finish off all this, it coincides with my mother [losing money due to an investment loss by Santander bank] and with a very serious health infection abroad that nearly ends her life, and which I could not support because the [Spanish tax authority] has already taken everything I had and still claims more...

                          I thought I could with everything, I thought that bad luck would end one day, that I would continue to fight as if nothing had happened, and I have tried every day, for almost two years. It was a mistake to come to the European Championship, I was not prepared for that, although I would have loved it, the reality is stubborn, but anyway, this "only" is chess."’

                          That is the setup and this is the notable quote:

                          Paco Vallejo (tweet on April 15, 2018) - Yesterday night I got a call sharing with me good resolution of the TSCM (Spanish Court). Very good news to stop this craziness about #poker and #taxes. Very happy to share it with all of you!


                          • Re: Great chess quotes

                            Great Chess Quotes

                            May 7, 2018

                            From “Vera Menchik A Biography of the First Women’s World Chess Champion, with 350 Games” by Robert B. Tanner, McFarland, 2016.

                            “As a chess instructor myself, I have been astounded at how little knowledge the majority of modern players have of the history of our sport. It is not unusual to find players with Elo ratings over 2000 who cannot name all of the World Champions or even their own national champion. Ask a 1500 player who Frank Marshall, George Thomas or Salo Flohr were and you are met with a blank stare. Vera Menchik, as well as those above, played a huge role and should be recognized. Chess is not just a game, but a culture with a myriad of aspects in which to dabble.”


                            • Persians happen to know a thing or two about chess

                              After US President Donald Trump sabotaged the last, really significant positive thing that his predecessor, Barak Obama, did in foreign policy, by withdrawing from the multi-lateral "Iran nuclear agreement", Asia Times correspondent Pepe Escobar went back to a famous chess-themed book for a quote of what is next:

                              Originally posted by P. Escobar
                              Predictably, we are back to the late Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski’s book, The Grand Chessboard.

                              “…Potentially the most dangerous scenario would be an ‘anti-hegemonic’ coalition united not by ideology but by complementary grievances … a grand coalition of China, Russia, perhaps Iran … reminiscent in scale and scope of the challenge posed by the Sino-Soviet bloc, though this time, China would likely be the leader and Russia the follower,” he wrote. “Averting this contingency … will require US geostrategic skill on the western, eastern, and southern perimeters of Eurasia simultaneously.”
                              But he saved the best for last.

                              So, Trump has reshuffled the Grand Chessboard. Persians, though, happen to know a thing or two about chess.
                              Brilliant. And what arch-conservative, cold warrior extreme, Zbig Brzezinski foresaw looks to be coming to fruition. He must be turning in his grave.

                              A million barrels a day of Iranian oil could disappear from global markets, while China, India and even [US poodles] South Korea and Japan will pick up the slack.
                              Dogs will bark, but the caravan of chess moves on.


                              • Great Chess Quotes

                                Great Chess Quotes

                                May 21, 2018

                                Danger in Chess – Bears!

                                "WARNING: to female members of the European Championship in Slovakia, please be careful when going out for a walk in the evening - we saw a bear next to the hotel and it is not a joke ...."

                                This message appeared on Facebook of one of the participants of the tournament, Lela Javakhishvili.

                                This information was confirmed by some other chess players.

                                [The European Women’s Individual Chess Championship was held in Vysoke Tatry, Slovakia, April 7 – April 20, 2018. It is situated in the High Tatras Mountains that are along the border of northern Slovakia and southern Poland. Predators there include the Eurasian brown bear, the Eurasian lynx, marten and wolf!]