Great chess quotes

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  • Great Chess Quotes

    November 28, 2019

    The Longest Game

    Pentala Harikrishna in an interview in Kolkata during the recent Tata Steel Rapid and Blitz.

    Recently, you were involved in one of the longest games ever played at the European Club Cup (236 moves). Tell us about it.

    I think it was the first time I played more than 200 moves. It’s really difficult to play that amount of moves. My opponent, David Howell, initially said he was playing because his team mate was losing. So, in order to equalise the match, he tried to win on my board. So, maybe, that was the reason he played 50 or 100 moves initially. And then I was surprised as to why he was playing so many moves, he was moving from one side to the other and not really making any progress. At some point it was quite funny because there were more arbiters waiting in the playing hall than the players because only we were playing and around nine or ten arbiters were waiting for our game to finish. I think we played for around six hours and forty-five minutes. Not much time was left for dinner (laughs)…when I saw the final drawing pattern, I didn’t know whether he wanted to make a record or something. It was quite tiring. First, it was long and second, there was no improvement. We sat and wrote the moves on four sheets of paper. I was exhausted and I was hoping the match would finish soon so that I could grab a bite, but it was important not to make a mistake in the match.

    The game’s score is at:

    It is entry #191


    • Great Chess Quotes

      December 3, 2019

      Five Guys Named Jamieson

      I never would have thought in writing great chess quotes that I would give the entire results of a tournament!

      First, this quote from Ian Rogers:

      Results of an extraordinary recent tournament in Peru, featuring five players named Jamieson, are here:

      However according to FIDE VP Granda, the tournament run by IA Tacuche Martinez never happened! Past fake events have created norms, but why this one??
      Final Ranking after 7 Rounds
      Rk. Name FED Rtg Pts.
      1 Martinez Adell Sergi ESP 0 5.5
      2 Luis Antonio Perez De Leon PAN 0 5.5
      3 Lazo Roman Sebastian CRC 0 5.5
      4 Landeo Enciso Camila PER 0 5
      5 Luis Acosta Omar ESP 0 5
      6 Ochoa Alvarez Mauricio MEX 0 5
      7 Lazo Manriquez Edgardo CHI 0 5
      8 Toresen Isak NOR 0 4.5
      9 Perez Aban Carlos Andres BOL 0 4.5
      10 Jose Abreu Adrian Armando DOM 0 4.5
      11 Martinez Agapito Fernando MEX 0 4.5
      12 Rodrigo Aguado Jose Luis ESP 0 4.5
      13 Ochoa Arrue Inigo ESP 0 4.5
      14 Caro Villar cristian PER 0 4.5
      15 Luis Eduardo POR 0 4.5
      16 Lazo Gomez Ingrid Shadani MEX 1830 4
      17 Luis Castellano Miguel A. ESP 1590 4
      18 Luis Cejudo Gaizka ESP 1477 4
      19 Luis Alvarez Isabela CUB 1467 4
      20 Perez Abarca Raul ESP 0 4
      21 FM Jamieson Peter M SCO 2213 4
      22 Jamieson Neil ENG 0 4
      23 IM Jamieson Robert M AUS 2444 3.5
      24 Lazo Ramos Mathiu Anthony PER 1671 3.5
      25 Lazo De La Vega Katherine - PER 0 3.5
      26 Lazo Verver Y Vargas Lenin MEX 2002 3.5
      27 Ulloa Perez Juan PER 0 3.5
      28 Perez Acebal Alfonso URU 2158 3.5
      29 Perez Sebastian PER 1591 3.5
      30 Jordyn Bijoy IND 0 3.5
      31 Luis Broock Carlos ESP 0 3
      32 Tores Belisario Anthony De Jesus VEN 0 3
      33 Luis Alvarez Elizabeth CUB 2028 3
      34 Perez Aban Javier Adrian BOL 1516 3
      35 Lazo Villarroel Isabel Camila BOL 0 3
      36 Luis Anthony Jayanata INA 1643 3
      37 Perez Vinicio DOM 0 3
      38 Perez Yenni DOM 0 3
      39 Jamieson Ian SCO 1891 3
      40 Ochoa Aldaz Mikel ESP 1846 3
      41 Martinez Acuna Aniuska Celeste VEN 0 3
      42 Landeo Enciso Enzo Andre PER 0 2.5
      43 Lazo Tapia Esperanza CHI 0 2.5
      44 Ochoa Mauricio MEX 0 2.5
      45 Toresano Lopez Daniel ESP 0 2.5
      46 Luis Abad Silvio BRA 0 2
      47 Ochoa A Camilo Andres COL 0 2
      48 Toresen Hakon NOR 0 2
      49 Perez Gabriel VEN 0 2
      50 Lazo Martinez Incaivi Brandon HON 0 2
      51 Lazo Manriquez Paz Andrea CHI 0 1.5
      52 Jamieson Alexander ENG 1710 1.5
      53 Luis Broock Tania ESP 0 1.5
      54 Perez Abellan Alvaro ESP 0 0.5
      Imagine travelling over half the world to play in a non-existent tournament, fated to do so because your family name is Jamieson.


      • Great Chess Quotes

        December 7, 2019

        From an interview of Chris Ward with Maurice Ashley during the broadcast of London Chess Classic. Chris is the most enthusiastic, effervescent commentator around:

        Discussing the Ding Liren – MVL game:

        “Ding has a lot of pawns still on the board. You know what we would like to see? There is the chance of seven new queens appearing on the board!”


        • Great Chess Quotes

          December 16, 2019

          Jeopardy and Chess

          From the English Chess Forum:

          Joseph Conion - In a discussion on chess and its history with one of my distinguished humanities colleagues I was told to my surprise that the English word 'Jeopardy' comes originally from chess.

          The origin is from French 'Jeu parti' - or split game, even game - being the old-fashioned (Pre-1500) expression for a chess problem, i.e. a position where the game is in the balance.

          And indeed the OED entry confirms this.


          • Great Chess Quotes

            December 27, 2019

            Crying after Losing

            The commentators at the World Rapid in Moscow in December of 2019 are Peter Leko, Almira Skripchenko and Evgenyi Miroshnichenko.

            During the commentary of the seventh round, Almira says that when she went to the washroom, one of the girls there had lost her game and was crying.

            It reminded her of herself. She asked Peter if that ever happened to him.

            Peter says that in his first tournament, as an underrated player, a nine-year old against category 2 and category 3 players, he lost all of his games and cried big time. He asked himself, “Will I ever be a chessplayer?” Well, you know the answer.

            Almira switched over to Miro at the demonstration board and hit him with the same question about crying after a loss.

            Miro: That is an unexpected question. I still do, that is basically why I stopped playing chess!


            • Great Chess Quotes

              January 1, 2020

              From the English Chess Forum:

              Every Christmas, Private Eye publishes a double-page of spoof adverts for things you never knew you needed. Some of them are actually better than the things you see in magazines in the run up to Christmas... (For example, this time they have a "trollinav", which consults your shopping list and leads you to the right places in the supermarket!)

              However, back on track, we have "The Multifaith Chess Set", which comes with all the standard pieces, except it has one Bishop, one Iman, one Rabbi and one Richard Dawkins. "Now you can be a truly diverse woke grandmaster of the ancient game!"

              Kevin Thurlow, Dec. 30, 2019



              • Great Chess Quotes

                January 2, 2020

                Withdrawal from Chess

                From New In Chess:

                A Mystery

                With some sadness, I shall not be renewing my subscription this time. The reason lies with me, not with the magazine (which continues to be very high quality). About five years ago, and quite inexplicably, my enthusiasm for chess simply disappeared, as if a light switch had been turned off in my mind. I no longer had any interest in playing, and I very rarely read my chess books and magazines. My efforts to re-ignite my former feelings for the game have failed.

                It is all a mystery to me. I have loved chess since my school days. In the first chess magazine I ever owned, I remember being gripped by reports of the tense hostilities in the Kortchnoi-Petrosian Candidates match in 1977. My first contact with New In Chess was like striking gold. I received a sample copy, which turned out to be the issue with Tony Miles’s amazing account of his experiences at the Tilburg tournament in 1985. What a fabulous introduction to your magazine! Since then I have acquired and enjoyed almost a complete run from the very start.

                After more than three decades therefore, it is time to say Goodbye and more importantly – Thank You to everyone at New In Chess, past and present for so many years of stimulating reading.

                Andrew Farthing
                Brockhill Village, Norton, Worcester, UK

                From the Letters (Your Move) section of New In Chess,
                2019#8, page 12

                See also:

                (quote #55)



                • Great Chess Quotes

                  January 11, 2020

                  From an advertisement in Chess Life, April 1969:

                  Immediate Shipment!

                  Bobby Fischer’s

                  My 60 Memorable Games

                  After a ten-year wait, Fischer’s second published collection of his games

                  With introductions to the games by U.S. Champion Larry Evans

                  Penetrating, in-depth annotations by Fischer of his most important and representative games to date. Fascinating discussions and insights into his play and that of his opponents by the most exciting chess genius of our time.

                  Whatever one thinks of Fischer’s personality, attitude and relationship with others in the chess world, there is no doubt that he is the most exciting player in the world today. He has won the last five tournaments which he completed, and he has not finished lower than second in any of his fourteen events during the past six years. His exploits in international competition, his unprecedented record of eight straight U.S. Championships, his brilliancies of tactical invention, and his contributions to opening theory – all have won him a high place in chess history. His very presence in a tournament generates excitement.

                  In this book, Bobby analyzes his most important and representative games, showing the strategic considerations, the tactics - and sometimes the blunders – that occur during the pressure of tournament play. He assesses his opponents’ thinking as well, Each game has, in addition to Fischer’s own annotations, an analytical introduction by the present U.S. Champion, Larry Evans. Index of openings, index of opponents, and Bobby Fischer’s tournament and match record.

                  Be among the first to own this remarkable book

                  List Price, $ 6.95 Members, $6.25

                  U.S. Chess Federation 479 Broadway, Newburgh, N. Y. 12550

                  All prices in U.S. Dollars! Our Canadian friends should add 10% to cover currency exchange differential.


                  • Great Chess Quotes

                    January 26, 2020

                    The Linares ’94 Effect

                    Linares 1994 is remembered for the outstanding victory of Anatoly Karpov over a star-studded field with a score of 11/13 and a performance rating of 2985. It is also remembered for a fifth-round touch-move controversy between Kasparov and Judit Polgar.

                    We had two conditions for an “ideal storm” of a tournament. Karpov was in top form and Kasparov was near his. Because of the pairings in this closed tournament, an opponent would meet Kasparov in one round and get beaten up and then, in the next, would have to meet Karpov.

                    So, in Round One, Kasparov savaged Bareev, and then, successively played against Illescas, Topalov, Ivanchuk, Polgar, Gelfand, Karpov himself, Shirov, Kamsky, Kramnik, Anand, Beliavsky and Lautier. Karpov played Lautier in the first and then Bareev and so on down the list in the last sentence.

                    Shirov and Kasparov shared second place with 8.5 points.

                    Every game in the tournament is given in the April 4 issue of Inside Chess, 1994.

                    After all that set up, the quote(s) from the English Chess Forum. Caruana won the Tata Steel 2020 Tournament ahead of Carlsen with the same conditions as in Linares. Caruana 10/13 and Carlsen 8/13.

                    Richard Bates - It might be worth pointing out that in this tournament Caruana is potentially benefitting from the “Linares ‘93” effect - ie. meeting all but one of his opponents directly after they have faced the World Champion.

                    Jonathan Rogers – Linares 94?

                    Richard Bates – Yep, that’s the one



                    • Great Chess Quotes

                      February 1, 2020


                      Brexit – British exit – refers to the UK leaving the European Union formally on January 31, 2020. The division between Remainers and Leavers does not look as though it is going to be easy to heal.

                      Leonard Barden – The daily chess column in the Evening Standard will finally reach its end on Friday, 31, January 2020. The total run is 63 years, 7 months and 27 days without a day missed.

                      Now the chess quote:

                      Re: Leonard Barden's last Evening Standard column

                      Post by John Saunders » Fri Jan 31, 2020 3:30 pm

                      Brexit and Bardexit on the same day. It's all too much.



                      • Im always in time trouble. But you cant change the man. A long time ago Maroczy told me I could be one of the best players in the world if not for time trouble. Yuri Averbakh said I'm always looking for the best move. Thats not good. I should just find a good move and play it - but I cant. ---- IM Geza Fuster --- Inside Chess 1988 #10


                        • Great Chess Quotes

                          February 10, 2020

                          Electronic Devices

                          The FIDE Laws of Chess:

                          During a game, a player is forbidden to have any electronic device not specifically approved by the arbiter in the playing venue.

                          However, the regulations of an event may allow such devices to be stored in a player’s bag, provided the device is completely switched off. This bag must be placed as agreed with the arbiter. Both players are forbidden to use this bag without permission of the arbiter.


                          From ChessBase:


                          At the 40th National (Indian) Team Open, a big shock in round three when GM Adhiban Baskaran was forfeited on board one for possessing an analogue watch after 16 moves against IM C R G Krishna.

                          It is clear that from the FIDE laws electronic devices are not allowed. How then was Adhiban given a loss when he was wearing an analog watch? A few years ago, when the rule was implemented the arbiters all across the country were faced with several instances where they had to decipher an analog watch from an electronic one. Logically if a watch had batteries in it, it would become an electronic one. But it was not always easy to segregate the two. In order to make things less complex and avoid unnecessary appeals, AICF in its Central Council meeting came up with the clause that no watches are allowed. Although this rule was not specifically mentioned in the regulations of the National Team Championships 2020, it was discussed in the player's meeting before the start of the event.

                          Comments on ChessBase:

                          - A wrist watch can help players to notice when the game clock is not keeping time correctly without having to check on the game clocks of other players. It would be considerate of the players if an event in which players are not permitted to have wrist or other watches that there be large wall clocks that are checked before the event for accuracy.

                          - I think the main reason to ban them is that in a huge event, the arbiter is not going to review all the few hundreds players watches to see which ones are digital and which ones are not. And even sometimes is not obvious for a non-expert to see if a watch can transmit info or not.

                          By the way, is not an only-Indian thing. World Blitz&Rapid, among others, had this very same rule. However, I agree that the penalty for a first offence is too harsh.


                          Now, the chess quote:

                          More Electronic Problems

                          "There was no mass walkout on my behalf when the chief arbiter at a congress a week ago suggested to me that my hearing aids should be electronically scanned "

                          I have raised the issue of hearing aids with ECF, so they are aware. I tend to take mine out at the start of the game and put them in their boxes, partly to show I'm removing them and also to tell the opponent not to whisper draw offers. (I don't expect them to shout either, but at least attract my attention first.) Things looking like hearing aids are an obvious way to receive messages. Of course my plan is dependent on having small hearing aids, and many players still whisper at me.

                          I do know a player who has an insulin pump, so he has to explain to opponents that it might go "beep" occasionally. Obviously, he can't switch that off. Luckily, everybody has just accepted this.

                          Kevin Thurlow in the EC Forum:



                          Added later:

                          Carsten Hansen (tweet) -

                          I must admit I’m more than a little puzzled about this. Why is there a problem with analog watches?

                          In some tournaments you are forfeited if not on time for the start of the game but now apparently you can’t wear a watch to make sure you arrive on time?
                          Last edited by Wayne Komer; Wednesday, 12th February, 2020, 11:56 PM.


                          • Great Chess Quotes

                            February 11, 2020

                            Lost, then Found

                            A recruit is being talked through his survival gear by his sergeant:

                            ‘A knife, rations, map, chess set, compass, flares...’

                            “Wait a minute,” asks the recruit, “Why do I need a chess set?”

                            “If you are alone and need help, take out the chess set and play over an ending. Sooner or later someone will appear to tell you where you are going wrong.”

                            Geoff. Chandler on the EC Forum



                            • Great Chess Quotes

                              February 18, 2020


                              From the introduction to the new book The Complete Chess Swindler by David Smerdon:

                              Chess is a cruel game. We all know that feeling when your position has gone awry and everything seems hopeless. You feel like resigning. But don’t give up! This is precisely the moment to switch to swindle mode.

                              Master the art of provoking errors and you will be able to turn the tables and escape with a draw – or sometimes even steal the full point!

                              Swindling is a skill that can be trained. In this book, David Smerdon shows how you can use tricks from psychology to marshal hidden resources and exploit your opponent’s biases.

                              In a lost position, your best practical chance often lies not in what the computer recommends, but in playing your opponent.

                              With an abundance of eye-popping examples and training exercises, Smerdon identifies the four best friends of every chess swindler: your opponent’s impatience, their hubris, their fear, and their need to stay in control.

                              You’ll also learn about such cunning swindling motifs as the Trojan Horse, the Decoy Trap, the Berserk Attack, and ‘Window-Ledging’.

                              So, come and join the Swindlers’ Club, become a great escape artist and dramatically improve your results. In this instructive and highly entertaining guide, Smerdon shows you how.

                              New in Chess, 2020, 368 pages


                              • Great Chess Quotes

                                March 4, 2020

                                Chess in the time of plague

                                At the end of December 2019, the World Health Organization was alerted to several cases of pneumonia in China. The virus did not match any other known virus. In January, China confirmed COVID-19.

                                Since then, there have been quarantines and travel restrictions and cautions against personal contact to try to limit the spread of the virus.

                                This has prompted a tweet from Ian Rogers:

                                Given the world body FIDE's advice against shaking hands, chess may need to develop new protocols, e.g. a nod at the start of the game, and the old-fashioned knocking over the king for resignation. An arbiter polishing the pieces after each move (as in snooker) may be too much.