Great chess quotes

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Great Chess Quotes

    October 6, 2020

    The Penrose Family

    Nobel Prize for Physics Announcement 2020

    Three scientists won this year’s Nobel Prize in physics Tuesday for advancing our understanding of black holes, the all-consuming monsters that lurk in the darkest parts of the universe and still confound astronomers.

    Briton Roger Penrose, German Reinhard Genzel and American Andrea Ghez explained to the world these dead ends of the cosmos that devour light and even time. Staples of both science fact and fiction, black holes are still not completely understood, but they are deeply connected, somehow, to the creation of galaxies, where the stars and life exist.

    Penrose, of the University of Oxford, received half of this year’s prize for discovering that Albert Einstein’s famous general theory of relativity predicts the formation of black holes, the Nobel Committee said.

    From Wikipedia:

    Jonathan Penrose, OBE (born 7 October 1933, in Colchester) is an English chess Grandmaster and International Correspondence Chess Grandmaster (1983) who won the British Chess Championship ten times between 1958 and 1969. He is the son of Lionel Penrose, a world-famous professor of genetics, the grandson of the physiologist John Beresford Leathes, and brother of Roger Penrose and Oliver Penrose. He is a psychologist and university lecturer by profession, with a PhD.

    Richard Dawkins on Twitter:

    Many congratulations to Roger Penrose on winning the Nobel Prize for physics. Brilliant mathematician and theoretical physicist.
    Very distinguished family. Brother is a chess grandmaster. Another brother is a Fellow of the Royal Society. Father was a great geneticist.

    ChessTalkers may remember a thread from 2017 entitled: A chess problem solvable by intuition but not by computers.

    The problem was set by Sir Roger.


    • Great Chess Quotes

      October 27, 2020

      I have heard that a man played another member at his club for 30 years without knowing if he had a family or not.

      Here, a player doesn’t know the last name of his opponent.

      And what were you doing (mooning your adversary?) to get stabbed in the bottom?

      STAMFORD — An argument over a chess game resulted in one man being stabbed in the buttocks, but no arrests have been made in the case, police said.

      Sgt. Kenneth Jarrett said police were called to an apartment on Mohawk Court on the report of an assault after 5 a.m. Saturday.

      The 51-year-old victim said he knew only the first name of the man who stabbed him, and refused to give police any more information.


      • Great Chess Quotes

        November 25, 2020

        Peter Leko and Tania Sachdev are commentating in the first knockout round of the Skilling Open 2020 and are conversing with Levon Aronian:

        Tania: Do you decide the opening you are going to use before the game or just before you are about to move?

        Levon: The decision process is fairly simple:

        I prepare before the game

        Then, I forget what I prepared

        Then, I play randomly.


        • Great Chess Quotes

          December 2, 2020

          The Delights of Chess

          Heinrich Fraenkel (1897-1986) was an author and Hollywood writer. Born in Poland, he died in England

          Under the pseudonym "Assiac", Fraenkel edited a chess column in the New Statesman and published several chess books, among them The Delights of Chess (1960 and The Pleasures of Chess (1958)

          Lothar Schmid

          Who of us could seriously consider emulating Lothar Schmid and collecting some 15- or 16,000 chess books? And if we had them, where could we put them? I for one can contemplate Lothar’s famous library with unenvious admiration when thinking of far too many shelves in my study taken up by my own modest collection of just over 1,000 chess books, to say nothing of the ever growing piles of many thousands of chess magazines requiring storage space.

          Lothar’s library contains some very precious pieces, such as Lucena’s incunabula (ca. 1497 in Salamanca), the world’s oldest chess book; moreover the first Hebrew chess book (Frankfurt, 1726), the first American one (Philadelphia, 1802) and the first Russian one (St. Petersburg, 1821). But what impresses me even more on every visit to Bamberg is the owner’s “perfectionism”, which gives his collection a very personal note. Why, even my own modest output of two chess books takes up well over a foot of Lothar’s shelf-space, for he insists on having every edition in four languages. As for Dufresne’s famous little primer (later edited for many decades by Jacques Mieses), it takes up some five or six feet of shelf-space, for Lothar has every edition published in more than a century. When a friend told me that he got his ‘Dufresne” as a P.O.W. in an edition specially printed for the purpose I asked Lothar if he had got that one. “No,” he said, but I must have it.” I asked my friend to send the booklet to Bamberg and he was surprised to receive not only an enthusiastic thank-you letter but a few bottles of a very noble Rhine wine.

          As for Lothar Schmid’s hospitality, I got the first taste of it when, many years ago, I came to Bamberg to interview the Countess Stauffenberg for a book, The Men who Tried To Kill Hitler. I was just unpacking in my hotel when the manager came to say he had strict instructions from Herr Schmid to move me over to the villa and its neat apartment constantly prepared for visiting ‘chess-guests’. There one has the thrill of sleeping in the bed which has provided slumber for a good many grandmasters and some World Champions too. But I for one still dream of spending an entirely sleepless weekend there. Right next to the apartment are the rooms housing the famous library, and to keep browsing there all through the night must surely be well worth a bit of insomnia.

          From Chapter 8, Crazy About Chess Books in The Delights of Chess, Assiac, 2nd edition, Dover (1974).

          See also: What Will Happen to Lothar Schmid’s Library?

          Last edited by Wayne Komer; Wednesday, 2nd December, 2020, 04:39 PM.


          • A lovely little story. You can just picture it.


            • "I adored the game, it's my life. I'm just a pawn pushed around by the powers that be."
              [Her Royal Highness Diana, Princess of Wales, in 1993, after attending one of the London World Championship games of the Kasparov vs. Short match.
              (Source: 'Diana: Her True Story', A Commemorative Edition, by Andrew Morton, 1997, Simon & Schuster, New York, ISBN 0-684-85080-x, p. 257.)


              • Great Chess Quotes

                December 17, 2020

                From the Facebook group “Chess Book Collectors”


                Rob Alaniz - Sometimes, I think of having a nice expensive meal, then I eat a "bologna sandwich" instead, so I can spend that money on chess books.

                I eat the "sandwich" while browsing the internet for my new chess book(s).

                Anyone else do something similar?

                Doug Schofield (reply) –

                No, because I like good food.


                • "I played chess with him, and would have beaten him sometimes, only he always took back his last move, and ran the game out differently."
                  [Mark Twain, pen name for Samuel Langhorne Clemens, 1835-1910, from "Life on the Mississippi", circa 1885. Twain was the premier American writer of his time; most famous for his novels 'Tom Sawyer' and 'Huckleberry Finn', created in rural settings along the Mississippi River in mid-continent. Both drew worldwide acclaim. He travelled extensively, and was a popular paid speaker.]


                  • If you could change one thing in the chess world, what would it be? Give us back our thinking time! - Willy Hendricks in New in Chess


                    • The quality of a game depends on how much originality, fighting spirit, and beauty the players bring, not technique. - David Bronstein


                      • Great Chess Quotes

                        January 13, 2021

                        The pronunciation of “Caissa”

                        When I first met the word “Caissa” as a teenager, I pronounced it “kyssa”.

                        A few years later, I was playing in a simul at Hart House, and George Berner gave a lecture and then the simul. In that lecture he pronounced the word “ky-ee-ssa”.

                        The other day, looking through a copy of one of the very earliest Canadian chess magazines, Checkmate, published by J.H. Graham of Prescott, Ontario 1901-1904, I came across this discussion:

                        Some time ago a correspondent asked us if “Caissa” the Goddess of Chess,” was a heathen divinity or a modern creation. Our reply was that she was invented by Sir Wm. Jones, whose poem appeared about 1780. Being uncertain in the matter, however, we submitted it to Mr. W.S. Branch, of Cheltenham, Eng., a leading authority in the early history of the game, inquiring also if the name was pronounced in two or three syllables, as we recalled a Dutch chess magazine bearing the name of ‘Sissa.” Mr. Branch’s reply confirms our expressed opinion as to Caissa’s paternity, and adds that the name is pronounced in three syllables. Sissa (or Sassa) was a different party altogether – possibly a real personage in ancient Indian. It is the name of the wise man, minister to an Indian King – time of Alexander the Great, according to one legend – who is said to have invented chess. He was the sage who modestly asked, when pressed to name his reward, but one silver diram (about 6d.) for the first square, two for the second, and so on – you know the story.

                        Checkmate, Vol. III, April, 1904, p.122


                        • Great Chess Quotes

                          January 27, 2021

                          Question and Answer

                          Richard James: Can someone tell me why Sam Sloan's reprint of MCO6 (1939) is currently the 10th best-selling chess book on It's been in the top 20 for some time.

                          Myron Samsin: It could be because MCO7 is seen briefly in The Queen's Gambit series, and this is the closest one easily available.



                          • Sam Sloan keeps publishing. I find that humorous. What a character!


                            • Great Chess Quotes

                              January 28, 2021

                              A seller, jonahhex316, has a book up for auction on eBay:

                              The book: On Top of the Chess World – The 1995 World Chess Championship Match

                              His description of the book:

                              On Top of the Chess World: The 1995 World Chess Championship Match, by Larry Christiansen, John Fedorowicz, and Ilya Gurevich (Hypermodern Press, 1995, 129 pps, SC, G condition, algebraic) I thought this match was a total farce. After losing Game 10, Anand went into the tank. I haven't seen a dive like that since Brodie jumped off the bridge. And to think I paid $25.00 apiece for 3 visits to watch this rip-off.

                              For those who do not know what a “brodie” is:

                              Steve Brodie (December 25, 1861 – January 31, 1901) was an American from Manhattan, New York City, who on July 23, 1886, claimed to have jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge and survived. The supposed jump, of which the veracity was disputed, gave Brodie publicity, a thriving saloon and a career as a performer.

                              Brodie's fame persisted long past his death, with Brodie portrayed in films and with the slang term "Brodie"— as in to "do a Brodie"— entering American vernacular, meaning to take a chance or a leap, specifically a suicidal one.



                              • Who's your all time favourite player?
                                Answer: Gioacchino Greco. Though we know very little about him, the collection of games he left contains so much originality and good chess that I like to think of the rest of chess history as "footnotes to Greco". - Willy Hendriks in New in Chess