Great chess quotes

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Re: Great chess quotes

    "You’d have to be a pretty strong-willed teenage girl to handle being the only female in a room full of hormone-addled, trash-talking boys smashing knights and rooks around a chess board." - Hana Schank
    "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

      Don't play the Chinese in China!

      Some things are just bound to end badly: invading Russia in winter, being a popular character in Game of Thrones, going down to a basement in a horror movie… and playing chess in China. At least that’s what you can conclude from the adventures of some intrepid travellers during this sweltering summer of 2015. Lazaro Bruzon and Krishnan Sasikiran struggled in Danzhou, Boris Gelfand was taken apart by Ding Liren in Wenzhou and the Russian men’s and women’s teams met their match in Ningbo.

      Colin McGourty in, July 23, 2015


      • Re: Great chess quotes

        Great Chess Quotes

        There are only a few good chess limericks. My favorite is:

        There once was a man from Vancouver
        Who tried to solve a two-mover
        But the boob, he said "Gee,
        I can't find the key
        No matter HOW I maneuver!"

        Usually the metre or number of syllables is all wrong in a line or the rhymes are forced but that doesn’t prevent people from trying their hand at constructing them.

        On the English Chess Forum, ‘chess limericks’ is one subject lately. Pretty feeble attempts usually but this one is not bad and has the game appended:

        (by Tim Harding)

        A young GM named Wei Yi
        Attacked with great brilliancy
        His rook sac on f7
        Was just pure heaven
        And he mated Black on h3

        Danzhou, CHN
        6th Hainan Danzhou GM
        Wei Yi – Bruzon Batista, L.

        1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.Nc3 a6 4.Be2 Nc6 5.d4 cxd4 6.Nxd4 Qc7 7.O-O Nf6 8.Be3 Be7 9.f4 d6 10.Kh1 O-O 11.Qe1 Nxd4 12.Bxd4 b5 13.Qg3 Bb7 14.a3 Rad8 15.Rae1 Rd7 16.Bd3 Qd8 17.Qh3 g6 18.f5 e5 19.Be3 Re8 20.fxg6 hxg6 21.Nd5 Nxd5 22.Rxf7 Kxf7 23.Qh7+ Ke6 24.exd5+ Kxd5 25.Be4+ Kxe4 26.Qf7 Bf6 27.Bd2+ Kd4 28.Be3+ Ke4 29.Qb3 Kf5 30.Rf1+ Kg4 31.Qd3 Bxg2+ 32.Kxg2 Qa8+ 33.Kg1 Bg5 34.Qe2+ Kh4 35.Bf2+ Kh3 36.Be1 1-0

        On rereading the contributions on the EC Forum, I found that the members have criticized themselves, e.g.:
        Paul Habershon wrote:

        Of these limericks I'm not a fan,
        Because very few of them scan.
        For goodness' sake mount
        A syllable count,
        Or chuck the whole thing down the pan.

        Of course Paul is correct, but:

        For those with a mind regimental
        The syllable count is essential
        For chess humour to fly
        The rules needn’t apply
        As they stifle the laughter potential

        (Kevin Williamson)

        And this clever contribution:

        Inspired by memory of a cartoon that appeared in CHESS many years ago:

        Raising floods to make all the land vanish,
        Most humans from earth God did banish,
        Prompting Noah to craft a
        Big ship he named after
        A trap he'd devised in the Spanish.


        • Re: Great chess quotes

          Great Chess Quotes

          July 30, 2015

          And what is Levon Aronian doing these days?

          He is at home in Armenia and evidently working on his cooking. In a photo, wearing a Team Pacquiao T-shirt, he is presenting an array of huge mushrooms that he has just picked, ready for grilling.

          “The result of this morning's Kotayk province mushroom picking! Grilling and then a soup. They say I'm a brilliant chef.”

          This elicited a great non-chess quote from a viewer:

          “Please be careful. ..some mushrooms can be eaten only once.”

          It is not clear to me, and maybe a knowledgeable reader can provide enlightenment, as to whether mushrooms can be used in sinigang.

          This is a Filipino soup or stew characterized by its sour and savory taste, most often associated with tamarind. Meat in sinigang (e. g., fish, pork, beef, shrimp, or chicken) is often stewed with tamarinds, tomatoes, garlic, and onions.

          He appears to be working on his chess too. His coach and second is Ashot Nadanian. Wikipedia has an article on him, born 1972, and ends up with, “Due to his imaginative attacking style, Nadanian has been described as a "brilliant eccentric", the "Armenian Tal" and "Kasparov's half-brother". The sixth chapter of Tibor Karolyi's 2009 book Genius in the Background is devoted to Nadanian.

          Levon’s next big tournament should be the Sinquefield Cup starting in about three weeks.

          And after all of that set-up, the chess quote from Aronian:

          What it takes to be a good coach? He has to be ready to eat his student’s experimental sinigang! Thanks for your trust Ashot!


          • Re: Great chess quotes

            Great Chess Quotes

            August 2, 2015

            From Stuart Conquest at the British in Coventry:

            I won Ł12 (8/11; 3rd=) in the blitz tournament today at the British Chess Championships. Not my finest the entry fee was Ł30!


            • Re: Great chess quotes

              Great Chess Quotes

              August 3, 2015

              There was an unusual format in a Russia-China match in Heixiazi at the end of July. One player represents each team each day in a knockout match (in chess blitz and Armageddon were used to prevent encounters ending as draws) and the winning player stays for the next day. The match continues until all members of one team have lost.

              The hitch here is that, if one player wins all his mini-matches, then the rest don’t play at all. This doomsday scenario actually took place prompting two quotable comments:

     - Sergey Karjakin has single-handedly defeated China 4:0 in the first half of an unusual new China-Russia match held from 29 July to 1 August. It began with Karjakin playing rising star Wei Yi, and as he won their first-day encounter he continued to represent Russia on the second day as well. He went on to beat Ding Liren, Ni Hua and then Yu Yangyi, meaning his Russian teammates Evgeny Tomashevsky and Alexander Morozevich had effectively travelled to China as tourists!

              David Lada – If Russia wants to win the next chess Olympiad, they should let Sergey Karjakin play on all boards in their match with China, like a simul…



              • Arkadij Naiditsch isn't afraid of anybody ... and says chess is no hobby ...

                Arkadij Naiditsch: "I'm not afraid of anybody."

                Naiditsch made some recent remarks about his conflict-ridden relationships with the German Chess Federation. He has since become a member of the Azerbaijan Chess Federation, and will play for the latter in the next Olympiad due to take place in Baku.

                For quite a lot of years we had no contact. I always strove to be professional and upheld the view that chess is a professional sport. It’s not playing a little billiards here and a little chess there. We do a great deal of work and put everything into tournaments. The German Chess Federation, though, treats this sport as a hobby. I couldn’t, of course, come to terms with that attitude, since I’ve always considered chess a professional sport....

                The popularity of a sport is one aspect of the issue, but a professional relationship to it is another. They state officially in interviews that chess is a hobby, that people play in clubs and that’s wonderful, but they’re not interested in professional chess at all. At the very least it’s unpleasant for me, as a chess professional, to hear such things. I consider chess a very interesting and at the same time fairly tough sport. We really do give a lot to the game. Over the course of a year a chess player spends around 200 days at tournaments, during which family and friends take a back seat.
                Dogs will bark, but the caravan of chess moves on.


                • Re: Great chess quotes

                  Great Chess Quotes

                  What can you say about a book on chess openings for young beginners?

                  In the British Chess Magazine for September 2011, Richard James was reviewing “Chess Openings For Kids” by John Watson and Graham Burgess. Two quotes from that review:

                  I’m sometimes asked to recommend opening books for kids. My reply is “I haven’t written it yet.”

                  How many young players have the authors actually met? They write ‘Even if you know no other opening names, chances are you’ve heard of the Najdorf.’ In my experience, if you ask a younger player to name an opening you get “Scholar’s Mate”, “The Copycat Trap” or “The Fried Liver”. You don’t get “The Najdorf”.


                  • Burn calories like you're a baboon. Play chess.

                    “You have two humans, and they are taking part in some human ritual. They are sitting there silently at a table. They make no eye contact; they’re still, except every now and then one of them does nothing more taxing than lifting an arm and pushing a little piece of wood. And if it’s the right wood and the right chess grand masters in the middle of a tournament, they are going through 6,000 to 7,000 calories a day thinking, turning on a massive physiological stress response simply with thought and doing the same thing with their bodies as if they were some baboon who has just ripped open the stomach of their worst rival, and it’s all with thought, and memories and emotions. And suddenly we’re in the realm of taking just plain old nuts and bolts physiology and using it in ways that are unrecognizable.”
                    Stanford neuroscientist explores what is, and is not, unique about humans - See more at:
                    Dogs will bark, but the caravan of chess moves on.


                    • Re: Burn calories like you're a baboon. Play chess.

                      Originally posted by Nigel Hanrahan View Post
                      Stanford neuroscientist explores what is, and is not, unique about humans - See more at:
                      The 6000 to 7000 calories a day figure is completely ridiculous.

                      Basal metabolism for a man is 2500 calories a day. Running a marathon would add around 3000 calories to that. So basically, that guy is saying that playing chess spends even more energy than running a marathon. Ridiculous. Tournament play would then be like running a marathon a day for a week or two.

                      Or, to put it more simply: spending 7000 calories a day mean you're going to sweat A LOT.

                      GMs losing weight during a match or tournament is most probably stress, eating less, sleeping badly etc.


                      • Re: Burn calories like you're a baboon. Play chess.

                        I looked this up as well. It's false. Only increase in calorie consumption is from stress factors. Brain energy consumption remains almost constant. Energy consumption more akin to a walk.


                        • Re: Burn calories like you're a baboon. Play chess.

                          Originally posted by Mathieu Cloutier View Post
                          The 6000 to 7000 calories a day figure is completely ridiculous.
                          I sent Stanford Prof. Robert Sapolsky an e mail for a reference, etc. If he replies, then we can compare his data to yours.
                          Dogs will bark, but the caravan of chess moves on.


                          • Unlike other sp...chess content remains vital and engaging long after a game is over.

                            AGON, the private sector firm with "the long-term, exclusive rights to organize and commercialize" the World Ch. cycle, recently released (global) chess player stats from the polling organization YouGov. You can read the entire press release at the FIDE site. See

                            AGON releases new chess player statistics from YouGov

                            NOTE: The statement is dated August 2012.

                            The usual claims are there and, happily, further information, for those interested, is available on the survey methodology, etc. There is one tidbit that I found interesting: "In the U.S., more people play chess than tennis and golf, combined! " But that is not the quote I want to draw attention to. The following is an excellent observation:

                            Originally posted by FIDE
                            Chess is not a ‘casual’ game. Unlike other sports, chess content remains vital and engaging long after a game is over and the results are known.
                            Beauty. There's another aspect of social life like that. It's called art.

                            The author goes on to point out that, "As with many hobbies, chess enthusiasts make significant investment of time and energy without expectation of compensation, except in kind." The press release/article points out the under-commercialized aspects of chess, quoting Steve Martin, CEO of M&C Saatchi Sports: "It's rare to get something so untainted by previous branding." Chess, it seems, is the "sleeping giant" of the sports/entertainment world.

                            Perhaps chess has some attributes that give it a powerful resistance to commercialization. And I can't help but notice, and be a little amused by, the consternation and distress of some people in relation to that possibility.
                            Last edited by Nigel Hanrahan; Thursday, 20th August, 2015, 02:26 AM. Reason: NOTE
                            Dogs will bark, but the caravan of chess moves on.


                            • Great chess quotes

                              Great Chess Quotes

                              August 23, 2015

                              Do you know the Cautionary Tales of Hilaire Belloc? They were delightful poems, written in 1907, which warned children of what not to do. For example

                              The Chief Defect of Henry King
                              Was chewing little bits of String.
                              At last he swallowed some which tied
                              Itself in ugly Knots inside.

                              The consequences of the above are too gruesome to quote.

                              Anyway, the chess bit.

                              Three years ago, an English chessplayer named Arthur Hall died and recently an obituary was published at:


                              It concluded with this paragraph and a bit of doggerel that Belloc would have been proud of:

                              Arthur’s love of gambits resulted in his playing many brilliant games. He had a quiet and modest personality, which belied the fact that he could be a fearsome attacking player. The first time that I played him he trotted out the obscure Wilkes-Barre variation of the Two Knights Defence and soon it seemed that pieces were flying at me from different directions. In the Hastings and St Leonards Observer of 21.3.1964 the columnist, Frank Rhoden, quoted what he called a ‘Bellocian ballad’:

                              “A dreadfall fate those types befalls
                              Who pinch a pawn of Arthur Hall’s.”

                              {N.B. the above spelling mistake is probably deliberate!}


                              • Re: Burn calories like you're a baboon. Play chess.

                                Originally posted by Nigel Hanrahan View Post
                                I sent Stanford Prof. Robert Sapolsky an e mail for a reference, etc. If he replies, then we can compare his data to yours.
                                He will either ignore your request or answer that he was misquoted.