64 Greatest Chess Quotes Of All Time

by Milica Knezevic on December 21, 2021

From grandmasters to novel authors along with people of all backgrounds, chess has been talked about for centuries now. In this endless discussion over the game, we bring you 64 quotes about chess that will motivate you to start or continue playing it!

Albert Einstein Chess Quote

From a1 to h1

1. “Chess is the struggle against the error.” – Johannes Zukertort

2. “Every chess master was once a beginner.” – Irving Chernev

3. “Avoid the crowd. Do your own thinking independently. Be the chess player, not the chess piece.” – Ralph Charell

4. “Chess makes men wiser and clear-sighted.” – Vladimir Putin

5. “Chess holds its master in its own bonds, shackling the mind and brain so that the inner freedom of the very strongest must suffer.” – Albert Einstein

6. “Chess is a war over the board. The object is to crush the opponent’s mind.” – Bobby Fischer

7. “Chess is the struggle against the error.” – Johannes Zukertort

8. “Chess is the gymnasium of the mind.” – Blaise Pascal

Albert Einstein Chess Quote

From a2 to h2

9. “Every chess master was once a beginner.” – Irving Chernev

10. “Even the laziest King flees wildly in the face of a double check!” - Aaron Nimzowitsch

11. “We cannot resist the fascination of sacrifice, since a passion for sacrifices is part of a Chess player's nature.” - Rudolf Spielman

12. “Nothing excites jaded Grandmasters more than a theoretical novelty.” -Dominic Lawson

13. “A win by an unsound combination, however showy, fills me with artistic horror” - Wilhelm Steinitz

14. “Only the player with the initiative has the right to attack” - Wilhelm Steinitz

15. “Chess is rarely a game of ideal moves. Almost always, a player faces a series of difficult consequences whichever move he makes.” – David Shenk

16. “When you see a good move, look for a better one.” – Emanuel Lasker

Albert Einstein Chess Quote

From a3 to h3

17. “Half the variations which are calculated in a tournament game turn out to be completely superfluous. Unfortunately, no one knows in advance which half.” – Jan Timman

18. “Even a poor plan is better than no plan at all.” – Mikhail Chigorin

19. “Tactics is knowing what to do when there is something to do; strategy is knowing what to do when there is nothing to do.” – Savielly Tartakower

20. “In life, as in chess, forethought wins.” – Charles Buxton

21. “You may learn much more from a game you lose than from a game you win. You will have to lose hundreds of games before becoming a good player.” – José Raúl Capablanca

22. “I don’t believe in psychology. I believe in good moves.” – Bobby Fischer

23. “Play the opening like a book, the middlegame like a magician, and the endgame like a machine.” – Rudolph Spielmann

24. “I used to attack because it was the only thing I knew. Now I attack because I know it works best.” – Garry Kasparov

Albert Einstein Chess Quote
From a4 to h4

25. “It’s always better to sacrifice your opponent’s men.” – Savielly Tartakower

26. “One doesn’t have to play well, it’s enough to play better than your opponent.” – Siegbert Tarrasch

27. “Up to this point, White has been following well-known analysis. But now he makes a fatal error: he begins to use his own head.” – Siegbert Tarrasch

28. “Of chess, it has been said that life is not long enough for it, but that is the fault of life, not chess.” – William Napier

29. “Chess is beautiful enough to waste your life for.” – Hans Ree

30. “A chess game in progress is… a cosmos unto itself, fully insulated from an infant’s cry, an erotic invitation, or war.” – David Shenk

31. “It will be cheering to know that many people are skillful chess players, though in many instances their brains, in a general way, compare unfavorably with the cognitive faculties of a rabbit.” – James Mortimer

32. “The pin is mightier than the sword.” – Fred Reinfeld

From a5 to h5

33. “The only thing chess players have in common is chess.” – Lodewijk Prins

34. “Those who say they understand chess, understand nothing.” – Robert Hübner

35. “One bad move nullifies forty good ones.” – Bernhard Horwitz

36. “If your opponent offers you a draw, try to work out why he thinks he’s worse off.” – Nigel Short

37. “Your body has to be in top condition. Your chess deteriorates as your body does. You can’t separate body and mind. ” – Bobby Fisher

38. "A good player is always lucky." - Jose Raul Capablanca.

39. “The hardest game to win is a won game” – Emanuel Lasker

40. "Chess is not for timid souls."- Wilhelm Steinitz

From a6 to h6

41. "Chess holds its master in its own bonds, shackling the mind and brain so that the inner freedom of the very strongest must suffer." -Albert Einstein

42. “Chess is a curse upon a man." - H. G. Wells

43. “Chess is so inspiring that I do not believe a good player is capable of having an evil thought during the game.”- Wilhelm Steinitz

44. "Chess is as much a mystery as women." – Purdy

45. “He who fears an isolated Queen’s Pawn should give up Chess” -Siegbert Tarrasch

46. “It doesn’t matter how strong a player you are, if you fail to register some development in the opening, then you are asking for trouble.”- John Emms

47. “When having an edge, [Anatoly] Karpov often marked time and still gained the advantage! I don't know anyone else who could do that, it's incredible.”- Vladimir Kramnik

48. "Chess is a forcing house where the fruits of character can ripen more fully than in life." -Edward Morgan Forster

From a7 to h7

49. “A king may be the most important piece on the chessboard; however, the queen is the most powerful.” -Karim R. Ellis

50. "To venture an opinion is like moving a piece at chess: it may be taken, but it forms the beginning of a game that is won." -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

51. “It is no easy matter to reply correctly to [Emanuel] Lasker's bad moves.”- W.H.K. Pollock

52. “For in the idea of chess and the development of the chess mind we have a picture of the intellectual struggle of mankind.”- Richard Réti

53. "Chess, like love, is infectious at any age”. -Salo Flohr

54. "Chess is played with the mind and not with the hands!" -Renaud and Kahn.

55. "In Chess, just as in life, today's bliss may be tomorrow's poison." -Assaic.

56. "Chess is a fairy tale of 1001 blunders". -Savielly Tartakower.

From a8 to h8

57. "I started by just sitting by the chessboard exploring things. I didn't even have books at first, and I just played by myself. I learnt a lot from that, and I feel that it is a big reason why I now have a good intuitive understanding of chess''. - Magnus Carlsen

58. "I don't know whether computers are improving the style of play, I know they are changing it. Chess has become a different game, one could say that computers have changed the world of chess. That is pretty clear." - Vladimir Kramnik

59. " When asked, -How is that you pick better moves than your opponents?, I responded: I'm very glad you asked me that, because, as it happens, there is a very simple answer. I think up my own moves, and I make my opponent think up his." - Alexander Alekhine

60. "Help your pieces so they can help you." - Paul Morphy

61." The shortcoming of hanging pawns is that they present a convenient target for attack. As the exchange of men proceeds, their potential strength lessens and during the endgame they turn out, as a rule, to be weak." - Boris Spassky

62." Chess is a very logical game and it is the man who can reason most logically and profoundly in it that ought to win." - Jose Raul Capablanca

63. “After a bad opening, there is hope for the middle game. After a bad middle game, there is hope for the endgame. But once you are in the endgame, the moment of truth has arrived.” – Edmar Mednis

64. "Chess is the art of analysis." - Mikhail Botvinnik

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