Chess is the most complicated waste of human intelligence outside of an advertising agency.
Raymond Chandler

Too little patience is probably the most common reason for losing a game.
Bent Larsen

You don't have to play well, it's better to play than your opponent.


The book th
ief in the mid-1970s was on trial in New York for stealing more than 800 chess books from various libraries. 

"I would let you get away with it," the judge proclaimed, "if you had the goal of bringing the World Cup title back to the United States.
But I asked your last opponents, and they thought that Karpov certainly doesn't have to worry…"


How time passes

In an American championship, Sherwin won all the games in the first rounds.
Reshevsky, who did the same, sai
d, "Look, no one can beat you. Now I have to stop you!"
"Could be," Sherwin replied, "but maybe I'll stop you too!"
"Not in a million years!" was Reshevsky's answer.
A few laps later, Sherwin beat Reshevsky and sa
id, "How time goes by…".


Learn chess in five minutes

A grandmaster was once asked, "Wh
at do you think, how much time should you invest to learn to play chess well?"
"It depends on certain abilities: modesty, willpower, talent,…
""And if I don't have these skills?"
"Then five minutes is enough!"


Stupid questions….

The English were unable to agree on the procedure when they were awarded places for the interzone tournament in Manila in 1990. Michael Adams prevailed with his proposal of quick games after the candidates were called to a bingo hall, where the drawing of a number was to decide. Adams chose the "9" and won. Asked by a journalist why he chose the "9," he joked because it was the number of beers he drank last night.

William Hartston asked if he could quote this for the press. Adams denied and was more angry when the story went through the press… sour on Hartston, not because of the story!


Bogoljubov: "Matt in four moves!"
Tartakower: "I ask for any harassment!"

Savielly Tartakower, Grand Master (1887-1956)

"Mr. Alekhine, do you prefer the lady on the board or on the bed?"
"It depends on the position."

Scrolled in annals….. (contributed by Peter Schulze):

World champion Alexander Alekhine spoke 10 languages and was asked in which language he thought:

" In the things of everyday life R
ussian, in abstract questi
ons Germanin society English or French…"

And in chess?
"If I think at all, then only Russian."

A game usually has three sections: the
opening, where you hope to get the better position, th
e middle game where you think you have the better position
, and the endgame where you know you have a lost game.

Savielly Tartakower, Grand Master (1887-1956)


(contributed by Peter Schulze)

On a chessboard stood the stones colorful fl
ockAfter stand and dignity plant
ed; the wooden monarch and his lad
y was surrounded by rice and towers.
The runners, or if w
e want to call them Gallic, the
fools played big roles.
The peasants, even a tame cattl
e, as long as they do not know their
strength, the peasants had to
be in front to run their heads first.
The interpretive game began; V
iolence and cunning ruled the battles;
Here the servant of the Lord and there was the servant of the servant, often even the Lord ousted fro
m his place by his backman. The proud Grand Sultan
looked unmoved to the right and to the le
ft half of his nation, as
a victim of skill sinking to the ground, an
d finally he too fell from the throne.
Now the lord of the game, who is handing out al
l the tilesthe wheels and even setting them up
, takes them away and throws a dark sack to the big
and the little ones. This is the image of the world.

Gottlieb Konrad Pfeffel (1736 – 1809)
From: Alfred Kiefer, Das Schachspiel in Literatur und Kunst Verlag Münchener Buchgewerbehaus GmbH

The tactician needs to know what to do when there is something to do; the strategist needs to know what to do when there is nothing to do.

Savielly Tartakower, Grand Master (1887-1956)

A little anecdote from earlier times:

At the Christmas tournament in Hastings 1936/37, George Koltanowski and Sir George Thomas did not really get going, were constantly at the end of the field and, of course, with particular interest in every game of the other around the red lantern.

The Sir asks his namesake: "You have less, sacrificed or discontinued the quality?
"Koltanowski with a telling gesture: "I can't say that at the moment. If I win, it was a sacrifice, if I lose, it was an oversight."

A contribution by Peter Schulze from Leipzig. Thank you very much!

At a tournament in England, George Koltanowski had an advantage against world champion Alekhine and was significantly better when the match was abandoned. During the lunch break, he walked around with his pocket chess and had everyone confirm that he had taken the great Alekhine completely apart. When he met the old mocker Tartakower, he also asked him the question: "Well, what do you think who wins this game?"Tartakower calmly replied, "Alekhine."

In amazement, Koltanowski shouted, "But my position is clearly better!"Tartakower said dryly: "They didn't ask me who was better, but who won the game," and left the stunned Koltanowski standing.
And really: Alekhine won the hanging game!

(by Peter Schulze)