100 Best Chess Quotes For The Chess Master In You

Deepthi Reddy
Dec 12, 2023 By Deepthi Reddy
Originally Published on Feb 05, 2021
Edited by Isobel Murphy
Chess figures on a dark background with smoke and fog.
Age: 0-99
Read time: 11.1 Min

Chess is a strategic game suitable for all age groups.

Chess, which requires wit and intellect, is played by millions of people across the globe. It is one of the finest indoor games.

We play chess on a 64 square board of black and white. The aim of the game is to conquer the opposite king. On both sides, there are pawns, knights, bishops, rooks, and the queen to formulate a strategy to attack the opposite army in a war. Once the opposition king is blocked and doesn't have any option to make a move, the game ends.

Despite stereotypes, there is no "look" of chess players, players of this great board game can be any age, gender, class or ethnicity, it is truly loved by all! Maybe you will be the next World Champion?

Chess is so iconic, it even has a motto. The motto of chess is "Gens una sumus", which is Latin for "We are one people". Interesting right?

Here we go through some of the best chess quotes for the chessmaster in you. If you see a good move and are looking for more quotes, please check out these logic quotes and [Bobby Fischer quotes] too.

Famous Chess Quotes From Chess Masters

Chess, originally called chaturanga, literally means "four divisions of the military". Here are some quotes from the greatest chess masters that inspire us to play chess to the best of our ability.

1. "It is my style to take my opponent and myself on to unknown grounds. A game of chess is not an examination of the knowledge; it is a battle of nerves."

– David Bronstein.

2."One doesn’t have to play well, it’s enough to play better than your opponent."

– Siegbert Tarrasch

3. "I am convinced, the way one plays chess always reflects the player's personality. If something defines his character, then it will also define his way of playing."

– Vladimir Kramnik.

4. "Chess, like love, like music, has the power to make men happy."

– Siegbert Tarrasch.

5."Chess is rarely a game of ideal moves. Almost always, a player faces a series of difficult consequences whichever move he makes."

-David Shenk.

6 "Chess doesn't drive people mad, it keeps mad people sane."

– Bill Hartston.

7. "When you see a good move, look for a better one."

-Emanuel Lasker.

8. "Play the opening like a book, the middlegame like a magician, and the endgame like a machine."

– Rudolph Spielmann.

9."No one ever won a game by resigning."

-Savielly Tartakower

10. "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.

11. "Give me a difficult positional game; I will play it. But totally won positions, I cannot stand them."

– Hein Donner.

12. "In life, unlike chess, the game continues after checkmate."

-Isaac Asimov

13. "There is no remorse like the remorse of chess."

– H. G. Wells.

14.“How dreadful... to be caught up in a game and have no idea of the rules.”

― Caroline Stevermer, 'Sorcery & Cecelia'.

15. "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.

16. "Even a poor plan is better than no plan at all."

– Mikhail Chigorin.

17. "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.

18. "In life, as in chess, forethought wins."

– Charles Buxton.

19."Methodical thinking is of more use in Chess than inspiration."

- Purdy.

Funny Chess Quotes

Chess is not a serious game all the time. It can be playful and funny as well. Chess is not just for the genius, it is for anyone who has a bit of tact. See how much you'd enjoy a game of chess, with these chess quotes. Here are some funny quotes about chess for those who think chess is life!

20. "If your opponent offers you a draw, try to work out why he thinks he's worse off."

– Nigel Short.

21. "Pawns are the soul of the game."

– François-André Danican Philidor.

22. ."Chess is like war on a board."    

-Bobby Fischer

23. "The blunders are all there on the board, waiting to be made."

– Savielly Tartakower.

24. "Modern Chess is too much concerned with things like pawn structure. Forget it, checkmate ends the game."

– Nigel Short.

25 "It's always better to sacrifice your opponent's men."

– Savielly Tartakower.

26. "Pawn endings are to chess what putting is to golf."

– Cecil Purdy.

27. "Chess is the struggle against the error."

– Johannes Zukertort.

28. "Every chess master was once a beginner."

– Irving Chernev.

29."In Chess, as it is played by masters, chance is practically eliminated."

-Emanuel Lasker.

30."Checkers is for tramps."

-Paul Morphy.

31."Dazzling combinations are for the many, shifting wood is for the few."

-Georg Kieninger.

32 "We must make sure that Chess will not be like a dead language, very interesting, but for a very small group."

-Sytze Faber.

33."The beauty of a move lies not in its' appearance but in the thought behind it."

-Aaron Nimzovich.

34. "I have come to the personal conclusion that while all artists are not chess players, all chess players are artists."

– Marcel Duchamp

35."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."

-Jose Raul Capablanca.

36."Chess is a terrible game. If you have no center, your opponent has a freer position. If you do have a center, then you really have something to worry about!"

-Siegbert Tarrasch.

37."Of all my Russian books, the defense contains and diffuses the greatest' warmth' which may seem odd seeing how supremely abstract Chess is supposed to be."

-Vladimir Nabokov.

38."The passed pawn is a criminal, who should be kept under lock and key. Mild measures, such as police surveillance, are not sufficient."

-Aaron Nimzovich.

39."Live, lose, and learn, by observing your opponent how to win."

-Amber Steenbock.

40."The only thing Chess players have in common is Chess."

-Lodewijk Prins.

41."Nowadays, when you're not a grandmaster at 14, you can forget about it."

-Viswanathan Anand.

Famous Chess Quotes About Life

Hand of businessman wearing suit moving chess figure in competition success play.

Chess is a game of life, which has a limited number of moves. The game does not give much of a chance to correct your previous incorrect moves, just like life, which is too short to spend time worrying about past mistakes. Here are some famous chess champion quotes that will inspire you.

42."Chess is thirty to forty percent psychology. You don’t have this when you play a computer. I can’t confuse it."

-Judit Polgar.

43."The combination player thinks forward; he starts from the given position, and tries the forceful moves in his mind."

-Emanuel Lasker.

44."Chess books should be used as we use glasses: to assist the sight, although some players make use of them as if they thought they conferred sight."

-Jose Raul Capablanca.

45."Alekhine is a poet who creates a work of art out of something that would hardly inspire another man to send home a picture postcard."

-Max Euwe.

46."Life is too short for chess."  


47."Could we look into the head of a Chess player, we should see there a whole world of feelings, images, ideas, emotion, and passion."

-Alfred Binet.

48."One bad move nullifies forty good ones."

-Bernhard Horwitz.

49.“Nothing excites jaded Grandmasters more than a theoretical novelty.”

-Dominic Lawson.

50."Those who say they understand chess, understand nothing.

-Robert Hübner.

51."Chess is beautiful enough to waste your life for."

-Hans Ree.

52."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.

53."A chess game in progress is… a cosmos unto itself, fully insulated from an infant’s cry, an erotic invitation, or war."

-David Shenk.

54."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.

55."Chess is the gymnasium of the mind."

-Blaise Pascal.

56."Without error there can be no brilliancy."

-Emanuel Lasker.

57."In life, as in chess, one’s own pawns block one’s way.  A man’s very wealthy, ease, leisure, children, books, which should help him to win, more often checkmate him."

-Charles Buxton.

58."Chess is everything: art, science, and sport."

-Anatoly Karpov

59."Nobody ever won a chess game by resigning."

-Savielly Tartakower.

60.  "Life is like a game of chess."

-  Allan Rufus.

Famous Quotes By Bobby Fischer

Bobby Fischer was one of the greatest champions from 1943-2008. He started his chess career at the age of 13, and by the age of 15, he became a chess grandmaster. Here we have found the best chess quotes from Bobby Fischer to make you an expert with any chess piece.

61.“I know people who have all the will in the world,but still can’t play good Chess.”

-Bobby Fischer.

62.“I don't keep any close friends. I don't keep any secrets. I don't need friends. I just tell everybody everything, that's all.”

― Bobby Fischer.

63.“Chess is a war over the board. The object is to crush the opponent’s mind."

-Bobby Fischer.

64."All that matters on the Chess board is good moves."

- Bobby Fischer.

65.“Your body has to be in top condition. Your chess deteriorates as your body does. You can’t separate body from mind.”

― Bobby Fischer.

66.“I don’t believe in psychology. I believe in good moves.”

– Bobby Fischer.

67. “I give 98 percent of my mental energy to chess. Others give only two percent.”

― Bobby Fischer.

Tactical Chess Quotes

Check out these chess quotes from Garry Kasparov, Marcel Duchamp, Rudolph Spielmann and more. Who know, maybe you will be the next World Champion?

68."I used to attack because it was the only thing I knew. Now I attack because I know it works best."

-Garry Kasparov.

69."A computer once beat me at chess, but it was no match for me at kickboxing."

-Emo Philips.

70."A good player is always lucky."

-Jose Raul Capablanca.

71."Chess makes men wiser and clear-sighted."

-Vladimir Putin.

72."Chess is above all, a fight!"    

-Emanuel Lasker.

73."The sign of a great Master is his ability to win a won game quickly and painlessly."

-Irving Chernev.

74."Chess is the art of analysis."    

-Mikhail Botvinnik.

75."Avoid the crowd. Do your own thinking independently. Be the chess player, not the chess piece."

-Ralph Charell.

76."In order to improve your game, you must study the Endgame before everything else."

-José Raúl Capablanca.

77.“If God wanted humans to play chess, he would have made us black or white.”

― Zenna Henderson.

78.“When Max Euwe of the Netherlands won the world title in 1935 and kept going in a glorious career, that country became a beehive of chess and it still is.”

— Robert Byrne.

79.“The hardest game to win is a won game”

-Emanuel Lasker.

80."Chess is not for timid souls."

- Wilhelm Steinitz.

81.“Every Pawn is a potential Queen”

-James Mason.

82.“There are two types of sacrifices: correct ones and mine.”

-Mikhail Tal.

83."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.

84.“Chess is a curse upon a man."    

-H. G. Wells.

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

― Wilhelm Steinitz.

86."Chess is as much a mystery as women."


87.“He who fears an isolated Queen’s Pawn should give up Chess”

-Siegbert Tarrasch.

88.“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.

89.“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

90."Chess is a forcing house where the fruits of character can ripen more fully than in life."

-Edward Morgan Forster.

91.“A king may be the most important piece on the chessboard; however, the queen is the most powerful.”

-Karim R. Ellis.

92."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.

93.“It is no easy matter to reply correctly to [Emanuel] Lasker's bad moves.”

— W.H.K. Pollock.

94.“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.

95."Chess, like love, is infectious at any age.      

-Salo Flohr.

96.“The pin is mightier than the sword.”

– Fred Reinfeld.

97.“I never read a [chess] book until I was already a master.”

— Reuben Fine.

98.“Life is more than just chess.

Though king dies, life goes on.”

― Toba Beta, 'Master Of Stupidity'.

99."Chess is played with the mind and not with the hands!"  

-Renaud and Kahn.

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


101."Chess is a fairy tale of 1001 blunders".

-Savielly Tartakower.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly quotes for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for the best chess quotes for the chess master in you, then why not take a look at these puzzle quotes, or brain quotes for more?

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Written by Deepthi Reddy

Master of Business Administration

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Deepthi ReddyMaster of Business Administration

With an MBA under her belt, Deepthi has discovered her true calling in content writing. Her writing repertoire is diverse, covering travel, movies, pet care, parenting, animals and birds, and more. Her joy of learning and creating has helped her craft well-written and engaging articles. When she isn't writing, Deepthi enjoys exploring new cultures, trying different foods, and spending quality time with her two children aged 7 and 12.

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