The most beautiful chess quotes

  • “The essence of chess is thinking about what chess is.” –David Bronstein
  • “A fairy tale of 1001 blunders.” –Savielly Tartakower
  • “The touchstone of intellect.” –Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  • “Chess represents a game that is rational. In the game of life, of playing for a position of strength and power, and making games, we walk on very unsafe ground. The rules are not always implied in life as they are implied in games.” –Samuel Bak

A Wall’s Tale, chess art by Samuel Bak.
“It is not too surprising that Samuel Bak, a master of the surrealistic embrace of nature, the history of art, and the power of symbols, should have turned his attention to the many layers of meaning that can emerge from the images that embody the game of chess.” –Theodore K. Rabb


  • “A war; chess is all about testosterone-driven primal screams.” –Garry Kasparov
  • “A game that looks calm and meditative and is really all-out war.” –Danny King
  • “…that’s what chess is all about. One day you give your opponent a lesson, the next day he gives you one.” –Bobby Fischer
  • “A victory of logic in the pursuit of truth.” –Svetozar Gligoric
  • “A deep game on the surface of the chessboard.” –Vladimir Jovicevic Jov
  • “Mental torture.”–Garry Kasparov
  • “Something more than a game. It is an intellectual diversion which has certain artistic qualities and many scientific elements.” –Jose Raul Capablanca
  • “A work of art between minds, which need to balance two sometimes-disparate goals – to win, and to produce beauty.” –Vasily Smyslov
  • “A test of wills.  –Paul Keres
  • “It is like body-building. If you train every day, you stay in top shape. It is the same with your brain – chess is a matter of daily training.”  –Vladimir Kramnik
  • “A forcing house where the fruits of character can ripen more fully than in life.” –E. M. Forster
  • “If drink is the curse of the working classes and work is the curse of the drinking classes, then chess is the curse of the thinking classes.” –J. Ross
  • “A game of quiet intensity.” –Ralph L. Hall
  • “A kind of mental alcohol… unless a man has supreme self-control, it is better that he should not learn to play chess.” –Henry Blackburne
  • “Chess is imagination.”  –David Bronstein
  • “A beautiful mistress to whom we keep coming back, no matter how many times she rejects us.” –Bent Larsen
  • “A game which reflects most honor on human wit.”  –François-Marie Arouet a.k.a. Voltaire
  • “A form of intellectual productiveness, therein lies its peculiar charm. Intellectual productiveness is one of the greatest joys – if not the greatest one – of human existence. It is not everyone who can write a play, or build a bridge, or even make a good joke. But in chess everyone can, everyone must be intellectually productive, and so can share in this select delight. I have always a slight feeling of pity for the man who has no knowledge of chess, just as I would pity the man who has remained ignorant of love. Chess, like love, like music, has the power to make men happy.” –Siegbert Tarrasch
  • “The battle for the ultimate truth that will never be won. And that’s why chess is so fascinating.” –Hans Kmoch
  • “It can’t be anything but what it is, therefore – chess is chess.” –Tigran Petrosian
  • “Chess is chess, and vice versa.” –Dragoslav Andric


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