Garry Kasparov

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My nature is that I have to excite myself with a big challenge.

Garry Kimovich Kasparov (born April 13, 1963) is a chess grandmaster and one of the strongest chess players in history.


  • In conclusion, if you want to unravel the multitude of secrets of chess then don't begrudge the time.
    • Learn Chess with Gary Kasparov


  • The public must come to see that chess is a violent sport. Chess is mental torture.
    • As quoted in Martin Amis's review of "Kasparov-Short" by Raymond Keene, Independent on Sunday, November 1995.


How Life Imitates Chess (2007)[edit]

  • Having spent a lifetime analyzing the game of chess and comparing the capacity of computers to the capacity of the human brain, I've often wondered, where does our success come from? The answer is synthesis, the ability to combine creativity and calculation, art and science, into a whole that is much greater than the sum of its parts. Chess is a unique cognitive nexus, a place where art and science come together in the human mind, and are then refined and improved by experience.
    • Opening Gambit, Why Chess?, p. 4
  • It's not enough to be talented. It's not enough to work hard and to study late into the night. You must also become intimately aware of the methods you use to reach your decisions.
    • Part I, Chapter 1, The Lesson, p. 14
  • With each success the ability to change is reduced. My longtime friend and coach Grandmaster Yuri Dokhoian, aptly compared it to being dipped in bronze. Each victory added another coat.
    • Part I, Chapter 2, Strategy, p. 34
  • This obligation to move can be a burden to a player without strategic vision.
    • Part I, Chapter 3, Strategy And Tactics At Work, p. 36
  • You must also have a sense of when to stop.
    • Part I, Chapter 4, Calculation, p. 51
  • For inspiration I look to those great players who consistently found original ways to shock their opponents. None did this better than the eighth world champion, Mikhail Tal. The "Magician of Riga" rose to become champion in 1960 at age twenty-three and became famous for his aggressive, volatile play.
    • Part I, Chapter 5, Talent, p. 60-61
  • Everyone, at any age, has talents that aren't fully developed-even those who reach the top of their profession.
    • Part I, Chapter 6, Preparation, p. 69
  • We think about time as something not to waste, not as something to invest.
    • Part II, Chapter 7, MTQ: Material, Time, Quality, p. 93
  • In chess, bigamy is acceptable but monarchy is absolute.
    • Part II, Chapter 8, Exchanges And Imbalances, p. 102
  • I like to say that the attacker always has the advantage.
    • Part II, Chapter 10, The Attacker's Advantage, p. 122
  • If you're already in a fight, you want the first blow to be the last and you had better be the one to throw it.
    • Part II, Chapter 10, The Attacker's Advantage, p. 130
  • Question the status quo at all times, especially when things are going well.
    • Part III, Chapter 11, Question Success, p. 135
  • Solving new problems is what keeps us moving forward as individuals and as a society, so don't back down.
    • Part III, Chapter 13, Man Vs. Machine, p. 170
  • Caissa, the goddess of chess, had punished me for my conservative play, for betraying my nature.
    • Part III, Chapter 15, Crisis Point, p. 188
  • We have to always look ahead enough moves to be well prepared, even for victory!
    • Part III, Epilogue, p. 204


Winter is Coming (2015)[1][edit]

  • Somehow people always forget that it's much easier to install a dictator than to remove one.
    • Foreword, p. XIV
  • Each victory pulls the victor down slightly and makes it harder to put in maximum effort to improve further.
    • Foreword, p. XX
  • The United States is a very different thing. It's a continent-spanning nation built from scratch by millions of immigrants from every part of the world on top of its native population.
    • p. 42
  • Anatoly Karpov and I donated the prize fund from our 1986 world championship match to the Chernobyl victim relief fund.
    • p. 17
  • Communism is like an autoimmune disorder; it doesn't do the killing itself, but it weakens the system so much that the victim is left helpless and unable to fight off anything else.
    • p. 33
  • We must decide what we value and decide what is worth fighting for and then–the most important part–we must fight for it.
    • p. 62
  • Reforms are only institutional if they have a real effect on how people live.
    • p. 100
  • It's not common, in our age, for someone to retire while still at the top, but I'm a man who needs a goal, and who wants to make a difference.
    • p. 136
  • Great leaders are formed only by taking on great challenges.
    • p. 190
  • The NSA is to the Stasi what a bad hotel is to a maximum security prison.
    • p. 223


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