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"Of chess it has been said that life is not long enough for it, but that is the fault of life, not chess." This quote is attributed to Irving Chernev here, and some web pages agree. Other web pages attribute the quote to William Ewart Napier. Can anyone confirm one or the other with something more authoritative than a bald assertion?

I just added the Benjamin Franklin quote. I am fairly certain it is accurate. I got it from [1]

Several quotes on this page are attributed to "Jamie Walter Adams". The only place outside of this Wikiquote page that this name can be found is when other WWW pages cite this page. The name "Jamie Walter Adams" cannot be found anywhere in chess history, as either a player, an author, or researcher. I suspect someone has decided to add their own quotes on chess, with no credentials. - —This unsigned comment is by (talkcontribs) .

You are correct and I have removed these quotes from the page. ~ UDScott 18:00, 3 March 2009 (UTC)

RE: Who cares who added them? Where in history does it require one to have credentials to put quotes online, or to add anything for that matter? I don't recall seeing in his/her (I have no idea who this is either) quotes claiming to be anything great. I don't know who this person is, or even if they exist, but I liked the quotes and they are on my Facebook page. They helped me with my perspective on the game, that's why I am a bit perturbed when I put them on here and you took them off. I had always "over-analyzed" chess and because of that, I made mistakes. Jamie's quotes helped me to view the pieces as actual infantrymen or warriors, and in that context, I proteced them more and used them more wisely, as opposed to wood-pushing or envisioning moves that would never happen. Anyway, I don't really care if you have removed them or not, that's not the issue here. The real issue here is that lately America has been getting robbed of freedoms and this is just one more instance of the new "trend" to censor something online for personal motive. I am getting so tired of sites deleting peoples messages on here, on forums, or wherever (when they are not obscene in any way), it's just because they can! I don't care that you took the quotes off, as they are not mine anyway... but you shouldn't censor people just because "you" have a certain opinion on wat content should go on your site. It's chess related, it's valid content and it's not obscene or denigrating in any way. Just because some whining, jealous,crybaby came on here and told you that this content should be removed, doesn't mean you had to oblige him.He was just mad because he couldn't think of anything himself. Just wanted to let you know, to feel free to delete my account on here as well ,as I won't be back to this site again. I will go to a site which will allow me to write whatever I want without censorship. I will also warn others.

Buh Bye.
How could we make it more readily apparent, to all visitors to this site, that Wikiquote is for "quotations from notable people and creative works" (Main Page) and that "we limit ourselves to quotations which are notable" (Wikiquote:Wikiquote)? Many visitors evidently do not notice this at the outset, and become very frustrated when it is pointed out after they have already made good-faith efforts to contribute to the site. Some of them, had they understood the site's mission, might have become valued contributors rather than going away mad. ~ Ningauble 19:54, 13 March 2011 (UTC)

Can anyone tell me why all the "edit" links cluster down at the letter "O" instead of appearing once each time in the letters above? I can't figure it out. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk)

It's a bug in Firefox. The problem does not appear with IE. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk)

It's ashamed that you took the Adams quotes off of here notwithstanding. I went up an extra 500 points because of the focused advice. Who cares who he is, it says Wiki quote, Not Wiki quote for famous people. Maybe he is a chessmaster, that just can't show his face in public, because he lives like Robert Fisher did. Who knows. This blatant attack is unwarranted though, he's just trying to help others.Maybe he just doesn't want to be famous.But he is here to help us and is asking for nothing in return.Why did you remove his quotes, yet leave up Anonymous quotes and Courtney Love who calls the pieces "horseys" This is just ridiculous. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Chessmassacre (talkcontribs) 07:41, 16 May 2009 (UTC)

@Chessmassacre: Please read WQ:WQ and WQ:NOT to understand why quotes from your non-famous acquaintances are not suitable for the site. Wikiquote is an accurate and comprehensive collection of notable quotations. If the person who said it is not famous and the quote itself is not widely known, the quote is not considered notable. Krychek (talk) 16:25, 12 September 2018 (UTC)

Unsourced quotes[edit]

Life is a kind of chess.
- Benjamin Franklin
Chess, like love, like music, has the power to make people happy.
- Siegbert Tarrasch
Chess is the touchstone of intellect.
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Every chess master was once a beginner.
- Irving Chernev


  • ...for chess, that superb, cold, infinitely satisfying anodyne to life, I feel the ardor of a lover, the humility of a disciple. – Herbert Russell Wakefield


  • All that matters on the chessboard is good moves. – Bobby Fischer
  • A chess game is divided into three stages: the first, when you hope you have the advantage, the second when you believe you have an advantage, and the third... when you know you're going to lose! – Savielly Tartakower
  • A good player is always lucky. – José Raúl Capablanca
  • As a chess player one has to be able to control one’s feelings, one has to be as cold as a machine. – Levon Aronian
  • All draws are final Towers. – Savielly Tartakower


  • Bishops move diagonally. That's why they often turn up where the kings don't expect them to be. – Small Gods


  • Chess, like love, like music, has the power to make men happy. – Siegbert Tarrasch
  • Chess is in its essence a game, in its form an art, and in its execution a science. – Baron Tassilo von Heydebrand und der Lasa
  • Chess is the game which reflects most honour on human wit. – Voltaire
  • Chess is eminently and emphatically the philosopher's game. – Paul Morphy
  • Chess is the touchstone of intellect. – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  • Chess is a sea in which a gnat may drink and an elephant may bathe. – Indian proverb
  • 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
  • Chess is mental torture. – Garry Kasparov
  • Chess is so deep, I simply feel lost. – Vladimir Kramnik
  • [Chess is] as elaborate a waste of human intelligence as you could find anywhere outside an advertising agency. – Raymond Chandler in The Long Goodbye
  • Chess is a fathead and feudal game. – Georges Perec (in a book promoting Go)
  • Chess is a fairy tale of 1001 blunders. – Savielly Tartakower
  • Chess is beautiful enough to waste your life for. – Hans Ree
  • Chess is a beautiful mistress. – Bent Larsen
  • Chess is life. – Bobby Fischer
  • Chess is like life. – Boris Spassky
  • Chess is everything – art, science, and sport. – Anatoly Karpov
  • Chess is not relaxing; it's stressful even if you win. – Jennifer Shahade
  • Chess is 99 percent tactics. – Richard Teichmann
  • Chess is really 99 percent calculation. – Andrew Soltis
  • Chess is ruthless: you've got to be prepared to kill people. – Nigel Short
  • Chess is as much a mystery as women. – Cecil Purdy
  • Chess you don't learn, chess you understand. – Viktor Korchnoi
  • Chess is a master that strengthens the spirit and frees from suffering. – Albert Einstein
  • Chess is an effective means to educate and train the human intellect. – Che Guevara
  • Chess is particularly trainer, both in the intellectual plane as in the trial. - René Haby



  • I'd rather have a pawn than a finger. – Reuben Fine
  • It all depends: which pawn and which finger? – Roman Dzindzichashvili
  • If chess is a Battle then Go is War. – Anonymous
  • It's the horsey-shape piece that moves in an L shape. It's what makes chess complicated, and why stupid people can't play chess. Go play checkers! Knights are the first piece you look at. They elevate the game. No chess master wants to lose her knights. – Courtney Love



  • Morphy was probably the greatest genius of them all. – Bobby Fischer




  • Play the opening like a book, the middle game like a magician, and the endgame like a machine. – Rudolf Spielmann


  • The Chess-Board is the World, the pieces are the phenomena of the Universe, the rules of the game are what we call the Laws of Nature. The player on the other side is hidden from us. – Thomas Huxley
  • The center of the chessboard is a magnet, which pulls to itself all the pieces. – Ashot Nadanian
  • The pawns are the soul of chess. – François-André Danican Philidor
  • The blunders are all there on the board, waiting to be made. – Savielly Tartakower
  • The winner of the game is the player who makes the next-to-last mistake. – Savielly Tartakower
  • There are two types of sacrifices: correct ones and mine. – Mikhail Tal


  • Vimes had never got on with any game much more complex than darts. Chess in particular had always annoyed him. It was the dumb way the pawns went off and slaughtered their fellow pawns while the kings lounged about doing nothing that always got to him; if only the pawns united, maybe talked the rooks round, the whole board could've been a republic in a dozen moves. – Thud!


  • When the chess game is over, the pawn and the king go back to the same box. – Irish saying contributed by Etienne Goldstein


  • You cannot play chess if you are kind-hearted. – French Proverb

Advice on the game of Chess[edit]

  • A good sacrifice is one that is not necessarily sound but leaves your opponent dazed and confused. – Rudolf Spielmann
  • A thorough understanding of the typical mating continuations makes the most complicated sacrificial combinations leading up to them not only not difficult, but almost a matter of course. – Tarrasch
  • All that matters on the Chessboard is good moves. – Bobby Fischer
  • Before the endgame, the gods have placed the middlegame. – Tarrasch
  • Chess is the art of analysis. – Mikhail Botvinnik
  • Chess mastery essentially consists of analysing chess positions accurately. – Mikhail Botvinnik
  • Discovered check is the dive-bomber of the chessboard. – Reuben Fine
  • Examine moves that smite! A good eye for smites is far more important than a knowledge of strategical principles. – Purdy
  • Even a poor plan is better than no plan at all. – Mikhail Chigorin
  • First restrain, next blockade, lastly destroy. – Aron Nimzowitsch
  • 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
  • He who fears an isolated Queen's Pawn should give up Chess. – Siegbert Tarrasch
  • If the student forces himself to examine all moves that smite, however absurd they may look at first glance, he is on the way to becoming a master of tactics. – Purdy
  • If your opponent cannot do anything active, then don't rush the position; instead you should let him sit there, suffer, and beg you for a draw. Jeremy Silman
  • In positions of strategic manoeuvring seek the worst placed piece. Activating that piece is often the most reliable way of improving your position. – Mark Dvoretsky
  • In the perfect chess combination as in a first-rate short story, the whole plot and counter-plot should lead up to a striking finale, the interest not being allayed until the very last moment. – Frederick Yates and William Winter
  • It's always better to sacrifice your opponent's men. – Savielly Tartakower
  • It is not a move, even the best move, that you must seek, but a realisable plan. – Eugene Znosko-Borovsky
  • It is not possible to become a great player without having learned how to analyse deeply and accurately. – Mark Dvoretsky
  • Methodical thinking is of more use in chess than inspiration. – Purdy
  • Modern chess is too concerned with things like pawn structure. Forget it, checkmate ends the game. – Nigel Short
  • Play the opening like a book, the middlegame like a magician and the endgame like a machine – Rudolf Spielmann
  • Strategy requires thought, tactics require observation. – Max Euwe
  • The choice of moves should not be made on an exact verdict of the final position, but on whether or not your position has improved or worsened. – Jacob Aagaard
  • The combination player thinks forward; he starts from the given position, and tries the forceful moves in his mind. – Emanuel Lasker
  • The defensive power of a pinned piece is only imaginary. – Aron Nimzovich
  • The great master places a Knight at K5 (e5); checkmate follows by itself. – Savielly Tartakower
  • The middlegame I repeat is chess itself; chess with all its possibilities, its attacks, defences, sacrifices, etc. – Znosko-Borovsky
  • The Pin is mightier than the sword. – Fred Reinfeld
  • The tactician knows what to do when there is something to do; whereas the strategian knows what to do when there is nothing to do. – Gerald Abrahams
  • The scheme of a game is played on positional lines; the decision of it, as a rule, is effected by combinations. – Reti
  • To play for a draw, at any rate with White, is to some degree a crime against chess. – Mikhail Tal
  • Training in analysis (like any other form of chess training) should be treated very seriously. – Mark Dvoretsky
  • When you see a good move, look for a better one. – Emanuel Lasker
  • Whenever we see an unprotected piece we must keep our eyes peeled because this is one of the most important ingredients of a combination. – Jacob Aagaard
  • You must take your opponent into a deep dark forest where 2+2=5, and the path leading out is only wide enough for one. Mikhail Tal


  • “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
  • “The game of chess is not merely an idle amusement. Several very valuable qualities of the mind, useful in the course of human life, are to be acquired or strengthened by it… For Life is a kind of Chess, in which we have often points to gain, and competitors or adversaries to contend with.”
    • – Benjamin Franklin
  • “As proved by evidence, [chess is] more lasting in its being and presence than all books and achievements; the only game that belongs to all people and all ages; of which none knows the divinity that bestowed it on the world, to slay boredom, to sharpen the senses, to exhilarate the spirit.”
    • – Stefan Zweig
  • “Chess doesn’t drive people mad, it keeps mad people sane.”
    • – Bill Hartston
  • “In life, as in chess, one’s own pawns block one’s way. A man’s very wealth, ease, leisure, children, books, which should help him to win, more often checkmate him.”
    • – Charles Buxton
  • “Chess is life in miniature. Chess is struggle, chess is battles.”
    • – Garry Kasparov
  • “Chess, like love, like music, has the power to make men happy.”
    • – Siegbert Tarrasch
  • “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
  • “Nobody ever won a chess game by resigning.”
    • – Savielly Tartakower
  • “The blunders are all there on the board, waiting to be made.”
    • – Savielly Tartakower
  • “It’s always better to sacrifice your opponent’s men.”
    • – Savielly Tartakower
  • “One doesn’t have to play well, it’s enough to play better than your opponent.”
    • – Siegbert Tarrasch
  • “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
  • “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
  • “Chess is beautiful enough to waste your life for.”
    • – Hans Ree
  • “A chess game in progress is… a cosmos unto itself, fully insulated from an infant’s cry, an erotic invitation, or war.”
    • – David Shenk
  • “It will be cheering to know that many people are skilful chess players, though in many instances their brains, in a general way, compare unfavourably with the cognitive faculties of a rabbit.”
    • – James Mortimer
  • “The pin is mightier than the sword.”
    • – Fred Reinfeld
  • “The only thing chess players have in common is chess.”
    • – Lodewijk Prins
  • “Those who say they understand chess, understand nothing.”
    • – Robert Hübner
  • “One bad move nullifies forty good ones.”
    • – Bernhard Horwitz
  • “If your opponent offers you a draw, try to work out why he thinks he’s worse off.”
    • – Nigel Short


Quotes should not be removed without explanation and without moving them to the talkpage as happened here [2]

It seems there are different translations for this quote. I will move it to the disputed section.