I love chess – and I think that the following legendary chess quotes express the emotions for the game in the best possible way.
Motivational Chess Quotes
“No one ever won a game by resigning” – Saviely Tartakower
“Every chess master was once a beginner” – Chernev
“Chess is the gymnasium of the mind” -Blasie Pascal
“You can only get good at chess if you love the game” – Bobby Fischer
“Chess opens and enriches your mind” – Saudin Robovic
“A bad day of chess is better than any good day at work.” – N.N.
Instructive Chess Quotes
“A sacrifice is best refuted by accepting it.” – Wilhelm Steinitz
“The pawns are the soul of the game” – Philidor
“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” – Tal
“When you see a good move, look for a better one.” – Emanuel Lasker
“In blitz, the knight is stronger than the bishop” – Vlastimil Hort
“One bad moves nullifies forty good ones” – Horowitz
“The king is a fighting piece. Use it!” – Wilhelm Steinitz
“The defensive power of a pinned piece is only imaginary” – Aaron Nimzowitsch
“Openings teach you openings, endgames teach you chess!” – Stephan Gerzadowicz
Passionate Chess Quotes
“Chess is life.” – Bobby Fischer
“All I want to do, ever, is just play chess” – Bobby Fischer
“Chess is the art of analysis” – Mikhail Botvinnik
“Chess is above all, a fight!” – Emanuel Lasker
“Help your pieces so they can help you” – Paul Morphy
“Don’t even mention losing to me. I can’t stand to think of it.” – Bobby Fischer
“Chess is not for timid souls” – Wilhelm Steinitz
Chess Philosophy Quotes
“Chess is everything: art, science and sport.” – Anatoly Karpov
“When the chess game is over, the pawn and the king go back to the same box” – Saying from Ireland
“A bad plan is better than none at all” – Marshall
“Chess, like love, like music, has the power to make people happy” – Tarrasch
Funny Chess Quotes
“Why must I lose to this idiot?” – Aaron Nimzowitsch
“The ability to play chess is the sign of a gentleman. The ability to play chess well is the sign of a wasted life.” – Paul Morphy
“In a gambit you give up a pawn for the sake of getting a lost game.” – Samuel Standige Boden
“Some sacrifices are sound, the rest are mine” – Mikhail Tal
“I have never in my life played the french defense, which is the dullest of all openings” – Wilhelm Steinitz
These brilliant chess quotes remind us of the complexity and beauty of the game. They also make iconic chess players such as Nimzowitsch more relatable. To me, the old masters can feel distant.
The masters of today such as Hikaru Nakamura or Magnus Carlsen are streaming live on twitch on a regular basis, therefore it feels like you know them as a person.
This is simply not possible with older chess legends. But if you read their books and quotes, the personality of these players comes to life. After missing first place in a tournament in Berlin, Nimzowitsch loudly asked why he lost against this idiot – who can’t relate to that after a bad loss?!
Thoughts are often hard to express. You have a feeling in your head, but you can’t articulate it in a way that fully captures the emotion. I often struggle with this, but I think these quotes manage to do so. If you find more inspiring chess quotes, please send them my way, I’d be happy to include more in this list.
If you enjoy this article, read our next post on 6 chess hacks that will improve your rating and our chess statistics post.