"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."
"Bishops move diagonally. That's why they often turn up where the kings don't expect them to be."
"If chess is a battle then Go is war."
"Once the game is over, the king and the pawn go back in the same box."
— Italian Proverb
"The winner of the game is the player who makes the next-to-last mistake."
— Savielly Tartakower
"The passion for playing chess is one of the most unaccountable in the world. It slaps the theory of natural selection in the face. It is the most absorbing of occupations, the least satisfying of desires, an aimless excrescence upon life. It annihilates a man."
"The chess pieces are the block alphabet which shapes thoughts; and these thoughts, although making a visual design on the chess-board, express their beauty abstractly, like a poem. I have come to the personal conclusion that while all artists are not chess players, all chess players are artists."
— Marcel Duchamp
"Life is too short for chess."
— Henry James Byron (1835-1884)
"That is the fault of life, not chess."
— Leslie Burgin (1887-1945)
What is Chess?
"Chess-play is a good and witty exercise of the mind for some kind of men, but if it proceed from overmuch study, in such a case it may do more harm than good; it is a game too troublesome for some men's brains."
— Robert Burton, Oxford University clergyman and libratorr, 1621
The World Champions
"Chess is not for the faint-hearted; it absorbs a person entirely. To get to the bottom of this game, he has to give himself up into slavery. Chess is difficult, it demands work, serious reflection and zealous research."
— Wilhelm Steinitz, First World Champion (1886-1894)
"Chess is, above all, a fight."
— Emmanuel Lasker, Second World Champion (1894-1921)
"Chess is something more than a game. It is an intellectual diversion which has certain artistic qualities and many scientific elements."
— José Raúl Capablanca, Third World Champion (1921-1927)
"Chess will always be the master of us all."
— Alexander Alekhine, Fourth World Champion (1927-1935, 1937-1946)
"Chess is a sport. The main object in the game of chess remains the achievement of victory."
— Max Euwe, Fifth World Champion (1935-1937)
"Chess is the art which expresses the science of logic."
— Mikhail Botvinnik, Sixth World Champion (1948-1957, 1958-1960, 1961-1963)
"I have frequently stated that I regard chess as an art form, where creativity prevails over other factors."
— Vasily Smyslov, Seventh World Champion (1957-1958)
"Chess is a storm against man."
— Mikhail Tal, Eighth World Champion (1960-1961)
"...In chess there is nothing accidental."
— Tigran Petrosian, Ninth World Champion (1963-1969)
"Chess is like life."
— Boris Spassky, Tenth World Champion (1969-1972)
"Chess is life."
— Bobby Fischer, Eleventh World Champion (1972-1975)
"Chess is everything — art, science, and sport."
—Anatoly Karpov, Twelfth World Champion (1975-1985)
"Chess is mental torture."
— Garry Kasparov, Thirteenth World Champion (1985-2000), second highest ranked player (Elo scale) in history
"Chess is like body-building."
— Vladimir Kramnik, Fourteenth World Champion (2000-2007)
"Chess is... a way of life, a passion."
— Viswanathan Anand, Fifteenth World Champion (2007-2013), third highest ranked player in history
"It's easy to get obsessed with chess."
— Magnus Carlsen, Sixteenth and current World Champion (2013-present), highest rated player in history