Quotes / Xanatos Speed Chess

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    Fan Fiction 

And it was also clear that Potter was brilliant, and a whole lot more than just slightly mad, and playing a vast game that Potter himself mostly didn't understand, improvised at top speed with the subtlety of a rampaging nundu.

I was never in control of any pony's fate, Twilight. I never had any grand master plan, and I still don't. In the end, I'm playing it by ear, just like every other pony. Hoping and praying and guessing and, and improvising.
Well, running a government is like being in the middle of a thousand carefully arranged plans - all of them on the verge of coming apart at the seams, every single minute of the day.
Princess Celestia in two separate speeches, Parting Words

There is no great overall plan, Anna. And that's the best thing possible, you know? Because... Because I can catch anything that falls into my hands and use it... towards the overall goal.

It's not how good of a planner you are, but how good you are when the plan fails.
Daolon Wong, Queen of All Oni


This is how Vetinari thinks, [Cosmo Lavish's] soul exulted. Plans can break down. You cannot plan the future. Only presumptuous fools plan. The wise man steers.

To play humans you need less of an ability to see many moves ahead, more of an ability to adapt swiftly, to keep your eye on one or more goals simultaneously, and to be prepared to add human free will into your own equation.
Senna Wales, Everworld

To succeed, planning alone is insufficient. One must improvise as well.
Salvor Hardin, Foundation

Only a fool expects everything to go the way they plan, Raphael. Another lesson for you. Success doesn't depend on having the perfect plan. It depends on changing plans to match circumstances fast enough for the changes to be effective. And that means spotting deviations from the predicted course of events early enough to have time for those changes.
Michael-lan, The Salvation War

Dalinar: It wasn't simply a convenient opportunity. You set this up, Sadeas.
Sadeas: I planned, but I'm often planning. I don't always act on my options. Today I did.

The Duke of Taunton: As I say, one cannot foresee everything, one merely tries to take advantage of such strokes of fortune. But all this is dependent upon events and chances which are by nature unforeseeable.
The Nawab: There really are no options in this which do not your opponents have no options before them which do not leave you with at least a partial victory.
The Duke: None which are obvious, but that is the point: one never knows. One cannot plan against everything.
The Nawab: No, merely fold events into one's plans and make them serve one's objectives.

Fortunto's plans were often little more than an awareness of the most probable possibilities and a list of options to execute should they arise.
Void Dogs, Chapter 82

    Live-Action TV 

Dominic: You played a good hand, ma'am.
Adelle: I played a very bad hand very well. There is a distinction.

You know, just once, I'd like to come up with an elegant plan that doesn't involve lots of last-minute rewiring...
The Seventh Doctor, Big Finish Doctor Who, The Fearmonger


They may snap at me or plot and that makes them the kind of sons I want. I've snapped and plotted all my life: there is no other way to be a king, alive and fifty all at once.
Henry II, The Lion in Winter


Holy crap, guys! Plans do fail. "Perfect strategy" does not mean one perfect flawless genius plan! It doesn't mean you never lose! Look, you've taught me a lot, so let me teach you something, 'k? This is strategy. First... you have a goal. Then, you list objectives in support of that goal, in order of importance. Then, you weigh the costs and accomplish the most you can, however you can. Without even fighting, if possible! You've got bluff, subterfuge, diplomacy... lotta the time it's just "watch what the enemy's doing," and hit him where he's weak and you're strong. But, y'know... he's doing the same to you. And you can't be strong everywhere. So you fall back where he's stronger, and sometimes you do lose. But you roll with it. Yes, you plan. Okay? But the enemy won't follow your plan. So the trick is to be fluid, hit him on the fly, define his choices... watch for opportunity, like when he boops up. You have to know more than he does about what's going on. Which is why you don't withhold information from the guy who plans your battles! You see?
Parson Gotti, Erfworld

Well, I can't say that any of this mess was part of my original plan. But it's all working out so beautifully, I can't complain.

You see, I was chosen for this role because I am very good at improvising when things go wrong. So really, I'm in my element right now, wouldn't you say?

    Web Original 

The Doktor: But, Major, now that they know of our plans—
The Major: Ah, Herr Doctor, but that is the plan. Now that they know our plan they will plan around our plan. And so we shall in turn plan around the plan that they are planning around our plan!
The Doktor: Your brilliance knows no bounds!

    Real Life 

I see only one move ahead, but it is always the correct one.
Jose Capablanca, chess world champion

In preparing for battle, I've found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.

No plan of operations extends with certainty beyond the first encounter with the enemy's main force.
Helmuth von Moltke the Elder

According as circumstances are favorable, one should modify one's plans.
Sun Tzu, The Art of War

Water shapes its course according to the nature of the ground over which it flows; the soldier works out his victory in relation to the foe whom he is facing.
Sun Tzu, The Art of War

They planned their campaigns just as you might make a splendid piece of harness. It looks very well; and answers very well; until it gets broken; and then you are done for. Now I made my campaigns of ropes. If anything went wrong, I tied a knot; and went on.
Arthur Wellesley, The Duke of Wellington

Failing to plan is planning to fail. Plan Each Day, Each Week, Each Semester. You can always change your plan, but only once you have one!
Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture