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Quotes / The Chessmaster

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    Anime and Manga 
"Come on, Ed, do you really think I've got the whole world on strings?"
Roy Mustang, Fullmetal Alchemist'

"I really can't stand bastards like you guys who think they can plan out every little thing!"
Aisha Clan-Clan, Outlaw Star

    Comic Books 
Arcee: Is [executing Galvatron] what you would have done?
Prowl: Depends on the circumstances. I mean, I'd rather have somebody else — somebody like Optimus — do it. So I guess it worked out like I wanted... which is my specialty.

Toad: He's in, but we were bloody lucky this time, Magneto. I mean, what were the chances of those Weapon X tossers crawling out of the woodwork like that? And who the heck gave them details of when our New York connection was meeting Wolverine at JFK?
Magneto: Oh, who do you think, Toad? It was me, you idiot.
Scarlet Witch: What?
Magneto: The shadow-world's most highly trained assassin rings his doorbell and Charles Xavier isn't supposed to be suspicious? Credit him with some intelligence, please. A little sleight of hand, and our dear Charles actually sought out the man I sent to kill him...

    Fan Works 
"First of all, I don't scheme. If anything, I plot."
Arturia Pendragon, A Knight's Tale as Inquisitor

    Film — Animation 
Red Hood: You've always had my attention. But what I really wanted was an audience with you!
The Joker: I'm sorry, that seems to imply that YOU organized this little flambé.
Red Hood: I did. Sure, I had lots of plans. But the endgame was getting Black Mask so desperate that he'd cut a deal. He was the only one with the connections to get into Arkham, and get you out.

    Film — Live-Action 
"It's like you're playing checkers... and I'm playing chess."

"Hook, line... and sinker."
Simon Gruber, Die Hard with a Vengeance

"Everything that has transpired has done so according to my design."
Emperor Palpatine, Star Wars: Return of the Jedi

"Siamese fighting fish — fascinating creatures. Brave, but on the whole, stupid. Yes, they're stupid. Except for the occasional one, such as we have here, who lets the other two fight. While he waits. Waits, until the survivor is so exhausted that he cannot defend himself, and then like SPECTRE... he strikes!"
Ernst Stavro Blofeld, From Russia with Love

Finch: I suddenly had this feeling that everything was connected. It's like I could see the whole thing, one long chain of events that stretched all the way back before Larkhill. I felt like I could see everything that happened, and everything that is going to happen. It was like a perfect pattern, laid out in front of me. And I realized we're all part of it, and all trapped by it.
Dominic: So do you know what's gonna happen?
Finch: No, it was a feeling. But I can guess. With so much chaos, someone will do something stupid. And when they do, things will turn nasty. And then Sutler will be forced to do the only thing he knows how to do. At which point, all V needs to do is keep his word.

"All warfare is based on deception."

"The Patrician disliked the word 'dictator'. It affronted him. He never told anyone what to do. He didn't have to, that was the wonderful part. A large part of his life consisted of arranging matters so that this state of affairs continued [...] Human nature, the Patrician always said, was a marvelous thing. Once you understood where its levers were."

Fancy what a game of chess would be if all the chessmen had passions and intellects, more or less small and cunning; if you were not only uncertain about your adversary's men, but a little uncertain also about your own; if your knight could shuffle himself on to a new square by the sly; if your bishop, at your castling, could wheedle your pawns out of their places; and if your pawns, hating you because they are pawns, could make away from their appointed posts that you might get checkmate on a sudden. You might be the longest-headed of deductive reasoners, and yet you might be beaten by your own pawns. You would be especially likely to be beaten, if you depended arrogantly on your mathematical imagination, and regarded your passionate pieces with contempt. Yet this imaginary chess is easy compared with the game a man has to play against his fellow-men with other fellow-men for his instruments.
Felix Holt, by George Eliot

"He is the Napoleon of crime, Watson. He is the organizer of half that is evil and of nearly all that is undetected in this great city. He is a genius, a philosopher, an abstract thinker. He has a brain of the first order. He sits motionless, like a spider in the center of its web, but that web has a thousand radiations, and he knows well every quiver of each of them. He does little himself. He only plans. But his agents are numerous and splendidly organized. Is there a crime to be done, a paper to be abstracted, we will say, a house to be rifled, a man to be removed — the word is passed to the Professor, the matter is organized and carried out. The agent may be caught. In that case money is found for his bail or his defense. But the central power which uses the agent is never caught — never so much as suspected."
Sherlock Holmes, "The Final Problem"

Littlefinger: Always keep your foes confused. If they are never certain who you are or what you want, they cannot know what you are like to do next. Sometimes the best way to baffle them is to make moves that have no purpose, or even seem to work against you. Remember that, Sansa, when you come to play the game.
Sansa: What... what game?
Littlefinger: The only game. The game of thrones.

"The trouble, coz, with your playing the spider in the center of this web, pulling all the strings, is that sooner or later all the interested parties are going to converge back along those strings to you. You do realize that, don't you? And what are you going to do then, O Mastermind?"
Ivan Vorpatril, Cetaganda

"It is axiomatic that only a Yendi can unravel another Yendi's schemes."
Lairon e'N'vaar on the House of the Yendi's reputation, Yendi

"The Censor came here incognito, to check the rumors about unrest among the Arabs. He did not dare to inform the authorities of his visit, because it had been suggested to him that a person at court was involved in the scheme, and he wanted to discover who that was, of course. However, he came also for another reason, then unknown to you. On his first visit to Canton the Censor had met Zumurrud, and they had fallen in love with each other."
"How could I have foreseen that she would meet him in that confounded temple?" Liang muttered. "She..."
"That is where life differs from chess, Mr Liang," Judge Dee cut him short. "In real life you have to reckon with unknown factors."

    Live-Action TV 
"Either way, the guy doesn't brush his teeth without an agenda."
Danny Reagan on Yuri Denko, Blue Bloods ("Working Girls")

"Now you understand? Can you see the mind behind all these events that would seem to be entirely random? In our world, everything happens to serve an end. Everything has its reason and its logic. And those who won't move under these maxims only deserve to lick the boots of those who have reason in both hands. And if something as simple as a man, a woman and a book, put an end to all of your glory, then you are nothing. You have no power. You're not intelligent nor wise. You are not Materia nor important. Just a pawn in a good position."
Lorenzo, Crónicas de un Mundo Perdido

David Robert Jones: Olivia beat us today. Clearly you don't seem concerned.
William Bell: Don't confuse a winning move with a winning game... In this game, the skill one must have above all else is patience. The board changes, but very slowly. The art of chess is knowing when a piece is most valuable and then, in that very moment, being willing to sacrifice it. For in the vacuum created by the loss of what is most precious, opportunity abounds. Influence is maximized, and desire becomes destiny.

"Know your strengths, use them wisely and one man can be worth 10,000."
Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish, Game of Thrones

Callen: When are you gonna stop moving us around like chess pieces!?
Hetty: I don't move pieces, Mr. Callen. I move the board.

"Amazing how easily the chess metaphors come to mind when you're running Division, isn't it?"
Percival 'Percy' Rose, Nikita

Regina: This is your doing, isn’t it?
Mr. Gold: Most things are.

"All the pieces matter."

"Anyone who looks on the world as a game of chess deserves to lose."
Harold Finch, Person of Interest ("If-Then-Else")

"You know what I love about people? They stack so neatly."
Frank Underwood, House of Cards (US)

"It's all about the game and how you play it
All about control and if you can take it
All about your debt and if you can pay it
It's all about pain and who's gonna make it"
Triple H's theme, by Motörhead

"You're one microscopic cog in his catastrophic plan,
Designed and directed by his Red Right Hand!"
Nick Cave, "Red Right Hand"

"The truth? Hex wants the truth. Where to start? The most important truth you never learned, Hexxie boy, is that when the chips are down, The Doctor only ever thinks about himself. You see, it's just a chess game for him. He is the King — all clever and very impressive but very hands-off with the nitty-gritty. He sits at the back and sends everyone else rushing about, doing his dirty work, all those plans and strategies and tinkering, sending wave after wave of pawns to die while he keeps his conscience clean."

"I remember having this chat with Sylvester, probably during Season 25, where we said the Doctor is like a distant mountain range, mistily seen, an imposing power from a distance. A damn sight easier to plot, too. This version of the Doctor, I have a lot more respect for him. I always hated it when he was zapped on the head or knocked unconscious and tied up. I always thought that was demeaning to him. If he does get tied up, it should be that it was his plan all along."

    Tabletop Games 
"Everything happens for a reason, little one. And that reason is me."
The Voice of Tzeentch, Warhammer 40,000

"Several ages of plans, intrigue and deal-making have honed this man to a plotter extraordinaire. The trivial concerns of the day-to-day world are far below casual notice; the important events all happen in the unfolding tapestry of history. Now, Control is beyond anything comprehensible to humans. Intruding where necessary, arriving and leaving at whim under a cloak of secrecy, Control decides the fate of the world itself."
Mage: The Ascension — Guide To The Technocracy

The mind of a Maniac is alien. It functions on a different level than the mind of a normal person, even that of a supernatural being. The Maniac’s mind is predictive, functioning with both induction and deduction at frightening speeds. Guessing a Maniac’s next move is almost impossible. Outsmarting one is unthinkable. Trying to understand one is dangerous, because a Maniac’s mind is infectious.
Hunter: The Vigil: Slasher

"Thank God I'm only watching the game — controlling it
I don't see you guys rating
The kind of mate I'm contemplating
I'd let you watch, I would invite you
But the queens we use would not excite you"
The American, Chess, "One Night in Bangkok"

"No one really knows how the
Parties get to yes
The pieces that are sacrificed in
Every game of chess"
Aaron Burr, Hamilton, "The Room Where It Happens"

    Video Games 
"Righting the discord of the universal opus is what's given my people purpose when, by all rights, we as a race sure would have collapsed in upon ourselves. It is in such moments that species find their greatness, or settle back into the muck that spawned them. For myself, I have purpose of only to correct one particular stray note in the symphony run amok. Win or lose, this battle already is my victory, my triumph. It is now fate which decides whether I am there to celebrate that fact, or not."
Farseer Taldeer, Dawn of War: Winter Assault

Hermaeus Mora: Come, my champion...
The Dragonborn: I am not your champion, monster.
Hermaeus Mora: Who do you think brought Septimus here? Who do you think protected you on your journey to open the box and loose my knowledge upon the world? Your free will is an illusion. Whether you acknowledge me is your business. But I will be in your mind...

"Success depends on forethought, dispassionate calculation of probabilities, accounting for every stray variable."
Mr. House, Fallout: New Vegas

"Information is my weapon, Shepard."

"All war is deception: when they think we are in front of them, we are behind them; when they think we are weak, we are strong; when they think we are few, we are legion. For there ever to be true balance, there must first be chaos, and chaos is ours to orchestrate. One word can equal the might of a thousand swords, and one sword can obliterate a thousand lies. Everyone and everything has a purpose and a path, if only as a ruse or a diversion. Everything can manipulated into usefulness by those who truly understand the nature of things: we understand; we create chaos in order to achieve balance.
The two most powerful warriors are patience and time. We are Dragon...
and we have both."
Dragon faction trailer, The Secret World

"Whether on the main stage or behind the scenes, his influence on all events is unmistakable."

"I may not have liked that other you very much, but he was one smart basher — the smartest basher I've ever known; he always had every angle covered."
Morte on the Practical Incarnation, Planescape: Torment

"No game of dejarik can be won without pawns... and this may prove to be a very long game."

"You forget I plan for every eventuality."
Master Xehanort, Kingdom Hearts III

Gandalf: I'm beginning to suspect that the foes we've met thus far have been mere pawns.
Lord Vortech: You said it, old man! Because I'm not even on the chessboard. I'm the hand controlling every single piece.

Hoederer: What about the one they just call "The Doctor?"
Ines: ...Let's put it like this: the soldiers are the pawns in the game. The commander is the player. When I saw the Doctor, I was struck with the feeling that I'm always gonna be a pawn.
Hoederer: That one's not a battlefield commander. The Doctor runs the whole war.
Ines: That's not why. Do you know what the biggest difference is between the piece and the player? [...] A chess player’s main focus is never on the pieces, or even the game. It’s always on the other player. You always want to beat an even match. After a win, the player goes home to a nice, hot meal. The pieces get popped back into the box and stashed away. The player gets to sleep, wake up, walk, and talk. The pieces just sit there in the cupboard. We’re all objects. Inanimate objects. There was only one person, one thing really alive on that battlefield. And it was that one. If we’re still gonna call ourselves people, then, well... the Doctor’s something else.

"Life is essentially a chess game.
You have to plan and calculate and
I am so lonely."

Glon: I'm just going to go put into motion a chain of events that will rock the very foundations of the seats of power from here to the outer edges of the North Realm.
Maula Bloodhand: Is this fueled by any aspirations for your own advancement or are you doing it for the good of the many?
Glon: Oh, neither. I'm enjoying the sheer beauty of chaos. But if any doors happen to open my way...
Maula Bloodhand: That's my boy.

TT: If it puts your mind at ease, I'll be the one pulling the strings here.
GG: Oh yes?
GG: Then this whole affair will be one of D. Strider's grand productions in puppetry?
Dirk Strider (TT) and Jane Crocker (GG), Homestuck

Technician: One of our biggest fears was the robots' loyalty might shift when they found out Doctor Bowman wasn't human. He was two steps ahead of us the whole time.
Henri Mer: I hope you're right, because he might be four steps ahead of us and we're just not seeing it yet.

    Web Original 
Magneto: (stops the Juggernaut) In chess, the pawns go first.
Mike: Whereas in Hungry Hungry Hippos you all go at once.
Kevin: Where are we now with Magneto's chess metaphor?
Bill: I think these guys are mostly Backgammon pieces and pegs from Battleship.
Magneto: Not yet!
Mike: So, are these still pawns, or are we up to bishops now?
Kevin: I think he's trying to castle, a move I never fully understood.
Mike: And now the queen comes into play!
Bill: Enough, Magneto!
Mike: Chess!

"She works from the shadows, using others for her dirty work. That way, when it comes time to place the blame, we can only point at each other."
Qrow Branwen describing Salem, RWBY

    Western Animation 
Danny: I don't understand...
Vlad: What? That I used two fourteen-year-old pawns to turn a knight and topple a king? It's chess, Daniel. Of course you don't understand. But then, you never really did.

The Lieutenant: We just got word. The Council defied your threat. They're keep the Pro-Bending arena open.
Amon: Perfect. Everything is going according to plan.

"Ah, my ridiculously circuitous plan is one-quarter complete!"
The Robot Devil, Futurama

"If you won't be my knight, you will be my pawn."

Admiral Konstantine: We're letting them get away? I don't understand.
Governor Pryce: I know you don't. But rest assured, Thrawn has a much larger objective in mind than the capture of a single rebel cell.