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Subject: War quotes/Chess Quotes

Chess is so obviously the sublimation of war, I am surprised that I have not seen more expressions taken from war and applied to chess. I would like to suggest the following as a suitable candidate for any list of chess quotes: "We are not retreating. Instead, we are simply attacking in a new direction" (General Ray Davis, USMC). Many of my apparent changes in strategy immediately become explicable.

Or if I may quote more loosely, "Chess is hell!" General Sherman, of course, actually said, "War is hell!" But only because he'd never seen me play chess.
Does anyone else have similar examples of expressions based on war, quoted exactly or loosely, that would be suitable for chess?



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Sun Tzu on Chess :)

I guess one could quote almost all of Sun Tzu's "The Art of War", for example just some:

"When able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must seem inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near."

On chess psychology:

"If your opponent is of choleric temper, seek to irritate him. Pretend to be weak, that he may grow arrogant."

"If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle."

"He who can modify his tactics in relation to his opponent and thereby succeed in winning, may be called a heaven-born captain."

On players like Petrosian, Kramnik and Leko:

"The good fighters of old first put themselves beyond the possibility of defeat, and then waited for an opportunity of defeating the enemy."

"What the ancients called a clever fighter is one who not only wins, but excels in winning with ease.

Hence his victories bring him neither reputation for wisdom nor credit for courage." (Talk about Kramnik again -- soikins )

"He wins his battles by making no mistakes. Making no mistakes is what establishes the certainty of victory, for it means conquering an enemy that is already defeated.
Hence the skillful fighter puts himself into a position which makes defeat impossible, and does not miss the moment for defeating the enemy.

Thus it is that in war the victorious strategist only seeks battle after the victory has been won, whereas he who is destined to defeat first fights and afterwards looks for victory."

"Hiding order beneath the cloak of disorder is simply a question of subdivision; concealing courage under a show of timidity presupposes a fund of latent energy; masking strength with weakness is to be effected by tactical dispositions." (This one reminds me of Bareev :) )

On positional play:

"He will conquer who has learnt the artifice of deviation. Such is the art of maneuvering."

On attacking weak points and development of pieces:

"You may advance and be absolutely irresistible, if you make for the enemy's weak points; you may retire and be safe from pursuit if your movements are more rapid than those of the enemy."

Principle of two weaknesses:

"For should the enemy strengthen his van, he will weaken his rear; should he strengthen his rear, he will weaken his van; should he strengthen his left, he will weaken his right; should he strengthen his right, he will weaken his left. If he sends reinforcements everywhere, he will everywhere be weak.

Numerical weakness comes from having to prepare against possible attacks; numerical strength, from compelling our adversary to make these preparations against us."

On passive pawn sacrifices:

"Hold out baits to entice the enemy. Feign disorder, and crush him."

Something I remember when I see Internet kibitzers analyse online games form Corus or Linares:

"All men can see the tactics whereby I conquer, but what none can see is the strategy out of which victory is evolved."



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the Great Alexander Suvarov

Russia's greatest military leader was brilliant at war. In fact, he never lost a battle in his long career, even when outnumbered 10 to 1. Some quotes that could also apply to chess:

"The details depend on the circumstances, the judgement, the skill and on the bravery of the man in command. "

"The ability to assess a situation at a glance, to know how to select the site for a camp, when and how to march and where to attack."

"The more comfort the less courage there is."

"Fight the enemy with the weapons he lacks."

"No battle can be won in the study, theory without practice is dead."

"He who is afraid is half beaten. "

"In military practice one must plan quickly and carry on without delay, so as to give the enemy no time to collect himself."

"It is bad to lack good fortune, but it is a misfortune to lack talent. The fortune of war is on the side of the soldier of talent."



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very good

and informative thread. thanks for the info.



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Napolean ...

Nothing ventured, nothing gained ...

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