by Fischer

 
All that matters on the chessboard is good moves.
 
A strong memory, concentration, imagination, and a strong will is required to become a great chess player.
 
Chess is life.
 
Chess is war over the board. The object is to crush the opponent's mind.
 
I add status to any tournament I attend.
 
I despise the media.
 
I give 98 percent of my mental energy to Chess. Others give only 2 percent.
 
I know people who have all the will in the world, but still can't play good chess.
 
I like the moment I break a man's ego.
 
I'm not afraid of Spassky. The world knows I'm the best. You don't need a match to prove it.
 
It’s just you and your opponent at the board and you're trying to prove something.
 
My opponents make good moves too. Sometimes I don't take these things into consideration.
 
There are tough players and nice guys, and I'm a tough player.
 
You can only get good at Chess if you love the game.
 
You have to have the fighting spirit. You have to force moves and take chances.
 
Your body has to be in top condition. Your Chess deteriorates as your body does. You can't separate body from mind.
 
All I ever want to do is just play chess.
 
Best by test. (on 1. e4)
 
Chess demands total concentration.
 
Concentrate on material gains. Whatever your opponent gives you take, unless you see a good reason not to.
 
Don't even mention losing to me. I can't stand to think of it.
 
Genius. It's a word. What does it really mean? If I win I'm a genius. If I don't, I'm not.
 
I'm not afraid of him. He's afraid of me. I'm not afraid of him.  (on Spassky)
 
I don't keep any close friends. I don't keep any secrets. I don't need friends. I just tell everybody everything, that's all.
 
I don't believe in psychology. I believe in good moves.
 
I like to make them squirm.
 
I think it's almost definite that the game is a draw theoretically.
 
If I win a tournament, I win it by myself. I do the playing. Nobody helps me.
 
If you don't win, it's not a great tragedy - the worst that happens is that you lose a game.
 
Morphy was probably the greatest genius of them all.
 
My sister bought me a set at a candy store and taught me the moves.
 
Psychologically, you have to have confidence in yourself and this confidence should be based on fact.
 
Tactics flow from a superior position.
 
That's what chess is all about. One day you give your opponent a lesson, the next day he gives you one.
 
The turning point in my career came with the realization that Black should play to win instead of just steering for equality.
 
When I was eleven, I just got good.
 
They're all weak, all women. They're stupid compared to men. They shouldn't play chess, you know. They're like beginners. They lose every single game against a man. There isn't a woman player in the world I can't give knight-odds to and still beat.
 
It's little quirks like this that could make life difficult for a chess machine.
 
Staunton was the most profound opening analyst of all time. He was more theorist than player, but nonetheless he was the strongest player of his day. Playing over his games, I discover that they are completely modern; where Morphy and Steinitz rejected the fianchetto, Staunton embraced it. In addition, he understood all of the positional concepts which modern players hold so dear, and thus - with Steinitz - must be considered the first modern player.
 
Staunton appears to have been afraid to meet Morphy and I think his fears were well-founded. Morphy would have beaten him, but it wouldn't have been the one-sided encounter that many writers now think it would. It would have been a great struggle.
 
A popularly held theory about Paul Morphy is that if he returned to the chess world today and played our best contemporary players, he would come out the loser, he would come out the loser. Nothing is further from the truth. In a set match, Morphy would beat anybody alive today ...
 
He understood more about the use of squares than did Morphy, and contributed a great deal more to chess theory.  -  (on Wilhelm Steinitz)
 
Alekhine developed as a player much more slowly than most. In his twenties, he was an atrocious chessplayer, and didn't mature until he was well into his thirties.
 
Alekhine is a player I've never really understood. He always wanted a superior centre; he manoeuvred his pieces toward the kingside, and around the 25th move, began to mate his opponent. He disliked exchanges, preferring to play with many pieces on the board. His play was fantastically complicated, more so than any player before or since.
 
I love the game - and I hate the Russians because they've almost ruined it. They only risk the title when they have to, every three years. They play for draws with each other but play to win against the Western masters. Draws make for dull chess, wins make for fighting chess.
 
Chess is a matter of delicate judgement, knowing when to punch and how to duck.
 
In chess so much depends on opening theory, so the champions before the last century did not know as much as I do and other players do about opening theory. So if you just brought them back from the dead they wouldn’t do well. They’d get bad openings.
 
When I used to go to the Manhattan Chess Club back in the fifties, I met a lot of old-timers there who knew Capablanca, because he used to come around to the Manhattan club in the forties – before he died in the early forties. They spoke about Capablanca with awe. I have never seen people speak about any chess player like that, before or since.
 
But the thing that was great about Capablanca was that he really spoke his mind, he said what he believed was true, he said what he felt. He wanted to change the rules [of chess] already, back in the twenties, because he said chess was getting played out. He was right. Now chess is completely dead. It is all just memorisation and prearrangement. It’s a terrible game now. Very uncreative.
 
Too many times, people don't try their best. They don't have the keen spirit; the winning spirit. And once you make it you've got to guard your reputation - every day go in like an unknown to prove yourself. That's why I don't clown around. I don't believe in wasting time. My goal is to win the World Chess Championship; to beat the Russians. I take this very seriously.
 
Americans really don't know much about chess. But I think when I beat Spassky, that Americans will take a greater interest in chess. Americans like winners.
 
The system set up by F.I.D.E. ... ensures that there will always be a Russian world champion ... The Russians arranged it that way. - 1962
 
Spassky sits at the board with the same dead expression whether he's mating or being mated.
 
I could give any woman in the world a piece and a move; to Gaprindashvili even, a knight.

on Fischer

 
I was the strongest from 1964 to 1970, but in 1971 Fischer was already stronger.  -  Boris Spassky
 
The 'classical' starting position is very harmonious and when you play the random version I felt the positions tend to lead to wing games. You are developing your bishops all the time and the battle becomes rather slow and consequently dynamism is lost.  -  Helgi Olafsson
 
I mean, most of modern chess is his offering. Myself and the rest had those moves ready for us when we started out, but it had to take someone to discover them first. Bobby Fischer was that person. He was that person for entire generations of chess players. His was a singular life in that sense. He's made it easier for us today.  -  Viswanathan Anand
 
As for the outcome of the match that never was, I am totally convinced that Fischer would have won against Karpov in 1975. He might have been out of practice and a bit rusty, not having played an official game since the 1972 match, but in the long run he would have proved to be the stronger player.  -  Helgi Olafsson
 
What I admired most about him was his ability to make what was in fact so difficult look easy to us. I try to emulate him.  -  Magnus Carlsen
 
I mean, most of modern chess is his offering. Myself and the rest had those moves ready for us when we started out, but it had to take someone to discover them first. Bobby Fischer was that person. He was that person for entire generations of chess players. His was a singular life in that sense. He's made it easier for us today.  -  Viswanathan Anand
 
Bobby Fischer started off each game with a great advantage: after the opening he had used less time than his opponent and thus had more time available later on. The major reason why he never had serious time pressure was that his rapid opening play simply left sufficient time for the middlegame.  -  Edmar Mednis
 
Bobby Fischer is the greatest Chess genius of all time!  -  Alexander Kotov
 
My God, Bobby Fischer plays so simply!   -  Alexei Suetin
 
I was struck by his gaze. He was not at all the way he looked in photographs. I didn't see any severity in him, but rather a sort of gentleness and patience. (1st meeting with Fischer)Incidentally, I never saw that in him again.  -  Anatoly Karpov
 
I believe that Fischer surpassed all the former and currently living grandmasters in the ability to produce and process chess ideas.  - Anatoly Karpov
 
It seems to me that the reason for his tragic break with the chess world was the excessive demands he placed on himself as world champion. The solution to this stress was obvious - he stopped playing altogether.  -  Anatoly Karpov
 
Fischer's integrity was evident in any one of his actions. Even his shortcomings were inseparable from him; they were aspects of his integrity.  -  Anatoly Karpov
 
Fischer's strength can be evaluated only in comparison with the best chess players who surrounded him.  -  Anatoly Karpov
 
It is even more absurd to compare Fischer's chess strength with that of Kasparov, in whatever way, than it is to compare Fischer and me.  -  Anatoly Karpov
 
If only I had had my duel with Fischer, my fighting level would be of a higher order. Once I had attained and mastered such a level - a level which for Kasparov is completely unattainable - I would have recalled it whenever necessary.  -  Anatoly Karpov
 
You know you're going to lose. Even when I was ahead I knew I was going to lose.  -  (on playing against Fischer)  -  Andy Soltis
 
It is not mere magniloquence to suggest that he is the strongest fourteen year old chessplayer who has ever lived.  -  Arthur Bisguier
 
There is only one thing in chess that Fischer does without pleasure - to lose !  -  Boris Spassky
 
When you play Bobby, it is not a question if you win or lose. It is a question if you survive.  -  Boris Spassky
 
Bobby Fisher came back to chess! It was a miracle! I could never have missed it. No way!  -  Boris Spassky
 
Fischer was a master of clarity and a king of artful positioning. His opponents would see where he was going but were powerless to stop him.  -  Bruce Pandolfini
 
By the beauty of his games, the clarity of his play, and the brilliance of his ideas, Fischer made himself an artist of the same stature as Brahms, Rembrandt, and Shakespeare.  -  Bruce Pandolfini
 
It was clear to me that the vulnerable point of the American Grandmaster (Fischer) was in double-edged, hanging, irrational positions, where he often failed to find a win even in a won position.  -  David Levy
 
The legend of the best player of chess has been destroyed.  -  (after the 1992 Fischer - Spassky rematch)  -  Garry Kasparov
 
Fischer’s beautiful chess and his immortal games will stand forever as a central pillar in the history of our game.   -  Garry Kasparov
 
It is with justice that he spent his final days in Iceland, the site of his greatest triumph. There he has always been loved and seen in the best possible way: as a chessplayer.  -  Garry Kasparov
 
Fischer's spectacular career and his undisputed prominence in chess would make any additional superlatives sound banal.  -  Gregor Piatigorsky
 
Play out a boring game to the end and funny things can happen; Fischer knew it.   -  Hans Ree
 
In Fischer's hands, a slight theoretical advantage is as good as being a queen ahead.  -  Isaac Kashdan
 
A great player and a great example for many. His book My 60 Memorable Games had a big impact on me. It is a shame he didn't continue to enrich the world of chess with his unparalleled understanding after 1972.  -  Jan Timman
 
Not only will I predict his triumph over Botvinnik, but I'll go further and say that he'll probably be the greatest chess player that ever lived.  -  John Collins
 
Bobby is the finest Chess player this country ever produced. His memory for the moves, his brilliance in dreaming up combinations, and his fierce determination to win are uncanny.  -  John Collins
 
Fischer wanted to give the Russians a taste of their own medicine.  - Larry Evans
 
Robert Fischer is a law unto himself.  -  Larry Evans
 
The most individualistic, intransigent, uncommunicative, uncooperative, solitary, self-contained and independent chess master of all time, the loneliest chess champion in the world. He is also the strongest player in the world. In fact, the strongest player who ever lived.  -  Larry Evans
 
The chess heroes nowadays should not forget that it was owing to Fischer that they are living today in four- and five- star hotels, getting appearance fees, etc.  -  Lev Khariton
 
There's never before been a Chess player with such a thorough knowledge of the intracacies of the game and such an absolutely indominitable will to win. I think Bobby will be the greatest player that ever lived.  -  Lisa Lane
 
A man without frontiers. He didn't divide the East and the West, he brought them together in their admiration for him.  -  Ljubomir Ljubojevic
 
His moves did not make sense – at least to all the rest of us they didn't. We were playing chess, Fischer was playing something else, call it what you will. Naturally, there would come a time when we finally would understand what those moves had been about. But by then it was too late. We were dead.  -  Mark Taimanov
 
Fischer plays like a machine, and in fact he is essentially a machine. But I am a man! A computer has never yet won against a grandmaster. Therefore I am confident of success.  -  (before losing his Candidates' match 6-0)  -  Mark Taimanov
 
Bobby just drops the pieces and they fall on the right squares.  - Miguel Najdorf
 
Fischer prefers to enter Chess history alone.   -  Miguel Najdorf
 
Pressmen have been doing Fischer wrong all his life. He loves chess immensely and he is a wonderful friend.  -  Miguel Quinteros
 
Suddenly it was obvious to me in my analysis I had missed what Fischer had found with the greatest of ease at the board.  -  Mikhail Botvinnik
 
When I asked Fischer why he had not played a certain move in our game, he replied: "Well, you laughed when I wrote it down"  - Mikhail Tal
 
It is difficult to play against Einstein’s theory.  -  (on his first loss to Fischer)  -  Mikhail Tal
 
Many Chess players were surprised when after the game, Fischer quietly explained: 'I had already analyzed this possibility' in a position which I thought was not possible to forsee from the opening.  -  Mikhail Tal
 
I am 99 per cent sure that I have been playing against the chess legend. It's tremendously exciting," he said. In October last year, in the first of their four confrontations, Nigel lost 0:8, although he is one of the world's best speed chess players. "In my opinion Fischer is a much stronger speed chess player than Kasparov, which is incredible when one considers that at 58 he is virtually a geriatric in terms of the modern game," Nigel said.  (quoted at ChessBase.com in 2001)  -  Nigel Short
 
In complicated positions, Bobby Fischer hardly had to be afraid of anybody.  -  Paul Keres
 
Fischer is the first big-time professional in chess, and, in order to achieve success, he will resort to any means.  -  Tigran Petrosian
 
The only positive contribution to chess from Fischer in the last 20 years.  -  (on the Fischer clock)  -  Victor Kortchnoi
 
Bobby is the most misunderstood, misquoted celebrity walking the face of the earth.  -  Yasser Seirawan
 
Do you realize Fischer almost never has any bad pieces? He exchanges them, and the bad pieces remain with his opponent.  - Yuri Balashov
 
Fischer is completely natural. He plays no roles. He's like a child - very, very simple.  -  Zita Rajscanyi
 
You could say that both Fischer and Carlsen had or have the ability to let chess look simple.  -  Viswanathan Anand
 
But you see when I play a game of Bobby, there is no style. Bobby played perfectly. And perfection has no style.  -  Miguel Najdorf
 
It's easy to get obsessed with chess. That's what happened with Fischer and Paul Morphy. I don't have that same obsession.  -Magnus Carlsen
 
In general there is something puzzling about the fact that the most renowned figures in chess - Morphy, Pillsbury, Capablanca and Fischer - were born in America.  -  Garry Kasparov
 
What I admired most about him was his ability to make what was in fact so difficult look easy to us. I try to emulate him. - Magnus Carlsen