Enormous self-belief, intuition, the ability to take a risk at a critical moment and go in for a very dangerous play with counter-chances for the opponent - it is precisely these qualities that distinguish great players.
Chess strength in general and chess strength in a specific match are by no means one and the same thing.
My love of dynamic complications often led me to avoid simplicity when perhaps it was the wisest choice.
This is the essential element that cannot be measured by any analysis or device, and I believe it's at the heart of success in all things: the power of intuition and the ability to harness and use it like a master.
My games with the 9th world champion (Tigran Petrosian)broadened my understanding of chess. Had it not been for these two defeats, I would possibly not have reached the top in chess.
Nowadays games immediately appear on the Internet and thus the life of novelties is measured in hours. Modern professionals do not have the right to be forgetful - it is 'life threatening'.
Any experienced player knows how a change in the character of the play influences your psychological mood.
By the time a player becomes a Grandmaster, almost all of his training time is dedicated to work on this first phase. The opening is the only phase that holds out the potential for true creativity and doing something entirely new.
Chess is mental torture.
My opponent is Short and the match will be short. - Garry's quip before his 1993 PCA World Championship match with Nigel Short
When your house is on fire, you can’t be bothered with the neighbors. Or, as we say in chess, if your King is under attack, don't worry about losing a pawn on the queenside.
The legend of the best player of chess has been destroyed. - (on Fischer after his 1992 rematch with Spassky)
Botvinnik tried to take the mystery out of Chess, always relating it to situations in ordinary life. He used to call chess a typical inexact problem similar to those which people are always having to solve in everyday life.
Attackers may sometimes regret bad moves, but it is much worse to forever regret an opportunity you allowed to pass you by. - Garry Kasparov
I have never said this before, but I think he is the only one who plays as well as I did at the same age. - (on Kramnik)
By strictly observing Botvinnik's rule regarding the thorough analysis of one's own games, with the years I have come to realize that this provides the foundation for the continuos development of chess mastery.
Like Dvoretsky, I think that (other things being equal) the analytical method of studying chess must give you a colossal advantage over the chess pragmatist, and that there can be no certainty in chess without analysis. I personally acquired these views from my sessions with Mikhail Botvinnik, and they laid the foundations of my chess-playing life.
Ultimately, what separates a winner from a loser at the grandmaster level is the willingness to do the unthinkable. A brilliant strategy is, certainly, a matter of intelligence, but intelligence without audaciousness is not enough. Given the opportunity, I must have the guts to explode the game, to upend my opponent's thinking and, in so doing, unnerve him. So it is in business: One does not succeed by sticking to convention. When your opponent can easily anticipate every move you make, your strategy deteriorates and becomes commoditized.
The best chess masters of every epoch have been closely linked with the values of the society in which they lived and worked. All the changes of a cultural, political, and psychological background are reflected in the style and ideas of their play.
I see my own style as being a symbiosis of the styles of Alekhine, Tal and Fischer.
… Tarrasch's 'dogmas' are not eternal truisms, but merely instructional material presented in an accessible and witty form, those necessary rudiments from which one can begin to grasp the secrets of chess …
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.
Capablanca possessed an amazing ability to quickly see into a position and intuitively grasp its main features. His style, one of the purest, most crystal-clear in the entire history of chess, astonishes one with his logic.
Who else in chess history has won so many serious games with the help of brilliant tactical strokes? - (on Alekhine)
When I was preparing for one term's work in the Botvinnik school I had to spend a lot of time on king and pawn endings. So when I came to a tricky position in my own games I knew the winning method.
It was an impressive achievement, of course, and a human achievement by the members of the IBM team, but Deep Blue was only intelligent the way your programmable alarm clock is intelligent. Not that losing to a $10 million alarm clock made me feel any better.
Chess is far too complex to be definitively solved with any technology we can conceive of today. However, our looked-down-upon cousin, checkers, or draughts, suffered this fate quite recently thanks to the work of Jonathan Schaeffer at the University of Alberta and his unbeatable program Chinook.
Excelling at chess has long been considered a symbol of more general intelligence. That is an incorrect assumption in my view, as pleasant as it might be.
The ability to work hard for days on end without losing focus is a talent. The ability to keep absorbing new information after many hours of study is a talent.
Brute-force programs play the best chess, so why bother with anything else? Why waste time and money experimenting with new and innovative ideas when we already know what works? Such thinking should horrify anyone worthy of the name of scientist, but it seems, tragically, to be the norm. Our best minds have gone into financial engineering instead of real engineering, with catastrophic results for both sectors.
Perhaps chess is the wrong game for the times. Poker is now everywhere, as amateurs dream of winning millions and being on television for playing a card game whose complexities can be detailed on a single piece of paper.
Winning is not a secret that belongs to a very few, winning is something that we can learn by studying ourselves, studying the environment and making ourselves ready for any challenge that is in front of us.
Chess continues to advance over time, so the players of the future will inevitably surpass me in the quality of their play, assuming the rules and regulations allow them to play serious chess. But it will likely be a long time before anyone spends 20 consecutive years as number, one as I did.
Fischer’s beautiful chess and his immortal games will stand forever as a central pillar in the history of our game.
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. - (on Bobby Fischer)
I have found that after 1.d4 there are more opportunities for richer play.
Though I would have liked my chances in a rematch in 1998 if I were better prepared, it was clear then that computer superiority over humans in chess had always been just a matter of time.
The highest art of the chessplayer lies in not allowing your opponent to show you what he can do.
The inspirational games of Alekander Alekhine, my first chess hero, find a place alongside the inspirational character of Winston Churchill, whose words and books I still turn to regularly.
Chess is a unique cognitive nexus, a place where art and science come together in the human mind and are refined and improved by experience.
The stock market and the gridiron and the battlefield aren't as tidy as the chessboard, but in all of them, a single, simple rule holds true: make good decisions and you'll succeed; make bad ones and you'll fail.
Throughout my chess career I sought out new challenges, looking for things no one had done before.
Tactics involve calculations that can tax the human brain, but when you boil them down, they are actually the simplest part of chess and are almost trivial compared to strategy.
With each success the ability to change is reduced. My longtime friend and coach, Grandmaster Yuri Dokhoian, aptly compared it to being dipped in bronze. Each victory added another coat.
Morphy was so far ahead of his time that it took another quarter century for these principles of development and attack to be rediscovered and formulated.
For me, chess is a language, and if it's not my native tongue, it is one I learned via the immersion method at a young age.
The technical phase can be boring because there is little opportunity for creavivity, for art. Boredom leads to complacency and mistakes.
I've seen - both in myself and my competitors - how satisfaction can lead to a lack of vigilance, then to mistakes and missed opportunities.
There can be no finer example of the inspiring powers of competition to shatter the status quo than Hungary's Judit Polgar.
Thanks to the Polgars the adjective men's before events and the "affirmative action" women's titles such as Woman Grandmaster have become anachronisms (though thay are still in use).
Ironically, the main task of chess software companies today is to find ways to make the program weaker, not stronger, and to provide enough options that any user can pick from different levels and the machine will try to make enough mistakes to give him a chance.
Setbacks and losses are both inevitable and essential if you're going to improve and become a good, even great, competitor. The art is in avoiding catastrophic losses in the key battles.
Few things are as psychologically brutal as chess.
You can't overestimate the importance of psychology in chess, and as much as some players try to downplay it, I believe that winning requires a constant and strong psychology not just at the board but in every aspect of your life.
Nervous energy is the ammunition we take into any mental battle. If you don't have enough of it, your concentration will fade. If you have a surplus, the results will explode.
Once he fixated on an idea, his theoretical point became more important to him than winning, and this lack of competitive pragmatism prevented him from making it to the top. - (on Mikhail Chigorin)
Had Chigorin been able to rein in his fantasy on just a few occasions, the world might have had its first Russian champion decades before Alekhine.
A championship contender in the early twentieth century needed charisma and a knack for cultivating sponsorship, and Rubinstein was the epitome of the shy and unsocial chess player. Now matter how great his chess skills, he lacked the people skills to be a self-promoter and fund-raiser.
It's true that in chess as in politics, fund-raising and glad-handing matter.
After reaching the heights, Bronstein was unable to maintain his concentration and play his best chess. He committed several of the worst errors of his career during his match with Botvinnik.
Inevitably the maxchines must win, but there is still a long way to go before a human on his or her best day is unable to defeat the best computer.
To my surprise I found that when other top players in the precomputer age (before 1995, roughly) wrote about games in magazines and newspaper columns, they often made more mistakes in their annotations than the players had made at the board.
The biggest problem I see among people who want to excel in chess - and in business and in life in general - is not trusting their instincts enough.
If you wish to succeed, you must brave the risk of failure.
Sometimes the hardest thing to do in a pressure situation is to allow the tension to persist. The temptation is to make a decision, any decision, even if it is an inferior choice.
All that now seems to stand between Nigel and the prospect of the world crown is the unfortunate fact that fate brought him into this world only two years after Kasparov. - (Garry's prophetic comment in 1987)
Vishy is a brilliant player. But it is very difficult to compete at 40. He is up against people half his age. I will be surprised if he can go on any longer. He can fight against anyone but time. (2009)
With so many victories coming relatively easily to his immense talent and fighting spirit, the final crucial ingredient of relentless work will guarantee his place in history. - (on Magnus Carlsen)
I learnt an enormous amount, but there came a point where I found there was too much stress. It was no fun any more. Outside of the chessboard I avoid conflict, so I thought this wasn’t worth it. - Magnus Carlsen
One thing with Garry, and I think it is due in a large part to his Soviet training, he'll never quite understand that you have to be able to criticize constructively. When you have someone who is always on your case and it's never good enough no matter how you win a game, it just brings you down, you lose confidence. And as a chess player you have to be confident, you have to believe in yourself. - Hikaru Nakamura
For six years now I've tried to kindle anger in myself toward Kasparov and fuse my anger into a sword with which I can truly smite him at least once, but I can't. He's just not interesting to me, and that's all there is to it. - Anatoly Karpov
I know of no other grandmaster in our country, or the world, who has received such all-encompasing, massive support from the authorities. - Anatoly Karpov
Kasparov and I have nothing in common. For me chess was the end, for him it has merely been the means. - Anatoly Karpov
He's unprincipled. - Anatoly Karpov
To have a brilliant boy at your side all the time and to work with him is the greatest of pleasures imaginable. - Klara Kasparov
He has an extreme capacity for work, extreme determination to win and extreme perfectionism. - Magnus Carlsen
If Kasparov continues to play like this they'll have to deduct betting tax from his winnings - he's a real gambler. - (on Kasparov's time scrambles) - Michael Stean
The future of chess lies in the hands of this young man. - (0n Kasparov at age 11) - Mikhail Botvinnik
Almost everyone I know possesses a volume or two of Kasparov's classic 'My Great Predecessors' but I have found again and again that people simply have not read it. At some point they become intimidated by the labrythine variations. I think there is a moral there. - Nigel Short
I'm sorry for you, Garry, because the happiest day of your life is already over. - (to Kasparov immediately following his victory in the World Championship on November 10, 1985) - Rhona Petrosian
I thought I was playing the World Champion - not some 27 - eyed monster who sees everything. - (on losing May 1986 match 5-1/2 - 1/2) - Tony Miles
In 1995 I played a match against [Kasparov] but it is amazing that in the next ten years I was second or third in the rankings—most of the times second and he was first for this entire period—and we just never played each other. - Viswanathan Anand
Everyone has their nemesis. For me it was clearly Kasparov. I don’t think I want to make excuses for that. - Viswanathan Anand
If they had played 150 games at full strength, they would be in a lunatic asylum by now. - (on Kasparov & Karpov, 1987) - Boris Spassky
I agree with the opinion expressed by many commentators that in the art of delicate strategic manoeuvring Garry Kasparov and Anatoly Karpov have no equals. - David Bronstein
Look at Garry Kasparov. After he loses, invariably he wins the next game. He just kills the guy. That's something thaw we have to learn to be able to do. - Maurice Ashley