by Lasker

 

When you see a good move, look for a better one.

 

Without error there can be no brilliancy.

 

Chess is, above all, a fight.

 

On the chessboard lies and hypocrisy do not last long.

 

In Chess, as it is played by masters, chance is practically eliminated.

 

The laws of chess do not permit a free choice: you have to move whether you like it or not.

 

The hardest game to win is a won game.

 

I have added these principles to the law: get the Knights into action before both bishops are developed.

 

By what right does White, in an absolutely even position, such as after move one, when both sides have advanced 1. e4, sacrifice a pawn, whose recapture is quite uncertain, and open up his kingside to attack? And then follow up this policy by leaving the check of the black queen open? None whatever !  -  on the King's Gambit

 

The game gives us a satisfaction that Life denies us. And for the Chess player, the success which crowns his work, the great dispeller of sorrows, is named 'combination'.

 

Show me three variations in the leading handbook on the openings, and I will show you two of those three that are defective.

 

Do not permit yourself to fall in love with the end-game play to the exclusion of entire games. It is well to have the whole story of how it happened; the complete play, not the denouement only. Do not embrace the rag-time and vaudeville of chess.

 

By some ardent enthusiasts Chess has been elevated into a science or an art. It is neither; but its principal characteristic seems to be - what human nature mostly delights in - a fight.

 

Truth derives its strength not so much from itself as from the brilliant contrast it makes with what is only apparently true. This applies especially to Chess, where it is often found that the profoundest moves do not much startle the imagination.

 

The process of making pieces in Chess do something useful (whatever it may be) has received a special name: it is called the attack. The attack is that process by means of which you remove obstructions.

 

To refer to the oft mooted question, "Which piece is stronger, the Bishop or the Knight?" it is clear that the value of the Bishop undergoes greater changes than that of the Knight.

 

Vanity should never tempt a player to engage in a combat at the risk of loss of health. It is bad enough to lose without the additional annoyance of paying doctors' bills.

 

I believe in magic ... There is magic in the creative faculty such as great poets and philosophers conspicuously possess, and equally in the creative chessmaster.

 

The most intelligent inspection of any number of fine paintings will not make the observer a painter, nor will listening to a number of operas make the hearer a musician, but good judges of music and painting may so be formed. Chess differs from these. The intelligent perusal of fine games cannot fail to make the reader a better player and a better judge of the play of others.

 

In mathematics, if I find a new approach to a problem, another mathematician might claim that he has a better, more elegant solution. In chess, if anybody claims he is better than I, I can checkmate him.

 

The combination player thinks forward; he starts from the given position, and tries the forceful moves in his mind.

 

A chess game, after all, is a fight in which all possible factors must be made use of, and in which a knowledge of the opponent's good and bad qualities is of the greatest importance.

 

When Alekhine recognizes the weakness in his position he has a tendency to become very aggressive. Patient defence is not for him if he can see the slightest chance of creating an attack. Yet sound strategy often demands that you submit to the opponent's will so as to strengthen your weaknesses and get rid of defects in your game.

 

To find the right plan is just as hard as looking for its sound justification.

 

By positional play a master tries to prove and exploit true values, whereas by combinations he seeks to refute false values ... A combination produces an unexpected re-assessment of values.

 

Th range of circumstances in which it is possible to presuppose the presence of a combination is very limited. The presence of such circumstances is the reason for the genesis of the idea in the master's brain.

 

Loss generally occurs when a player overrates his advantage or for other reasons seeks to derive from a minute advantage a great return such as a forced win.

 

He who has a slight disadvantage plays more attentively, inventively and more boldly than his antagonist who either takes it easy or aspires after too much. Thus a slight disadvantage is very frequently seen to convert into a good, solid advantage.

 

A player, as the world believed he was, he was not, his studious temperament made that impossible; and thus he was conquered by a player and in the end little valued by the world, he died.

 

King of chess  -  (what he whispered to his wife before he died)

 

… in itself the title of world champion does not give any significicant advantages, if it is not acknowledged by the entire chess world, and a champion who does not have the chess world behind him is, in my view, a laughing-stock.

 

The fatal hour of this ancient game is approaching. In its modern form this game will soon die a drawing death - the inevitable victory of certainty and mechanization will leave its stamp on the fate of chess

 

I have known many chess players, but among them there has been only one genius - Capablanca!

on Lasker

 

For me, this personality, notwithstanding his fundamentally optimistic attitude, had a tragic note. The enormous mental resilience, without which no chess player can exist, was so much taken up by chess that he could never free his mind of this game, even when he was occupied by philosophical and humanitarian questions.  -  Albert Einstein

 

Lasker was my teacher, and without him I could not have become whom I became. The idea of chess art is unthinkable without Emanuel Lasker.  -  Alexander Alekhine

 

All my life I have studied deeply and carefully the work of this great player and, as well as I can, I have tried to convert the best of it to my own use.  -  David Bronstein

 

I don't think I will win a game in this match. Lasker plays too stupidly for me to look at the board with any interest.  -  David Janowski

 

Lasker does not play chess, he plays dominoes.  -  (after losing 1910 match +0=3-8)  -  David Janowski

 

None of the great players has been so incomprehensible to the majority of amateurs and even masters, as Emanuel Lasker.  -  Jose Capablanca

 

That he was a great endgame player is unquestionable. In fact, he was the greatest I have ever known. But he was also the most profound and the most imaginative player I have ever known.  - Jose Capablanca

 

Lasker was perhaps the first of the great masters who understood the importance of preparing for competitions; before him, of course, they studied chess, but only in general, and they were not yet able to prepare concretely …  -  Mikhail Botvinnik

 

Great was Lasker's role in the social recognition of chess, the realization of its usefulness. "The game of chess eases our life's struggle", he said.  -  Mikhail Botvinnik

 

The greatest of the champions was, of course, Emanuel Lasker. At the chess board he accomplished the impossible!  -  Mikhail Tal

 

Lasker was purely and simply a great fighter who could also put up a tough fight in inferior positions, in this way being able to save many a difficult position.  -  Paul Keres

 

It strikes one as remarkable that Lasker, the one-time world's chess champion, had no disciples. Steinitz founded a school. Nearly all modern masters have learnt from Tarrasch. One perceives quite clearly the mind of young Rubinstein in the chess praxis of later years: only Lasker is inimitable. Why is it?  -  Richard Reti

 

Lasker's style was like clear limpid water - with a dash of poison!  - Rudolph Spielmann

 

Many an expert says that there is a certain affinity between (Capablanca's style) and that of the world master, Lasker. There may be some truth in it. Lasker's style is clear water, but with a drop of poison which is clouding it. Capablanca's style is perhaps still clearer, but it lacks that drop of poison.  -  Jacques Mieses

 

They compare me with Lasker, which is an exaggerated honour. Lasker made mistakes in every game and I only in every second one!  -  Mikhail Tal