Some people think that if their opponent plays a beautiful game, it’s OK to lose. I don’t. You have to be merciless.  -  Magnus Carlsen


Losing can persuade you to change what doesn't need to be changed, and winning can convince you everything is fine even if you are on the brink of disaster.  -  Garry Kasparov


Chess is a contributor to net human unhappiness, since the pleasure of victory is greatly exceeded by the pain of defeat.  -  Bill Hartston


Greg Kaidanov tried to get me to view his behavior as part of what makes him great – if he wouldn't get so upset about losing, he'd never maintain the level that he has. I see his point, but somehow I can't accept the idea that these sorts of verbal assaults on people are justified, no matter what their end goal is.  (following her defeat of Viktor Kortchnoi ... and the post-mortem)  -  Irina Krush


There is no physical punishment in chess; suffering goes on inside the mind. You defend a bad position for hours, you suffer. You lose, you suffer like in any other sport. Suffering euphoria comes when the opponent blunders in a winning position, but it is undeserved. - Lubomir Kavalek


Some scientist needs to explain to spectators Einstein's relativity theory. Before his explanation, he says: 'I have to suffer a lot explaining something I don't understand myself.' This relates to my game: I didn't understand anything! (on losing to Magnus Carlsen at the 2011 Sao Paolo/Bilbao tournament) - Vasily Ivanchuk


Don't be afraid of losing, be afraid of playing a game and not learning something. - Dan Heisman


Win with grace, lose with dignity!  -  Susan Polgar


The psychological effects of having to hold a prospectless position for what might seem an infinite amount of time does nothing to aid the defender's concentration. - Michael Stean


All chess masters have on occasion played a magnificent game and then lost it by a stupid mistake, perhaps in time pressure and it may perhaps seem unjust that all their beautiful ideas get no other recognition than a zero on the tournament table.  -  Bent Larsen


Lack of patience is probably the most common reason for losing a game, or drawing games that should have been won.  -  Bent Larsen


Don't even mention losing to me. I can't stand to think of it.  -  Bobby Fischer


To lose one's objective attitude to a position, nearly always means ruining your game.  -  David Bronstein


I prefer to lose a really good game than to win a bad one.  -  David Levy


Winning isn't everything … but losing is nothing  -  Edmar Mednis


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.  -  Emanuel Lasker


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.  -  Emanuel Lasker


A defeatist spirit must inevitably lead to disaster.  -  Eugene Znosko-Borovski


… he could be tremendously stubborn. Janowski could follow the wrong path with more determination than any man I met! He was also something of a dandy and quite vain about his appearance.  - Frank Marshall


Short of actual blunders, lack of faith in one's position is the chief cause of defeat. To be sure, it is easy to recommend faith and not so easy to practise it.  -  Fred Reinfeld


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.  -  Garry Kasparov


The true sweetness of chess, if it can ever be called sweet, is to see a victory snatched, by some happy impertinence, out of the shadows of apparently irrevocable disaster.  -  H.G. Wells


You may learn much more from a game you lose than from a game you win. You will have to lose hundreds of games before becoming a good player.  -  Jose Capablanca


I have not given any drawn or lost games, because I thought them inadequate to the purpose of the book.  -  (in his book 'My Chess Career' published in 1920)  -  Jose Capablanca


Most players ... do not like losing, and consider defeat as something shameful. This is a wrong attitude. Those who wish to perfect themselves must regard their losses as lessons and learn from them what sorts of things to avoid in the future.  -  Jose Capablanca


If you don't win, it's not a great tragedy - the worst that happens is that you lose a game.  -Bobby Fischer


Playing chess has many aspects that can be useful in everyday situations like planning, concentration and combinations. You learn to win but also to lose and to be creative.  -  Judit Polgar


In modern praxis lost positions are salvaged most often when the play is highly complicated with many sharp dynamic variations to be calculated.  -  Leonid Shamkovich


No one ever won a game by resigning.  -  Savielly Tartakower


The loser is always at fault.  -  Vasily Panov


When Marx got into a difficult position he would get angry and losing a game would cause him to fly into a rage.  (on Karl Marx)  -  Wilhelm Liebknecht


Look at Garry Kasparov. After he loses, invariably he wins the next game. He just kills the guy. That's something that we have to learn to be able to do.  -  Maurice Ashley


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 key battles.   - Garry Kasparov


We are in truth but pieces on this chess board of life, which in the end we leave, only to drop one by one into the grave of nothingness. (c 1120) - Omar Khayyam