Self-confidence is very important. If you don’t think you can win, you will take cowardly decisions in the crucial moments, out of sheer respect for your opponent. You see the opportunity but also greater limitations than you should. I have always believed in what I do on the chessboard, even when I had no objective reason to. It is better to overestimate your prospects than underestimate them.  -  Magnus Carlsen


If critics and competitors can't match your results, they will often denigrate the way you achieve them. Fast, intuitive types are called lazy. Dedicated burners of the midnight oil are called obsessed. And while it's obviously not a bad idea to hear and consider the opinions of others, you should be suspicious when these criticisms emerge right on the heels of success.   -   Garry Kasparov


When I start to play a game I try to forget about previous games and try to concentrate on this game. This game is now the most important to me. But of course I am not a computer and you cannot simply press a button, delete, and everything you want to forget disappears automatically. But if you want to play well, it's important to concentrate on the now.  -  Vassily Ivanchuk


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.  -  Garry Kasparov


I think it’s very natural to get nervous. I’ve usually got concerns about a specific thing in the opening which might worry me. I have to be relaxed and balanced emotionally and then I can concentrate on the moves during the game. Then things will be ok.  -  Judit Polgar


Not winning a tournament is not an option for me, unless it's no longer theoretically possible - then of course winning becomes impossible. But up to that point, not winning is just not an option.  -  Magnus Carlsen


I quit chess because I had developed a satisfactory strategic understanding of the game and whatever improvement remained was in technique. This would require a lot of effort for minimal returns.  -  Duncan Suttles


Fortunately I’ve got a weak character, so I never did decide to dedicate myself to only one of my professions. And I’m very glad. After all, if I’d rejected chess or music then my life wouldn’t have been two times, but a hundred times less interesting. - Mark Taimanov


The single most important thing in life is to believe in yourself regardless of what everyone else says. - Hikaru Nakamura


You are not a born CEO or investor or chess grandmaster. You will achieve greatness only through an enormous amount of hard work over many years. (In "What It Takes To Be Great" FORTUNE Oct. 30, 2006)  -  Geoffrey Colvin


Sit there for five hours? Certainly not! A player must walk about between moves, it helps his thinking.  -  Alexander Kotov


The days when it was possible to win a serious game only by merit of sporting character or depth of chess understanding have vanished forever. Chess knowledge has become dominant, bypassing all the other factors that contribute to success.  -  Anatoly Karpov


But how difficult it can be to gain the desired full point against an opponent of inferior strength, when this is demanded by the tournament position!  -  Anatoly Karpov


The stomach is an essential part of the chessmaster.  -  Bent Larsen


A strong memory, concentration, imagination, and a strong will is required to become a great chess player.  -  Bobby Fischer


Genius. It's a word. What does it really mean? If I win I'm a genius. If I don't, I'm not.  -  Bobby Fischer


I give 98 percent of my mental energy to Chess. Others give only 2 percent.  -  Bobby Fischer


I know people who have all the will in the world, but still can't play good chess.  -  Bobby Fischer


You have to have the fighting spirit. You have to force moves and take chances.  -  Bobby Fischer


Chess demands total concentration.  -  Bobby Fischer


The turning point in my career came with the realization that Black should play to win instead of just steering for equality.  -  Bobby Fischer


When I was eleven, I just got good.  -  Bobby Fischer


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.  -  Bobby Fischer


The best indicator of a chess player's form is his ability to sense the climax of the game.  -  Boris Spassky


Methodical thinking is of more use in chess than inspiration.  -  Cecil Purdy


Far from all of the obvious moves that go without saying are correct.  -  David Bronstein


In chess, as in life, opportunity strikes but once.  -  David Bronstein


Independence of thought is a most valuable quality in a chess-player, both at the board and when preparing for a game.  -  David Bronstein


Man is a frivolous, a specious creature, and like a Chess player, cares more for the process of attaining his goal than the goal itself.  - Fyodor  Dostoyevsky


In chess, at least, the brave inherit the earth.  -  Edmar Mednis


Your practical results will improve when you play what you know, like and have confidence in.  -  Edmar Mednis


The hardest game to win is a won game.  -  Emanuel Lasker


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.  -  Garry Kasparov


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.  -  Garry Kasparov


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.  -  Garry Kasparov


The highest art of the chessplayer lies in not allowing your opponent to show you what he can do.  -  Garry Kasparov


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.  -  Garry Kasparov


Throughout my chess career I sought out new challenges, looking for things no one had done before.  -  Garry Kasparov


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.  -  Garry Kasparov


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.  -  Garry Kasparov


If you wish to succeed, you must brave the risk of failure.  -  Garry Kasparov


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.  -  Garry Kasparov


You need not play well - just help your opponent to play badly.  - Genrikh Chepukaitis


I have also known some of the world's finest brains and some of these, though passionately fond of chess, have been pretty poor players. I used to know one of the world's leading mathematicians and whenever we played chess I had to give him the odds of a Queen to make matters more equal, and even then I always won.  - Harry Golombek


Reti took his hard-earned honours with becoming modesty, but he was the lion of the hour. Such moments are to chess players what the flush of victory is to generals in the field.  -  on Reti's sensational defeat of Capablanca in New York, 1924  -  Hermann Helms


The sign of a great Master is his ability to win a won game quickly and painlessly.  -  Irving Chernev


A good player is always lucky.  -  Jose Capablanca


The game might be divided into three parts, the opening, the middle-game and the end-game. There is one thing you must strive for, to be equally efficient in the three parts.  -  Jose Capablanca


A great chess player always has a very good memory.  -  Leonid Shamkovich


Chess, like any creative activity, can exist only through the combined efforts of those who have creative talent, and those who have the ability to organize their creative work.  -  Mikhail Botvinnik


I ... have two vocations: chess and engineering. If I played chess only, I believe that my success would not have been significantly greater. I can play chess well only when I have fully convalesced from chess and when the 'hunger for chess' once more awakens within me.  -  Mikhail Botvinnik


You have to accustom yourself to practical study at home, you have to devote time to studies, to the history of chess, the development of chess, of chess culture.  -  Mikhail Botvinnik


If you are going to make your mark among masters, you have to work far harder and more intensively, or, to put it more exactly, the work is far more complex than that needed to gain the title of Master.  -  Mikhail Botvinnik


A win gives one a feeling of self-affirmation, and success - a feeling of self-expression, but only a sensible harmonization between these urges can bring really great achievements in chess.  -  Oleg Romanishin


The ability to create and to control the tension of battle is perhaps the principal attainment of the great player.  -  Savielly Tartakower


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. - Garry Kasparov


It is not enough to be a good player... you must also play well.  - Siegbert Tarrasch


One doesn't have to play well, it's enough to play better than your opponent.  -  Siegbert Tarrasch


First-class players lose to second-class players because second-class players sometimes play a first-class game.  -  Siegbert Tarrasch


It's a funny thing, most players think that if they can get a higher rating, they become a better player, but it's the other way 'round.  - Stewart Rueben


The criterion of real strength is a deep penetration into the secrets of a position.  -  Tigran Petrosian


There came a time when I realized that the ability to defend was - for a good chess player - insufficient. You can't be dependent upon your opponent's will, but must try to impose your will on him.  - Victor Kortchnoi


Those who think that it is easy to play chess are mistaken. During a game a player lives on his nerves, and at the same time he must be perfectly composed.  -  Victor Kortchnoi


It is rightly said that the most difficult thing in chess is winning a won position.  -  Vladimir Kramnik


I feel that everyone is good. In this way I give every game my best effort. The moment that you let up is the time that you can be hit by the sucker punch.  -  Walter Browne


Chess is not for the faint-hearted; it absorbs a person entirely. To get to the bottom of this game, he has to give himself up into slavery. Chess is difficult, it demands work, serious reflection and zealous research.  -  Wilhelm Steinitz


The biggest problem I see among people who want to excel in chess - and in business and life in general - is not trusting these instincts enough. Too often they rely on having all the information, which the forces them to a conclusion. This effectively reduces them to the role of a microprocessor ...  -  Garry Kasparov


Though most people love to look at the games of the great attacking masters, some of the most successful players in history have been the quiet positional players. They slowly grind you down by taking away your space, tying up your pieces, and leaving you with virtually nothing to do !  -  Yasser Seirawan


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.  -  Garry Kasparov


The skills that one must be acquainted with are as follows: riding, swimming, archery, boxing, hawking, chess, and verse writing. (the 7 accomplishments expected of a knight c 12th century) - Petrus Alfonsi


For success I consider three factors are necessary: firstly, an awareness of my own strengths and weaknesses; secondly, an accurate understanding of my opponent's strengths and weaknesses; thirdly, a higher aim than momentary satisfaction. I see this aim as being scientific and artistic achievements, which place the game of chess on a par with other arts. - Alexander Alekhine