Lessons of chess

Once while walking over Waterloo Bridge, in London, with stout-hearted Teichmann, we conversed of the ingredients that associate to make a chessplayer. I ventured a remark that, if he would name one indispensable ingredient, I would name an able player wholly destitute of it. And Richard very tolerantly said, “Have you given any thought to ‘vanity’?” – WE Napier, Napier’s Amenities & Background of Chess-Play

Alexander Alekhine…said with regard to his victory over Capablanca at Buenos Aires: “Psychology is the most important factor in chess. My success was due solely to my superiority in the sense of psychology. Capablanca played almost entirely by a marvellous gift of intuition, but he lacked the psychological sense.”

From the commencement of the game, the champion continued, a player must know his opponent. “Then the game becomes a question of nerves, personality & vanity. Vanity plays a great part in deciding the result of a game.” – British Chess Magazine, Jan 1929, p19

In the laboratory, the gambits all test unfavourably, but the old rule wears well, that all gambits are sound over the board. – WE Napier, Napier’s Amenities & Background of Chess-Play

John McCutcheon, of Pittsburgh & undying fame for his research in the French Defense, often said about opening moves, “Not new, but old enough to be new.” – WE Napier, Napier’s Amenities & Background of Chess-Play

It is not enough to be a good player; one must also play well. – Tarrasch

The form of a game of chess & even that of the Talmud & the old scholastic philosophy are good, but the matter is not of much use. One exercises one’s powers, but what one learns in doing so has no value. – Lichtenberg



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *