two-player board game
Chess is a recreational and competitive board game played on a square chequered chessboard with 64 squares arranged in an eight-by-eight square between two players who each control sixteen pieces.
- Even given boats, chess, music, the No Drama, beautiful women and beautiful spectroscopes, life could get heavy.
- Poul Anderson, The Enemy Stars, p. 36
- Life's too short for chess.
- Henry James Byron, Our Boys (1875), Act I
- A friendship across sectarian lines is not a common phenomenon, in his experience. In the past, it has struck him that, apart from homosexuals, only chess players have found a reliable way to bridge, intensely but without fatal violence, the gulf that separates any given pair of men.
- Michael Chabon, The Yiddish Policemen’s Union, p. 88
- Buraida reported on the authority of his father that Allah's Apostle (may peace be upon him) said: He who played chess is like one who dyed his hand with the flesh and blood of swine.
- HADITH Sahih Muslim 28:5612
- Yahya related to me from Malik from Nafi from Abdullah ibn Umar that when he found one of his family playing dice he beat him and destroyed the dice. Yahya said that he heard Malik say, "There is no good in chess, and he disapproved of it." Yahya said, "I heard him disapprove of playing it and other worthless games. He recited this ayat, 'What is there after the truth except going the wrong way.' " (Sura l0 ayat 32).
- Al-Muwatta 52:7
- Amberley excelled at chess—one mark, Watson, of a scheming mind.
- CHESS. Arabic Shatranj. According to the Hidiyah, "It is an abomination to play at chess, dice, or any other game, for if anything be staked it is gambling (maisir), which is expressly forbidden in the Qur'an; or if, on the other hand nothing be hazarded it is useless and vain. Besides, the Prophet has declared all the entertainment of a Muslim to be vain except three: the breaking in of his horse, the drawing of his bow, and playing and amusing himself with his wives. Several of the learned, however, deem the game at chess lawful as having a tendency to quicken the understanding. This is the opinion of ash-Shafi`i. If a man play at chess for a stake, it destroys the the integrity of his character, but if he do not play for a stake, the integrity of his character is not affected. (Hamilton's Hidayah)
- Hughes, T. P. (1986). Dictionary of Islam: : being a cyclopaedia of the doctrines, rites, ceremonies, and customs together with the technical and theological terms, of the Muhammadan religion.
- Fancy what a game at chess would be if all the chessmen had passions and intellects, more or less small and cunning; if you were not only uncertain about your adversary's men, but a little uncertain also about your own; if your knight could shuffle himself on to a new square by the sly; if your bishop, in disgust at your castling, could wheedle your pawns out of their places; and if your pawns, hating you because they are pawns, could make away from their appointed posts that you might get checkmate on a sudden. You might be the longest-headed of deducted reasoners, and yet you might be beaten by your own pawns. You would be especially likely to be beaten, if you depended arrogantly on your mathematical imagination, and regarded your passionate pieces with contempt.
Yet this imaginary chess is easy compared with the game a man has to play against his fellow-men with other fellow-men for his instruments. He thinks himself sagacious, perhaps, because he trusts no bond except that of self-interest; but the only self-interest he can safely rely on is what seems to be such to the mind he would use or govern. Can he ever be sure of knowing this?
- "It's a useful mental exercise. Through the years, many thinkers have been fascinated by it. But I don't enjoy playing... Because it was a game that was born during a brutal age when life counted for little. Everyone believed that some people were worth more than others. Kings. Pawns. I don't think that anyone is worth more than anyone else... Chess is just a game. Real people are not pieces. You can't assign more value to some of them and not others. Not to me. Not to anyone. People are not a thing that you can sacrifice. The lesson is, anyone who looks on to the world as if it is a game of chess, deserves to lose. "
- Harold Finch in Person of interest 4x11
- In my opinion, the King's Gambit is busted. It loses by force.
- I have played over several hundred of [Paul] Morphy's games, and am continually surprised and entertained by his ingenuity.
- Bobby Fischer, ‘The Ten Greatest Masters in History’ (pages 56-61 of Chessworld, January-February 1964)
- You know I'm finished with the old chess because it's all just a lot of book and memorization you know.
- In chess so much depends on opening theory, so the champions before the last century did not know as much as I do and other players do about opening theory. So if you just brought them back from the dead they wouldn't do well. They'd get bad openings. You cannot compare the playing strength, you can only talk about natural ability. Memorization is enormously powerful. Some kid of fourteen today, or even younger, could get an opening advantage against Capablanca, and especially against the players of the previous century, like Morphy and Steinitz. Maybe they would still be able to outplay the young kid of today. Or maybe not, because nowadays when you get the opening advantage not only do you get the opening advantage, you know how to play, they have so many examples of what to do from this position. It is really deadly, and that is why I don't like chess any more.
- [Capablanca] wanted to change the rules already, back in the twenties, because he said chess was getting played out. He was right. Now chess is completely dead. It is all just memorization and prearrangement. It’s a terrible game now. Very uncreative.
- The Game of Chess is not merely an idle amusement; several very valuable qualities of the mind, useful in the course of human life, are to be acquired and strengthened by it, so as to become habits ready on all occasions; for life is a kind of Chess, in which we have often points to gain, and competitors or adversaries to contend with, and in which there is a vast variety of good and ill events, that are, in some degree, the effect of prudence, or the want of it. By playing at Chess then, we may learn: 1st, Foresight, which looks a little into futurity, and considers the consequences that may attend an action … 2nd, Circumspection, which surveys the whole Chess-board, or scene of action:—the relation of the several Pieces, and their situations; … 3rd, Caution, not to make our moves too hastily...
- Benjamin Franklin, "The Morals of Chess" (article) (1750)
- [C]hess is not a game for dictators for numerous reasons. One, it's transparent. It’s all information hundred percent available so you know exactly what you have, you know exactly what your opponent has. You don’t know what he or she is thinking, but you definitely know what kind of resources your opponent can use to hurt you, to damage your position. Also, chess is very much a strategic game so you have to think long-term. Dictators don’t think long-term. Dictators, especially who are in power for so long as Putin is, they have to work on the survival mode. Because it’s all about today, maybe tomorrow morning. Everything that helps us survive is good. Because the moment the dictator thinks long-term, he’ll definitely miss guys from his own entourage hitting him in his own back. The game that defines dictators much better is poker because it’s about bluffs. It doesn’t matter whether you have a strong hand or weak hand. You can have a weak hand, but if you’re comfortable bluffing, raising stakes, and if you can read your opponent.
- We must finish once and for all with the neutrality of chess. We must condemn once and for all the formula "chess for the sake of chess", like the formula "art for art's sake". We must organize shockbrigades of chess-players, and begin immediate realization of a Five-Year Plan for chess.
- Nikolai Krylenko, as quoted in The Gulag Archipelago: An Experiment in Literary Investigation, Volume I, pages 434-435, Alexander Solzhenitsyn
- Chess is so characteristic a product of the legacy of Islam that it deserves more than a passing mention. Modern European chess is the direct descendant of an ancient Indian game, adopted by the Persians, handed on by them to the Muslim world, and finally borrowed from Islam by Christian Europe.
- Arnold, Legacy of Islam, p.32, citing H.J.R. Murrary, A History of Chess, Oxford, 1913. Quoted from Lal, K. S. (1992). The legacy of Muslim rule in India. New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan. Chapter 1
- This loss of interest, hair, and enterprise—
Ah, if the game were poker, yes,
You might discard them, draw a full house!
But it's chess.
- Philip Larkin, Continuing to Live
- On the chessboard lies and hypocrisy do not survive long. The creative combination lays bare the presumption of a lie; the merciless fact, culminating in a checkmate, contradicts the hypocrite.
- Emanuel Lasker, Lasker's Manual of Chess (1960), p. ix
- “You are not the first to be shocked and horrified by chess,” he assured her. “It is a curse of the intellect. It is a game for lunatics—or else it creates them.”
- Chess never has been and never can be aught but a recreation. It should not be indulged in to the detriment of other and more serious avocations.
- It [chess] is not only the most delightful and scientific, but the most moral of amusements.
- Paul Morphy as quoted in Testimonials to Paul Morphy: Presented at University Hall, New York, May 25, 1859
- It [chess] is eminently and emphatically the philosopher's game.
- Paul Morphy as quoted in Testimonials to Paul Morphy: Presented at University Hall, New York, May 25, 1859
- Let the chessboard supercede the card table, and a great improvement will be visible in the morals of the community.
- I am more strongly confirmed than ever in the belief that the time devoted to chess is literally frittered away. It is, to be sure, a most exhilarating sport, but it is only a sport; and it is not to be wondered at that such as have been passionately addicted to the charming pastime should one day ask themselves whether sober reason does not advise its utter dereliction.
- The Lord: The game of chess is like a sword fight. You must think first, before you move.
- Chess is a game by its form, an art by its content and a science by the difficulty of gaining mastery in it. Chess can convey as much happiness as a good book or work of music can.
- Some consider that when I play I am excessively cautious, but it seems to me that the question may be a different one. I try to avoid chance. Those who rely on chance should play cards or roulette. Chess is something quite different.
- They say my chess games should be more interesting. I could be more interesting - and also lose.
- Chess is a game by its form, an art by its content and a science by the difficulty of gaining mastery in it. Chess can convey as much happiness as a good book or work of music can. However, it is necessary to learn to play well and only afterwards will one experience real delight."
- I'm absolutely convinced that in chess - although it remains a game - there is nothing accidental. And this is my credo. I like only those chess games, in which I have played in accordance with the position requirements... I believe only in logical and right game.
- I don’t mind smoking interfering with my play. Some folks say it takes the sharp edge from one’s intellect, and spoils one’s memory. I haven’t found it so. I’ve smoked since I was 14, and I can play better when I have a cigar in my mouth – only a cigar, never anything else. When I play a lot of games at the same time, I must be keyed up to it, as it were. I practise what you call self-hypnotism. It is largely will-power. You see, it’s just this way. When it becomes my turn to make a move at one of the chess boards, my mental powers are concentrated severely on the one move. All the other chess boards, the checkers and whist are obliterated from my mind. It is as though I had never started playing those games at all. I seem to remember nothing of them. I come to a decision, the move is made, and I turn again to the cards in my hand. Quick as lightning the game of chess vanishes from my mind. Now it is nothing but whist with me. I seem never to have had a thought of anything but the game of cards. I play one. Then I move one of the checkers. These transitions of mind take place so quickly that I seem to be playing chess, checkers and whist all at once, and to be thinking of all the games at once. But it is as I explained. The only thing I really need for the ordeal is my cigar.
- Harry Pillsbury, as quoted in The American Chess Magazine, August 1899, page 75
- Yet to calculate is not in itself to analyse. A chess-player, for example, does the one without effort at the other. It follows that the game of chess, in its effects upon mental character, is greatly misunderstood. I [...] assert that the higher powers of the reflective intellect are more decidedly and more usefully tasked by the unostentatious game of draughts than by all the elaborate frivolity of chess. In this latter, where the pieces have different and bizarre motions, with various and variable values, what is only complex is mistaken (a not unusual error) for what is profound. The attention is here called powerfully into play. If it flag for an instant, an oversight is committed, resulting in injury or defeat. The possible moves being not only manifold but involute, the chances of such oversights are multiplied; and in nine cases out of ten it is the more concentrative rather than the more acute player who conquers.
- Edgar Allan Poe, The Murders in the Rue Morgue
- My life was in crisis. All my values were becoming meaningless. I was discovering that my chosen profession was empty, foolish, as useless as—as playing chess.
- Robert Silverberg, Schwartz Between the Galaxies (originally published in Stellar 1, 1975)
- ‘Anderssen once said to me: “To win a tournament, a competitor must in the first place play well, but he should also have a good amount of luck.” I quite agree with that, but it naturally follows that there must be also ill luck in tournaments, of which many instances could be cited, notably that of Winawer, who, after having tied for first and second prizes in Vienna, and just a few weeks before he came out chief victor in Nuremberg, did not win in London a single prize out of eight (to include the special one for the best score against the prize-holders). All this would tend to show that, at least, a single tournament, especially one consisting of one round only, cannot be regarded as a test.’
- Wilhelm Steinitz, page 236 of the August 1886 International Chess Magazine
- Shall we play Bezique? Or Nightjack? I’ve cards, or chess if you prefer, but I’ve always found chess to be a bit too much like real life to provide much enjoyment as a game.
- Catherynne M. Valente, The Girl Who Ruled Fairyland, For a Little While (originally published at Tor.com, July 27, 2011)
- Ludimus effigiem belli, simulataque veris
Praelia, buxo acies fictas, et ludicra regna,
Ut gemini inter se reges albusque, nigerque
Pro laude oppositi certent bicoloribus armis.
- I sing the form of war, the bloodless plain,
Armies of ivory, and a mock campaign;
How two bold kings in different armour veil'd,
One black, one white, for conquest fought the field.
- Marco Girolamo Vida, Scacchia Ludus (1527) [Game of Chess], opening lines. Compare: "Of armies on the chequer'd field array'd,/ And guiltless war in pleasing form display'd;/ When two bold kings contend with vain alarms,/ In ivory this, and that in ebon arms;" William Jones, Caïssa; Or, The Game of Chess.
- I sing the form of war, the bloodless plain,
- [The queen] sits at the top of the high places above the city. She is restless and determined. She girds her loins with strength. Her feet stay not in her house. She moves in every direction and into every corner. Her evolutions are wonderful, her spirit untiring. How comely are her footsteps as she moves diagonally, one step after another, from square to square!
- c. 12th century Spanish Hebrew text, attributed to Bonsenior ibn Yehia (quoted in Marilyn Yalom, The Birth of the Chess Queen, pp. 54-55)
- Chess and Islam were born about the same time - chess out of a regional need to understand complex new ideas, and Islam out of the Arabs' desperate need for discipline, intelligence, and meaningful community. [...] In Persia the Muslims encountered chatrang, the bloodless new war game which relied solely on players' intellect. Chess and Islam complemented each other well: a new game of war, wits and self-control serving a spirited new religious and social movement organized around the same values.
- To play chess, the ulema declare, is detestable according to Imam Abu Hanifa, and a man habituated to it is not qualified to be imam... And how could they rule otherwise? Had the Prophet not said, ‘He who plays chess is like one who dyes his hand with the flesh and blood of swine?’...
- About rulings of the Shariat and ulema on chess. Arun Shourie - The World of Fatwas Or The Sharia in Action (2012, Harper Collins)