What is chess?

"Chess is a good mistress but a bad master." - Gerald Abrahams (1907-1980)

“I consider chess an art, and accept all those responsibilities which art places upon its devotees.” – Alexander Alekhine (1892-1946)

“Chess is a matter of vanity.” – Alexander Alekhine (1892-1946)

“Chess is like a language.  The top players are very fluent at it.” – Viswanathan Anand (1969- )

“Chess is like acting.” - Viswanathan Anand (1969- )

“Chess is too difficult to be a game and not serious enough to be a science or an art.” – Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821)

"Chess is the art of analysis." - Mikhail Botvinnik (1911-1995)

"Chess is the art which expresses the science of logic." - Mikhail Botvinnik (1911-1995)

"The essence of chess is thinking about what chess is." - David Bronstein (1924-2006)

“Chess is imagination.” - David Bronstein (1924-2006)

“Chess is infinite, and one has to make only one ill-considered move, and one’s opponent’s wildest dreams will become reality.” - David Bronstein (1924-2006)

“In chess, as in life, opportunity strikes but once.” - David Bronstein (1924-2006)

“Chess is a natural cerebral high.” – Walter Browne (1949- )

“Chess is not a game but a disease.” – Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman (1836-1908)

“Chess is something more than a game.  It is an intellectual diversion which has certain artistic qualities and many scientific elements.” – Jose Capablanca (1888-1942)

“Chess is the finest of mental exercises.  It develops concentration and logical reasoning; and it is one of the few games in which you cannot rectify a mistake.  If you make a mistake, you lose, unless your opponent makes a worse mistake.” - Jose Capablanca (1888-1942)

"Chess is not for the timid." - Irving Chernev (1900-1981)

“Chess is a meritocracy.” – Lawrence Day (1949- )

"Chess is a sport.  A violent sport." - Marcel Duchamp (1887-1968)

“Chess is a game – the best game ever invented.” – James Eade (1957- )

“Chess is a bond of brotherhood amongst all lovers of the noble game, as perfect as free masonry.  It is a leveler of rank –title, wealth, nationality, politics, religion – all are forgotten across the board.” – Frederick Milne Edge

“Chess is a sport.  The main object is the game of chess remains the achievement of victory.” – Max Euwe (1901-1981)

“Ultimately chess is just chess – not the best thing in the world and not the worst thing in the world, but there is nothing quite like it.” – W.C. Fields (1880-1946)

“Chess is a contest between two men which lends itself particularly to the conflicts surrounding aggression.” – Reuben Fine (1914-1993)

"Chess is life." - Bobby Fischer (1943-2008)

“Chess is war over the board.  The object is to crush the opponents mind.” - Bobby Fischer (1943-2008)

“Chess is a matter of delicate judgment, knowing when to punch and how to duck.” - Bobby Fischer (1943-2008)

“Chess, like love, is infectious at any age.” – Salo Flohr (1908-1983)

“Life is kind of chess, with struggle, completion, good and ill events.” – Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)

"Chess is the touchstone of intellect." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832)

“Chess is an effective means to educate and train the human intellect.” – Che Guevara (1928-1967)

“Chess is life and every game is like a new life.  Every chess player gets to live many lives in one lifetime.” – Eduard Gufeld (1936-2002)

“Chess is a great game. No matter how good one is, there is always somebody better.  No matter how bad one is, there is always somebody worse.” – I.A. Horowitz (1907-1973)

“The chessboard is the world, the pieces are the phenomena of the universe, the rules of the game are what we call the laws of nature, and the player on the other side is hidden from us.” – Thomas Huxley (1825-1895)

"Chess is a sea in which a gnat may drink and an elephant may bathe." - Indian Proverb

"Chess is everything: art, science, and sport." - Anatoly Karpov (1951- )

“Chess is mental torture.” – Garry Kasparov (1963- )

“Perhaps chess is the wrong game for the times.” – Garry Kasparov (1963- )

“Chess is a unique cognitive nexus, a place where art and science come together in the human mind and are refined and improved by experience.” – Garry Kasparov (1963- )

"Chess is a test of wills." - Paul Keres (1916-1975)

"Chess is a cure for headaches." - John Maynard Keynes (1883-1946)

“Chess is my life.” – Viktor Korchnoi (1931- )

“Chess is a hard game.  There are no easy solutions.” – Danny Kopec (1954- )

“Chess is cool.” – Alexandra Kosteniuk (1984- )

“It has always been recognized that chess is an art, and its best practitioners have been described as artists.” – Alexander Kotov (1913-1981)

“Chess is like body-building.  If you train every day, you stay in top shape.  It is the same with your brain – chess is a matter of daily training.” – Vladimir Kramnik (1975- )

“Chess is so deep, I simply feel lost.” – Vladimir Kramnik (1975- )

“Chess is a beautiful mistress.” – Bent Larsen (1935-2010)

“Chess is in its essence a game, in its form an art, and its execution a science.” – Tassilo von Heydebrand und der Lasa (1818-1899)

“Chess is, above all, a fight.” – Emanuel Lasker (1868- 1941)

“Chess is one long regret.” – Stephen Leacock (1869-1944)

"Chess is only a recreation and not an occupation." - Vladimir Lenin (1870-1924)

“I look upon chess as a contest of intellect and character over the open board.” – Frank Marshall (1877-1944)

“Chess is a game sufficiently rich in meaning that is easily capable of containing elements of both tragedy and comedy.” – Luke McShane (1984- )

“Chess has this in common with making poetry; that the desire for it comes upon the amateur in gusts.” – A. A. Milne (1882-1956)

"Chess is eminently and emphatically the philosopher’s game." - Paul Morphy (1837-1884)

“Of chess it has been said that life is not long enough for it – but that is the fault of life, not chess.” – William Ewart Napier (1881-1952)

“Chess is neither a science nor an art, but rather a battle of minds.” – Ludek Pachman (1924-2003)

“Chess reflects the real world in miniature.  Endeavor, struggle, success, and defeat – they are part of each game ever played.” – Bruce Pandolfini (1947- )

"Chess is the gymnasium of the mind." - Blaise Pascal (1623-1662)

“Chess is a fathead and feudal game.” – George Perec (1936-1982)

“Chess is a miniature version of life.” – Susan Polgar (1969- )

“Chess is as much a mystery as women.” – Cecil Purdy (1906-1979)

“Chess makes man wiser and clear-sighted.” – Vladimir Putin (1952- )

"Chess is beautiful enough to waste your life for." - Hans Ree (1944- )

"Chess is a fighting game which is purely intellectual and includes chance." - Richard Reti (1889-1929)

“Chess is a sad waste of brains.” – Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832)

“Chess is the art of human reason.” – Gustavus Selenus (1579-1666)

“Chess is not relaxing; it’s stressful even if you win.” – Jennifer Shahade (1980- )

"Chess is a foolish expedient for making idle people believe they are doing something very clever, when they are only wasting their time." - George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)

"Chess is ruthless: you've got to be prepared to kill people." - Nigel Short (1965- )

“Chess is, in essence, a game for children.” - Nigel Short (1965- )

"Chess is a cold bath for the mind." - Sir John Simon (1873-1954)

“In chess, as in life, a man is his own most dangerous opponent.” – Vasily Smyslov (1921-2010)

"Chess is a game of bad moves." - Andrew Soltis (1947- )

“Chess is really 99 percent calculation.” - Andrew Soltis (1947- )

“Chess is a substitute for life itself.” – David Spanier (1932-2000)

“Chess is like life.” – Boris Spassky (1937- )

“The game of chess is the most fascinating and intellectual pastime which the wisdom of antiquity has bequeathed to us.” – Howard Staunton (1810-1874)

“Chess is so inspiring that I do not believe a good player is capable of having an evil thought during the game.” – Wilhelm (William) Steinitz (1836-1900)

“Chess is a terrible game.  If you have no center, your opponent has a freer position.  If you do have a center, then you really have something to worry about!” – Siegbert Tarrasch (1862-1934)

“Chess is a fairy tale of 1,001 blunders.” – Saveilly Tartakower (1887-1956)

"Chess is 99 percent tactics." - Richard Teichmann (1868-1925)

"Chess is a game which reflects most honor on human wit." – Voltaire (1694-1778)

“Chess is a board game with a checkered past.” – Bill Wall (1951- )

“It is a curse upon man.  There is no happiness in chess.” – H.G. Wells (1866-1946)

“Chess is for everybody.” – Patrick Wolff (1968- )

“Chess is a game of understanding, not of memory.” – Eugene Znosko-Borovsky (1884-1954)

“Chess is the struggle against error.” – Johannes Zukertort (1842-1888)