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The Zen of Chess

Seeking enlightenment...

The element of discovery in chess is very important. I don't repeat myself well. I want and need that stimulus of creativity from one new idea to another.

By my good position I am deposited — as all good chess players like to be — in the right place at the right time.

There is sleight of hand in chess ... you make your opponent think he's seeing everything while at the same time you make him realize he's not. I try to make my moves seem only reasonable and then, at the last minute, pull the rug from beneath my opponent's feet, very gently so there's a little thrill. Ah... now I see said the blind man.

My first priority when considering a chess move is to achieve clarity. A good chess move transmits the force of the position with the utmost fidelity; achieving it means understanding the nuances of the position, and also remembering to keep one eye on my opponent, and the other on my clock.

The tactician must know what to do whenever something needs doing; the strategist must know what to do when nothing needs doing. Savielly Tartakover (1887-1956)

This benefit of seeing... can come only if you pause a while, extricate yourself from the maddening mob of blundering quick moves, and look thoughtfully at a quiet move... the chess player must be willing to pause, to look again, to meditate.

Go into chess as young as possible. Bring all the assets you have and play to win. Chess is a remarkable game. If you saturate yourself with chess, then the game will all but take you by the hand and point the way.

A good chess move is the expression of creativity. If the beautiful were not in us, how would we ever recognize it?

When you're locked in mental combat on 64 squares with an opponent you may never see, you're forever riding in this state of tension. You will think about your next move for thousands of minutes just to find one inspiration... then suddenly, there it is. My destiny at last! My best moves are often almost unconscious and occur ahead of my ability to understand them.

The move record of a game is only a witness. It easily produces an image of truth. Chess is difficult because a good game is a reflection of those who make it. When a player looks at his position, he sees with everything he is, with everything he knows. Knowledge, experience, and imagination enable him to do powerful creative work, or blunder mightily.

For me, chess is a language...

Garry Kasparov