Mr. Kasparov needs no introduction. He was ranked world’s number one for 225 out of 228 months from 1986 to his retirement from chess in 2005. Kasparov holds a record of 15 consecutive professional tournament victories and 11 chess Oscars! He became a youngest ever world champion at the age of 22, defeating Anatoly Karpov.
Kasparov held the title for 15 years! We present a list of quotes by the greatest chess player of all time Garry Kasparov.
Chess strength in general and chess strength in a specific match are by no means one and the same thing.
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.
Nowadays games immediately appear on the Internet and thus the life of novelties is measured in hours. Modern professionals do not have the right to be forgetful – it is ‘life threatening’.
Any experienced player knows how a change in the character of the play influences your psychological mood.
By the time a player becomes a Grandmaster, almost all of his training time is dedicated to work on this first phase. The opening is the only phase that holds out the potential for true creativity and doing something entirely new.
When your house is on fire, you can’t be bothered with the neighbors. Or, as we say in chess, if your King is under attack, don’t worry about losing a pawn on the queen side.
Attackers may sometimes regret bad moves, but it is much worse to forever regret an opportunity you allowed to pass you by.
By strictly observing Botvinnik’s rule regarding the thorough analysis of one’s own games, with the years I have come to realize that this provides the foundation for the continuos development of chess mastery.
The best chess masters of every epoch have been closely linked with the values of the society in which they lived and worked. All the changes of a cultural, political, and psychological background are reflected in the style and ideas of their play.
I see my own style as being a symbiosis of the styles of Alekhine, Tal and Fischer.
In general there is something puzzling about the fact that the most renowned figures in chess – Morphy, Pillsbury, Capablanca and Fischer – were born in America.
Who else in chess history has won so many serious games with the help of brilliant tactical strokes? – (on Alekhine)
When I was preparing for one term’s work in the Botvinnik school I had to spend a lot of time on king and pawn endings. So when I came to a tricky position in my own games I knew the winning method.
Excelling at chess has long been considered a symbol of more general intelligence. That is an incorrect assumption in my view, as pleasant as it might be.
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.
Brute-force programs play the best chess, so why bother with anything else? Why waste time and money experimenting with new and innovative ideas when we already know what works? Such thinking should horrify anyone worthy of the name of scientist, but it seems, tragically, to be the norm. Our best minds have gone into financial engineering instead of real engineering, with catastrophic results for both sectors.
Perhaps chess is the wrong game for the times. Poker is now everywhere, as amateurs dream of winning millions and being on television for playing a card game whose complexities can be detailed on a single piece of paper.
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.
Chess continues to advance over time, so the players of the future will inevitably surpass me in the quality of their play, assuming the rules and regulations allow them to play serious chess. But it will likely be a long time before anyone spends 20 consecutive years as number, one as I did.
I have found that after 1.d4 there are more opportunities for richer play.
The highest art of the chessplayer lies in not allowing your opponent to show you what he can do.
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.
Tactics involve calculations that can tax the human brain, but when you boil them down, they are actually the simplest part of chess and are almost trivial compared to strategy.
For me, chess is a language, and if it’s not my native tongue, it is one I learned via the immersion method at a young age.
I’ve seen – both in myself and my competitors – how satisfaction can lead to a lack of vigilance, then to mistakes and missed opportunities.
Few things are as psychologically brutal as chess.
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.
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.
If you wish to succeed, you must brave the risk of failure.
Vishy is a brilliant player. But it is very difficult to compete at 40. He is up against people half his age. I will be surprised if he can go on any longer. He can fight against anyone but time.
Images of Kasparov are from chesspro.ru and wikipedia.org
Garry Kasparov was not afraid of a computer. When the world chess champion agreed to play a match against Deep Blue, the IBM supercomputer designed to beat him, he was so confident that, according to TIME, he scoffed at an offer to split the $500,000 purse 60-40 between winner and loser. He preferred all or nothing.
While Kasparov won the match on this day, Feb. 17, in 1996, victory didn’t come as easily as he had predicted. In fact, Deep Blue won the first game they played. It was “a shattering experience” for Kasparov, as his coach told TIME. And he wasn’t the only one reeling. Luddites everywhere were on notice: here was a machine better than humankind’s best at a game that depended as much on gut instinct as sheer calculation. Surely the Cylons were on their way.
But after rallying to beat Deep Blue, winning three matches and drawing two after his initial loss, Kasparov wasn’t ready to give up on the human race — or himself. He later explained, in an essay for TIME, that Deep Blue flummoxed him in that first game by making a move with no immediate material advantage; nudging a pawn into a position where it could be easily captured.
“It was a wonderful and extremely human move,” Kasparov noted, and this apparent humanness threw him for a loop. “I had played a lot of computers but had never experienced anything like this. I could feel — I could smell — a new kind of intelligence across the table.”
Later, he discovered the truth: Deep Blue’s calculation speed was so advanced that, unlike other computers Kasparov had battled before, this one could see the material advantage of losing a pawn even if the advantage came many moves later.
Knowing that it was still basically a calculating machine gave Kasparov his edge back. He boasted, “In the end, that may have been my biggest advantage: I could figure out its priorities and adjust my play. It couldn’t do the same to me. So although I think I did see some signs of intelligence, it’s a weird kind, an inefficient, inflexible kind that makes me think I have a few years left.”
He did not, as it turned out. The next year, he played against a new and improved Deep Blue and lost the match. Once again, the psychological toll of facing off against an inscrutable opponent played a key role. Although he easily won the first game, Deep Blue dominated the second. Kasparov, according to NPR, was visibly perturbed — sighing and rubbing his face — before he abruptly stood and walked away, forfeiting the match.
He later said he was again riled by a move the computer made that was so surprising, so un-machine-like, that he was sure the IBM team had cheated. What it may have been, in fact, was a glitch in Deep Blue’s programming: Faced with too many options and no clear preference, the computer chose a move at random. According to Wired, the move that threw Kasparov off his game and changed the momentum of the match was not a feature, but a bug.
Read TIME’s original analysis of the 1996 face-off, here in the archives: Can Machines Think?