A Quote by Norbert Wiener on chess, correction, mathematics, problems, reputation, and success

The Advantage is that mathematics is a field in which one's blunders tend to show very clearly and can be corrected or erased with a stroke of the pencil. It is a field which has often been compared with chess, but differs from the latter in that it is only one's best moments that count and not one's worst. A single inattention may lose a chess game, whereas a single successful approach to a problem, among many which have been relegated to the wastebasket, will make a mathematician's reputation.

Norbert Wiener (1894 - 1964)

Source: Ex-Prodigy: My Childhood and Youth.

Contributed by: Zaady

A Quote by Marcel Duchamp on beauty, chess, design, and poetry

The chess pieces are the block alphabet which shapes thoughts; and these thoughts, although making a visual design on the chess-board, express their beauty abstractly, like a poem. . . .

Marcel Duchamp (1887 - 1968)

Contributed by: Zaady

A Quote by Thomas Henry Huxley on chess, ignorance, justice, laws, mistakes, nature, patience, play, rules, universe, and world

The chess board is the world, the pieces are the phenomena of the universe, the rules of the game are what we call the laws of Nature. The player on the other side is hidden from us. We know that his play is always fair, just, and patient. But also we know, to our cost, that he never overlooks a mistake, or makes the smallest allowance for ignorance.

Thomas Huxley (1825 - 1895)

Source: A Liberal Education [1868]

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A Quote by Godfrey H. Hardy on chess, love, play, sacrifice, and weapons

Reductio ad absurdum, which Euclid loved so much, is one of a mathematician's finest weapons. It is a far finer gambit than any chess play: a chess player may offer the sacrifice of a pawn or even a piece, but a mathematician offers the game.

Godfrey H. Hardy (1877 - 1947)

Source: A Mathematician's Apology, London, Cambridge University Press, 1941.

Contributed by: Zaady

A Quote by Gilbert Keith Chesterton on chess, creativity, danger, imagination, lies, logic, and poets

Poets do not go mad; but chess-players do. Mathematicians go mad, and cashiers; but creative artists very seldom. I am not, as will be seen, in any sense attacking logic: I only say that this danger does lie in logic, not in imagination.

Gilbert Chesterton (1874 - 1936)

Source: Orthodoxy ch. 2.

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A Quote by G. Steiner on chess, contentment, history, investment, kindness, mathematics, music, police, reality, and wealth

For all their wealth of content, for all the sum of history and social institution invested in them, music, mathematics, and chess are resplendently useless (applied mathematics is a higher plumbing, a kind of music for the police band). They are metaphysically trivial, irresponsible. They refuse to relate outward, to take reality for arbiter. This is the source of their witchery.

G. Steiner

Source: The American Mathematical Monthly, v. 101, no. 9, November, 1994.

Contributed by: Zaady

A Quote by Charles Buxton on chess and life


In life, as in chess, forethought wins.

Charles Buxton (1823 - 1871)

Contributed by: Zaady

A Quote by Anatol Rapoport on awareness, chess, facts, interest, life, play, and soul

One cannot play chess if one becomes aware of the pieces as living souls and of the fact that the Whites and the Blacks have more in common with each other than with the players. Suddenly one loses all interest in who will be champion.

Anatol Rapoport

Source: Fights, Games and Debates (1960)

Contributed by: Zaady

A Quote by Drea on action, balance, body, brevity, chess, consequences, control, danger, effort, experience, intelligence, intuition, mistakes, mountains, pain, pleasure, responsibility, risk, silence, skill, world, and worth

The pleasure of risk is in the control needed to ride it with assurance so that what appears dangerous to the outsider is, to the participant, simply a matter of intelligence, skill, intuition, coordination - in a word, experience. Climbing, in particular, is a paradoxically intellectual pastime, but with this difference: you have to think with your body. Every move has to be worked out in terms of effort, balance and consequences. It is like playing chess with your body. If I make a mistake, the consequences are immediate, obvious, embarrassing and possibly painful. For a brief period, I am directly responsible for my actions. In that beautiful, silent world of the mountains, it seems to me worth a little risk.


Source: New York Times Magazine

Contributed by: Zaady

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