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Table of Contents
                            Part One: Fundamentals
	What IS Chess?
	Personality Traits & Habits of Approach
	The Board Doesn't Lie
Part Two: Playing
	On Play
Part Three: The Mental Game
	The Self
	Physical Health
Part Four: On Strategy
	Strategy vs Tactics
		Preponderance of Force
		when to complicate
Part Five: Time & Timing
	Haste vs. Using the Clock
	The Three Stages
		The Opening
		The Mid-game
		The End-Game
Ending Thoughts:
Author Biographies:
	A to E:
	F to K:
	J to N:
	P to S:
	T to Z:
Index of Author's Quotes:
	A to Z:
Document Text Contents
Page 1


Page 2

All quotations contained herein are from the public record; the arrangement falls under the Creative
Commons License, 2013, by Webster McNairy.

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. To
view a copy of this license, visit

You may freely distribute this work, as long as no changes are made to it.

The image of “The White King” adapted to the cover of this book is courtesy of “jamarmstrong” (CC BY 2.0) via Creative Commons and

The “Cogged Rook” image used as a background is owned outright by Webster McNairy – it is NOT available for re-distribution outside
of the contents of this book.

Special Thanks to Patti Mulkey for her help on the biographies section of this book.

Author's Details:

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Page 27


Without error there can be no brilliancy. – Emanuel Lasker 294.

[Chess] is the finest mental exercise. 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. – Capablanca 295.

A game is always won through a mistake. – Tartakower 296.

The blunders are all there on the board, waiting to be made. – Savielly Tartakower 297.

Gentlemen, when the enemy is committed to a mistake we must not interrupt him too soon. – Horatio
Nelson 298.

Hence that general is skilful in attack whose opponent does not know what to defend; and he is skillful
in defense whose opponent does not know what to attack. – Sun Tzu 299.

Select the tactic of seeming to come from the East and attacking from the West; avoid the solid, attack
the hollow; attack; withdraw; deliver a lightning blow, seek a lightning decision. When guerrillas
engage a stronger enemy, they withdraw when he advances; harass him when he stops; strike him when
he is weary; pursue him when he withdraws. – Mao Tse-Tung (On Guerrilla Warfare, 1937) 300.

A quiet move in the midst of an attack is the master's trademark. – Anon 301.

Not all artists may be chess players, but all chess players are artists. – Marcel Duchamp 302.

… a 'quiet' move is the epitome of finesse. A soft answer turns away wrath, but its subdued quality
makes it no less efficient. – Hans Kmoch 303.


What would Chess be without silly mistakes? – Kurt Richter 304.

People who want to improve should take their defeats as lessons, and endeavor to learn what to avoid
in the future. You must also have the courage of your convictions. If you think your move is good,
make it. – Jose Capablanca 305.

Confidence is very important – even pretending to be confident. If you make a mistake but do not let
your opponent see what you are thinking then he may overlook the mistake. – Viswanathan Anand 306.

To avoid mistakes is the beginning, as it is the end, of mastery in chess. – Znosko-Borovsky 307.

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 308.


Page 28

One bad move nullifies forty good ones. – I.A. Horowitz 309.

A descriptive justification can be given for almost every mistake. – adapted from Nigel Davies 310.

Errors have nothing to do with luck; they are caused by time pressure, discomfort or unfamiliarity with
a position, distractions, feelings of intimidation, nervous tension, overambition, excessive caution, and
dozens of other psychological factors. – Pal Benko 311.

In the endgame, the most common errors, besides those resulting from ignorance of theory, are caused
by either impatience, complacency, exhaustion, or all of the above. – Pal Benko 312.

Some things are really hard to do, almost impossible to do, like playing perfectly in extremely
complicated positions. But it really bugs me when I miss things that I really shouldn't have. I am
always going to make mistakes. I don't have any illusions that my understanding of chess is perfect or
anything like that. It's just that I have to work on relatively simple mistakes. When I can lower the
percentage of such mistakes then things are going to be much better. – Magnus Carlsen 313.


The first order of business for a General is to secure himself against defeat. – Sun Tzu 314.

Winning isn't everything... but losing is nothing. – Mednis, on the importance of fighting for a draw

To secure ourselves against defeat lies in our own hands, but the opportunity of defeating the enemy is
provided by the enemy himself. – Sun Tzu 316.

When you don’t know what to play, wait for an idea to come into your opponent’s mind. You may be
sure that idea will be wrong. – Siegbert Tarrasch 317.

When you defend, try not to worry or become upset. Keep your cool and trust your position - it's all
you've got. – Pal Benko 318.

Setbacks and losses are both inevitable and essential if you're going to improve and become a good,
even great, competitor. The art is in avoiding catastrophic losses in the key battles. – Garry Kasparov

A defensive war is apt to betray us into too frequent detachment. Those generals who have had but little
experience attempt to protect every point, while those who are better acquainted with their profession,
having only the capital object in view, guard against a decisive blow, and acquiesce in small
misfortunes to avoid greater. – Frederick the Great 320.

To avoid losing a piece, many a person has lost the game. – Savielly Tartakover 321.


Page 53

Philidor, François-André Danican 206,

Polgar, Susan 5, 95,

Polugaevsky, Lev Abramovich 135, 232,

Puller, Lt Gen Lewis B., USMC 152,

Purdy, John Spencer 189, 281,

Reider, Norman 7,

Reshevsky, Samuel 186, 338, 364,

Reti, Richard 14, 197, 255, 259, 328,

Richter, Kurt 304,

Rickover, George Hyman 77,

Rommel, Field Marshal Erwin 19,

Rubinstein, Akiba 89,

Seirawan, Yasser 156, 213, 401,

Selman, Matthew 400,

Seneca 140,

Shamkovich, Leonid 329, 369, 370,

Sheridan, General Phil 121,

Short, Nigel 403,

Silman, Jeremy 287,

Simon, Sir John 15,

Smits, Jimmy 326,

Smyslov, Vasily 46, 134,

Spassky, Boris 357,


Page 54

Spielmann, Rudolph 331,

Stean, Michael 205, 387,

Steinitz, Wilhelm 209, 226, 252, 280, 325,

Tal, Mikhail 122, 158,

Tarrasch, Siegbert 91, 136, 191, 198, 199, 201, 203, 207, 245, 266, 317, 362, 404,

Tartakower, Savielly 154, 183, 238, 296, 321, 383, 399,

Thoreau, Henry David 212,

Thucydides 73,

Tinman, Jan 265,

Lao Tzu 20,

Sun Tzu 36, 90, 92, 163, 166, 180, 182, 192, 195, 202, 219, 228, 233, 234, 235, 239, 242, 261, 269,
273, 274, 278, 283, 290, 293, 299, 314, 316, 379, 380, 384, 402,

Tzu-Ch'eng, Hung 248,

Ueshiba, Morihei 56,

Winter, William 392,

Yates, Frederick Dewhurst 392,

Znosko-Borovsky, Eugene Alexandrovich 42, 153, 220, 263, 307, 335, 345, 359,


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