15 Inspiring quotes from 'How life imitates chess' by Garry Kasparov

In 2007, Garry Kasparov, one of the greatest chess players ever, wrote the book How life imitates chess. In that book he looked back on his great career and he made comparisons between life and chess. The book contains some inspiring thoughts. Here are some quotes:
  1. You must know what questions to ask and ask them frequently
  2. Personal style is not generic software that you can download. You must instead recognize what works best for you and then, through trial and error, develop your own method- your own map.
  3. What am I trying to achieve and how does this move help me achieve it?
  4. Change can be essential, but it should only be made with careful consideration and just cause. Losing can persuade you to change what doesn't need to be changed, and winning can convince you everything is fine even if you are on the brink of disaster. 
  5. The virtue of innovation only rarely compensates for the vice of inadequacy.
  6. We must also avoid being distracted from our strategic path by the competition.
  7. The top achievers believe in themselves and their plans, and they work constantly to ensure those plans are worthy of their belief. 
  8. Questions are what matters. Questions, and discovering the right ones, are the key to staying on course. 
  9. When we tackle a problem, we never start from scratch; we instinctively, even unconsciously, look for a past parallel. We work out the authenticity of the parallels and see if we can work out a similar recipe from these slightly different ingredients. 
  10. Steady effort pays off, even if not always in an immediate, tangible way.
  11. Everyone must create his own successful combinations with the ingredients he has. There are guidelines for what works, but each person has to discover what works for him. This doesn't happen by itself. Through practice and observation, you must take an active role in your own education. 
  12. Success and satisfaction may be our goals, but they can also lead to bad habits that will impede greater success and satisfaction.
  13. ... [Y]ou must train yourself to want to do it better even when things go right.
  14. It takes great willpower and self-confidence to surround ourselves with smart, talented people who we know will confront us. 
  15. When we regularly challenge ourselves with something new - even something not obviously related to our immediate goals - we build cognitive and emotional "muscles" that makes us more effective in every way.
Question: number 10 may be my favorite. What is yours?


Anonymous said…
Number 2 is my favorite. Someone who was the best at something (chess) for so long can't help but have a lot to say about success.
Anonymous said…
Important addition...

16. Courage is first of all human qualities because it guarantees all others.
Anonymous said…
Actuallly chess is greayer than life and Math is greater than chess
Anonymous said…
Ultimately, what separates a winner from a loser at the grandmaster level is the willingness to do the unthinkable. A brilliant strategy is, certainly, a matter of intelligence, but intelligence without audaciousness is not enough. Given the opportunity, I must have the guts to explode the game, to upend my opponent's thinking and, in so doing, unnerve him. So it is in business: One does not succeed by sticking to convention. When your opponent can easily anticipate every move you make, your strategy deteriorates and becomes commoditized.
Unknown said…
I like 2 and 6, they work for me