I've seen several references to a certain Kasparov quote that paraphrase the idea of the quote without giving the actual text of the quote, or indicating where he said it. The idea is something like "if you simply point more pieces at the enemy king than the enemy has positioned for defense, then a successful attack is almost assured". Arithmetic is sometimes mentioned, in the sense that just having a greater number of pieces in a specific region of the board means you have the advantage in that region. I'm looking for the exact quote, does the description ring any bells?

I notice multiple questions already about specific Kasparov quotes, probably in part because he's said and penned so many quotable things in his long career. I've tried googling this one several different ways, but I've always come up empty. It's not particularly easy to find one specific quote on how to attack, when Kasparov has written a great deal on world affairs, propaganda, and Vladimir Putin that turn up in the results if you search for Kasparov quotes on "attack".

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    There are a few things that Kasparov said in this video, about attacking that includes the piece counts: youtube.com/watch?v=SMe-hvCwTRo
    – Akavall
    Commented Aug 16, 2020 at 1:13
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    @Akavall I have skipped over that video in my YouTube recommendations for years because the title looks so clickbaity. My loss! That looks like what I'm looking for. If you put it in an answer, I'll accept in 24 hours unless something more credible comes along.
    – KnightFork
    Commented Aug 16, 2020 at 4:54
  • @KnighFork, I am glad it helped! Feel free to post it as a self answer.
    – Akavall
    Commented Aug 16, 2020 at 5:33

2 Answers 2


Finder's credit goes to Akavall. Kasparov's explanation of how he calculated an attack against Karpov appears to be the origin of the quote I've seen referenced.



Julian Hodgson has elaborated on this in his book "Attack with Julian Hodgson 2". He calls it the attack statistics box. Another writer who uses arithmatic to calculate positions and moves is Shashin in his book "Best Play: A New Method For Discovering The Strongest Move".

  • Thanks! I'll check those out. It's definitely a Kasparov quote I'm looking for in specific, but I could certainly do with exploring the idea itself a bit more.
    – KnightFork
    Commented Aug 19, 2020 at 1:33

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