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In the book by the late master Irving Chernev "The Chess Companion" he gives a list of chess quotes. My favourite one was:

"The student can learn more in ten hours of properly tutored instruction than in 10 years of trial and error" : Dr Emanuel Lasker.

I might not have this quote absolutely right. If not this is very close; it might be the student 'would'...rather than the student 'can'. Anyway, I have never managed to trace this quote. Was it in Lasker's books, chess lectures such as the London lectures, or in his chess annotations? Or did he just say it? If so was it at a chess tournament or somewhere notable?

I'd like to know. Not out of skepticism. I have faith in Chernev. Rather, because it's my favourite quote! I also wonder if it was in German - Dr Lasker was German. If it is a translation then please keep in mind that I only understand English.

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    All my Googling for an answer hasn't found one. Maybe I need to find a specialist Emanuel Lasker scholar? – Snack_Food_Termite Aug 2 '14 at 1:50
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    The correct wording is "properly taught, a student can learn more in a few hours than he would find out in ten years of untutored trial and error". The oldest reference to the quote I found is in this newspaper article of 1973. – lodebari Sep 29 '14 at 17:11
  • @lodebari that's a great answer! Would you mind posting it? – Pablo S. Ocal Oct 23 '14 at 9:17
  • Yes! Lodebari, that is a fantastic answer! – Snack_Food_Termite Oct 25 '14 at 0:33
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The correct wording is "properly taught, a student can learn more in a few hours than he would find out in ten years of untutored trial and error". The oldest reference to the quote I found is in this newspaper article of 1973.

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The January 1953 Chess Review on the back of the front cover, right below Chernev's Chess Corner, has a "Thought for the month":

Properly taught, a student can learn more in a few hours, than he would find out in ten years of untutored trial and error. -Ed. Lasker

This implies that it was Edward Lasker, not Emanuel Lasker, who said it. I didn't find its exact source yet, though.

  • Thats interesting. Because that shows that Chernev or whoever wrote the 1953 piece changed his mind and at various points gave the quote to Edward or Emanuel Lasker. – Snack_Food_Termite Jun 30 at 0:24

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