"If you see a good move, look for a better one” is a chess adage meaning that one should study the position and not jump at the first good thought. The saying has also been used in finance and in other fields.
“When you see a good move look out for a better” has been cited in print since at least 1878. The saying has often been attributed to the chess players Emanuel Lasker (1868-1941) or Aron Nimzowitsch (1886-1935), but the saying pre-dates their chess playing and writing careers.
1 January 1878, The Chess Player’s Chronicle, pg. 31:
Still flying at high game, in accordance to with the rule, “When you see a good move look out for a better.”
A Complete Guide to the Game of Chess,
from the alphabet to the solution and construction of problems
By Heinrich Friedrich L. Meyer
London: Griffith & Farran
When you see a good move, try to discover a still better one.
10 September 1884, The Chess Player’s Chronicle and Journal of Indoor and Outdoor Amusements, pg. 107:
It is not a bad Chess adage, “When you have a good move, look for a better.”
June 1895, The British Chess Magazine, pg. 277:
... Black evidently acted on the sound maxim, “When you see a good move look out for a better.”
November 1906, The British Chess Magazine, pg. 449:
In an interesting article contributed to the Daily Mail of October 6th, the veteran writer, Mr. James Mortimer, comments as follows on the projected match between Lasker and Marshall: ...
“If you think you see a good move, look again; there may be a better one.”
Hoyle’s Games Modernized
By Edmond Hoyle, et al.
London: George Routledge & Sons: London; New York, NY: E. P. Dutton & Co.
If he finds a good move, let him still try to find a better one.
A History of Chess
By Harold James Ruthven Murray
Oxford: Clarendon Press
When you see a good move for a piece, look out for a better.
Troubadour, an autobiography
By Alfred Kreymborg
New York, NY: Boni and Liveright
Krimmie never forgot this courtesy; nor the champion’s favorite remark: “If you see a good move, don’t make it — look for a better one.”
The Chess of Bobby Fischer
By Robert E. Burger
Radnor, PA: Chilton Book Co.
Fischer has always been alert to squeezing the last drop out of a position, remembering the maxim: “When you see a good move, don’t make it— there could be a better one.”
Traps and Zaps
By Bruce Pandolfini
New York, NY: Simon & Schuster
One is reminded of Emanuel Lasker’s maxim: “If you see a good move, look for a better one.”
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Updated: 2008-03-20 04:03:05
If you see a good move look out for a better one. (Nimzowisch)
3 years ago
“When you see a good move, look for a better one”
This is a great chess quote. When you’re about to make your “good” move, you stop and ask yourself if there is a “better” move hiding somewhere on the board. This is a good habit to get into. That is chess, by not taking your moves for granted you force yourself to think just a little bit more.
New York City • Sports/Games • (1) Comments • Sunday, March 25, 2012 • Permalink
I never thought there would any quotes made specifically for chess.