It is impossible to win gracefully at chess.  No man has yet said “Mate!” In a voice which failed to sound to his opponent bitter, boastful, and malicious.

— A.A. Milne, Not That it Matters, 1919


The goal is to win, but it is the goal that is important, not the winning.

— Reiner Knizia

In reality a marble won is a point won in the game, and it is not necessary to keep the marbles after the game is over, any more than it is necessary to keep the balls and bats of the defeated base-ball players or the balls and rackets of the defeated lawn-tennis players, or the foot-ball of the defeated foot-ball players.  What the American boy plays for is to win the game, not the implements of the sport.

— Daniel Beard Carter, The American Boy’s Book of Sport, 1896

La vie n’a qu’un charme vrai: c’est le charme du Jeu.  Mais s’il nous est indifférent de gagner ou de perdre?  (Life has only one true charm: it is the charm of the Game.  But what if one is indifferent to whether one wins or loses?)

— Charles Baudelaire, Fusées, 1867