Proverb and similes using chess terms


Senior Member
The usage of chess similes for everyday situations is another topic than the technical terms of chess.

sakk-matt helyzet
checkmate situation
patt -> patthelyzet
stalemate -> standoff
rosál -> berosál
he/she castles the king -> he/she shits blue

Dialog in front of the door of the tram in the crowd. The inboard is less crowded.

- Menjen be! Odabent sakkozni lehetne.- Go inboard. There one could play chess.
- Menjen be MAGA! Éppen egy PARASZT hiányzik.- Go inboard YOU. Just a PAWN is missing.

Dialog between the experienced driver and the greenhorn.

- Hogy megy a vezetés?- How goes the driving?
- Csak úgy sakkosan.- Just like the chess.
- Mi???- What???
- Hol egy gyalogot ütök el, hol egy futót.- I hit sometimes a pawn sometimes a runner.

Futó = 1. runner 2. the chess piece bishop.
Gyalogos = pedestrian, gyalog = the chess piece pawn.
  • I don't think we have all the English ones, but we do have a few chess metaphors and proverbs.

    死局 死局 sǐjú - a situation in which you can't win
    僵局 僵局 jiāngjú - stalemate
    一子錯,滿盤皆落索 一子错,满盘皆落索 yī zǐ cuò, mǎn pán jiē luòsuǒ or 一著不慎,滿盤皆輸 一著不慎,满盘皆输 yī zhù bú shèn, mǎn pán jiē shū - one wrong move, and you've lost the whole game.
    棋逢敵手 棋逢敌手 qí féng díshǒu - someone who rivals your chess skills, extended to your skills/ability in general.
    星羅棋布 星罗棋布 xīng luó qí bù: well-spread across the lands, like stars in the sky or pawns on the chessboard.
    舉棋不定 举棋不定 jǔ qí bù dìng: you raise a pawn, but cannot decide where to move it, meaning 'hesitant'
    As far as Polish is concerned, this is what has come to my mind:

    sytuacja patowa - stalemate, deadlock

    roszada - castling - when e.g. the same politicians swap the posts in the governement all the time

    mieć refleks szachisty - literally: to have a chessplayer's reflex: to do a double take, to be slow off the mark
    Nothing surprising in German:

    Schachmatt - checkmate (situation)
    Patt - stalemate
    ein kluger (Schach)zug - a clever move