Monday, October 06, 2008

Black *OR* White

Photo from the Blog Everything That Remains


The first thing that popped into my head was Ebony and Ivory by Paul McCartney & Stevie Wonder (Skittle has the it up on her post), then Michael Jackson's Black or White and Chess.

A common question in Chess is, is it better to be Black or White.

Snippets from Chess Players:

There are a number of ways to look at this.

"Offhand one should say that white is better. In the opening white tries to secure an advantage which he hopes would win him the game. Black on the other hand is trying to secure equality. Only when he has equalized can he start to look for an advantage himself.

There are some openings in which black counter-attack before he has complete equality but in them black's game will always have a slightly fragile quality to it. All you have to do is look at a database and you will see that the winning percentage for white is higher in most openings. Sometimes slightly and at other times much more than slightly.

However. It is easier to build a black opening repertoir. You decide on one response for black to e4, one to d4, and perhaps one to c4. If you understand opening principles you should be fine at least in the beginning. White on the other hand has to prepare for every response to his favourite king pawn, queen pawn etc. For example somebody once said that the only problem with the Ruy Lopez is the Sicilian defense.

Once the opening is over however the colours make no difference at all"
Fallen Angel

"From the theory of chess (mathematically proven), there is no "stronger" side: if a game were to be played correctly from both sides, it would end up in a draw, the advantage of white having the first move not being enough to secure a victory.

In practice, playing with white gives you the advantage of selecting the opening, which is not a minor advantage, especially for non advanced players.

I agree, though, that in the end, at non GM level, it is probably just a matter of preference.

Cheers all, Andrea
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Playing on Playchess.com as AndreaCoda.


Benjamin Franklin once wrote:

"The Game of chess is not merely an idle amusement. Several very valuable qualities of the mind, useful in the course of human life, are to be acquired and strengthened by it, so as to become habits ready on all occasions; for life is a kind of chess, in which we have points to gain, and competition or adversaries to contend with, and in which there is a vast variety of good and ill events, that are, in some degree, the effect of prudence, or want of it.

By playing at chess then, we may learn:

First, foresight...

Second, circumspection...

Third, caution...

And lastly, we learn by chess the habit of not being discouraged by present bad appearances in the state of our affairs; the habit of hoping for a favorable chance, and that of persevering in the secrets of resources."



Interested in reading Life and Chess Analogies:
Life is like a game of Chess by golbguru from Money, Matter, and More Musings

Obama plays chess against McCain by Jennifer Shahade
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