Originally posted by jonbeckett73
There is an argument that black has an advantage over white, and people just prefer white because they are used to playing computers as white.
Looking back into the 1800s, Black was the preferred colour - it was seen to be the "luc ...[text shortened]... lar - whereas black can force white's play from it's first move.
i suspect that in the 1800s they didn't have a very developed concept of 'initiative' nor of 'dynamic play'...
i don't think it is true that white's move does not do anything in particular - 1.e4 and 1.d4 seek control over central squares and open lines for bishops and queens to develop for example.
i also don't think it is true that black can force white's play from its first move. example: 1.e4 c5. Now white can play 2.Nf3 for an open Sicilian, 2.Nc3 for a closed Sicilian, 2.c3 - preparing 3.d4, 2.d4 for a Morra Gambit, and so on. of course, black's move constrains white to some extent, but so is black constrained to some extent by white's first (and subsequent) moves.
EDIT: I should add that statistics show that, at the highest levels, white is more successful overall. This seems to indicate that white has an advantage. It is not definite proof of course, but someone who says black has the advantage needs to explain this result.