#### Only Chess Forum

1. 16 Sep '13 10:04 / 1 edit
What is the advantage of having the first move in chess? It appears to me to be nothing more than the ability to dictate the tempo of the game, for example after 1.d4 d5 2.c4 the pawns come into direct contact and black is essentially coerced to take measures to do something in the centre, thus white, through use of force, dictates the tempo of the game.

Its even more pronounced in king pawn games, 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 and immediately blacks centre is under attack after which he has a few good ways to defend it 2...Nc6 directly or 2...Nf6 indirectly but that he is forced or coerced to defend it, is self evident and thus the advantage of the first move simply lies in the ability to dictate the tempo of the game.

Now time in chess is like energy in science, it can dissipate or be transformed into something else, like potential and kinetic energy. If one imagines a skier at the precipice of a hill as the skier descends the potential energy becomes kinetic, now in chess, it must be the same, the potential force or energy of the chess men gets released as the game progresses.

The question however remains, is it more or less advantageous to descend quickly down a sharp slope releasing the energy quickly or to descend gradually down a much larger hill eventually reaching the same speed in the end, thus it seems absurd to me to talk of the advantage of the first move, like saying how long is a piece of string.

If anyone can check this variation as to soundness, for i may be capable of rational thought, maybe not i would be pleased - regards robbie
2.  SwissGambit
Caninus Interruptus
16 Sep '13 15:25
Originally posted by robbie carrobie
What is the advantage of having the first move in chess? It appears to me to be nothing more than the ability to dictate the tempo of the game, for example after 1.d4 d5 2.c4 the pawns come into direct contact and black is essentially coerced to take measures to do something in the centre, thus white, through use of force, dictates the tempo of the ...[text shortened]... undness, for i may be capable of rational thought, maybe not i would be pleased - regards robbie
That's about it. White gets his choice of piece to move, which means he determines the course of the battle for the center.

It's not a large advantage. It probably makes no difference in actual results below master level.
3. 16 Sep '13 18:31
Originally posted by SwissGambit
That's about it. White gets his choice of piece to move, which means he determines the course of the battle for the center.

It's not a large advantage. It probably makes no difference in actual results below master level.
hmmm, thank you for confirming it, it has troubled me for some time -regards Robbie.
4.  wolfgang59
Infidel
17 Sep '13 02:32
Originally posted by robbie carrobie
hmmm, thank you for confirming it, it has troubled me for some time -regards Robbie.
I can see why you are asking Robbie ... very impressive results you have with the black pieces.

I think most of us have stats that show a small advantage with white.
It's two-fold at our level.
1. The inherent advantage of getting in first.
2. Dictating the opening and getting opponent into unknown country.
5. 17 Sep '13 11:34 / 5 edits
Originally posted by wolfgang59
I can see why you are asking Robbie ... very impressive results you have with the black pieces.

I think most of us have stats that show a small advantage with white.
It's two-fold at our level.
1. The inherent advantage of getting in first.
2. Dictating the opening and getting opponent into unknown country.
Actually my stats are totally misleading wolfie, i play mostly my friends who usually always take white and they are 1200-1500 rated players and very rarely if ever do i lose against them, also with black i play the caro kann as it offers white practically no initiative to speak of at all, or none that i can discern, sure white gets a few tempi against the caro bishop, but it drives it where it wants to go anyway. whites extended pawns are supposed to be weak on the kingside going into an end game but i am finding that i am always having trouble with my f pawn, especially if i castle queenside, it always ends up backward. Here is my most recent loss,

6.  black beetle
Black Beastie
17 Sep '13 12:19
Originally posted by robbie carrobie
What is the advantage of having the first move in chess? It appears to me to be nothing more than the ability to dictate the tempo of the game, for example after 1.d4 d5 2.c4 the pawns come into direct contact and black is essentially coerced to take measures to do something in the centre, thus white, through use of force, dictates the tempo of the ...[text shortened]... undness, for i may be capable of rational thought, maybe not i would be pleased - regards robbie
Since the openings flow into complex middlegame structures and the long term strategies that will follow are based on them, the fruit can be seen solely if they are analysed in this context. Methinks the active defences for the Black and the forced attacks for the White dictate good game without compromises once the player has deepen and enriched the basic theory of his repertoire. For example, after 1.e5 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 exd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e5 the two black central pawns control all the squares of the centre, the advance ...d5/ ...e5 is a dynamic aspect, and by the pawns exchange the Black opens the c-file and counterplays on the Q-side by means of ...a6 and b5, whilst the White tries to find active solutions at the centre and at the K-side with f4 and e5/f5 or g4. The variations start right there, so at this stage methinks it's essential to know the main ideas instead of dismissing so early the theory and trying to improvise;
ðŸ˜µ
7. 17 Sep '13 20:37 / 2 edits
Originally posted by black beetle
Since the openings flow into complex middlegame structures and the long term strategies that will follow are based on them, the fruit can be seen solely if they are analysed in this context. Methinks the active defences for the Black and the forced attacks for the White dictate good game without compromises once the player has deepen and enriched the ba l to know the main ideas instead of dismissing so early the theory and trying to improvise;
ðŸ˜µ
Yes beetle you are correct, it is not without reason that the great Philador stated that pawns are the 'soul' of chess and i myself , being a peasant farmer was pleased, however Kasparov proved in his epic match with Karpov that dynamics supersedes knowledge and knowledge certainly supersedes improvisation, although there is something to be said for originality, 4sure. This is very worrying for me, because i am not by nature a good tactician and prefer clear positions to erratic and chaotic ones.

In my own mind I am thinking whether the most forcing move is always the best? this is the essence of my dilemma. It seems that it should be, logically, but by nature I like a plan of disengagement. Of course my personal preferences are irrelevant, but its difficult to divorce oneself entirely.
8. 17 Sep '13 21:38
You are missing the main point. It is all about which pieces are easier to see against the contrast of the board used.
9. 18 Sep '13 02:09 / 1 edit
At the lower level it hardly matters, the mistake comes one move sooner
from the player wth the White pieces. ðŸ˜‰

Actually it's Black that dictates how the game goes after 1.e4 or 1.d4.
He gets to choose if it is going to be an open, semi-closed, or closed game.

Statistics at the GM level obviously show a White plus thanks largely to openng theory.
At the middle level I don't think it's too uncommon for a player to have better stats as
Black because they (we) tend to concentrate more on our Black defences.

In these circumstances the White player (especially the 1.e4 player)
will have a smattering of the theory but because there is so much
to know, Alekhines, Sicilians, Kanns, French's, Pircs, Petroff etc etc (Latvians!)
he will be using side lines which he knows pretty well but theory
dislikes, hence his ragged score with White.
10.  ChessPraxis
Cowboy From Hell
18 Sep '13 03:22
Bla bla bla, lots of words, one guy moves then the other guy moves.
Don't get me wrong, no one in this world loves playing white more than me. But playing black I've had some of my better games. It's the yin and yang thing, it is a fine balance at times one dares not upset. Other times upsetting the balance is the correct thing to do. Opposites, it is what makes many scientific principles tick.

ðŸ˜ž
11.  black beetle
Black Beastie
18 Sep '13 04:28
Originally posted by robbie carrobie
Yes beetle you are correct, it is not without reason that the great Philador stated that pawns are the 'soul' of chess and i myself , being a peasant farmer was pleased, however Kasparov proved in his epic match with Karpov that dynamics supersedes knowledge and knowledge certainly supersedes improvisation, although there is something to be said for ...[text shortened]... course my personal preferences are irrelevant, but its difficult to divorce oneself entirely.
Edit: “This is very worrying for me, because i am not by nature a good tactician and prefer clear positions to erratic and chaotic ones.”

A “good tactician” knows when it’s time to calculate and hence he looks forward to establishing a position that is close to a pattern he can use as a reference for his tactical moves. A position “chaotic” to somebody is a position which he cannot relate it to a known to him pattern and thus, instead of calculating accordingly, he has to reshuffle his pieces and see what can be done with the dynamics of the pawn structure;

Edit: “In my own mind I am thinking whether the most forcing move is always the best?”

So evaluate the position first, then plan and set targets and then play accordingly; if you feel you ‘ll get fruit and your calculation backs up this feeling, do play your most forcing move;

Edit: “It seems that it should be, logically, but by nature I like a plan of disengagement. Of course my personal preferences are irrelevant, but its difficult to divorce oneself entirely.”

Evaluate first, decide to engage or disengage according to the position, adjust your plan, calculate and then play. Methinks chess is not a Yin/Yang case (ie the first player moves implying dynamism and the second replies on this basis, the first replies back and the second replies back and so on) but a triskelion-like synthesis (the dynamism of the position per se potentially enforces or blocks or doesn’t change the mobility and the coordination of the chessmen, or affects or doesn’t affect crucially the space and the time) -and all that jazz is evaluation-sensible. This is the reason why in cases where the position is decided, the replies themselves mean nothing, for the outcome is predetermined (and thus forced), if you know what I mean;
ðŸ˜µ
12. 18 Sep '13 07:39
Originally posted by greenpawn34
At the lower level it hardly matters, the mistake comes one move sooner
from the player wth the White pieces. ðŸ˜‰

Actually it's Black that dictates how the game goes after 1.e4 or 1.d4.
He gets to choose if it is going to be an open, semi-closed, or closed game.

Statistics at the GM level obviously show a White plus thanks largely to openng theory ...[text shortened]... e lines which he knows pretty well but theory
dislikes, hence his ragged score with White.
so true.
13. 18 Sep '13 07:52
Originally posted by black beetle
Edit: “This is very worrying for me, because i am not by nature a good tactician and prefer clear positions to erratic and chaotic ones.”

A “good tactician” knows when it’s time to calculate and hence he looks forward to establishing a position that is close to a pattern he can use as a reference for his tactical moves. A position “chaotic” to somebo ...[text shortened]... s mean nothing, for the outcome is predetermined (and thus forced), if you know what I mean;
ðŸ˜µ
Yes, the mechanics of calculation is one thing, but determining whether the resultant positions are good for us, well, thats quite another. I also think you are correct, its far too much of a simplification to state it in terms of attack and defence. It reminds me of a watercolour pigment being spilled on a wet page, the colour cascades and mingles with the other colours, the exact result is impossible to predict in human terms, we can only direct due to the complex dynamics and thus chess really truly is an art form and all chess players artists.
14. 18 Sep '13 07:52
Originally posted by ChessPraxis
Bla bla bla, lots of words, one guy moves then the other guy moves.
Don't get me wrong, no one in this world loves playing white more than me. But playing black I've had some of my better games. It's the yin and yang thing, it is a fine balance at times one dares not upset. Other times upsetting the balance is the correct thing to do. Opposites, it is what makes many scientific principles tick.

ðŸ˜ž
deep!
15. 18 Sep '13 09:46
Originally posted by greenpawn34
Statistics at the GM level obviously show a White plus thanks largely to openng theory.
At the middle level I don't think it's too uncommon for a player to have better stats as
Black because they (we) tend to concentrate more on our Black defences.

In these circumstances the White player (especially the 1.e4 player)
will have a smattering of the ...[text shortened]... de lines which he knows pretty well but theory
dislikes, hence his ragged score with White.
That is an interesting theory. For some reason I've always found it easier having the black pieces and always wondered why. I guess for sub-master level games, more human factors come into it too, ie the player with black may fight harder, or the player with white may let the tempo advantage of the first move erode through quiet play.