Originally posted by Klinger
Is playing as white and having the first move an advantage (of any size) or is there no difference. Thoughts?
It's not really a matter of thoughts. There is empirical evidence on this question and it is clearly that white does have an advantage. However, this advantage decreases as the quality of play decreases. At GM levels, the advantage is significant enough that drawing as black is considered a good result. At beginner levels, there's virtually no difference. I'm at 1600 and I'm not good enough to have noticed a big difference in winning chances based on which color I'm playing. In fact, I often used to fare better as black because I felt under less pressure to force things. The day I realized that I don't have to force things as white either, my chess improved significantly.