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1.  Ponderable
chemist
21 Dec '10 16:08 / 1 edit
Gatecrasher made a thread a few years back (Thread 31062) comparing the relative strength with each colour.

This was Gatecrashers original post:

Large game databases show that all things being equal white should trump black about 54% of the time.

Do your results conform to that? Here's a forumla to calculate your %preference for white?

Score = 100* WS/(WS+BS)

where WS = (WW+WD/2)/WG and
BS = (BW+BD/2)/BG
BG, BW, BD are black games, wins and draws, and
WG, WW, WD are white games, wins and draws. You can get this info from the "Your performance" page on "My Home".

As an example, my score works out as:

Score = 100 * 0.8324/(0.8324+0.81768)
Score = 50.4%

Which compared to the 54% benchmark tells me that I play relatively better as black than white. It could mean my openings as white are weaker than they should be. It could mean my defences as black are stronger. I'd like to think its the latter.

2.  Ponderable
chemist
21 Dec '10 16:10 / 2 edits
The point is: I have followed my own results over the years and cam,e up with the following:

01. 10.2005 43,3
01.11.2005 44,9
01.06.2006 46,6
01.09.2006 47,3
01.11.2006 48,2
01.03.2007 48,4
01.06.2008 49,2
01.05.2009 51
01.10.2009 49,6
01.12.2010 50,1

So I still am comparatively better with black, even after things evend out.

Sorry for all the edits, one time I will know how to write a post
3. 21 Dec '10 16:46
Thanks for the revival of a great thread.
Reviewing it I went from:
49345 --> .507998 --> .510530 --> 0.51216 --> 0.5143 --> 0.5154 --> .5155 From 2005 - late 07.
Then a long break from the site....I currently sit at: .5101
I may have to get my games and exclude the timeout losses I incurred during my break...although they should be fairly even between W and B.
4.  atticus2
21 Dec '10 18:40
Originally posted by Ponderable
Gatecrasher made a thread a few years back (Thread 31062) comparing the relative strength with each colour.

This was Gatecrashers original post:

Large game databases show that all things being equal white should trump black about 54% of the time
Gatecrasher is correct to report this is what large databases show. But those 'large databases' available to us are composed of games principally between titled or expert players. They are therefore by no means representative of the games played by or between the most of us.

Databases of 'amateur' OTB games tend to show a far higher incidence of wins by White - towards 60% of all wins.

Make of this what you will
5.  nimzo5
Ronin
21 Dec '10 19:32
Based just on my empirical experience I would say that Black Scores better from 1600 to 2100 and then White seems to move up after that.

Sheer statistics of w/l % doesn't always give an accurate picture as in a swiss tournament you almost always seem to have White versus much stronger opposition and Black when paired down.
6.  wormwood
If Theres Hell Below
21 Dec '10 21:02
averages only have meaning to the average player.
7. 21 Dec '10 23:10
On the 1400 RHP data base 1½ million games.

White wins 46%
draws 11%
Black wins 43%

So at a weaker level the colour really does not matter all that much.

(With some players White is a handicap, they blunder one move quicker)

Contrast this with the 1966-2005 informator DB these are games betweens
GM's and IM's very very few untitled games make Informator.
94,000 games.

Look at the difference.

White wins 45% (practically the same)
Draws 32%
Black wins 23% (wow)

There are approx 500,000 GM games missing from that model
between 1966 to 2005. Informator only takes the critical and good games.
8.  atticus2
22 Dec '10 14:57
hhmm... Greenpawn's data cuts right across what I was suggesting in my post above. So maybe I recall it the wrong way round!

Maybe games between titled players tend to favour White over Black, ignoring draws. That would make sense, given the experts' ability to convert 1st move advantage. Also, Nigel Short once told me (sorry to 'name-drop' but it's true) that amateur players find Black easier to play than White because they are better prepared with Black.

The logic is compelling: if White plays 1. e4, he must be prepared to meet numerous replies. But Black need only prepare 1...c5; and thereafter can steer the game towards the Naj, Schev, Dragon, etc according to taste
9.  nimzo5
Ronin
22 Dec '10 15:53
I think GM Short is dead on right. I would guess that at the club level White exits their "book" moves well before black except where they play some sort of system opening.
10. 22 Dec '10 17:39
I guess the conclusion is, you're better with the color you're better prepared in! I'm better with white because I'm better prepared with white.
11. 23 Dec '10 12:41
Originally posted by greenpawn34
(With some players White is a handicap, they blunder one move quicker)
Hey, no fair analysing my games without telling me!

(I have a positive balance as black, a negative one as white... and I blunder a lot.)

Richard
12. 23 Dec '10 22:58
Hi Atticus

"...amateur players find Black easier to play than White because they are
better prepared with Black. "

I think this is very true, it is certainly true of me and others I know.

I'd hazard a guess that there are more dedicated Black opening books
(those that cover just one specific opening) than there are White's.

Just looked through my library of junk that I have gathered over the years.

White
The Bishop's Opening, The Scotch, 3.Bb5 v the Sicilian (3 books).
Four Knights. Italian Game, English? (Never played 1.c4 in my entire life).
and that appears to be it.

Black
Philidors Defence, Two Knights(2), French (2), Pirc (3) Kings Indian(4), Sicilians(4)
Latvian(4) Caro Kann, Alekhine, Benko, Petroff(2), Scandinavian(2). Elephant,
and Counter Gambits for Black v The Lopez,

Incredibly for the past 20 years as White I usually played the Lopez if I got
the chance. I do not have one book on the Lopez for the White side nor
have I read one. (after the first three moves what more is there to know?)
13. 26 Dec '10 16:12
Originally posted by greenpawn34
I'd hazard a guess that there are more dedicated Black opening books
(those that cover just one specific opening) than there are White's.
If you want a dedicated opening book as White, you only need a single one. Just buy a book on the London system - any book on the London system, quality is of no account whatsoever - and be done with it. You will never need another chess opening book for White ever again. In fact, if you have any love of life left in you, you may not ever need any chess book again at all, because playing the London will make you turn to rugby instead.
Personally, I refuse to play that junk - I'd rather lose honestly. I'll lose anyway, so I may as well throw a few punches while doing so. But if your main aim as White is to not lose, rather than to win, play the London. Against anything. Including 1. ...a7 2. ...Ra7.

I do not advocate this approach in actual fact, but I do believe that it goes a long way towards explaining the larger number of Black opening books than White ones: there is (AFAIK, and no, I don't want to, either) no London system for Black. Not even the Leningrad Dutch has the same reputation.

Richard