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  1. 12 Feb '08 20:07
    it's always seemed a little odd to me that we cant choose what colour goes first, not sure what the history is that makes it white should always move first, doesnt that mean white will always have the advantage?

    taking that into account, does anyone know any great players who preffered to play black?
  2. 12 Feb '08 20:13 / 2 edits
    Who went first used to be decided randomly when chess was just starting. For standardization of rules and ease of understanding other's games, White has been selected to go first. It's obviously much easier this way.

    While, I don't know if some players actually preferred Black, Nimzo, Capablanca and Fischer had fantastic Black scores- usually better than with White.
  3. 12 Feb '08 20:13
    Originally posted by eatmybishop
    it's always seemed a little odd to me that we cant choose what colour goes first, not sure what the history is that makes it white should always move first, doesnt that mean white will always have the advantage?

    taking that into account, does anyone know any great players who preffered to play black?
    I believe Maurice Ashley preferred to play black, or maybe it was forced
  4. 12 Feb '08 20:17
    LOL. I think he was/is the strongest Black GM. 2500+ is definitely extremely good.
  5. 12 Feb '08 20:19
    Originally posted by exigentsky
    LOL. I think he was/is the strongest Black GM. 2500+ is definitely extremely good.
    Yeah, not sure if he still plays at that level, but I believe he is the strongest black chess player in recorded history
  6. 12 Feb '08 20:47 / 1 edit
    I think Black sometimes went first until at least Morphy's time, but games in which this happened are now rewritten so that the player who moved first is considered to be White.
  7. 12 Feb '08 21:57
    Why not play Fischer Random Chess instead of rediculous suggestions like black move first?
  8. Standard member JonathanB of London
    Curb Your Enthusiasm
    12 Feb '08 23:54
    Originally posted by Fat Lady
    I think Black sometimes went first until at least Morphy's time, but games in which this happened are now rewritten so that the player who moved first is considered to be White.
    That's definitely true... I seem to remember reading something somewhere that said Black was considered the lucky colour so to even things up when rules were standardised for modern tournament play it became the norm for White to go first.
  9. Standard member JonathanB of London
    Curb Your Enthusiasm
    12 Feb '08 23:56
    Originally posted by eatmybishop
    ... doesnt that mean white will always have the advantage?
    yes it does... which is why matches are played over an equal number of whites and blacks.

    That said, I've always found in strange for non-double round all-play tournaments if there an even number of players then half of them are going to get one more white than black. This never seemed fair to me.
  10. 13 Feb '08 00:25
    I read somewhere (so it must be true) that before World War II there were some Major League Baseball games in which the home team would bat first. Maybe back then the home team could choose whether to bat first or second.

    Someone once proposed that White makes the first move just like the current rule, but then the second player can either make a move as Black or take White's position and make his or her opponent play Black!

    So, if White plays 1 e4, then the second player would almost invariably take the White pieces and make his opponent play Black.
    That would probably force White to play something like 1 e3 or 1 d3 so as to not incur the disadvantage of having to defend against an "optimal" move like 1 e4. This would probably significantly nullify the advantage of moving first.
  11. Standard member irontigran
    Rob Scheider is..
    13 Feb '08 00:58
    Originally posted by exigentsky
    Who went first used to be decided randomly when chess was just starting. For standardization of rules and ease of understanding other's games, White has been selected to go first. It's obviously much easier this way.

    While, I don't know if some players actually preferred Black, Nimzo, Capablanca and Fischer had fantastic Black scores- usually better than with White.
    you might enjoy the "going ape" article in this months chess life...
  12. Donation ketchuplover
    G.O.A.T.
    14 Feb '08 00:34
    How about having both sides alternate making 2 moves after white's initial move?
  13. Standard member irontigran
    Rob Scheider is..
    14 Feb '08 01:14
    Originally posted by ketchuplover
    How about having both sides alternate making 2 moves after white's initial move?
    i dont think this would work well..
    1.e4?? and now black should have this game.. it would just bring out more Kias..
  14. 14 Feb '08 01:32
    Originally posted by eatmybishop
    it's always seemed a little odd to me that we cant choose what colour goes first, not sure what the history is that makes it white should always move first, doesnt that mean white will always have the advantage?

    taking that into account, does anyone know any great players who preffered to play black?
    It used to be that players could choose whichever color they wanted, and having White didn't mean they went first. They decided before the game or drew lots to decide who went first with no regard to which color they would play with. Whether it was the London Chess Club or the University of Oxford Chess Club or some other British chess club (my memory has currently failed me on this), one of these clubs acquired a new chess set whose pieces were white and red. Everyone loved the red pieces and wanted to play with them, and as you can imagine, deciding who got to use them for a game became a bit contentious. So to even things out, it was established that if a player received the red pieces, he had to move second. This practice of White getting the first move soon spread and became established as a rule of the game.
  15. 14 Feb '08 07:04
    I would guess that a defensive and or counter attacking player might play better with Black. Karpov, Petrosian, Schlechter and Korchnoi are such players. I have not heard of any player stating that he would prefer to play Black.