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  1. 11 Aug '06 18:22
    I was just wondering, I see so many books written by GM's that say stuff like "I was white in the game so naturally I was playing to win" and "We were surprised he managed to win with the Black pieces". In essence, it seems like they are saying in GM level competion, that if you are white, you play to win, and if you are Black, you play to draw.

    Also, in many opening books, most of the openings for white say, "and white has the advantage" while the ones for black say "white only has a small advantage" or "Black has a 'solid' position.

    Is Black really that much of a disadvantage in GM level play?
  2. 11 Aug '06 20:34
    Originally posted by chesskid001
    I was just wondering, I see so many books written by GM's that say stuff like "I was white in the game so naturally I was playing to win" and "We were surprised he managed to win with the Black pieces". In essence, it seems like they are saying in GM level competion, that if you are white, you play to win, and if you are Black, you play to draw.

    Also, ...[text shortened]... a 'solid' position.

    Is Black really that much of a disadvantage in GM level play?
    Yes, at the GM level this is how it works.

    When you get white you want to win. Anything else isn't good.
    With black if you get a draw you are happy.

    As white you choose the opening and take control of your opponnent. As black you are the mercy of the white player. You never know what he is going to play in the opening.
  3. 11 Aug '06 20:46
    Originally posted by RahimK
    Yes, at the GM level this is how it works.

    I think this statement is too general. It depends on the GM in question. Some GMs are more keen on draws than others. There are plenty of GMs who play to win with Black.
  4. 11 Aug '06 21:05
    Originally posted by Varenka
    That's true but that is the gerenal theme. You hear it time after time. Win with white, draw with black.
  5. 11 Aug '06 21:26
    Originally posted by chesskid001
    Also, in many opening books, most of the openings for white say, "and white has the advantage" while the ones for black say "white only has a small advantage" or "Black has a 'solid' position.

    And there the indoctrination begins

    Rahim,you say black is at white's mercy cause white chooses the opening and you never know what he'll play.White has the choice of the first move but surely not the entire opening.As white I can decide to play 1.e4 but I cannot decide to play a ruy or italian game or a french without black's agreement.
  6. 11 Aug '06 21:45
    Originally posted by Gorgar
    And there the indoctrination begins

    Rahim,you say black is at white's mercy cause white chooses the opening and you never know what he'll play.White has the choice of the first move but surely not the entire opening.As white I can decide to play 1.e4 but I cannot decide to play a ruy or italian game or a french without black's agreement.
    True.

    At Gm level everyone prepares for games.

    If you have white you have to prepare againt so many things, 1.e4, 1.d4, 1.c4 etc...

    But with white you know it will be 1.__ So your time preparing is more efficient. This is a significant advantage.
  7. 11 Aug '06 22:00
    Originally posted by RahimK
    That's true but that is the gerenal theme. You hear it time after time. Win with white, draw with black.
    I've heard that theme, but it's not as common as you as think. Just look at the openings that Black players often choose at the GM level... when you see the Sicilian do you think "he wants a draw?".

    GM chess is too competitive for a player to be successful while drawing all games as Black. Consider Kasparov as an example.
  8. 11 Aug '06 22:23
    Originally posted by RahimK
    True.

    At Gm level everyone prepares for games.

    If you have white you have to prepare againt so many things, 1.e4, 1.d4, 1.c4 etc...

    But with white you know it will be 1.__ So your time preparing is more efficient. This is a significant advantage.
    I can't agree with that.As white all you have is the first move against which black has a multitude of good replies,white has to be prepared for all of those.At the same time there's only a few serious candidates for white's first move which black needs to prepare for.For example,I believe it was Kasparov-Kramnik where Kasparov didn't find an answer to Kramnik's black opening choice against 1.e4(Kramnik opted for the ruy lopez,berlin defence) cause he never imagined Kramnik would opt for that particular defense.

    In terms of preparation I actually think Black has the easier task.Unless maybe if you play 1.c4,I don't know about that.
  9. 11 Aug '06 23:20
    Originally posted by Varenka
    I've heard that theme, but it's not as common as you as think. Just look at the openings that Black players often choose at the GM level... when you see the Sicilian do you think "he wants a draw?".

    GM chess is too competitive for a player to be successful while drawing all games as Black. Consider Kasparov as an example.
    Look how many draws occur in top level play, how often does black win compared to white win? Why do players get upset when they get more black then white in tournaments ?

    I'm not saying you have to draw. I'm saying as black you are happy with a draw but as white if you get a draw most of the time you are not happy.

    Kasparov at his peak was in a league of his own. It didn't matter what he played.
  10. 11 Aug '06 23:26
    Originally posted by Gorgar
    I can't agree with that.As white all you have is the first move against which black has a multitude of good replies,white has to be prepared for all of those.At the same time there's only a few serious candidates for white's first move which black needs to prepare for.For example,I believe it was Kasparov-Kramnik where Kasparov didn't find an answer to Kramni ...[text shortened]... lly think Black has the easier task.Unless maybe if you play 1.c4,I don't know about that.
    Some players like switching it up. I know in sectionals when I prepare for an opponent they play bizzare opening just to avoid be book-up on.

    I mean 1.b3? come one and usual this guy plays 1.e4.

    Afterwards I ask them why they did that. Because I knew in sectional people come prepared.
  11. 12 Aug '06 00:20
    Originally posted by RahimK
    Some players like switching it up. I know in sectionals when I prepare for an opponent they play bizzare opening just to avoid be book-up on.

    I mean 1.b3? come one and usual this guy plays 1.e4.

    Afterwards I ask them why they did that. Because I knew in sectional people come prepared.
    Yes,some players play weird stuff to get you "out of book".But Black can do that just as well as White.Not that it's a great idea as it often backfires.
    Also note in the example you give white feared Black's preparation!
  12. 12 Aug '06 00:58
    Originally posted by RahimK
    Look how many draws occur in top level play, how often does black win compared to white win? Why do players get upset when they get more black then white in tournaments ?
    The initial question wasn't "does Black have a disadvantage" but rather how much of a disadvantage. We agree that it's harder for Black to win.

    Our debate is.... what percentage of GMs think Black's disadvantage is small enough such that they play for a win and not a draw. And I guess we disagree on what the ratio is.
  13. 12 Aug '06 03:06
    Originally posted by Varenka
    Our debate is.... what percentage of GMs think Black's disadvantage is small enough such that they play for a win and not a draw.
    Doesn't it depend on who you are playing? Perhaps only Kasparov and Morevovich are not afraid to play for a win with Black against anybody.
  14. 12 Aug '06 15:21
    Originally posted by ThudanBlunder
    Doesn't it depend on who you are playing?
    I think that's an important factor. Which means it's not just a case of saying Black is happy to draw, even if White is another GM.
  15. 17 Oct '06 01:32
    In terms of material, what would white's advantage be then, (obviously at GM level)... 1 pawn, half a pawn... ?