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Do Initial Strategies or Choice of Piece Color Lead to Advantages in Chess Games?

Sameer Ponnaluri and Mary J King
Maclay School, Tallahassee, Florida

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White pieces make the first move in chess games. A great deal of data suggests that the color of a chess piece affects the outcome of a chess game. The purpose of this study was to see if playing the white pieces gives a winning advantage. Our hypothesis was that there is a greater chance of winning when the first move is made with a white piece. In addition, we tested if playing certain opening or defense strategies gives a winning advantage. We played 5 games each with 4 openings and 4 defenses in Chess Titans for 10 levels, for a total of 400 games, and on, for a total of 40 games. We also analyzed a database of over 32,000 chess records. The data suggest that opening and defense strategies affect the outcome. On, the winning percentage was the same for both white and black pieces (65%), while in Chess Titans, the winning rate was higher for the white pieces (92%). Overall, the winning percentages were much higher when playing with white pieces.

Received: March 31, 2016; Accepted: July 25, 2016; Published: February 7, 2017

Copyright: © 2017 Ponnaluri and King. All JEI articles are distributed under the attribution non-commercial, no derivative license ( This means that anyone is free to share, copy and distribute an unaltered article for non-commercial purposes provided the original author and source are credited.

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