Who Goes First In Chess?

As everybody knows, there are two types of colored pieces used in a game of chess: black and white. Both colors are equal, but clearly represent the contract between the opposing players.

Who Goes First In Chess

Which color gets to advance first, making the initial move to kick-start the game? 

In this article, we will find out who gets to make the first move in a professional game of chess.

Who Plays The First Move In Chess?

During an official game of chess, it is the player using the white pieces who gets to make the first move in the game.

The player who advances first in chess is known as ‘white’, whereas the person who moves second is known as ‘black’.  The pieces that each handle and control are referred to as ‘the white pieces’ and ‘the black pieces’, respectively.

It was thought that any color might move first before the Federation was created and regulations were passed. This was demonstrated in the classic Anderssen vs. Kieseritzky game, in which the ‘black’ player moved first.

Documents from the early days of chess suggest that the matter was discussed on and off for years, so this was a debate that had been had for a very long time before anything was officially decided. The first move was routinely played by white or black until the late 1800s

In the guidebook of the New York 1880 tournament, written in the same year, the first documented rule that required the ‘white’ player to move first was established.

This rule was later adopted as a norm by Wilhelm Steinitz, the first world chess champion, and the rest of the world soon followed.

if you’re playing a casual game and prefer the black pieces to advance first, feel free to do so. All you have to do is swap the King and Queen’s positions such that the King is on the same color.

In a professional chess match, however, the white player will always play first. This has been the rules since the 1880s, and they have been followed ever since.

Why Does It Matter?

This problem has inspired several discussions, and it is critical to comprehend why one specific color should always advance first, especially in formal chess matches.

To begin with, if either color may go first, it would lead to a lot of instability in chess tournament outcomes.

Adjudicators use accounting for color as a tool for their pairing procedures in professional chess competitions. This ensures that competitors with black and white pieces have an equal chance of winning. 

In a 6-round chess competition, a player can anticipate to play three games with white pieces and three games with black pieces.

Who Gets To Play The White Pieces?

Who Gets To Play The White Pieces

Despite the fact that the white player is always required to make the opening move, the official chess regulations do not actually specify who plays the white pieces out of the players. 

This judgment is subject to tournament rules, which require players to consent to allocate colors at random.

A popular way to decide who is playing for each color is to place the chess pieces in an opaque bag, and getting one of the two competitors to reach inside and grab one piece. They will then play for whichever color they pull out.

It is important that the game remains fair, so the decision to choose who plays with white and who plays with black must also remain as fair as possible. 

Does White Get An Advantage By Moving First?

Statistically speaking, there is proof that shows that the player using white pieces, e.g., the player moving first, has a slight advantage over their opponent.

According to statistics, white pieces outperform black ones by a narrow percentage. Some world class players and theorists of the game even believe that, with perfect execution and intelligent strategy, the white player should always win.

Whilst it isn’t always the case, numerous studies demonstrate that white has a minor edge in the beginning, which can then lead to a position to win the game.

Black, on the other hand, can neutralize white’s efforts and achieve equality with skillful play and few blunders.

So, to put it simply, just because white will have even a slight advantage at the very start of the game, this does not mean that they will definitely win. Chess, as we know, is a game of skill, and it can switch up at any moment.

No matter which color you play, you will need to keep a sharp wit and a close eye on your opponent’s moves.

How Does White Have An Advantage Against Black?

How Does White Have An Advantage Against Black

Due to the sheer importance of timing and strategy in a game of chess, white has the upper hand by making the first move. 

If you make the first move, you receive an advantage in progression and may acquire more influence over the board’s center, giving you the momentum to take the win for yourself early on in the game.

Despite this, black can certainly use certain strategies to turn these events around for their own gain. One of these strategies is to weaken the centerpiece and respond with force.

If white gives  black enough opportunity to build and strike your center, your position will swiftly deteriorate.

This is why it’s critical to play your pieces carefully in the beginning of the game. It won’t matter if you made the first or second move if you make one erroneous move.

Final Thoughts

So, in summary of this article, it is the player who uses the white pieces that gets to make the first move in an official game of chess.

This has been the official rules since the late 19th century, and they have been followed in all professional games ever since.

Of course, if you wanted to play a casual game with your friends, this rule does not technically need to be followed. A black piece can be used to play first, and this doesn’t really affect the rest of the game.

The reason these rules are followed is to keep professional games fair and equal, giving either player the opportunity to win by playing different colors each time.

We hope you found this article helpful.

Jenna Ostria
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