Takchess Chess Improvement

A Novice chessplayer works to get better at chess using an improvement program based upon the methods of Michael de la Maza and the teachings of Dan Heisman

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Do you know the answer to this?

I've been thinking about the advantages of having the first move. At a 1500 level player at playchess at what rating level do you think I would have equal chances against my opponents. In other words each of us having a 50% shot at winning. 1520,1550,1600....? (lets disregard draws of which I have very few,just games that are decided by victory) Inquiring minds want to know! what do you think?


  • At 9:16 AM, Anonymous Jim said…

    If you were playing a 1500 and he had first move, I would think that you would have to be 1550-1580 to beat him. White wins 53% of the time if I recal, so you skill would have to make up that 6 points.

  • At 12:46 PM, Blogger Loomis said…

    I'll take a shot at this, though I'm going to stretch logic a bit. Larry Kaufman did an in-depth study on piece value and found that 200 ratings points is roughly equal to 1 pawn. If you look at computer evaluations of the starting position or <5 moves into a standard (fighting) opening, you typically see about +.2 (where 1 is 1 pawn). Combining these facts, we might guess that the first move is worth .2*200 = 40 rating points.

    However, games at the 1500 level are not often decided by the opening advantage. Who makes the last mistake is a bigger factor than who makes the first move. So I would guess it's actually less than 40 points.

    There, now you have my worthless guess. :-)

  • At 3:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Your style of opening play isn't liable to statistics.


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