Sunday, August 3, 2014

Starting Position a Forced Win for Black?

At least, it could be a forced win for Black, according to a candidate master at the Marshall Chess Club who voiced his opinion to me, in between rounds of a weekend tournament.  His thinking goes like this.

                                     Whoever moves loses?

You have seen those perfectly symmetrical positions diagrammed in chess books with the caption: "Whoever moves loses."  Well, the starting position in a game of chess is a perfectly symmetrical position, which could be a double Zugzwang.  And since White has the "unpleasant obligation" of making the first move, White must disturb the equilibrium disadvantageously so that Black wins by force, although the lengthy variations are beyond the learning curve of humans.  But the supercomputers of the future will solve everything.

I can imagine the newspaper headline: "Man Bites Dog: Chess a Forced Win ... for Black!"