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Whether it's the rules of international competitions or the unspoken rules of chess, it's always white chess that moves first.

The player who moves first has certain advantages. So you might ask, who gets to play the white chess, and how is this rule determined?

What is the rule?

In formal international chess competitions, determining which player goes first typically follows the following methods: Chess competition rules include individual and team competitions, with various formats such as knockout, round-robin, group stage, point-based round-robin, and team round-robin, among others.

  • In a single-game chess match: it is decided by drawing lots to determine who plays white chess first.
  • In multi-game match-ups: the order of who goes first in the first game is determined, and afterwards, they alternate.
  • In round-robin tournaments: the opponents for each game and the order of moves are determined by a unified schedule.
  • In point-based round-robin tournaments:pairings need to be arranged for each round to determine the opponents and who goes first.

Some tournament organizations may have their own rules for determining which player goes first. These rules may include factors like previous performance or Elo ratings.

So, what is the typical first move for white chess?

The typical first move for white chess is usually to advance one of the pawns in front of the queen (1. e4 or 1. d4), either to the d4 or e4 square. The black player responds subsequently. This starting move is a standard opening in chess rules, known as "1. e4" or "1. d4," depending on the choice made by white chess.

In chess, the player who moves first (white chess) typically has some advantages, although these advantages may not determine the outcome of the game, they can affect the opening position and control of the game.

Here are some potential advantages for the player moving first:

  1. Development Advantage: The player moving first can control the center of the board, facilitating quicker piece development. For example, white can advance pawns and control the d4 and e4 squares in the opening, providing more options for the subsequent development of pieces.
  2. Initiative: The player moving first can choose the opening and thus dictate the direction of the game. This allows white to experiment with different strategies, such as open games, closed games, or semi-open games, to adapt to their preferences and the opponent's style.
  3. Time and Resource Advantage: Time and resources are crucial in chess. Moving first enables the player to establish a positional advantage early in the game, such as controlling the center and having the opportunity to pressurize the opponent. This may force the opponent to spend more time responding to white's plans.
  4. Psychological Pressure: Some argue that moving first can create a psychological advantage, as the opponent must adapt to white's opening choices and respond to the situation. This psychological pressure can be particularly pronounced in high-level games.

It's important to note that chess is a complex and intricate game, and moving first is not always the decisive factor in determining the winner. Players who play black also have the opportunity to balance the position through skillful opening preparation, tactical prowess, and strategic planning. Therefore, while moving first offers certain advantages, chess still emphasizes the intelligence and decision-making abilities of the players.

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