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In the game of chess,it is a proven fact that either of the three conditions hold: 1)white has a winning strategy 2) black has a winning strategy or 3)either of them can at least force a draw. It is conjectured that white has a winning strategy. What is the evidence behind this conjecture (why is 1) favoured wrt the other two

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I am not sure how widespread this conjecture is believed to be true. I think the conjecture that most people believe is that white has a strategy to at least draw. I guess in games where there is some symmetry between the sides, the player moving first often has the advantage. For example, in the take turns punching each other game, the first person has an edge. Another example is that white has a strategy to at least draw in the "2-move" version of chess via strategy stealing. –  Tony Huynh Dec 11 '12 at 13:21
    
I am not an expert here, but to me it seems very unlikely white has a winning strategy. The range for a draw in chess is quite large. –  quid Dec 11 '12 at 13:54
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See also this question: mathoverflow.net/questions/107385/… –  Yoav Kallus Dec 11 '12 at 15:39
    
Who does actually conjectures that White has a winning strategy? One hundred and forty years of Grandmaster practice seems to suggest that the game is about even. –  Andrea Mori Dec 11 '12 at 22:57
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closed as off topic by Andreas Blass, Alain Valette, David White, domotorp, quid Dec 11 '12 at 16:14

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1 Answer

up vote 2 down vote accepted

It is important to set aside two different discussions. One is what happens with optimal play, and the other is what happens in real games among the chess elite players. Statistics for any period of time show more white wins than black. It is generally accepted that having white is an advantage, even if it is only psychological.

For the real question (perfect play), this article summarizes very well what is known. The conclusion is that there is a general consensus that the game is drawn with optimal play.

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