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I have played over a thousand blitz games at chess.com and here are the results:

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I failed to notice any obvious difference between white and black. In other word, I do not see the the first-mover advantage in my game history at all.

  1. What are the possible reasons that the the first-mover advantage is not reflected in my game history?
  2. If playing white does not give me an advantage, should I play the Saragossa opening and play as if I am playing black (Slav with one extra tempo, Caro-Kann with one extra tempo, etc.) when I am actually playing white?
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    You have 13,6 percent of games ended in draws, different to the usual 39 percent of draws (TWIC games of players with elo >= 2000). Could it be that you play too little games with players of your same strength? – djnavas Sep 5 '19 at 6:22
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    Well, what were you playing during these 1259 games, with Black and White? If you only played the same (few) opening(s) in all games, you cannot make general observations about the first-move advantage. Only about the advantage of your played lines, if anything (your skill/possibly incomplete understanding of these lines is another noise factor though). – Annatar Sep 5 '19 at 6:58
  • @djnavas, currently I am only playing games with players with rating >=(my rating - 50). So sometimes I play with players much stronger than me. I have discussed my drawing rate earlier at chess.stackexchange.com/questions/23997/… and my drawing rate then (10.3%) was not considered low by many. – Zuriel Sep 6 '19 at 13:06
  • @Annatar, I mostly play English or London system as white and Caro-Kann or Slav as black. It could be that I do not understand these opening well; but these openings themselves should be sound and solid. – Zuriel Sep 6 '19 at 13:07
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I thought you'd be playing something quiet like the London System. It explains perfectly well why your win rates with Black and White match.

Not because the London is not "sound and solid". It is. But too solid.

Solid is fine as Black when the main aim is to equalize White's first-move advantage.

However, if you are playing White yourself, you can strive for a little more, namely maintaining that slight advantage. But this is not something that the London is known for. You basically play the same way as if you were Black. Thus, you cannot really expect much different results, can you?

In short, you don't experience the first-move advantage because you play openings that don't try very hard to maintain it.

From this it does not follow that the advantage does not exist - it just "happens" in other openings (and since these are more popular, they have a bigger influence on the average).

It also doesn't mean that you should stop playing the London. After all, it's not worse than your Black openings and they are fine, too.

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  • Your analysis makes perfect sense to me! It completely clarified my doubt; thank you for your time and effort! – Zuriel Sep 7 '19 at 2:52
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The advantage White gets in a game is so small that it becomes completely irrelevant at low levels. What is the point of having such edge on your opponent if you at least are going to make an inaccuracy in the opening or middlegame? Furthermore, in blitz games that small advantage is probably negligible since a greater deal of mistakes are made.

My online rating in lichess is today close to 1700 and I see this in my games all the time. I do OK until a certain move (or later on) but due to something I cannot understand, I lose that +1 advantage I had accomplished before.

All in all, I do not think you should expect to have a greater percentage of wins as White unless you are above 2000 because below that, mistakes make the players constantly lose the upper hand they managed to acquire. At higher levels, masters are more likely to capitalize on small advantages and turn the game into a win.

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  • Thank you for your answer! If at my level the advantage of white is negligible, should I not start my white games with 1.c3 and (1) surprise my opponent and (2) prepare a solid defence? I have discussed this opening at chess.stackexchange.com/questions/24336/…; it is indeed inferior but at least does not create any weakness. – Zuriel Sep 6 '19 at 13:10
  • Play that opening if you enjoy it. However, as much as possible, you should try to play open games (though that is not always up to just one player in the game) which generally leads to positions where tactics are very relevant. Tactics is probably one of the most important skills to get acquainted with. However, you should probably listen to some other players in this site with a much higher rating than mine. – Maths64 Sep 6 '19 at 14:31
  • @Zuriel. I have just taken a look at your thread about the Saragossa opening and I completely agree with the general advice you were given. I would only add that if you are going for an inferior choice (such as 1.c3) in comparison to other first moves, you will lose the game. It should be Black who should be looking to equalize the game and get a playable position. You are making things easy for Black if you play like that. – Maths64 Sep 8 '19 at 12:28
  • Another point I would like to make is that I am unsure how c3 qualifies as a solid opening. Do you have a particular set of moves that would prove such statement? – Maths64 Sep 8 '19 at 12:33
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    Zuriel. Anyway, as you become a more experienced player, you will see that such fear will go away. You are probably losing more games in the middlegame (just like me) due to tactical mistakes or oversights and not due to slight problems the openings you play may have. – Maths64 Sep 8 '19 at 15:35
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Maths64's answer is fine. I would like to add: "Don't change your opening repertoire based on some silly irrelevant statistics! Play what feels more comfortable with you"

It could be the case that you faced stronger players more often as White. It could also be the case that you made some random mistakes more often as White due to pure chance (or maybe because you had one more attempt to do them!)

I would therefore be careful about taking conclusions from statistics. If you want to know where you are making mistakes, take a handful of your games and analyze them

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  • Thank you for your answer! I think the strength of the players that I face whether as white or black is completely random. Maybe as I play more games, the advantage as white can be observed. – Zuriel Sep 6 '19 at 13:11

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