Chess is a totally deterministic game.

Although we do not have computing power to pre-compute all the possible moves, all possible outcomes are determined.

So assuming God had unlimited computing power, would He always win or draw? (Like in tic tac toe game)

Would white have an advantage over black considering they do the first move? Or vice versa?

Are there ways to estimate it considering analogy with tic tac toe where first player could always shift the game path to the draw scenario, even if both players play perfectly.


2 Answers 2


So assuming God had unlimited computing power, would He always win or draw?

Yes, with the usual caveat: that's a big if. Infinity is not part of usual computational discussions.

But yes, with true infinite computing power (i.e., well outside the scope of what reality can offer), any pure strategy, no-hidden-info, 2-player game can theoretically be "solved".

And, if solved, it is pretty much agreed that white has no deficit in chess that would lead to black being able to force a win for black. The best black can hope for is a draw. White should at least be able to force a draw (if not win).

  • 4
    For all we know chess could be winning for black. There are plenty of positions where it's known that the first player to move loses. It's unlikely but possible that the initial position is one of those. Sep 21, 2022 at 18:49
  • Yes, that is 1) because chess is not currently "solved" and 2) the reason for the "pretty much agreed" language. Sep 23, 2022 at 14:09
  • @ReinstateMonica We cannot rule it out , yes. But it is the least likely outcome.
    – Peter
    Oct 11, 2022 at 17:47

So assuming God had unlimited computing power, would He always win or draw?

No. The difference between chess and tic-tac-toe is that tic-tac-toe is completely determined and chess will never be determined (there are more possible moves than atoms in the universe). Hence we don't know (and can never know) what the result with best play is on both sides. The popular guess is that it is a draw with best play but English GM Jonathan Speelman joked many years ago that in his opinion the initial position is mutual zugzwang. Hence a forced win for black.

  • Note that to solve chess one need not know all chaines of moves , it would be sufficient to evaluate all the about 10^43 positions which is not utterly hopeless if computational power further explodes as in the last decades.
    – Peter
    Oct 11, 2022 at 17:45

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