In normal chess, black isn't that bad, but not that good either. White has the initiative and opening theory dictates how to win these positions. Variants like Chess960 have made it possible to play with common sense rather than grandmaster sense. But still correct play leads to the same result in variants that do not offer a pawn for either side right in the opening. While there are many books that try to convince me that black is OK, still the statistics show other things for normal chess at least. So that leads me to my question. Are there any chess variants where black is considered equal? Not better, just equal.
In Synchronistic Chess, both players make their moves simultaneously. Black must be quite equal in this variant!
Additionally, a bunch of the variants listed on the Wikipedia page could likely be considered "equal" for Black, as they may involve elements of chance that would be far more significant than the first-move advantage normally conferred on White. Some variants have arbitrary rules that change from game to game, though these may be getting so far removed from actual Chess that their inclusion is a bit questionable. ;-)
Here is a link with statistical information about different kind of chess960 positions. If you will look at the very bottom, where white score is the worse (
White score = (White's winning percentage) + (Draw percentage / 2) ), you can see that positions like
RNKBBRNQ are statistically favorable for black.
P.S. statistics does not really mean that they are in fact good for black. It might also mean that the engines who played black in these positions where much higher.
There is the variant where the first player plays one move with white, then the second player decides which side they want to continue as. The player who ends up playing black then continues as normal. This way it is to the advantage of white to make a first move that gives both sides equal chances.
Apart from Synchronistic chess, two more variants that fall into this category are Synchronous chess and Parity chess.