I often heard the claim that top grand masters can assure a draw, if they do not risk anything. I disagree with this claim.

What are the reasons that so many people think that very strong players cannot lose a game, if they do not play risky moves ?

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    Who are these many people? Have you done any polls regarding this? Because it looks like a speculation. And also if many people think so, they might have many different reasons. By the way, many people during the football match think their team would win (the same with another many people voting for another team). Mar 20, 2015 at 9:34
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    They can certainly lose against a computer...
    – Corvus
    Mar 20, 2015 at 10:05
  • Well, I'm sure they'd lose every single game against Stockfish 6. Especially 4CPU.
    – user5649
    Mar 20, 2015 at 14:05
  • @Peter where are you taking this statistics from? Please share it with us, or simply do not write speculations. Mar 23, 2015 at 23:56
  • I deleted my comment, but the claim that EVERYONE loses EVERY game against Stockfish 6, seems even more speculative to me.
    – Peter
    Mar 26, 2015 at 13:51

1 Answer 1


The basic dynamic in modern top-level chess is that White wants to find a way to get some edge, often quite small, out of the opening. Black wants to find a way to equalize or otherwise draw. This means that a lot of what has been rejected by White are lines that lead to equality. So, I would agree that a top-10 player wanting a draw with White will basically never lose because he will simply select one of those ways that has drawn in the past. With Black, though, I disagree because making a draw is the essence of the challenge and often eludes even Carlsen.

  • If the black top grandmaster needs a win, and the white top grandmaster is confident with a draw, I do not see any reason why the black top grandmaster should not have a realistic chance to win, even if white does everything to draw the game.
    – Peter
    Mar 20, 2015 at 23:29
  • So, you are asserting that there is a difference in between playing black and white, and that white has an advantage ? (Thats not obvious and is a big assertion.)
    – Saikat
    Aug 8, 2016 at 15:40
  • It's blatantly obvious. Look at the scoring statistics at any level of play for white vs black. What's not obvious is that white is winning; in fact, that is probably false. Having an advantage and winning, though, are two different things.
    – Cleveland
    Aug 8, 2016 at 17:04

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