35

I think any real answer to your question will have to be statistical in nature. There's rationale behind the advantages and disadvantages of having the first move, but really, we'd be mostly guessing regarding how important these factors are. With that in mind, I quickly ran some code to check what patterns I could pick up through the million base PGN ...


35

EDIT: I opened Mega Database 2012 and found there were 515539 games ranging from the 1400s to 2011. As I couldn't find an efficient way to parse the data, I just used the median move value (I hope it's normally distributed. It's probably not though as the largest number of moves was 277... oh well). The median value was 37 moves, but I'm sure that it's a ...


32

I did this graph based on 731,000 games played on the free internet chess server by players with rating above 2000 during the last 13 years with non-blitz time controls. The average length is 79 half moves, the median is 70 and the mode is 51. There are also a lot of very short games due to people resigning early. Update: As it turns out, the above curve ...


29

Here is a quick an dirty analysis based on the "Million Base" PGN database. I did this in a bit of a rush, so there may well be errors in my programming or logic. Please don't use it for anything too serious. Update - Note: Actually, I've just noticed I made a mistake with the data set, and limited it to the first 1 million records. I'll post an update ...


27

If you are prepared to use standard Linux command-line tools like wc and grep then I think my free PGN processor, pgn-extract, will do much of the pre-processing necessary to count games in each category. Below is a basic bash script I put together as a proof of concept. It assumes your file of games is called inputfile.pgn - adjust as necessary, or pass it ...


25

Brilliant little data mining project! I used the wiki list of GMs and wrote a quick and dirty script to extract the data. Feel free to use and expand/alter it, if you are interested. As it turns out, the average age for reaching GM is just above 28. It is, however, skewed by "old" generation players and players from time before GM title was a thing. It was ...


24

I have some partial statistics for the question, from the Million Base 1.74 database, a collection of 1742057 games. 77218 of these games (4.4%) feature at least one promotion. I counted 49970 promotions for white (54% of all promotions) and 42519 for black (46%). Here are the destination square statistics (meaning there is no track of the actual initial ...


20

Here are a few openings that seem to be played more often in the last decade than previously. This is just based on my recollection, so please correct any errors or add any other openings. Catalan Opening The last few major matches have all featured the Catalan: Anand-Topalov, as well as the candidates matches leading up to the World Championship 2012. The ...


17

The maximum number of moves in a chess game is not infinite, it's 11797 plies = 5898 moves and a half. This is due to the fifty-move rule. So no, the number of possible chess games is not infinite. The maximum number of legal moves in a position is 218. So a crude upper bound for the number of possible chess games is 218^11797 = 10^27586 Wait, actually ...


15

Since you asked for experience apart from the higher level of plays, I can give you myself as an example, with a rating of ~1900 (FIDE rating is 1871) I've never felt at a disadvantage playing black or advantage playing white. Most openings give a lot of play for both sides and small inaccuracies will trample the advantage white might have before you'll ...


15

From this Chess.com Discussion In terms of games played, it would be Tal with 95 games (46 wins, 49 draws) from October 23, 1973 to October 16, 1974. He also has the second longest streak of 84 games (47 wins, 39 draws) from July 1972 to April 1973. In terms of time, Capablanca was undefeated for 63 games (40 wins, 23 draws from February 10, 1916 to ...


14

I found an interesting page featuring the results of some data mining on a sample of 4,226,520 games, and from which answers to your questions can be extracted, at least for that large sample of games, which is probably reasonably reflective of what happens in general. According to the numbers there, the average game has a ply count of 57.63 (i.e. total ...


14

Different engines have different "scales" for their numerical evaluations. For instance, in a typical middlegame position with plenty of play left, when Houdini says +2.00 or better, it is highly probable that White has a winning advantage (though even here I've included qualifications for a reason). But consider: one could modify the source code of Houdini ...


13

Wikipedia says that the longest decisive game without a capture is: Nuber-Keckeisen, Mengen 1994 lasted 31 moves without a single capture. In the end Keckeisen, facing imminent checkmate, resigned: [Fen ""] 1.e4 b6 2.d4 e6 3.Bd3 Bb7 4.Nf3 g6 5.O-O Bg7 6.Nbd2 Ne7 7.Re1 O-O 8.Nf1 d6 9.Qe2 Nd7 10.Bg5 Qe8 11.Rad1 a5 12.c3 Rc8 13.Ng3 Kh8 14.Qd2 Ng8 15.h3 e5 ...


13

I would say the first move has a large advantage. I am not at the highest level (1), nor have I ever played against someone at the highest level, but I have played several GMs. I'll give two situations where I thought it was a large advantage. They relate to opening choice - which has a large impact on the rest of the game. The first I had white against GM ...


13

Whilst acknowledging the comment by @SmallChess that this is pointless, it is also relatively straightforward to do. I analysed 2,539,871 games from a ChessBase mega database counting the number of moves for the next player to move before each move was played. I did not include the number of moves available after the final move of the game had been played. ...


12

I recently looked into that very thing a couple of weeks ago, and found an excellent breakdown on it (just this one, though): The short answer is that aside from Kings, h2 & h7 are the least likely to be captured pieces (with survival rates claimed to be 73.92% and 72.29%, respectively). Regarding individual pieces' survival (from a 2,196,968 game ...


12

Looks like I am late to the party. Anyway: Free PGNs of many top players are available here. Almost all 2700+ players are there. As for women, only a few from very top are there. These PGN files have anywhere from few hundred to couple thousand games available for each player. Although this does not fully comply with OPs request, it seems like an ...


11

How much statistical difference is there? Is it really statistically significant? Do these statistics take account of only GM games, so are they biased or not? And do you know that not every player is a Sicilian expert? Actually, it's quite tough to be a Sicilian expert. Had I not played the Sicilian with Black I could have saved myself the trouble of ...


11

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 ...


10

Chess isn't popular because all major tournaments make it lack emotion. For some reason, all major tournaments are those of classic chess, that is, with high quality games that last 5 hours or more. The outcome of these high quality games at the highest play level is most typically a draw. This is totally broken and does not have a chance to make it to ...


10

We have no way of knowing this, chess isn't remotely close to being solved. We only know that as opening theory digs deeper, it finds it harder and harder to find advantages for white, so the game is probably a draw. But that's no proof. If the game is a draw, then any game that is won by either side must involve at least 1 wrong move. But we don't know ...


10

Just googling for "castling statistics" already yields a few results; even though the analysis is done on a different set of games than 'all grandmaster games', it gives a rough indication. 50 world class players 2 million games in the MillionBase database Kingside castling is done by 80-81% of the players, and queen side castling by 8-9%. I estimate that ...


9

To answer my own question, numbers shown in bold below are the FIDE ranking of the player at the time they were crowned World Champion. Before 1964 there was no ranking system as far as I know. Ranking taken from FIDE rankings site and this chess USA education webpage. Undisputed world champions 1886–1993 ?? Wilhelm Steinitz (1886–1894) ?? Emanuel Lasker (...


9

The precise answer to your question is four half-moves. The only checkmate possible in two moves is by Black - 1.f3 e5 2.g4 Qh4# (This mate is known as Fool's Mate). Slight variations may occur (in White's move order or in the distance Black's e-pawn or White's f-pawn is advanced): 1.g4 e5 2.f3 Qh4# 1.f3 e6 2.g4 Qh4# 1.g4 e6 2.f3 Qh4# 1.g4 e5 2.f4 Qh4# 1.f4 ...


9

According to the list downloaded here, there are currently 261782 players with a FIDE rating. I wrote a small program to analyze it, and here are the results: ------------------------- Rating Number of players 2800+ 5 2750+ 18 2700+ 43 2650+ 114 2600+ 262 2550+ 514 2500+ 921 2450+ 1641 2400+ 3130 2350+ 5223 2300+ 8669 2250+ 13791 ...


9

If I understand correctly your x axis is the moves. Your script implied Anand and Prag were blundering every time they make a move, Clearly you have a bug in your script. Stockfish engine always give you a score relative to the player making the move, NOT white. You need to multiply the score by minus one if it’s Black to move. Please do this and you will ...


9

Definitely not impossible! It is true that draws are less frequent in amateur chess, and it is also true that draws are less frequent for faster games (how fast was the game in the show?), but even so, let's say that for a blitz game between evenly matched amateurs the draw frequency were 5%, or 1/20. If you played three games, the odds of playing three ...


8

There are a couple of things here. First, each program is going to have its own way of evaluating positions so the scores can't be directly compared. For example, I was running StockFish against Rybka recently and found Stockfish's scores were about double those of Rybka. I was surprised by this, but it's pretty clear that a score of 1 doesn't always mean ...


8

I think this picture describes the situation quite well. It was created from 400k games, and considers only plain piece material. Source: Pawn Advantage, Win Percentage, and ELO


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