32 votes
Accepted

How often does castling occur in grandmaster games?

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 ...
  • 1,646
28 votes
Accepted

What is the average age to become a grandmaster?

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,...
  • 3,721
28 votes
Accepted

Why have engines not increased top rated chess players' Elo?

I think they certainly have increased their ELO, but more importantly, their overall chess strength. ELO is only a rating relative to others in the pool so it may tend to go up more slowly if everyone ...
  • 32.2k
25 votes

Did the Queen's Gambit series lead to an increased popularity of the Queen's Gambit opening?

The Queen's Gambit series debuted on 23 October 2020. The Lichess Opening Explorer provides access to the number of games by opening stratified by average rating and/or time control for set time ...
24 votes

How often do grandmasters miss checkmate?

Probably more often than people realize. There have been several notable instances where GMs (even world champions) have missed simple mates in one. From my own experience, when I analyze my games the ...
  • 4,221
21 votes

Is the number of possible chess games infinite?

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. ...
  • 4,481
21 votes
Accepted

Do any grandmasters win more with black than white?

The short answer Yes, they do, although very few GMs do and by a margin of less than 10%. This does not seem to be due only to random factors (see long answer). An example is GM Joseph Gallagher. As ...
  • 3,253
21 votes
Accepted

Arbiter's top work cause

The answer is wholly dependent on the level of competition. Beginners tournaments result in many more and completely different arbiter "interventions" than norm tournaments, for example. ...
  • 83.9k
20 votes

Are chess players getting better, given the same rating?

How would say a 1700 rated player of say 50 years ago who is no longer .around go against a 1700 player of today? Speaking as a player who was around 50 years ago and was rated the equivalent of 1800 ...
  • 83.9k
18 votes

How often do grandmasters miss checkmate?

It really depends on what counts as a missed checkmate. In Blitz we occasionally see a missed mate in 1. In slower games, mates in a few moves are rarelly missed. But the problem is that sometimes ...
  • 14.4k
17 votes

Is there a way to figure out what the average number of moves would be if all games were played to completion?

Is there a way to figure out the average number of moves of a game? The best way is to run a program which goes through a large database of games and calculates the average number of moves per game. ...
  • 83.9k
16 votes

What is the average number of legal moves per turn?

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 ...
  • 1,646
16 votes
Accepted

How do age and initial rating correlate to decline in playing strength with age?

I looked at the data briefly and got some interesting conclusions. I used data from FIDE webpage for january in years 2006-2019. I calculated each player's rating change in consecutive years and ...
  • 276
16 votes

Why have engines not increased top rated chess players' Elo?

The question is apparently based on a misunderstanding of how ELO ratings work. There is absolutely no mechanism by which the overall increase in players' strength would lead to increase in their ELO. ...
  • 1,724
16 votes

Are chess players getting better, given the same rating?

Everybody seems to agree that "ELO inflation" is real (I found an article from 20 years ago claiming this exists)...except scientists. Here is a 2011 paper that vehemently denies the ...
16 votes

Why after 1. d4 Nf6, 2. c4 is so common but after 1. c4 Nf6, 2. d4 is so rare?

To answer your question, I think it mainly comes down to selection bias. The White players of the games after 1.c4 Nf6 are often not intending to play a Queen's pawn opening (at least, not right away ...
15 votes
Accepted

List of female chess players by peak FIDE rating

The raw data which could be used to extract this information is available on the FIDE website (from 2001) and the Olimpbase website (before 2001). What you will need to do is clean the data (the older ...
  • 83.9k
14 votes
Accepted

Is hyperbullet or bullet more common in online gameplay?

According to Lichess, there were 16,664 UltraBullet players this week, and 361,848 Bullet players this week. As for games played, since January 2021 there were 7,111,572 UltraBullet games played, ...
13 votes
Accepted

Top player with the lowest drawing rate

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 ...
  • 3,721
13 votes

Do any grandmasters win more with black than white?

White scores about 54%, which is quite different from White winning 54% of all game, more so considering how draws occur more often between stronger players. None of the top players score better as ...
  • 14.4k
13 votes
Accepted

Can the "bishop pair advantage" be supported by statistics?

Download all games from top players. Around 341k games excluding the duplicates. Use pgn-extract to get BBvNB, BBvNN and BNvNN games. Run bayeselo to get the stats. Results Table 1 Rank Name: Elo ...
  • 2,745
13 votes
Accepted

What's the average total time for a game of bullet chess?

Per the suggestion by Rewan in the comments, I pulled the January 2022 log of games from lichess and looked at all the 1+0 games that finished with "Normal" or "Time forfeit" ...
12 votes

Are world-class correspondence games more likely to be drawn than world class OTB games?

Yes (actually, hell yes). World class correspondence chess is very close to the infamous "draw death" of chess. If you thought 70-80% draw rate among the world elite at classical chess was ...
  • 23k
12 votes

Which piece is least likely to be taken?

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 ...
12 votes
Accepted

Are there statistics on the results of armageddon games at the GM level?

The earliest Armageddon games I can find go back to the Women's World Chess Championship 2001, and the FIDE World Championship in 2002, which GM Ruslan Ponomariov won. This is probably a fairly ...
  • 32.2k
12 votes

Statistics on rejected draw offers

The simplest answer is "No" because draw offers are not retained. By that I mean that although the players may record draw offers on their scoresheets, that information is thrown away when the games ...
  • 83.9k
12 votes
Accepted

What percentage of the time does White win in the Lomonosov tablebase?

As I do not have access to the full Lomosonov tablebases, here is an answer based on the Syzygy tablebases, which are available online in machine-readable format. I interpret your question as "...
  • 869
11 votes
Accepted

Does black really have a disadvantage?

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 ...
  • 26.6k
11 votes
Accepted

If the Sicilian is so strong, why do people still play e4 in competitions?

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 ...
  • 4,404
11 votes

Why I did not see the first-mover advantage in my game history?

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 ...
  • 2,227

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible