Social Question

elbanditoroso's avatar

Should white always go first in chess?

Asked by elbanditoroso (28275points) 2 weeks ago

Is that custom indicative of ingrained racism?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

9 Answers

Demosthenes's avatar

I think that’s reaching.

But the association of white with light/goodness and black with dark/evil is cross-cultural.

Darth_Algar's avatar

Most chess sets aren’t even white/black, they’re slightly different shades of wood grain.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Is there a fairer way of deciding, like a toon toss? There does’t seem to be an advantage being first or second.

Darth_Algar's avatar


Typically, at least in professional games, one player will hold one piece of each color within his closed hand. The other player picks a hand and plays whichever color that hand held.

And the advantage of having the first move can be tremendous. “White” can dictate the course of the game since, at least in the opening phase, “black” is responding to “white’s” moves.

ucme's avatar

One night in Bangkok only.

Jeruba's avatar

Chess should be banned. So should everything else that is black and white, or just black or just white, or in between, or any other color. Let’s ban everything.

Demosthenes's avatar

@Jeruba I’m on board. Let’s ban night and day since they correspond to black/white and night is scary and associated with illicit acts (ergo, racist).

si3tech's avatar

Don’t ask. An entire nation is racially charged. Must we change chess rules? Or colors?

Jeruba's avatar

@Demosthenes, you’re right. Down with everything. Or up, in case downness is offensive.

I’ve recently been learning about how racism permeates our system in ways that I never understood, and I’m all for social justice. I just don’t think searching out and condemning every instance of contrast in our culture and environment is going to accomplish that.

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