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The Fair First Move Rule in Chess. Every turn you flip a coin to see who goes first.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
H. G. Muller wrote on 2009-12-28 UTC
Isn't that obvious from the symmetry? The rules make no distinction anymore between black and white, so they must have equal opportunity.

Of course you could simply acheive that by only flipping a coin to decide who starts.

Fairness is of curse not a mathematically defined concept; one could argue that a game that involves chance elements is intrinsically less fair than one that doesn't. If under the coin-flip rule I play two games against the same opponent, he might very well be lucky, and get the first-move advantage twice. Is that fair, just because I _could have_ gotten that advantage as well if I had been more lucky? Or is it just that it _could have been fair_ if I had been less unlucky (but is quite unfair in practice). Personally, I think it is much more fair to simply play two games with alternating colors, where white starts. Or in a tournament with only a single game per pairing, alternately give a player white and black.