24 March 2013

'Black Is OK' - 12 Discussion Points

After Adorjan on the Keres Attack, my post on GM Adorjan's first 'Black Is OK' book, let's return to the second and third books, which I discussed in Adorjan's 'Presumption of Innocence'. In the version that can be found online -- Black Is OK, or the presumption of innocence in the Game of Chess -- Adorjan presents many arguments in support of his thesis. I selected an even dozen quotes for further discussion.

  1. I presume - in the spirit of the presumption of innocence - that the position is equal. It is White who has to prove that he can get an advantage. [...] Starting the game should not be mistaken for taking the initiative!
  2. Qualified players will mostly come up with the same reply as a great number of world champions or chess thinkers since Lasker: the logical outcome of the game is a draw.
  3. If one of the players wins the game, his opponent has certainly made some mistake.
  4. Portisch said something to the effect that he had tried almost all openings and defences during his long chess career, and found that about two-thirds of these were disadvantageous for BLACK. So there is the remaining one-third, and all BLACK has to do is play these openings and defences, and then he has nothing to fear.
  5. People do not win too often with the BLACK pieces because they do not even want to, and that’s why White has a psychological advantage.
  6. It is simply impossible to claim that BLACK stands no chance whatsoever.
  7. You cannot launch an attack without exposing some weaknesses in your own position.
  8. [A] common argument is that White starts the game, and thus he determines the course of the battle and the character of the position. [Adorjan disagrees.]
  9. The extra tempo can have some significance only if the position acquires a symmetric character.
  10. White’s only advantage is that he can avoid sharp play in any opening, exchange the pieces off, and if he does it well, he will have his draw.
  11. If both players make good moves, they will inevitably reach an equal position.
  12. A chess game is never in perfect equilibrium, except for obviously drawn positions. [...] Once BLACK has equalised, he is already better.

There is lots of material there for further discussion, but first I'll take time out for the the eighth round of the 2013 Candidates Tournament in London.

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