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Old 23rd June 2020, 05:37 PM   #1
lionking
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Chess is Racist

Because white moves first. Seriously.

This is being argued by Australia's national broadcaster, the ABC:

https://www.news.com.au/sport/more-s...60fc5f4d9fff48

Quote:
Former Australian chess representative John Adams has slammed the ABC for organising a radio segment discussing whether the popular board game is racist.


Professional economist Adams received a call from a Sydney-based ABC producer on Tuesday asking whether the game was racist because white always moves first.

“I just received a phone call from an ABC Sydney based producer seeking a comment about the game of chess,” Adams posted to Twitter.

“The ABC have taken the view that chess is RACIST given that white always go first!
It would not surprise me to see that some members of this forum think this is a serious issue worthy of debate. If so, let's hear the reasoning.

The NZ National Soccer Team the All Whites must now be worried (and probably the All Blacks as well), as will all teams where white colours dominate their strip.

I will no doubt be accused of trolling, but the debate about white pieces in chess is happening now. I'm not making this up. In fact before today, I would not have been able to envisage such a debate.
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Old 23rd June 2020, 05:54 PM   #2
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The real issue with chess is that it promotes monarchy. Is this the middle ages? Kings and queens? Bishops able to kill people with impunity? Horse mistreatment? Castle towers rushing about, up to no good? That sort of thing has no place in modern games. The pieces must be reshaped and renamed. I suggest this:

Pawn becomes Equal Citizen
Knight becomes Friendly Equine
Rook becomes Safe Space Togetherness Centre
Bishop becomes Multifaith/Multidiscipline Advisor
Queen becomes Female-Identifying Person In A Leadership Role
King becomes Male-Identifying Person In A Leadership Role

Instead of "capturing" the opponents pieces, they are "invited to a cordial gathering off-board". Instead of "checkmating" the game is won by "funds transfer relationship between consenting adults". And to avoid privileging territorial conquest as a laudable goal, all the squares shall be overlapping circles of the same color, which all the pieces are welcome to share peacefully together.
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Old 23rd June 2020, 05:56 PM   #3
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I've argued this for years.

Two sides in the game. Same pieces, safe stop. The only difference in the game is that one color has a small advantage in every single game.


I often jokingly call it the white privilege rule when teaching the game.

Nothing in the game would change if a coin flip or other mechanism was used to decide who goes first.

Hello the game can be played with purple and yellow pieces. (I've done it.)

But tradition says white first.

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Old 23rd June 2020, 06:24 PM   #4
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This is so damn stupid . It is the kind of thing that plays inot the hands of the actual racists.
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Old 23rd June 2020, 06:26 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by lionking View Post
It would not surprise me to see that some members of this forum think this is a serious issue worthy of debate.
Apparently you do!
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Old 23rd June 2020, 06:26 PM   #6
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Hmmn. Most high-level players believe black has the advantage. Going first lets you get a pawn out quickly, but black is better able to avoid pawn islands.
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Old 23rd June 2020, 06:30 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
This is so damn stupid . It is the kind of thing that plays inot the hands of the actual racists.
Okay, I declare that anyone who posts anything after me is doing the work of the racists by promoting a thread which plays into the hands of the actual racists.
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"Evolution and Ethics" T.H. Huxley (1893)
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Old 23rd June 2020, 06:30 PM   #8
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@DallasDad I was under the impression that the opposite is true, but I may be misinformed.


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Old 23rd June 2020, 06:45 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by beren View Post
I've argued this for years.

Two sides in the game. Same pieces, safe stop. The only difference in the game is that one color has a small advantage in every single game.


I often jokingly call it the white privilege rule when teaching the game.

Nothing in the game would change if a coin flip or other mechanism was used to decide who goes first.

Hello the game can be played with purple and yellow pieces. (I've done it.)

But tradition says white first.

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There is a difference in layout though.
One side has the king to the right of the queen, the other side has the king to the left of the queen.
The side that has the king to the right of the queen goes first.
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Old 23rd June 2020, 06:48 PM   #10
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And why do black olives come in a can, while green olives come in a jar?
Clearly they are trying to tell us that blacks need to be locked up!!
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Old 23rd June 2020, 06:48 PM   #11
sir drinks-a-lot
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Originally Posted by DallasDad View Post
Hmmn. Most high-level players believe black has the advantage. Going first lets you get a pawn out quickly, but black is better able to avoid pawn islands.
Are you sure of that? White wins more often in high-level chess tournaments.
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Old 23rd June 2020, 06:50 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by sir drinks-a-lot View Post
Are you sure of that? White wins more often in high-level chess tournaments.
I've done some quick googling and only found source citing white with the advantage, but I was not especially thorough.

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Old 23rd June 2020, 06:51 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Distracted1 View Post
And why do black olives come in a can, while green olives come in a jar?
Clearly they are trying to tell us that blacks need to be locked up!!
There green ones are in a jar so you can clearly see that they are not the yummy black ones and are instead the horrible green ones.

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Old 23rd June 2020, 06:55 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Distracted1 View Post
And why do black olives come in a can, while green olives come in a jar?
Clearly they are trying to tell us that blacks need to be locked up!!
Chris Rock
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Old 23rd June 2020, 07:37 PM   #15
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The quickest possible win from the opening in Chess is Black in 2 moves. White can only win using the same two moves in 3. So Black is obviously the superior colour.



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Old 23rd June 2020, 07:38 PM   #16
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What about Go?
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Old 23rd June 2020, 07:40 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
Apparently you do!
Well you completely misinterpret me then. I do not think it worthy of debate at all. I think it curious that the ABC does, and am interested if others do here. So far, seems not.
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Old 23rd June 2020, 07:45 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by pgwenthold View Post
Chris Rock
Technically his Uncle, wasn't it?
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Old 23rd June 2020, 08:37 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by DallasDad View Post
Hmmn. Most high-level players believe black has the advantage. Going first lets you get a pawn out quickly, but black is better able to avoid pawn islands.
So, you don't follow Chess very much, eh?

The white advantage is very well known. It's not even a question.
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Old 23rd June 2020, 08:41 PM   #20
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This is the kind of thing that makes me wonder if the ABC is just trolling. No one could take the argument seriously......I hope.

I have seen quite a few cases where people say "the light pieces" and "the dark pieces". I assume that's to note that wooden chess pieces are rarely black. I also hear people say, "the dark squared bishop" more often than I hear "the black squared bishop". I don't think it has anything to do with racism or political correctness, though. I just think it's about wood color.

Come to think of it, I frequently hear the squares referred to as "dark", but the players/sides referred to as "black". I think that means......absolutely nothing.
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Old 23rd June 2020, 08:51 PM   #21
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As a chess fan I’ve never heard pieces referred to as other than black and white.
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Old 23rd June 2020, 08:53 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by lionking View Post
As a chess fan I’ve never heard pieces referred to as other than black and white.
I've heard it in some announcements of major tournaments, mostly. Maybe I'll google and see what I can find. Calling them black and white is much more common, but I have heard the squares referred to as dark or light much more often, especially in describing the bishops.

ETA: "I googled the phrases "playing with the dark pieces" and "playing with the black pieces". In both cases, most of the hits were about chess, but there were an awful lot more hits for "playing with the black pieces".

ETA2: But there were a lot more hits for "dark squared bishop" than "black squared bishop", and a lot more hits for "weakness on the dark squares" than for "weakness on the black squares".

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Old 23rd June 2020, 08:56 PM   #23
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At this point, if it upsets the boomers then I'm in. Force the little Chess dorks to do a ******* coin toss.
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Old 23rd June 2020, 08:58 PM   #24
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Culture warrior outrage click bait.


Note also the current context of job cuts at Australia’s national broadcaster ABC, which is being squeezed by conservative government. This article on Murdoch’s propaganda site is designed to inflame the narrative that the ABC is a crazy lefty mouthpiece.

The race issue is coming to head and everything is up for examination and discussion. And who gives a rats arse if this petty tradition is changed? No one. Just blind reactionary outrage being manipulated.

**** Rupert Murdoch.

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Old 23rd June 2020, 09:01 PM   #25
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Quite a funny one.

When I first learned the game as a kid it was more toss a coin or switch turns each game as to which goes first.

Then learnt the white first thing later.

I have actually always preferred playing black and going second actually. Not sure why.maybe wanting to know what people are planning and am better defensively.

Would probably be the opposite if I played it competitively though I guess
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Old 23rd June 2020, 09:06 PM   #26
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A coin toss would most certainly not be an equivalent way to start. In Chess tournaments, you have to balance, as best as possible, the number of times each player plays black, and each player plays white. Not only that, but there are rules about which order you play them in.

Of course, what matters is who goes first, not the actual color of the pieces. You could, theoretically, assign games based on "who goes first", and then flip a coin for which color pieces the first player plays with. The best thing about that would be that it would totally mess with people. All the conventions of play and what board diagrams would look like would be all wrong. The chess players would end up totally confused.
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Old 23rd June 2020, 09:06 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by lionking View Post
As a chess fan I’ve never heard pieces referred to as other than black and white.
They are sometimes referred to as light and dark, but that's usually only used for the squares.

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Old 23rd June 2020, 09:14 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
A coin toss would most certainly not be an equivalent way to start. In Chess tournaments, you have to balance, as best as possible, the number of times each player plays black, and each player plays white. Not only that, but there are rules about which order you play them in.

Of course, what matters is who goes first, not the actual color of the pieces. You could, theoretically, assign games based on "who goes first", and then flip a coin for which color pieces the first player plays with. The best thing about that would be that it would totally mess with people. All the conventions of play and what board diagrams would look like would be all wrong. The chess players would end up totally confused.
Yeah. That was how we got taught as little kids first by my uncle.

Toss coin winner starts which ever colour


Think it was probably a case of him having enough trouble trying to show where all the pieces went and where they could move without the added grief of colour protocol lol
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Old 23rd June 2020, 09:15 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by beren View Post
There green ones are in a jar so you can clearly see that they are not the yummy black ones and are instead the horrible green ones.

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I thought it was the other way around. If they're green you want to look at the quality in a jar to get the best ones. If they're black, they're all bad anyway, so no benefit to seeing them.

Drifting back to chess, I always thought the initial choice of color itself was randomized by a coin toss or blind choice of piece or the like.
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Old 23rd June 2020, 09:40 PM   #30
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#1. I've heard that the reason white went first because black was considered as the lucky color.

#2. It's not Chris Rock, but Warren Hutcherson. Here are a few links:
https://youtube.com/watch?v=SkGUzE575Aw
https://youtube.com/watch?v=AXINrOeh2AE
https://youtube.com/watch?v=KnjCYGV5nso

P.S.: http://www.internationalskeptics.com...4#post11795874
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Old 23rd June 2020, 09:44 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Pawn becomes Equal Citizen
Knight becomes Friendly Equine
Rook becomes Safe Space Togetherness Centre
Bishop becomes Multifaith/Multidiscipline Advisor
Queen becomes Female-Identifying Person In A Leadership Role
King becomes Male-Identifying Person In A Leadership Role
Pawn becomes Ally
Knight becomes Furry
Rook becomes Building-kin
Bishop becomes Wiccan
Queen becomes Drag Queen
King becomes Diversity Director
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Old 23rd June 2020, 09:46 PM   #32
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Since which player gets the white pieces is randomised, it's the same as doing a coin flip to determine who moves first anyway.

But I think it would be better with purple and green pieces. Purple fights green, green fights purple.
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Old 23rd June 2020, 09:59 PM   #33
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Just so I get this straight:

Quote:
Professional economist Adams received a call from a Sydney-based ABC producer on Tuesday asking whether the game was racist because white always moves first.
became

Quote:
“The ABC have taken the view that chess is RACIST given that white always go first!"
became

Originally Posted by lionking View Post
It would not surprise me to see that some members of this forum think this is a serious issue worthy of debate.
Have I got this wild ride straight so far?
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Old 23rd June 2020, 10:00 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Since which player gets the white pieces is randomised, it's the same as doing a coin flip to determine who moves first anyway.

But I think it would be better with purple and green pieces. Purple fights green, green fights purple.

No it isn't because it's the white piece which always gets to move first. I want the black piece to move first.

As always, John Oliver.

https://youtu.be/jZjmlJPJgug?t=571
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Old 23rd June 2020, 10:00 PM   #35
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Pieces of Color, maybe?

Several really, really good chess players used to be in my circle of friends in college. Because of this I know all these chess anecdotes and facts about chess. But as far as actually playing chess I don't really have that much to offer. Probably played around 50 games in my life.
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Old 23rd June 2020, 10:03 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by Sideroxylon View Post
Culture warrior outrage click bait.


Note also the current context of job cuts at Australia’s national broadcaster ABC, which is being squeezed by conservative government. This article on Murdoch’s propaganda site is designed to inflame the narrative that the ABC is a crazy lefty mouthpiece.

The race issue is coming to head and everything is up for examination and discussion. And who gives a rats arse if this petty tradition is changed? No one. Just blind reactionary outrage being manipulated.

**** Rupert Murdoch.
How is the colour of chess pieces a race issue? Some presenters on the ABC apparently think it might be. I find the whole idea ridiculous.

I don’t want to see funding of the ABC reduced at all (Labor also was not a friend of the ABC when in power). I just think that in the climate you describe, they would be better judges about what they cover. And the colour of chess pieces should be on the bottom of their list.
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Old 23rd June 2020, 10:03 PM   #37
sphenisc
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My pawns now carry little signs encouraging my opponent to tip over his king. This should solve racism.
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Old 23rd June 2020, 10:04 PM   #38
cullennz
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Since which player gets the white pieces is randomised, it's the same as doing a coin flip to determine who moves first anyway.

But I think it would be better with purple and green pieces. Purple fights green, green fights purple.
Your racist attitude towards Martians and singling out of the purple tellytubby saddens me.

I think I need to print a t-shirt to emphasise how hurt I am.
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Old 23rd June 2020, 10:08 PM   #39
lionking
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Originally Posted by Checkmite View Post
Just so I get this straight:



became



became



Have I got this wild ride straight so far?
No. Nothing straight about pondering if chess pieces are racist at all. Kind of my point.

And my tongue was in my cheek in the OP. I would actually be surprised if people here thought it an issue. And it seems they don’t.
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Old 23rd June 2020, 10:09 PM   #40
Meadmaker
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
The real issue with chess is that it promotes monarchy. Is this the middle ages? Kings and queens? Bishops able to kill people with impunity? Horse mistreatment? Castle towers rushing about, up to no good? That sort of thing has no place in modern games. The pieces must be reshaped and renamed. I suggest this:

Pawn becomes Equal Citizen
Knight becomes Friendly Equine
Rook becomes Safe Space Togetherness Centre
Bishop becomes Multifaith/Multidiscipline Advisor
Queen becomes Female-Identifying Person In A Leadership Role
King becomes Male-Identifying Person In A Leadership Role

Instead of "capturing" the opponents pieces, they are "invited to a cordial gathering off-board". Instead of "checkmating" the game is won by "funds transfer relationship between consenting adults". And to avoid privileging territorial conquest as a laudable goal, all the squares shall be overlapping circles of the same color, which all the pieces are welcome to share peacefully together.
You could always get a Civil War themed chess set. Lots are available.

I don't know which side is considered the black pieces. I'm guessing the Confederacy is white, because they are always in light gray and the Union is dark blue.

I've never seen a black piece on either side in one of those sets.
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