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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 2009-12-31 UTC
What you are asking for is not fairness, but stability. The two have nothing to do with each ther. And indeed, Chess is by nature an unstable game, where advantages tend to grow with the move number. The quality of earlier moves has a higher weight in determining the outcome than the quality of later moves. Take away someone's Queen on move 3, and 'restoring' the balance by taking away the opponent's Queen on move 33 will almost certainly leave him in a lost position, as the opponent hs been hammering on him with an extra Queen for 30 moves.

So in practice the game will be decided in favor of the first player who has a stretch of luck in the first-move lottery. But even if the first coin flip would fully determine the outcome, it would still be a far game. Just a less interesting one.