Gradations of Advantage

Most evaluations of positions in chess books use one of the following four grades of advantage:

In the opening position of the game of Chess, before anybody has moved, White has an advantage that translates into a winning ratio of approximately 55:45 at the grandmaster level. Later on, when the books say "White has retained the advantage of the first move", they mean "+= (Slight Edge)".

So I suppose that the opening position is +=, perhaps as small a += advantage as you can get (but surely many would call the opening position "=="). How much is that in real money? Is White a tempo ahead because it's his move in a symmetrical position, or is White only half a tempo ahead?

Let's suppose that Black declines to make a move, so White starts the game with 1. e4 ... 2. d4; now White has the original += advantage, *plus* one tempo of development, or one-third of a Pawn. Is this already a "+- (Big Edge)"?

If it is, it's a very small big advantage, but if it's only "+=", it's a very big small advantage. :-)

What if White had played 1. e4 ... 2. Nc3, would this be +- or only +=? I think this example demonstrates that 1. e4 ... 2. d4 gives White some advantages other than merely a tempo (control of more space).

Simplifying this discussion into the terms of _Point Count Chess_, it would seem to be a good rule of thumb if we say that any advantage of more than two "points" is graded +-, any advantage of less than two points is +=, and advantages of exactly two points are on the cusp. Close enough.

Remember that a "point" in _Point Count Chess_ is a third of a Pawn.

The "++ (And Wins)" evaluation is reached somewhere at or beyond two Pawns' worth of advantage.

And In Closing, May I Say

The odds of Pawn and move are a big edge ( +- ).

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