I beg your indulgence to brag a little dear readers but a couple of weeks ago I beat a guy who is higher rated than any other chess player I've ever beaten before. 167 ECF was the fellow's grade which, if my calculations are correct, works out to be a little shy of 2100 elo under the new conversion system. That's a good 30+ ECF points or about 160 elo points higher rated than myself at the time the game was played.
I mention this because I was playing Black at the time and just after I notched up this result I read on one of the Red Hot Pawn discussion boards of somebody else who'd also recently scored his best ever win and he also had been Black. I perhaps wouldn't have thought any more about it but yesterday, flicking once again through Jacob Aagaard's Excelling at Chess, I stumbled upon the following passage,
" ... after Karpov had been announced world champion when Fischer decided not to defend the title, Andersson was the first player to beat the new king (and with Black)"
and while n=3 is not much of a data set I began to wonder if a pattern might be emerging.
So now I have a few questions...
1. Why would it be that beating players much higher rated than ourselves happens more often when we have the Black pieces than might be expected?
Could it be that,
we spend more time working on our Black openings than we do our White?
(as suggested by GreenPawn on RHP)
our opponents try harder to beat us when they have White - and thus are more likely to take risks/make mistakes.
(as suggested by me)
some other factor is at work?
a combination of all/some of the above reveals the truth?
2. Am I deluded and the real truth is that these results are simply not representative of most chess players' experience?