Here's a quick one. The final answer is a 6-letter word.

First player advantage? I don't believe in anything like that. It's just an excuse people use to explain away why they lost. Instead, victory solely depends on which side gets the next move.

Text version is below: the first grid is the letters of the board, and the second is the shading. # is the darkest, followed by X, and then . is the lightest.

BASTILLE XXXXXXX#
ECHIDNAS XXXXXXXX
POTBOUND XXXXXXXX
KEPHALIC XX..XX..
TELETYPE XX..XX..
NEWSWEEK ........
CABOMBAS ........
ALTRUISM #.......


Hint 1:

At least 32 letters in the grid are just disguising the true information.

• The text version doesn't capture the shading of the squares. Is it worth adding to the question a description of how the board is shaded, for the benefit of anyone who for whatever reason can't view images? – Gareth McCaughan Nov 17 '17 at 17:49
• @GarethMcCaughan, very much so, yes. Not every computer can pull images from imgur. Better yet, stick that in the image description where it goes. – Jakob Lovern Nov 17 '17 at 19:15
• My question was addressed more to the OP -- it may turn out that the shading is purely decorative. But I'll add some explanation to the question. – Gareth McCaughan Nov 17 '17 at 19:50
• I can try putting the grid in markdown if that would help. – Aranlyde Nov 17 '17 at 20:35
• Maybe provide a hunt now? – Sid Nov 24 '17 at 8:18