ChessDB — a free Chess Database

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ChessDB — a free Database

ChessDB is a free database which can be used on Windows, Linux, Apple running OS X. FreeBSD, as well as if not all modern UNIX versions. The has translations into English, Czech, Dutch, French, Hungarian, Italian, Norwegian, Portuguese, Russian, Serbian and The documentation is excellent, although most is only in English, but situation is changing rapidly.

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What a chess can do

In addition to this fully-featured database, there are a number of available both free and This section describes in broad terms basically why are useful. Chess databases in provide:

A convenient way to store own games in a way where the right can be quickly found. They can be by a number of different criteria, and for quickly.

A very time-efficient to study, which will the maximum improvement in the minimum The features which help you vary from database to The specific features of ChessDB are further down this web

Access to statistics about your own games and of GMs, would be impractical to collect a computer based chess

Main features of ChessDB

is based very heavily on the successful Scid which was the free chess database. are a large number of features. in It is not a cut-down/light/crippled (call it what you version of an expensive commercial but you get a complete fully functional

With ChessDB can:

games by either

Moving the with a mouse.

Typing in the from a keyboard 1.e4

Read games from a PGN — the standard used for games. (In ChessDB 3.6.13 and it is possible to read all the PGN files in one making it quick to import a lot of

Download them directly ChessDB from The Week in (TWIC).

Import games the history of anyone on ICC — you can download the recent games by people whose games you to study. (FICS support be be introduced by the end of March 2007).

A of the above 6.

Annotate the games by

Text comments

Add standard such as. (excellent move). =+ (black as a slight advantage)

Add coloured symbols to games, to whatever you want. Lots of symbols may be used, and lots of colours

Variations showing lines which may have interesting.

Analyse a position GM strength chess engines. For information about chess see

Create Tournament

Play against many chess engines from weak ones to strong engines such as Crafty and II. However, ChessDB’s roots in are very much as a database than a tool to play in. So ChessDB lacks some you would want to play a game of chess, such as time controls.

Play two engines each other to the strongest. Again, to be fair, is not one of the tasks ChessDB was designed so if you are organising the next chess world championship, we suggest you for more appropriate software. But for the game, it works okay.

games in either

Standard PGN

HTML (for web pages)

(a high quality DTP/typesetting

Set the pieces on the chessboard then use the Search tool to find in a database which have the

Exact position — pieces on the same squares)

— same material, all in the same position.

Same all pawns on the same files

material and pawns, but they can be on the board

Generate a rating showing the rating vs time of a (There can be two players on the same

Generate a player report. statistics of a single player either the Black or White

Classify games according to defined criteria. (For rook endings, games blunder, games with queens pawn etc etc)

games for correspondance chess, the built in email client.

Use the Search tool to find with specific data in the such as:

Player names

titles — GM, IM, FW, WGM, W




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Date or range of dates.


and many other search

Answer questions like: Is it spending much time to the move 4.Bd2 in the Nimzo defence? The answer is it depends GMs play 4.Bd2 in less 0.5% of games with the Indian, but players on ICC of about play it 40% of the time. Such is useful.

Verify the version in use is the current one or if it old

ChessDB can not do (as of 2009-12-18)

There are that ChessDB can not do, which software can do.

You can not easily use ChessDB to to chess servers such as the Chess Club (ICC) or the Internet Chess Server to play games. ChessDB can to both ICC and FICS — connected you can download games in the past, but unless you are willing to in the commands to move, you can’t use to play games. Support for might be added, as it will not be hard to do, but does rather get from the original concept of which was a chess database.

does not allow you to embed or video clips into although ChessDB does you to add player photographs, which be displayed when one of that game is being viewed.

can not read proprietary file such as those used by ChessAssistant and Bookup. However, all chess databases can save to PGN format, which ChessDB can

Other chess databases

We ChessDB will be the best for many people, but there are chess databases around. of them include:

The commercial ChessBase sell a wide of chess software. One of their products is a chess database is also called ChessBase to confuse you!) It is well but not cheap. It only runs on

The current version (December is ChessBase 9. ChessBase also away free a chess called ChessBase Light It is crippled (only 8000 per database), making it useless for work, but OK for the most basic of Again, this only on Windows.

Convekta sell a database called Chess The current (December 2006) is Assistant 9 Like ChessBase, give away a light (or version, called Chess Light

Another free database is jose. Like and ChessDB, jose really is and not simply a crippled version of a product. Like ChessDB, is multi-platform, running under Linux, OS X and UNIX.

ChessX is another chess which is being actively

The plagiarist Pascal Geroges has a version of Scid, in which he lots of code from but claimed he wrote it. See here for information.

As you can see, there are a of chess databases around. can be little doubt that at the of writing (May 2011), is no better free database. things like Chessbase are depends on who you talk to.


shots taken with Windows XP Professional

Screen taken with a Mac running OS X

shots on a UNIX system 10 in this case)

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