Study With A Database Part 1: Master Games Online

First lets establish that today we have a lot of resources. Also that there are many ways to approach the learning process. I cannot know of or cover them all.

There are tools you can load on your computer both purchased and free. Examples would be Chessbase (#1 but pricey), Chess Openings Wizard (#2 formerly known as Bookup. Less expensive, but targeted mostly at studying openings.), Examples of free programs are SCID, SCID vs PC, ChessX, Lucas Chess, etc.

Of course in the online world many options also exist. Lets look at a few of these and how they might be used to improve our game.

Suppose you want to learn an opening, or improve your knowledge in your current opening. Chess opening have names and are categorized by the ECO system. Some questions you may want to consider in selecting or improving an opening repertoire. How often is a particular set of moves played? Who plays these moves? What are the results?

Chessbase online live database (free sign up, many functions require paid membership). This screen is from my free account. I arrived at the position below by clicking on the top (most popular) move from the list on the right side of the screen four times. The list on the left  appeared with recent top level games that reached this position. You can play thru the games. They are current games by some of the top names in chess. I think this could be a tool to help you discover what kinds of opening moves you like. At the same time you can see if they are moves that have fallen out of favor by the top players. looking deeper into the opening in this way would help you find an alternative (improvement) to your current line.

chessbase under Learn – Explore menu. If you step thru the same moves here you can see how often a particular move is played, but also the results. The bar graphs to the right represent the percentage of wins for white, draws, and wins for black that have occurred after that move.


We’ll look deeper into the use of these and other tools in future parts of this series. Also we’ll look at how you can get this information from your computer programs. Consider subscribing to this blog, leave me a like or a note. If you like anything you see here. To encourage me to continue. Part 2.

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