Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Opening Approach (Part 2)

Sorry about the delay, been kind of busy as of late, still steadily working on my opening book though.

Source materials for the compilation, I'm not following any one person’s opening book. I’m using several sources, it could be from opening books on a particular line that I play or using any or all of the following, ECO (Encyclopedia of Chess Openings), MCO (Modern Chess Openings), NCO (Nunn's Chess Openings), BCO (Batsford Chess Openings), and last and certainly not least. The item I feel is the single most important component in the arsenal of any aspiring chess player, a database program. I own, love, and swear by my Chessbase 9. (Matter of fact here recently it is what I have been using the most.)

To me it is worth its weight in gold. If I had to pick between having access to a library that had every chess book ever printed or using Chessbase, I would choose Chessbase.

Most of the opening books that you see on the market are nothing more than a collection of games with very little if any original ideas, with just some text thrown in for good measure.

The “Opening Report” feature in Chessbase will do the same thing those books do and more.

Enter in a series of moves from a particular opening that you are interested in learning, “Right-Click” on the board, select “Opening Report” then stand back because it will give you more information than you can imagine.

Chessbase spits out the following, all of course reflecting the database selected. (You can use anything you want as a reference database, from correspondence games, entire games collections, your own particular games, Internet (Log file) games, whatever you happen to have or decide to create.)

It gives me the following information, along with the number of games found.

1) A brief history of when it was first played, by whom, latest GM game, and latest game. It also shows a graph Number of games/Years played.

2) A list of “Strong GMs and Notable Players” that used this line, and their win/loss records.

3) The Statistics, performance levels, percentage of White wins, draws, Black wins and the average length of each.

4) Moves and plans.

That was just one small example. (Chessbase does tons more, do a web search for Steve Lopez’s Chessbase articles to get a way better example.)

The amount of time it saves me is incredible, not to mention you can easily pop open Fritz or some other GM strength chess engine and review positions, games, etc.

I couldn’t afford to purchase, let alone store the amount of opening books Chessbase replaces. It would take me months of time, a full time research team and a stack of “Chess Informants” to cover all of the games CB finds with a few quick clicks of the mouse.

End of Part 2.

(Next installment I will actually get to my silly approach.)


King of the Spill said...

>4) Moves and plans.

That's impressive. That alone could take many, many paper books...

Blue Devil Knight said...

How much did you spend on it, and how easy was it to learn how to use it for your opening study? I have found the instructions that accompany Fritz to be HORRENDOUS.

Pawnsensei said...

Looking forward to next installment.


Sancho Pawnza said...

You could buy Chessbase 9 (Basic)
it retails for $169.00. You can probably get it much cheaper, if you shop and compare prices. It comes with the "big database" 2.6 million games, which is quite a lot of games.
I buy all of my Chessbase products through Chessbase USA.
They have always done what they said they would, and I have never had any problems. Plus they will price match or beat any price you can find on a Chessbase product. Hard to argue with that logic. :)
For the best prices talk to Chryl Maddox. Yes "Chryl" is her name.
She is really good about working out some sort of deal, and if you have a USCF membership you automatically get 10 percent off just by mentioning it.
If I remember correctly she has a deal going on right now (just in time for the holidays) involving gift cards. So if your wife/girlfriend/etc. buys a gift card for you it will give you an additional percentage off, on top of the regular amount.
You will have to call her to get all of the details. I'm not sure how long they are running this special.
It was about 2 weeks ago when I last talked to Chryl.
Jim they even carry DGT boards! :)

bdk:As for the instructions, I don't think I have ever used the manual that came with it. Everything I have ever learned is either through trial and error, pestering someone who owns it, pouring through the help file, and reading through all of Steve Lopez's T-Notes (On Chessbase USA Site) and his Chessbase Workshop articles (chessbase.com).
If you end up getting it I would be more than happy to share my limited knowledge covering the basics (Creating a database, adding and editing games, using filters, etc.

Let me know if you have any other questions.

Blue Devil Knight said...

Thanks for all the information. It sounds like a great program. I'll keep my eyes out for a super cheap version.

Pawnsensei said...

I thought $160 was the super cheap version. CB can get mighty expensive with all the add-ons.


Sancho Pawnza said...

The basic version is more than enough to get you up and running.

But like I said talk to Chryl she will probably make you an offer you can't refuse. I'd ask about the prices on both packages.

phorku said...

I was curious which version you owned and if you think it is worth the extra $ for the mega version. Sig's Chess http://sigschess.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=SC&Category_Code=CB
has it for $130/332
BTW I am not affiliated with Sig other than being his customer. He has provided me with fast personalized service and I like supporting the small guys.

Sancho Pawnza said...

I bought the Mega version, but I got a really good deal on it right when it was released. I pretty much just use the one database (Megabase 2005), a lot of what you are paying for with the "Mega" version is the Chessbase Magazine Subscription, The Endgame Tables, and the Correspondence Database. There are a few software packages that include the Nalimov 3-4-5 pieces endgame tablebase such as Convekta's "Comprehensive Chess Endings".
The main thing to remember is that Chessbase in and of itself is nothing more than an excellent game/position filter. It is only limited by the reference database you choose to mine for information.

So if this is your first time using Chessbase, just go with the basic package, and get familiar with the program. You can always pick up an additional database anytime you want. Along with back issues of Chessbase Magazine if you are so inclined.

Sancho Pawnza said...

One other thing to add, I spoke with Chryl and mentioned there was a lot of interest about Chessbase 9.
She went into greater detail about what they were able and willing to do in regards to satisfying their customers.
She mentioned that they are able to customize the Mega package to the needs of the customer. She said sometimes folks will call up and be interested in the Mega package, but not happy with a particular database, or the endgame tablebases for example, and will want to substitute or eliminate said option(s).
She assured me that they have the flexibility to make the changes and don't have a problem doing that at all. Their primary concern is making the customer happy. She also stressed the price matching policy and same day shipping (if the order is received in the earlier part of the day).

Another thing to keep in mind is that they are the supplier to a majority (if not all) of the dealers found here in the States, so it would be hard to find prices any cheaper than theirs.

Tell her Sancho sent you. :)