Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Chess Databases

Of course this is a very important tool in a chess player's arsenal.

With it you can do statistical reviews on certain lines to gauge the "trendiness" and performance of a particular opening variation. Also, you can prepare against specific opponents by studying their games.

When it comes to databases any good chess player should have is/are:-

  • ChessBase Megadatabase
  • TWIC
  • Chess Assistant
  • ChessKing GigaBase
If you don't have one, which should you get?

Of course you can always build your own collection of database downloading and collecting all online. There is a problem with this. It is very time consuming ensuring the standardisation of tournament details, player's details etc. Furthermore there's the problem of duplicates. Also, the commercial databases like Chessbase Megabase are better quality because they contain high-level games.

So is free equals bad? Not TWIC. It's maintain by Mark Crowther who painstakingly over the years have collected and maintained a reasonably high quality collection of games. Best of all, he releases them weekly for free. TWIC is now up to 1099 (latest issue Nov 30 2015).

Although ChessBase is one of the best database out there, it is quite costly. About RM 600 at current exchange rate. Around RM 200 for a 2016 upgrade if you bought the main database previously.

I have seen many strong players religiously download and add TWIC to their database weekly and use that as their main database. In fact it is so good that Chessbase itself has a menu to import TWIC games.

P/S: I have the collection up to 1090 (you can get it from me in Penang Open in CD form for a fee :)  Issues #1-400 is no longer available for download at TWIC website )

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