Alberto Chueca, FIDE Trainer & International Master 
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What is a chess base database?

A chess base database is composed of files with which people are able to save and store information in order to create chess games. With the help of the viewers, players are able to see the games, save and write comments about it. We will focus on two files,  namely:

Chess base PGN format

Database PGN shows information about a chess game by using text files such as ASCII. The main idea regarding these PGN files is to provide chess information to all the chess players around the world.

Chess base CBV format

CBV file is featured as a games file, its full name is ChessBase Database File. The CBV format has been created by ChessBase. In order to provide, among its users, the exchange of information database, encyclopedia and such.

Generally, most of the chess and viewers apps can work with PGN due to the fact of being a flexible file when it comes to the use of information and display. Given this fact, working with PGN files is your best choice if you want your information and databases to be opened with different programs or being uploaded to your websites. Remember that these files work and display making use of ASCII texts.

However, this is not discarding the choice of working with CBV, which is a powerful tool when it comes to gathering information between ChessBase programs and Chessbase Reader for it was created by the ones who created PGN. This allows players to gather and break down a lot of information to Chessbase by making use of less memory than other files.

Analysis of chess games with comments and backup copy tutorial

Let me illustrate a chess game in which players can add comments and, then, save the game, that is to say, to create a game’s backup. I will start by the chessboard on the Chessbase. (We will continue on the tutorial: how to create games with Chessbase. In order to get to this part).

While playing the game, if players want to add a comment, they can do it by using the upper part right on the tab that says “add”. After that, the toolbar will be updated and players will be able to add comments or make use of the arrows.

First of all, where it says “moves” players can see a frame and some arrows. If players activate that part of the toolbar, they will be able to see each of their moves within the game, one by one.

Players will find the different ways of supplementing the records as in the previous text, following text, add a graphic, fixed records, evaluation and prefixes. Creating their own textbook is easier for players once they use all these elements. This book contains all of the players’ games.

Players can add to their practice games the variant and overwrite options. This will help them to complement and change their games.

Chessbase database has been set up in order to teach, study, learn or simply save and score the games. However, this does not mean that the games are safe regarding accidents such as blackouts, power surge, or any other problem the computer may present.

Therefore, it is always important to create a backup so players may save it in their external hard disk or e-mail and be able to recover the data they have collected and studied if any of the accidents mentioned above happened.

But, how can players create a backup copy from the database ChessBase?

They have to go to the Chessbase home screen. Then they have to right-click on the icon of one of our databases, for example, “my best chess games”

After this, players will be able to see the whole menu. They will click the “settings” option, immediately, a frame will be opened showing an address right on the upper part. The address that has appeared right after opening the menu is the address. Here the complete information about the database will be saved.

Then, players will look for the address by using the Windows browser in order to find the folder which contains the whole information regarding the database, as shown in the picture below.

Players must “COPY THE CONTENT TO THEIR BACKUP FILE”. The number of each file may vary because of different elements. However, it is important to copy all of the files.

Due to the number of files and the low security provided by Chessbase, another option players have is the one to encrypt in order to create the backup. So as to do this, players must go to the main screen of Chessbase and right-click on the icon of the database in which they wish to have the backup security. Once the menu is opened, players will click “tools” right on the option backup security.

After clicking these options, the following frame must appear on your computer screen.

Encrypt option

If players activate the “encrypt” option, they may add a password to their database so as to maximize its security. It is important not to forget or lose the password if this happens, players lose all of the information for there is no way to recover the data but by using the password.

Players can also click on “no encrypting” so they will not have to remember any password. It’s the player’s choice! Once they have clicked on “no encrypting”, they must click then on the “O.K” button. Players can use the “Ctrl + Z” shortcut in order to do it directly.

Through this step a folder will be created right from the database, it will be a zipped file with the extension (.CBV) with all the information saved and stored in the database the player has chosen. This will make the process of taking the files from one place to another easier for the only thing players must do is to copy the zipped file.

Once players have created a backup copy, it is the player’s choice to share it or save it. In any case, if players would like to share their files with chess players around the world, the only thing they have to do is to go to their e-mail and attach the zipped file (.CBV). By doing this, players will be able to share it in an easy way.

Making use of (.CBV.) files is perfect when players want to share chess games and material about their games through the ChessBase database. These PGN and CBV files are really important when analyzing games because they provide an organized material that has been backed up with comments the players add.

The success of the professional chess player depends on the discipline, work and determination. Now you know how to work with a chess base.

The online chess bases

You can use a chess base to search through the internet for millions of games. Players from all over the world with all their information, opening books, endgames and much more information about chess.

The other meaning is each file created by the famous program of Chessbase. The use is similar.

You might ask yourself, what is this for? The answer is simple. If you are studying some opening you found interesting you can search it in a chess database. So you will find everything related to it, including thousands of people who have played it and thousands of variants to analyze.

Save data, analyze data, review all the information the chess base has.

A database will be quite useful for you to progress in your chess game. If you want to know the information about a particular player, you use it to calm your curiosity.

The best three (3) databases I will recommend to you are: Chess-DB, chessgames and ChessBase online. All with their differences, but very useful. If you want to know more about these chess databases, read on.

Chess-DB: Database is a short word for what Chess-DB contains in terms of information. You can search for players, games, current events and events from many years ago. It allows you to search by rating, age, sex, country, state, profile, etc. You find people who are almost in the furthest corners of the world. The games are registered and you can find them.

Chess Base

Although its design is simple. It has all the information we want to look for. On its main page, we can see the best games of the day, the most wanted people and the players of the day.

All this, with just a few clicks and you will get reliable information, as it is updated daily. Collect information from all the chess websites every day.

It currently contains 1,664,929 profiles, of which 819,978 are registered with FIDE. A relevant fact is tournament players frequently use this page to develop their skills. More than 40% of the total players used Chess-DB in 2013 to prepare for the European Youth Chess Championship.

A good and positive point of this chess database is it has several languages available for many more users to use.

Chess Base

To search for someone, you just need their name and check it in the search engine. You will see all the available information they have about those people, as well as their games and events in which they have participated.

The purpose of this chess database is players can prepare their games. The player can study unlimited thousands of games generated in all parts of the world, thus obtaining really valuable information and ensuring their progress.

Easily access all the games you are interested in with a single click.

Chessgames: With 16 years of operation, Chessgames meets the requirements to be one of the best and reliable chess databases. An advantage of this page that apart from searching for player data worldwide, it has a very old community. Here there are numerous information regarding chess is shared. So, for a person who requires information about an opening, an endgame or a certain move this chess database is a great option.

Chess Base

Probably its design is not the best, but its information is very accurate. What I like about Chessgames is when you look for a player, it provides you with all the games registered and with which opening it started, whether it played with white or black pieces and whether it lost or won the game.

Reviewing openings, you can see through one of the best Stockfish chess engines, its analysis. You can also see in a game the evaluation of any kind of position, full game or variation. If you want, you can download the PGN file to view and analyze it on your preferred platform.

Chess Base

Its database is updated every day. So, you can search for the most important chess games have happened and are happening. If you need to see a game of Kasparov, Magnus Carlsen, you can do it at any time!

It has a chess books forum where users share, discuss and research great books to instruct you in this world.

Explore each chess base

Chessbase (online database): Probably the most known chess program. Although the list of information is not as long as that of Chess-DB, this chess database offers something good: its design and accessibility. About the players, it offers you the list of the top 100 and its games updated every day. It also has a section of tactics, videos, openings, news and quizzes will help you in your knowledge, in short, many interesting articles for you.

Chess Base

You can review the top 100 moves in-depth, as well as your games because it gives you the option to play online. If you register, you have the possibility to save the games. You can have them in the cloud and then, review them. It also gives you the option to open your saved PGN and analyze them through its chess engine.

If you have an interesting game you want to store, it gives you the opportunity to download it directly to your pc or in the Chessbase cloud.

No doubt a good chess database, still has things to explore. However, its positive point is its good design, user-friendly. So, if you want to play, store your information and review the best matches in the world without looking so hard, this is your choice.

Chessbase has got a famous offline database which is the most known database in the chess world.

And you? Have you each chess base or used them to prepare your games? Tell us your experiences or doubts in the comments! 

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