Annotation searches - Part 2

by ChessBase
3/9/2009 – In our last column we began with a look at the "Annotation" tab of the Search mask in both ChessBase and Fritz. Our series on annotation searches continues in the new ChessBase Workshop. We'll discover how to find games with multimedia content as well as various other annotation forms. Find out more in the new Workshop.

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In our last column we began a look at the "Annotation" tab of the Search mask in both ChessBase and Fritz. By way of review, here again are the instructions for getting to this dialogue:


  1. Right-click on a database icon and select "Search";
  2. When the Search mask appears, click on the "Annotations" tab near the top of the Search mask.


  1. From the main chessboard screen, hit F12 on your keyboard to open the game list window;
  2. Go to the Edit menu and select "Filter games";
  3. When the Search mask appears, click on the "Annotations" tab near the top of the Search mask.

After following the steps in both cases, you'll see the following dialogue appear:

This dialogue lets you search for various special annotation types in database games. In this column we'll discuss the various check boxes in the lower part of this dialogue.

This box allows you to locate all games in which the colored arrows and squares appear. It does not let you differentiate between the various types (arrows, squares, and the various three colors thereof), but it will pull up all games in which any of these colored annotation forms appear.

Timed training questions are a staple of ChessBase training CDs and DVDs. You can also create such training questions yourself using ChessBase, and the Fritz family of playing programs can also insert training questions into games they've analyzed. All three of these aspects of "training games" have been discussed previously (and we'll doubtless have a refresher in the future). For now, it's sufficient to say that checking this box will cause the software to find all games in which these timed training questions (regardless of their origin) occur.

The word "multimedia" has a sort of loose definition here in this dialogue. Most people will instantly think of games containing video elements (particularly the Chess Media System videos from ChessBase training DVDs); they would be absolutely correct in having that thought, But "multimedia" in the ChessBase world also applies to still pictures which may be attached to particular moves of database games (something of a rarity, but possible; in fact this was done several times in ChessBase Magazine, particularly in the late 1990's). Multimedia also applies to audio clips which sometimes appear attached to particular moves. And don't forget that all three of these elements most often appear in database texts (such as are found in ChessBase Magazine) and these texts will also appear in the search results when "Multimedia" is selected.

Pawn structure/Piece path
These are two "pop-up" annotation forms which can be attached to moves in ChessBase; selecting either of these two boxes will cause games with the relevant annotation type to come up in the search results.

Any game containing a replayable variation will appear in the game list with the letter V (whether capital or lower case) in the righthand column. If you check this box and click "OK", all games containing replayable variations will appear in the search results.

Any text
This box is self-explanatory. Any game containing text annotations will appear in the search results. An additional word of explanation is required here, however. "Any text" means that any game in which the annotator opened an annotation window and entered some form of text (even if it's just the symbol "=") will come up in the search; ergo, "text" does not necessarily mean that long, involved verbose descriptions will be found in every game which turns up in the search results.

Any symbols
ChessBase and Fritz give players the ability to attach various of the Informant-style notation symbols (chess' "universal language") to specific moves. Any games containing moves with symbols so attached will appear in the search results.

Critical positions
These were discussed in the previous ChessBase Workshop column.

Note that (with the exception of critical positions) these are "AND" searches. For example, if you were to check both "Variation (V)" and "Any text", you would get all games in which BOTH annotation types occurred. The search would, however, omit games in which one or the other (but not both simultaneously) of these annotation forms were used.

Next time we'll look at ways to refine your text and symbol searches. Until then, have fun!

You can e-mail me with your comments on ChessBase Workshop. No tech support questions, please.

© 2008, Steven A. Lopez. All rights reserved.

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