ChessBase 10's Reference tab - part 4

by ChessBase
12/17/2008 – In the final installment of our ChessBase Workshop series concerning ChessBase 10's new Reference features, we show you a brand-new shortcut for filtering your searches. Learn more in the latest Workshop...

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In the previous ChessBase Workshop columns we've been discussing the Reference tab in ChessBase 10. We've learned how to:

ChessBase 10's Reference tab - part 1
ChessBase 10's Reference tab - part 2
ChessBase 10's Reference tab - part 3

  1. Designate a reference database;
  2. Load an existing opening book/tree;
  3. Enter a sequence of opening moves;
  4. Click the Reference tab and understand the results of the top two panes in the display.

In this column, we're going to look at the last of the three panes in the Reference tab display which, incidentally, introduces a new ChessBase 10 feature which was requested by many ChessBase users.

After following the steps we've previously discussed, still using ChessBase Opening Encyclopedia 2008 as our reference database, and inputting the variation 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 cxd5 as the one we wish to research, we click the Reference tab. After a few moments we see this appear in the bottom pane:

What we're seeing here is basically a modified "Search results" display. ChessBase 10 has searched the reference database (in this case the Opening Encyclopedia 2008) and pulled up a list of all games in which the position after the moves 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 cxd5 appears. You can scroll up and down the list (using the scroll bar and button on the list's righthand side) and even resize the list by grabbing and dragging the box's borders using the mouse cursor.

Double-clicking on any of the entries in this list will open up a new game window with that game's moves displayed in the Notation pane. You can close that game's window when you're finished and find that your original Reference tab display has remained undisturbed.

You'll notice a row of buttons at the bottom of this display; each has a specific function which we'll now explore.

Filter - clicking this button brings up the standard ChessBase Search mask. Using this button allows you to further refine your search. For example, you might type the name of one of the players displayed in the upper pane of the Reference tab display to perform a search for that player's games. It's crucial to note here that the only games searched when you use this display's "Filter" button will be the games found in the initial Reference tab search. In our example, 24,228 games were found to contain the position after 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 cxd5; any searches I do directly from this game list will search only that 24,228 game subset. Consequently, it would be silly to click "Filter" and use the "Position" tab to search for games containing the position after 1.e4 e5 -- the search results will turn up empty.

Copy - you can highlight one or more games in this list and click the "Copy" button. If you then return to the Database screen, right-click on a database's icon and select Edit/Paste, you'll see a dialogue asking you to confirm that you wish to copy the game(s) into that second database. Click "OK" and the game(s) will be so copied. The "Copy" button is a quick way to copy games from one database into another.

Edit - if you highlight a game in the list and then click the "Edit" button, you'll see the same dialogue you receive when you save or replace a game into a database. The "Edit" button allows you to change/edit the game's header information as it appears in the game list. Note that this is a change to the game as it appears in the original database's game list too, so this is not just some "temporary" change which goes away when you close the game window.

Clip - clicking this button sends the highlighted game(s) to the ChessBase 10 Clipboard.

Delete - clicking this button will mark the highlighted games for deletion (and remember that deleting games is a two-step process in ChessBase; marking a game for deletion is just the first step).

Stop - this button allows you to stop a search in progress (either the initial Reference tab search or a "Filter" button search). If you click away from the Reference tab to one of the others, then return to the Reference tab, you'll notice that the "Stop" button has become a "Search" button; clicking it causes ChessBase 10 to refresh the information in the Reference tab display.

The final element of this pane in the Reference tab display is one which is brand-new to ChessBase 10: the "Good only" box. Clicking this box puts a check in it and further refines the content of the game list. Checking "Good only" removes games from the list if they meet any of the following criteria:

  • Games in which neither player was rated 2350 or higher;
  • Games in which neither player has an IM or GM title;
  • Games played at Blitz or Rapid time controls;
  • Games played in simultaneous exhibitions ("simuls");
  • Games lasting less than seven moves;
  • Drawn games which lasted less than twenty moves.

Note that "Good only" isn't a blanket reference to the overall quality of the games; many simul games are of a high quality. There are also a lot of worthwhile games contested by players who haven't achieved an international title. However, there are quite a few ChessBase users who have expressed a desire for a "blanket" filter which eliminates games which were not contested by players of IM or higher caliber; hence the "Good only" filter was instituted. Note, though, that the Elo rating system wasn't adopted by the chess world until 1970/71, so games played prior to this period (including "Golden Age" games from the likes of Capablanca, Alekhine, Lasker, etc.) may be eliminated from the search (unless you've activated the Player Encyclopedia and such players are listed as titled players therein).

Until next week, 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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