ChessBase Light 2007 - part 3

by ChessBase
5/17/2007 – Our ChessBase Workshop series on the new ChessBase Light 2007 continues with a column about opening searches. Learn how to search a database for games of a specific opening, even if you don't know the opening's proper ECO code, in the new ChessBase Workshop

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Continuing our look at ChessBase Light 2007...

One of the best features of ChessBase software is that you often have multiple means of accomplishing a task -- there really is more than one way to skin a cat. Searching a database for all the games of a particular opening is one such task. Even if you're working with a .pgn file (which can't have a opening key ["index"] file attached to it) you still have a couple of ways to search out all the games of a given opening.

The easiest way involves using the Search mask (see the previous ChessBase Workshop for an introduction to the Search mask), but it also requires that you know the ECO code(s) for the opening in question.

Let's continue to use the sample database from the last two ChessBase Workshop columns, the ninety-one games from the 1991 Linares supertournament. After launching CBLight, we'll right-click on the database's icon and select "Search" from the popup menu. This will bring up the Search mask. Let's say that we're interested in any Ruy Lopez openings that occurred in this event, regardless of the Ruy subsystem involved. I play the Ruy a fair little bit, so I'm aware that the ECO codes C60 through C99 inclusive cover the whole of the Ruy Lopez. Notice two boxes to the right of "ECO" in the Search mask. These boxes allow you to search for a single opening (by typing the same alphanumeric code in both boxes) or for a range of openings. We'll do the latter by typing "C60" in the lefthand box and "C99" in the righthand one; this will cause CBLight to find all games classified as Ruy Lopezes:


After we fill in both boxes (as shown in the illustration above), we can click "OK" and wait a couple of seconds for the search results:


A quick look at the move orders listed under "Notation" will verify that these are indeed Ruy Lopezes.

Of course, this example made two assumptions: first, that we knew the ECO codes for the Ruy Lopez and second, that the database contained the ECO codes as part of the games' headers. But what if one of these conditions doesn't apply (or neither one of them applies)? ChessBase Light has us covered there as well, and all you'll need to know are the opening moves of the Ruy in order to make this search work.

The first step is to open a new game window. We haven't done this yet, so let's learn how to do it. You'll see a Toolbar near the top of the Database window; this toolbar contains several buttons, the leftmost of which is the one which opens a new game window. This button looks like a black and white chessboard:


Click this button to open a new window which will allow you to input the moves of a chess game. Just click on a piece and hold the mouse button down to "grab" the piece, then move it to the square where you want it to move and release the mouse button to "drop" it on that square. We'll make the moves 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 in the manner to set up the basic position (also known as a "tabia") for the Ruy Lopez:


The trick now will be to get this information into the Search mask. How will we do this? Here's a great shortcut. Don't close the game window containing our moves; go to the Windows Taskbar at the bottom of your screen and click on the button marked "ChessBase Light" to bring the database window back up on top. Right-click on your database's icon and select "Search" from the popup menu to bring up the Search mask. Click on the "Position" tab at the top of the search mask, and then click the "Copy board" button -- this will copy the contents of the game window onto the chessboard in the Search mask:


Then you click "OK" and get the list of games which contained that board position. In this case it will be the same set of five games we discovered by doing a search by ECO code.

There are plenty of other ways to use the "Position" tab of the Search mask. You can set up any legal board position by clicking a piece button (to the right of the chessboard) and placing it on the board; after you've set up a legal position (a King for each side along with any legal combination of pieces and pawns) just click "OK" to search for all games in the database in which that position occurred.

I've written extensively about position searches, along with all of the Search mask's other tabs, in previous columns available on this site, and a search of the website should turn them up with minimal effort.

Until next week, have fun!

You can e-mail me with your comments on ChessBase Workshop. All responses will be read, and sending an e-mail to this address grants us permission to use it in a future column. No tech support questions, please.

© 2007, Steven A. Lopez. All rights reserved.


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