Correspondence Chess Database 2011 – an invaluable aid

2/19/2011 – "This DVD can be a valuable tool for all chess players," says Chess Cafe reviewer Bo Bredenhoff. "CC players can find data about all his or her opponents, making it an invaluable aid in preparing for a new tournament. Upon using it myself for a while, I can really recommend it for all chess players!" The DVD contains 834,849 games, many thousands with expert analysis. Review, sample.

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An Invaluable Aid

By Bo Bredenhoff

Corr Database 2011 (DVD), by ChessBase, $105.95 (ChessCafe Price: $99.95)

ChessBase has released its latest correspondence database collection, Corr Database 2011. It contains 834,849 high quality CC games from the year 1804 until 2010. CC games from all major tournaments can be found on this DVD: all world championships, Olympiads, European championships, national championships from many countries, and many other large tournaments and memorials.

The DVD also contains a very comprehensive CC player database (playerbase) with about 71,000 names. From this, details of every player's tournaments and games can be found in one quick search.

Let's see what we can do with Corr Database 2011. The default view when you open the database is from the Games tab:

Other tabs include Players, Tournaments, Annotator, Sources, Teams, Openings, Themes, Tactics, Strategy, and Endgames. Just click on a column's name and the program will sort the table according to the data in that column. It only takes seconds. In the screen above I have sorted by date. Moreover, using the ChessBase search mask and other well known tools, one can find, sort, and classify the information in a variety of ways. One can search for Tournaments, Teams, Material, or Commentators to name just a few.

Next, let's choose Players.

When you click the Players tab, you see an alphabetical list of names on the left and windows on the right for games and tournaments. If you double-click a player's name from the list, you receive full statistics on his opponents, tournament participation, and openings played:

From the Openings tab, one can view a superkey sorted by ECO codes:

Clicking on any code will give you the opening moves, the name of the opening, and how many games are contained on the database. Here you can click through the details of an opening to delineate certain move-orders. In the above window I have navigated fifteen levels of the Dragon mainline with 9.Bc4 and found many games that can be called up. This is very helpful.

Here is a look at the Endings tab:

Similar to the Openings tab, I can select the specific type of ending I want to study and all the games are selected automatically. Very convenient!

The Annotator tab, of course, sorts the games by annotator. The highest number of annotated games, 504, was done by anonymous editors and is classified as RR. Next at 356 is the German player Bellmann whose earliest games in 1992 have a rating of 1745 and latest games in 2001 show marked improvement as he is up to 2496. Juan Sebatian Morgado is third with 347 games, followed by the magazine Deutsche Schachzeitung at 227 games, and Roberto Gabriel Alvarez at 212 games. Alvarez in particular analyzes games in great detail.

Here is a game annotated by CC and OTB grandmaster Simon Webb:

Note that in the replay windows below you can click on the notation to follow the game.

This DVD can be a valuable tool for all chess players. CC games are known for being well analyzed, so this is a high quality selection of games useful for everyone. Plus, CC players can find data about all his or her opponents, making it an invaluable aid in preparing for a new tournament. Upon using it myself for a while, I can really recommend it for all chess players!

Source: Review section of Chess Cafe


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