The Opening Encyclopaedia 2023 - A review

by ChessBase
7/6/2023 – The Opening Encyclopaedia 2023 impresses with a huge scope and is the largest collection on opening theory with almost 1400 theory articles and 7,444 opening surveys. In 70 videos with a total running time of 29 hours the latest trends are presented by grandmasters. Vojko Mencinger has taken a look at the work, which is available at a special price this week in the Summer Special bundle with ChessBase 17.

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By Vojko Mencinger

The new Opening Encyclopaedia 2023

In mid-April the latest "Opening Encyclopaedia 2023" (OE 2023) - the latest product from the ChessBase company - saw the light of day. OE 2023 is by far the most comprehensive work on chess theory: more than 1,396 (!) theory articles offer a wealth of ideas and high-quality analysis!

Opening Encyclopaedia 2023

The new ChessBase Opening Encyclopaedia 2023 - More content. More ideas.

1. Download and installation

It is a very large database, taking up 5.4 GB of hard disk space, and after purchase you can download it in both .2cbh and .cbh format - that is double the 5.4 GB for both the new ChessBase 17 and CB15 or 16.

It is desirable that you have a fairly fast computer and good internet access. Otherwise be prepared to spend several hours downloading and installing. There is also an option to order the Opening Encyclopaedia 2023 on DVD.

2. Content

Some numbers in brief:

• 1,396 theoretical articles

• 7,444 opening surveys ("Opening Survey")

• Over 40,000 sample lots

• NEW! Grandmaster Rogozenco's latest opening trends (must praise his English!)

• OE 2023 has 66 new main chapters (vs. OE 2022) and 384 new or updated opening reviews

• 70 premium video presentations with over 29 hours of video!

The numbers are really impressive.

3. News

- Opening trends

Knowledge of opening trends is very important nowadays, especially for professionals - why? Because with a good opening preparation, knowing the latest theoretical innovations, they can win the game. GM Rogozenco has prepared three videos, each lasting about an hour, on 1.d4, 1.e4 and 1.c4/Nf3.

Let's have a look at some of the positions that are "hot" at the moment:

D35 – The Ragozin Variation of the Queen's Gambit

After the moves 1.c4 e6 2.Nc3 d5 3.d4 Nf6 4.cd5 [a better move-order might be 4.Nf3 Bb4 5.Qa4 Nc6 6.e3, a line the young German talent Vincent Keymer successfully played recently] 4. ..ed5 5.Bg5 Bb4 6.e3 h6 7.Bh4 g5 8.Bg3 h5 we reach a position from a game between Rapport - Caruana, and here Black quickly took the initiative!

In OE 2023 there are also two videos from the given position, prepared by Ivan Sokolov.

D32 - Tarrasch Defense – Schara-Henning Gambit

After the moves 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 c5 4.cd5 cd4 5.Qa4 Bd7 6.Qd4 ed5 7.Qd5 Nf6 8.Qd1 Bc5 9.e3 0–0 10.Nf3 Re7 11.Be2 Rd8 12.0– 0 Nc6 we reach a position, in which Black is a pawn down, but has excellent pieces. In this line Black is doing well, even better than in the main line of Tarrasch, where Ding defeated Nakamura in the deciding game of the final round of the Candidates Tournament in Madrid.

D12 - Slav Defense with Bf5 

After the moves 1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.e3 Bf5 5.Nc3 e6 6.Nh4 Be4 7.f3 Bg6 8.Bd2 Nbd7 9.Ng6 hg6 10.Qb3 dc4!, which happened in a Ding – van Forest game, Black easily equalized.

B12 – Caro-Kann Advance Variation 

The Caro-Kann enjoys the reputation of being extremely solid. Let us only remember Fischer's defeats with White against this opening! After the moves 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.h4 h5 5.Bd3 Bd3 6.Qd3 Qa5 7.Nd2 e6 8.Ngf3 Nh6 9.0–0 Nf5 10.Nb3 Qa6 11.Qd1, which happened in a game Adams – Salem, White was a little better.

C02 – French Advance Variation

Although 3.Nc3 is still considered to be the best move against the French, recently the Advance Variation is gaining popularity - the popular and only continuation of the late Evgeni Svešnikov against the French. After the moves 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 c5 4.c3 Nc6 5.Nf3 Bd7 6.Be2 Nge7 7.Na3 Nf5 8.Nc2 Be7 9.0–0 cd4 10.cd4 0-0 the most popular moves are 11. Bd3 and 11.Bd2.

B33 – Sicilian Sveshnikov

After the moves 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cd4 4.Nd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e5 6.Ndb5 d6 7.Nd5 Nd5 8.ed5 Nb8 9.a4!? is now the most popular continuation, and in the World Championship match Carlsen vs Caruana it caused Carlsen a lot of problems. However, the Sveshnikov remains one of the most solid openings for Black after 1.e4.


B90 - Sicilian Najdorf

After the moves 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cd4 4.Nd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.f3 e5 7.Nb3 Be6 8.Be3 Be7 [or 8...h5 9.Nd5 Bd5 10.ed5 Nbd7 11 .Qd2 g6 12.0–0–0 Nb6 13.Kb1 Nbd5 14.Bg5 Be7 15.Bd3 Qc7 16.Rhf1N] 9.Qd2 0–0 10.0–0–0 Nbd7 11.g4 b5 12.g5 b4 White has good results.

C82 - Spanish –Open Variation

After the moves 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0–0 Ne4 6.d4 b5 7.Bb3 d5 8.de5 Be6 9.c3 Bc5 10.Nbd2 0–0 11.Bc2 Nf2 12. Rf2 Bf2 13.Kf2 f6 14.Nf1! is currently the main continuation in this sharp variation, and Nakamura used this move to defeat Caruana in the Candidates tournament in Madrid 2022. In the Spanish White currently still tends to avoid the Marshall attack, prefering sidelines with an early a4.

A20 - English

After the moves 1.c4 e5 2.g3 c6 3.Nf3 e4 4.Nd4 d5 5.cd5 Qd5 6.Nc2 Nf6 7.Nc3 Re5 8.Bg2 Na6 9.0–0 Be7 10.Ne3 0–0 we reach the game Ding – Nepomiachtchi, Madrid 2022, in which Black was fine.

These are just some examples, but they show how useful it is to have the Opening Encyclopaedia 2023

Opening videos

Here the "Opening Traps" caught my attention: in seven videos the German GM Rainer Knaak shows opening traps. If you read ChessBase Magazine regularly, you know Knaak's work on opening traps. I was particularly interested in these videos because I also collect "Opening Traps".

In addition to these videos, there are 70 video lessons from excellent authors - Marin, King, Ragger, Ponomariov, Sokolov,... This is a guarantee that it is a really high-quality material.

Forthe Opening Encyclopaedia 2023, you will pay EUR 129.90. If you only need the upgrade from Opening Encyclopaedia 2022, it will cost you EUR 79.90. You must have at least one of ChessBase 15, 16 or 17.


The Opening Encyclopaedia 2023 is a must-have for any chess player, professional or amateur. For many it is a special pleasure just to study its popular openings. Let it be for you too!


Summer special: ChessBase 17 + Opening Encyclopedia
This week: €229.90 

Here is what you get:

The amazing ChessBase 17 comes with many new functions that improve the user experience: the new ultra-high-resolution 2D board; the crisp display of notation and lists; and "Dark Mode".

There are many technical improvements such as: a new faster data format, with fewer files and no need for a search booster; and a fine-tuning of the database paths, so you can smoothly manage your databases outside the standard Windows directories. New is also the smart inputting of positions, and the completely reworked engine window, with a visual evaluation of pieces and measurement of complexity, the display of non-trivial threats or temptations, training options.

Video description of ChessBase 17

List price: €149.90

Anyone who seriously deals with openings, whether beginner or grandmaster, cannot afford to ignore our Opening Encyclopaedia. It is by far the most comprehensive chess theory work: over 1,396 (!) articles offer a huge fund of ideas and high-quality analyses!

In the 2023 edition, 66 new major articles and 384 new or updated opening overviews have been added. In addition: 70 top-class videos with 29 hours of playing time! For beginners, there is a tutorial for each opening area in which the most important ideas and goals are presented. The icing on the cake: Grandmaster Dorian Rogozenco presents the current opening trends in world-class chess. Secure the decisive advantage for yourself with this unique opening library. You cannot afford not to.

Full description of the new Openings Encyclopedia 2023

List price: €129.90

Summer special:

ChessBase 17 + Opening Encyclopaedia, List price €279.80

This week, July 3-10, 2023: €229.90

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