The save/replace game dialogue - part 3

by ChessBase
3/5/2009 – ChessBase 10 contains a large variety of fields into which you can input player and tournament information when saving a game. Some of these can be confusing for new users. In our closeup look at ChessBase game header fields you'll discover some little-known tricks regarding annotators and publishing sources as we wrap up our three part series. ChessBase Workshop.

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We've been examining saving and replacing games in ChessBase 10 (also in Fritz, though that program's dialogue contains fewer options and fields). Let's try saving a game and clicking on the "Annotator and Teams" tab:

Since this dialogue essentially involves two unrelated information types, let's start by looking at the "Team" fields. You'll obviously leave these blank unless the game you just entered was played in a team tournament or match. Clicking either of the two corresponding "Details" buttons reveals a new dialogue with additional fields:

"Name" lets you type in the name of the team. This can be as simple as a school name (in the case of a scholastic tournament) or the creative (and sometimes wildly funny) team names from the U.S. Amateur Team events. If the event assigns a number to the team, this too can be entered. "Year" is mostly self-explanatory; the exception occurs with the various European league events (such as the German Bundesliga). These league events are usually played over the winter months and thus begin and end in different years. If I'm not mistaken, the common practice is to designate a season by the year in which it begins, thus you'd type in a year and check the box next to "Season". Finally, in the case of an international event, you can check "Nation" and make a selection from the pulldown menu beside it. Click "OK" when you've finished entering the information.

The remainder of the "Annotator and Teams" dialogue concerns annotated games. If you're manually entering a raw (unannotated) gamescore, you needn't concern yourself with these fields. But if you're entering an annotated game (containing comments from a printed source or ones you've written yourself) you'll find these fields useful.

"Annotator" is the name of the person who wrote the comments; that's simple enough. But what if you don't know who wrote the notes? That does happen sometimes; games in the old 1970's publication The Chess Player often had very brief comments with no annotator attribution. In that case, I usually just use the name of the publication (book or magazine title) in the "Annotator" field.

Now we come to the "Source" field. This is where you can add the source of the game -- the name of the publication, web site, etc. from which the notes came. For additional fields, click the "Details" button to get the following dialogue:

"Title" refers to the name of the book or magazine in which the information/annotations first appeared. "Publisher" is self-explanatory. "Publication" allows you to enter a publication date (if known; this is particularly useful for referencing electronic publications). "Date" refers to the date on which you created and saved the game. You can also assign a "Version" number to keep track of any revisions to the material. "Quality" refers to how much you trust the material. If you know for a fact that all the moves of a game are correct (because it's one you played or one that's so often repeated, such as the Evergreen Game, that the chance of a mistake is about nil), you should choose "high". If you think the source is a dubious one, select "low". In most cases, obviously, you're probably not going to know one way or the other, so you would select "Normal" for these.

Click "OK" when you're done, and you'll be returned to the main "Save/Replace game" dialogue. Click "OK" in that dialogue when you've completed all of the known header information (or just whatever you think is necessary) to complete the process of saving or replacing the game.

I'll remind you once again that there's no such thing as "too much information". If you're saving games which you're planning to distribute and which may wind up in the historical record (even if they're just games from your local weekend chess event), it's best to fill out as much of the information as you have available so that other people are aware of the source, the tournament format, the player ratings, etc. On the other hand, if you're just saving some games or positions from a chess book for your own use, you don't need to be as thorough -- use just as much info as you need to be able to identify the source later should the need arise.

Until next week, have fun!

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

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