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ChessBase - Preparing for an opponent

Updated: Jan 23

It is 1980. You have just found out that in the next game of a chess tournament your opponent will be a strong player who occupies the first place in the table. The stakes of this game are very high for you. If you win, you'll gain a higher chess category and a lot of ELO rating points. If you lose... you'd rather not think about it further. You only have one day, and the game is tomorrow. In that one day you want to get the records of all the games played by your tomorrow's opponent in the last 2 years. You don't know if you will have enough time to analyze the debuts and continuations and the plans your opponent uses in the middle game. Ufff. Big of it and only one day... Maybe your colleagues can help you? .... And if not ? ;-)

In the days when no one believed that a computer could win against a human in a game of chess, preparation for a game of chess with a future opponent was... "analog" and took a lot of time and often involved many chess players to work together. Unfortunately, not everyone had a friend who played and understood chess at the level of a master or grandmaster.

Today, when chess players have access to databases of chess games and specialized software to work with such databases, preparation for a game against another chess player takes a maximum of a few tens of minutes instead of one or up to several days as it did in the past.

This part of the course is prepared in Chessbase version 16 in such a way that the vast majority of this program's capabilities can be used in previous versions from 12 to 15.
(ChessBase 12 was released in 2012).

In this part of the course I will show you how to use the ChessBase program to effectively prepare for a game against another chess player.

Let's start with...


Prepare Against...

The first step will be to select the base where your chess opponent's games are.

In this example, I select Correspondence Database 2020 by right-clicking on it and selecting Properties...

Click in the Reference-DB field.

Notice that this will be followed by a change in the icon representing the Correspondence Database 2020.

Confirm by clicking on the OK button.

Select the function Prepare Against in the Home ribbon.

A new window appears that lists the players whose games appear in your database, in my case Correspondence Database 2020.

Of course, ChessBase is, as we know, a chess game database tool, which means you can sort the data in many ways, not just by date. Above the list of games there are column headers. Clicking on them will immediately sort the data by that field. You can use the sort function to sort the games in the database by the Encyclopedia of Chess Openings (ECO) code, by score (if you're only interested in white or black wins), by author (which comes in handy to find games that are annotated), by game length, or here, as we'll do now, by ranking Elo.

You can scroll through the list of players until you reach the name of your opponent or, better yet, use the search function in the lower left corner of the window or the Filter List function on the ribbon. Type in the name of your opponent, in this case: Schulz Klaus Juergen.

By highlighting a player's name, you can see all of their games, as well as a scrolling list of tournaments they have participated in.

Highlight your opponent's name and press the Enter key. A picture of your opponent and pertinent information about them will appear on the screen.

After clicking on the Elo Profile button, a window will appear with a graph of the changes in ranking over time.