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ChessBase - Efficient work with a chess database

Updated: Jan 23

Chess databases are essentially tools for working with lots of data. ChessBase is essentially a tool for storing, organizing, analyzing, sharing, chunking, ..., etc. data - that is, chess games in many different ways.

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).

I'll show you how to organize your work and access to data in ChessBase well.

Let's start with...


The main database window is where we start our work to edit, merge, delete and backup chess games.

The default is the Tile View, which appears like this:

Click to enlarge (works with any image)

To switch from one view to another, you can make your selection at the bottom of the database window.

For example, when you click Details, the chess database window looks like this:

You can customize the appearance of the chess database window according to your preferences by choosing smaller or larger icons, sorting the chess games by clicking e.g. Games, Date or by choosing another option like Usage or Title.

Create a new database

Go to the Database ribbon and select Home - New.

In the file window that appears, select the directory in which the database will rest, give it a name, and then press create new.

A new icon will appear in the database window.

When creating a new chess database, we can choose the format in which this new chess database will be created.

The default ChessBase chess database format is *.CBH. I recommend this format for creating and using chess databases because it allows the fastest work while maintaining optimal size.

Other chess database formats used are:

*.CBF is a database type in old versions of ChessBase.

*.PGN (Portable Game Notation) is a non-proprietary database format that is used by almost all chess applications.

*.CBONE, which is a self-contained, single file that can be useful if you are creating databases containing few chess games.

*.CBCLOUD, is the format used when you create a chess database in the ChessBase Cloud.

Especially if you will be using multiple chess databases, you will probably want to give the chess databases an adequate appearance. To do this, right-click on the icon and select Properties.

In the new window that opens, the database name will appear in the name field.

On the left side in the same pane, you can select the type of database you want. For the purposes of our course, in this case let's choose Analysis and click Ok button.

This way, the database you are interested in will become visible faster.


The folders panel will always contain My Databases - Your database, which contains your databases and directories.

My Databases lists the databases you access most often. My Databases always includes a reference database and a Clip Database.

To place a database in My Databases, simply open it with the Ctrl-o key or select Home - Open in the database view.

  • MyInternetGames contains the games you play on PlayChess server.

  • My InternetKibitzing contains the games you watch pn PlayChess server.

  • MyInternetMachineGames appear if you play with a computer on PlayChess server.

If you want these databases to live in My Databases, just open them or drag to My Databases folder.

Open the chess games database from the My Database folder

Double-clicking on the database icon/symbol opens it and displays the game List window, a list of all the chess games in that database. Some of them may even contain millions of games (Big / Mega Databases).

If you want to open chess databases that are not in the My Database folder, then go to the main database ribbon and select Home - Open.

To open a database, you can (like in windows explorer) highlight it (single click) and press the enter key.

Delete a chess database

There are two possibilities. You can delete the icon without deleting the database itself, or, disregarding that, you can physically delete the database.

To remove the icon from the database window without deleting any data: Right-click on the icon - Remove... or simply click on the icon and press the delete key.

To delete both the icon and the data, click on the icon - select the Maintenance tab on the ribbon - select Delete all files ... or right-click on the icon - select Delete all files.


A window to access folders appears by default in the upper left corner of the database window. To turn it on or off, choose View - Folders.

Database path - Opens directories and database contents on the local hard drive in the "Database" section.

This PC - Opens directories at a higher level, and so allows access to external drives as well as the computer's UBS / DVD.

Public Documents - Opens a location where you can store, for example, shared files with other users of the same computer or users connecting to that computer over a network.

Network - Allows you to access files located on networked devices, for example NAS devices.

OneDrive - Personal - Opens the network location of the OneDrive you signed in to.

Game History - Lets you view all the files you have access to in ChessBase by date.

Shop - Database summarizes just that, databases you have purchased.

Cloud Databases - With ChessBase, you can store your data not only on your own hard drive, but also on our ChessBase servers. This allows you to access your data from different devices without having to copy or reinstall your databases. It is even possible to share your databases with other users as a cloud database.

This has the following advantages:

  • You can access your opening repertoire or saved games from anywhere without using ChessBase.

  • You can put games in the cloud so that your friends and teammates can access them via a web browser.

  • You can publish the database to the web with a single click.

These are new features that make sharing chess data much easier.