Improvements to ChessDB compared to Scid
Shane's Chess Information Database (Scid) is an excellent chess database that is no longer developed by Scid's original author Shane Hudson, although there is however another fork of this. ChessDB used Scid's code, but has various enhancements, bug fixes and new features. Nothing has been removed from Scid at all, so you will not miss any feature you once enjoyed. These are the differences which a user could notice if moving from the last release of Scid by Shane Hudson (3.6.1) to ChessDB 3.6.19-beta11, which was the latest at the time this was written (22nd August 2007). (You are advised to check the latest version of ChessDB yourself on the Sourceforge web site, as the web pages can tend to become outdated, especially if using a non-English version, since updates to those pages requires translators to update them).
Download of large databases
A large (> 3.5 million game) Scid/ChessDB format database has been placed on the web, conveniently split up into 57 parts for easy downloading. ChessDB handles all the downloads and reconstruction of the files, so you can very easily get a data database of games played by mostly strong players - the average Elo is 2233.
In addition to the database of 3.5 million games, there is a smaller database of 100,000 games. The 100,000 game database contains only games where both players are rated 2290 or above. The average Elo is 2602. The 100,000 game database is a subset of the 3.5 million game database, so there is no point downloading both.
Addition of UCI engine support
ChessDB now supports the use of UCI engines, which are used more on commerical chess engines than the original Winboard interface supported by Scid. This means engines such as Fritz and Rybka can now be used.
Statistical significance of Chess Moves using Hypothesis Testing
ChessDB 3.16.19-beta-1 and later support the statistical analysis of chess moves in an attempt to determine if one move has been more successful in tournament play than another. The basic Tree Window in Scid showed the frequency of moves and the scores. But if one move scored higher than another, there was no way to tell if this was likely to be due to chance, or whether the data indicated that this was unlikely to be due to chance, and so there is likely to be an underlying reason one move scores better than another.In a database of 628,370 downloaded from TWIC, the very odd move 1.Na3 scored far better than any other move, with a score of 80%, which is much higher than 1.e4 (53.4%). But statistical testing shows there is a high probability that this is due to chance alone. It was only played 4 times in the 628,370 games. In the revised tree window shown below, we see ChessDB indicates the probability the difference in score (or any larger score difference) between any two moves is due to chance.
Downloading games from ICC
It is possible to download games in the history of anyone on the
Internet Chess Club (ICC)
to a database. First, you must configure ChessDB to use an ICC server, with your username and password.
Then enter a list of usernames from where you want the games downloaded. The PGN representation of the game is displayed on the screen and the games imported directly into the database.
It is very useful to find games played by opponents you might meet in a competition, as you can find out the openings they play and find their weaknesses and strengths. Free Internet Chess Server (FICS), but
Downloading games from FICS from within ChessDBJust as on ICC, it is possible to download games from FICS. Support for FICS was added somewhat after ICC, since FICS was a little more complex, as it did not output standard PGN, but ChessDB handles the conversion from the format of files used on FICS to standard PGN, then reads those into ChessDB.
Importing multiple PGN filesYou can import all the PGN files in a directory in one operation - there is no need to import each file separately, as it is necessary with Scid. Use:
Tools->Import all PGN files in a directory You can also select individual files if you wish.
Downloads from TWICIt's possible to download games from The Week in Chess (TWIC) website and have them converted to a database, all from within ChessDB.
ChessDB can estimate what should be the latest issue available, and will indicate if there is a problem.No such functionality existed in Scid.
Checking the revision of ChessDBIt's possible to see if you are using the current version of ChessDB by using an item on the Help menu. No such functionality existed in Scid.
New annotation featureScid allowed one to annotate a game with a chess engine and had 4 choices of when to do this:
- For move by both sides
- For White moves only
- For Black moves only
- When game move is not the best move.
The last of these options had the problem that Scid would annotate a very large percentage of moves, which often was not what was wanted. ChessDB now has the further option of:
- When game move is poor or a blunder
This allows only significant annotations to be made. Those where the difference in quality of the moves is small, will not be annotated. Obvious blunders are annotated with '??' and poor moves with '?'. The definition of obvious blunder and poor move can be changed.
New LogoThere is a new logo, designed by James Mossop a professinal graphics artist, who kindly designed the logo for no charge.
- There's an updated spell check file and with ratings of players. This existed in Scid, but the file was dated January 2004. The current one is from December 2006.
- A bug which prevented the comment editor being closed with the mouse by trying to open it again has been fixed. It now closes, rather than generate an error message.
- The Statistics Window can now be configured to show statistics with both players rated above 1000, 1100, 1200 ... 2600. The official release of Scid only did this for players above 2300, 2400, 2500 and 2600.
- 3 new menu items for changing colours in the PGN window have been added.
- There are improved scrollbars under UNIX and Linux.
- Audio announcements now in include one for the word 'Check', in addition to those existing in Scid.
- A bug in the ECO browser bug fixed.
- There are improved translations, especially Swedish.
- The Game List can be configured for width of up to 40 (quite what the 40 means I don't know). Previously this was only 20, which was insufficient to show the openings properly.
- Unused space on the Repetoir editor has been removed.
- The online tutorial is considerably expanded. There are no longer large sections where is says "To be written" or similar.
- A number of areas where dates were used where limited to the early 2000's. This has now been changed, so dates to at least 2015 can be usefully used.
- Almost all of the ChessDB web site is now fully HTML 4.01 compliant to the Strict DTD
- Corrected error in helpfile describing the file formats, which were outdated. Note, the file format used by ChessDB is the same as used by Scid
Those are currently the main changes someone will see if moving from the last release of Scid (3.6.1) to the latest ChessDB (3.6.15).
Website administered by Dr. David Kirkby
This page was last modified: September 16, 2007. 10:41:16 am GMT