4.3: Board Searches

A Board Search finds all games in the current database which reach the currently displayed position in the main window chessboard. You can open the Board search window with the Search / Board menu command, the Ctrl+Shift+B shortcut, or the Board search icon toobar icon.

baord search window

Since the Tree window (covered in the previous section) also finds the games reaching the current position, you may wonder why a separate Board search window can be useful. In fact, the Board search is probably less often used than header and material/pattern searches simply because the Tree window already does the same thing and more.

However, there are two main reasons why the Board search can still be useful. Firstly, the Tree is a simple search tool and cannot be used for filter operations such as restricting or adding to the current filter. For example, if you have two particular chess positions of interest and want to find all the games that reach either position, the Tree will not help but two board searches (with the filter operation set to OR in the second search) will do the job.

The second main reason why a Board search may be useful instead of using the Tree window, is that it has additional alternatives to exact match comparison. There are four Board search types; all four require that a matching position must have the same material as the current displayed chessboard, but they differ in requirements of where the pieces can be located:

  1. Exact position -- a matching position must have all 64 squares the same as the current position.
  2. Pawns -- a matching position must have pawns on the same squares as the current board, but the other pieces can be anywhere.
  3. Files -- a matching position must have pawns on the same files as the current board, but the pawn ranks can differ and other pieces can be anywhere.
  4. Any -- a matching position must have the same material as the current board, but pawns and pieces can be anywhere.

The Pawns option is especially useful, as it can find related opening variations that have the same material and same "pawn skeleton", but pieces on different squares.

There are also two checkboxes in the window that control other options: you can choose to search in variations (this is useful in a database where many games contain variations, but can be a lot slower), and choose to ignore colors (so a matching position does not need to have the same side to move as the current position).

Move to an opening position around move 5 or 6 in a game in your database, and try each of the search types. After each search, load different games from the filter (with the Ctrl+UpArrow and Ctrl+DownArrow shortcuts for example) and notice how the game is loaded at the first move that matched your search criteria.

If you would like to contribute to the tutorial or see anything that should be updated, corrected or improved, please contact David Kirkby. But please note David only speaks English.

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This page was last modified: September 16, 2007. 10:41:41 am GMT