Covering all the (Data) bases!

Russell Sherwood  Saturday, May 20, 2017

A regular question amongst CC players is: “Which Database should I use?”

The simple answer to this is “none” as no single database will meet all of your needs!

So which combination of Databases should we use?

This question is more relevant and I believe the Aspiring player needs a number of Databases to meet different needs at different times.

There are a few things to consider:

  • CC and OTB games are different beasts, except at the Highest level of OTB play
  • CC games should be separated into Pre and Post 2012. This is the point at which engine strength increased dramatically and a number of older opening lines became almost unplayable in CC
  • Opening Novelties from SuperGM’s should be considered of being a similar source as CC Games as the resources behind these players would indicate the same (or better) preparation levels as CC.

 

So onto the Databases!

“Ultrabase”

The first database, I think necessary is one containing every game regardless of source. Megabase is probably the best known commercial base with 8m games, however, here are other ones floating around the internet which include engine games which are much, much larger – the biggest now above 20million games.

Many of the games in these kind of bases are of poor quality but the purpose of this database is for Idea generation.

“Super GM base”

Top Level GM’s (say 2700+) spend an lot of time on preparation, utilising engine checking of ideas. For this reason novelties can be mined from these databases. A note of caution, whilst the initial idea will have been checked in depth, the subsequent ongoing game will not have been.

“CC Base”

This is a database of all games played under Correspondence Chess time control – hence days rather than hours and minutes. The main purpose of this database is to determine what variations are current and any trends that may be developing.

“CC Strong base”

Opinions differ a little on this but this is a database of mid ranked CC players (say 2200-2400) games played post 2012 or so (the point at which engines changed the nature of the game). The purpose of this database is for generating ideas. Many of the players in the zone are the ones with ratings climbing rapidly who are worthy of close examination.

“”CC Superstrong base”

The purpose of this database is to determine what is currently playable at the highest level of CC. Most players will look for CC games above 2400-2450 played post 2012. This is the CC equivalent of Super GM Base but with the added bonus the games having been engine checked.

“Recent Games Base”

The purpose of this database is to keep the player in touch with new novelties and the latest lines. Many will not be suitable for CC but it is a very valuable source!

“Engine base”

These used to be a treasure trove of ideas but these days there are many millions of engine games played. These can be utilised to determine which direction the game may take if your opponent is simply an “Engine Jockey”

So how do we utilise these databases? That’s a discussion for another day but I think enough clues are given in the description!

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