Part 3: Finding training patterns in your Repertoire


In part 1 I proclaimed my new training regimen which basically consists of creating a personalized set of positions from my own games, repertoire and study material.

In Part 2 I showed you how I used chess base to create my own training positions to have a set of tactical and positional puzzles themed from my own games.

In this entry I will show you how I develop a repertoire data base and how I use this to create study positions.

Building a repertoire database.

I use chess base for a lot of reasons. One of the things I’ve done was create a blunder-rep database with games centered around my openings I play. First, I pull in games that I have studied from the classic tournaments that are in any shape or form close to what I play in my chess games.

Hastings 1895, London 1924 and Zurich 1953 is not enough resources for what I am looking for. There are several ways to approach this. You can set up a position using chessbase and use the search online tool to pull games from their huge inventory. I find this tedious as I haven’t found a clean way to import the large volume of games as a result of this method. The best I was able to achieve was dumping them all into one huge game file or saving each one individually. I will use this method to find key players ( grandmasters) who play this variation but not as a means to build the volume I seek for the purpose of building a training database.

I wanted a quicker method to build the base up. I use google to search for PGN or CBH data bases of specific variations. There are several websites that fill this gap. will allow a search for the position and provide a collection of games to download as PGN. Chessopolis () is another resource I use frequently and they actually have CBH files that can import directly to Chess base. There are plenty more if you search.

The trouble with “canned” data sets from some of these places is the quality of games are littered with amateur games. But my philosophy at this stage in my improvement path is that I can still learn from these amateurs.

Panning for gold.

Once you have a repertoire database built up, the next step is to use the search capability of chess base to find positions to study.

Finding Traps in the opening to avoid or inflict:

The first thing I do is to find the opening traps I want to avoid. I will set the search to find the games that end in 15 moves or less where the side I would most likely play loses.

I will create training positions described in my previous post for each of the unique wins. Some are duplicates and worth skipping over. What you get is a clear pattern of what not to play in certain lines. Optionally, you could run the engine on each of these to get some annotations and ideas what to play. I merely reference my books and make a quick note where to improve and what not to play. The opening tactical trap becomes the positional study that I solve for the aggressor. Then I look at the notes in the game centered around the failing position. This is where having an amateur database comes in handy as you will more likely have a lot of examples to chose from.

On the flip side, from the same repertoire base I will change the search to games where my side wins and repeat the process. The result will build up tactical positions found in the openings of my games that I can inflict if my opponent doesn’t play exactly in this line. Positional themes start to come about from these and I get a better understanding of the opening.

Finding Mating themes:

Another search I will conduct in the bluder-rep is to find those games that have ended definitively with a check mate. To weed out the previous search I set the move order to a range greater than 15 to include the long games. I go through the same process of looking at wins for both sides to see the kind of attacks typical from both perspectives. I then create training positions from these making notes of the type of attack as a memory marker for the pattern.

For added measure I use the same filter but instead of definitive mates, I search for results being my side to win. This will include winning endgame positions to come about in my games with higher probability.

Middle game positions:

There’s no way around this but to review games against masters who play the same openings in your repertoire. I am building on this with my tournament games studies and include several positions from each of the highlighted games.

So far I have just over 100 positions as I build upon this. I think it’s a good start. I’d like to build this to at least 500 by Spring, but I don’t want to get stuck in the process before using it. 100 problems to start with will be a good litmus for the upcoming Pillsbury Memorial here at the end of the month.