R database players scared of playing real chess?

frankyyy27 wrote:

As a betting man I know u'll cheat...

Your poverty is now explained. You could seek help. Maybe the state will pay for it.



king_nothing1 wrote:
Ziryab wrote:


Yeah lets debate. I promise you that I will have an open mind ( though I am worried my brain may fall).... after reading your blog I can say that you strengthen my view. My points:

1. You said that one needs brain to select the right move out from database moves, yes but database significantly narrows your options right? In any given situation, masters game give you 2-5 options and if you compare this with the number of options a 1300 rated player has for that similar position, they will be in the range of 4- more than 10.  In any case there is a significant difference between solely using your brain and using your brain after going through database. 

2. You wrote in your blog that you not only looked at possible net move but also you thoroughly examined the games (means you also looked into your opponent's possible responses right? ) 

3. you mentioned that using database for turn based chess is a good training tool for OTB matches.... well I have a better suggestion, look into Houdini's suggested moves as well and go through all the lines it suggests and then make your move. You will learn better and guess what this too requires using your brain.

I had gone through two pages of this thread and basic theme I got from pro database players is that using database is a time standing tradition for turn based chess and it is within the rules ( rather than why it is okay). I agree that it is a tradition in turn based chess and people are within their rights to use that, it is just that I don't agree with this and don't use data base when game is on. I use help when games is finished and it serves me better.

PS...I really enjoyed going through your notation and considering adopting your style in future. :)

Okay. I appreciate your effort.

1. Does the database limit my candidate moves? It might for a 1300 player, although I doubt it. It certainly does not for me. Quite the opposite. In any given opening position, there are normally no more than three moves that I will consider when playing OTB. Using databases during correspondence play (make no mistake, "Online Chess" on Chess.com is correspondence), opens my thinking to more possibilities. Databases increase the number of my candidate moves.

2. Absolutely. Considering my opponent's responses is part of every phase of the chess game. This process is just as true while playing in a bar while drinking, playing in an OTB tournament, or playing online at any time control. 

Consider a couple of specific cases:

a. In a typical correspondence game on this site, I will use the Game Explorer to check the candidate moves and the scoring percentage. I assume that my opponent is doing the same. The research begins while exploring several moves deep. Looking through high scoring moves, there is often a move that initially looks good, but there is one less popular move that changes the percentage dramatically. Why? Sometimes that's because an old line has been refuted. Part of the game of correspondence is found in the effort to anticipatehow one's opponent is using the Explorer, and use it deeper to steer the game into a line that is more favorable for my side.

Once I get an advantage, there is still much play. At some point, every game will leave the databases. Having used the database to steer the game to a favorable position, I also have given myself a position that is not typical of those I usually play. Having worked harder in the opening because I deviated from my standard repertoire, I now must work harder in an unfamiliar middle game.

b. I offer a game that I played via postcard in 1997-1998. I had a growing collection of books, but no databases. My books included MCO and two volumes of ECO. I also bought one issue of Chess Informant. I was playing the English Opening and Reti as White in most of my OTB games and I had an opening monograph on the opening in addition to ECO, volume A and MCO. I played through several of the English Opening and Reti games inChess Informant 64 while waiting for my opponent's moves to arrive in the mail.

This game caught my interest:

Ribli,Z - Sherzer,A [A12]
Magyarorszag 64/7, 1995

1.Nf3 Nf6 2.g3 d5 3.Bg2 Bf5 4.d3 e6 5.0–0 Be7 6.c4 c6 7.b3 0–0 8.Bb2 Nbd7 9.Nbd2 a5 10.a3 h6 11.Qc2 Bh7 12.Bc3 b5 13.cxb5 cxb5 14.Qb2 Qb6 15.b4 axb4 16.axb4 Rfc8 17.Rxa8 Rxa8 18.Nb3 Bd6 19.Ra1 Re8 20.Bd4 Qb8 21.Bc5 e5 22.Ra6 Nxc5 23.bxc5 Bc7 24.d4 e4 25.Ne5 Bxe5 26.dxe5 Nd7 27.Qd4 Nxe5 28.Qxd5 Nc4 29.Bh3 e3 30.f3 Rd8 31.Bd7 Qc7 32.Ra8 Bc2 33.Bf5 1–0

In particular, White's move 14 suggested a strategic idea that was new for me: using the queen to support rook action on the a- and b-files, and using her to support action of the bishop aloong the long diagonal. My game never reached this position. Nonetheless, the growth of my underdtanding of the strategic ideas helped guide me to victory in this game.

I discuss this game in more detail at http://chessskill.blogspot.com/2011/03/playing-by-book.html. My opponent was a well-known chess promoter (he founded New York's Chess in the Schools program). I do have quite a few blog posts concerning database use. Feel free to poke around and read some that I have not linked to here.

3. Of course, using an engine is good preparation for OTB. I use engines for training. However, rules do matter. Using engines to analyze games in progress is against the rules on this site. I do not do it.

Using engines to prepare a repertoire, however, is not only useful, it is something that I find essential. Again, I find a specific instance useful to illustrate. In 2008, through a few strokes of luck I qualified to play in my city's championship--a two player match of four games. I was a strong B Class USCF player at the time (~1740). My opponent, the reigning City Champion was a FIDE Master, but no longer at his peak rating. He had been in the mid-2400s in his youth, but had dropped to 2250.

As luck would have it, he had a fairly limited opening repertoire. He played the Advance Variation against the French. He played the Dutch Defense as Black against queen's pawn openings. I learned a new line against the Advance variation, and I spent a lot of time working on the Raphael variation against the Dutch. In my preparation (I had about three weeks), I managed to draw HIARCS 10 in a fifteen minute game. In the match, I lost the first game badly. It was played on Thursday night. Games two and three were on Saturday. A friend of mine (an expert) and I spend all morning Friday using engines, Chess Informants, and database refining my line against the Dutch. 

I had Black in game two, and played a long game that was almost drawn. I earned the FIDE master's respect. I earned a draw in game three. There was no game four, because my opponent had the 2 1/2 points needed to win the match.

The games are posted at  http://www.spokanechessclub.org/gamecorner.htm.

On some sites, and in many correspondence associations (ICCF for instance) engines are allowed during correspondence play. I have played this sort of chess, sometimes called "advanced chess". I played on another site that encourages it. Yesterday, at the OTB tournament I am playing in this weekend, I was discussing this form of chess with friend who played some ICCF events. We both quit because of the added effort needed. He said it was like having a second job.

It is possible to play engine assisted correspondence chess (on Chess.com, these games must be unrated and by mutual agreement). For me, the level of database research needed to play well in correspondence chess on this site makes the game more satisfying. Engine assisted correspondence chess is less appealing. Nonetheless, that too, could help one's OTB game if done well.


I usually have ten to twenty games going at once. I play here, on another site, and am currently using two iOS apps, and Chessimo on Facebook. The last of these does not allow database use, and I don't use databases in those games. In my games where databases are allowed, I use them selectively. I do not reference them at all in 1/3 - 1/2 of my games, use them sparingly in a few, and do deep research in a few.

In my highest rated win on this site, my opponent walked into a known trap that I had studied for less than two hours in Starting Out: The King's Indian two years before the game. I then had to convert the advantage of an exchange, which I did by steering the game rapidly to an ending where I could return the exchange to go into a favorable pawn ending. I did not use databases in that game. My memory served me well.


funny how pepple who know there wrong have so much to say


lmao regurgitate all ur nonsense...mmm somthing new would b nice

frankyyy27 wrote:

funny how pepple who know there wrong have so much to say

Actually, you keep saying the same thing.

I pasted an argument from one of your closed threads to show how someone who agrees with you chose to argue the points, and the sort of response it generates.

You don't want this sort of discussion. You want to endlessly repeat the same ignorant mantra.

I offered you a game as a courtesy. You malign my kindness. Resign if you wish, or play on to prove that you are not mediocre. Databases are not much value against players who leave book at move four. That's the main reason that most players at your level do not use them.

Until you get better, you really don't have anything to worry about. That's why so many offer the advice in hundreds of threads here that players should study tactics and endings a lot before they spend any time with openings. Opening study is not much value to players who hang pieces, or who make gross positional errors when they find an unfamialiar position.

Here's an OTB game that I annotated several years ago that started with an opening which you might find familiar. That "improving high school player" who lost that game got a lot better. This past summer he defeated me in a match to become the Spokane City Champion. I want revenge, but I am also proud of him. Maybe next summer I'll get my chance, but I have to win a tournament in June to earn that right.

That's my world: OTB play. I'm trying to reach the top in my city against tough and much younger competition. Correspondence chess helps me prepare. It also serves my search for truth in hundreds and even thousands of interesting chess positions.


In round three of the Spokane Chess Club's Fall Championship, I had Black against Nikolay Bulakh. Nikolay is a rapidly improving high school player. He has been coming to chess club since last spring, and he plays on Chess.com. Although we have played a few casual games, and some blitz, this was our first rated game.

I learned after the game that he had done some preparation, looking at perhaps my best game ever--a French I played in the City Championship Match in 2008. He did not prepare for the course our game took. Indeed, I had only a general opening plan before we sat down to play: play something that puts him in unfamiliar terrain.

Bulakh,N (1479) - Stripes,J (1823) [B43]
Spokane, 2009

1.e4 e6

Everyone in Spokane plays the French. At least that's what I've heard asserted by some players from Seattle, "if you can beat the French, you'll do well in Spokane." Several of Spokane's top players have certainly developed a reputation for playing the French. Our top player, FIDE Master David Sprenkle does not like playing against it. When he came to my board during a club simul this summer, he said, "you play the French," then played 1.c4. I said, "But, I was planning to play the Sicilian!" For many years, I always replied 1...c5 to 1.e4. The past few years, 1.e4 e6 has been just as automatic. The past year, I have aimed at flexibility and choice. I favor the French, but hold the Sicilian as a possible surprise weapon.

2.d4 c5 

The Franco-Benoni often catches players by surprise. I like it because 1.e4 players are often uncomfortable going into queen pawn openings. I have had some good results with the Benoni, and have been known to play the Benko on occasion, although rarely from the Franco-Benoni.

3.Nf3 cxd4 4.Nxd4

Nickolay opts for the Sicilian. I could play the Scheveningen, a solid opening choice.


But, the Taimanov is sufficiently offbeat that most club players are not well prepared with a plan.

5.Nc3 Qc7 

The Kan, or Paulsen, puts most players on their own.

6.Be2 Nf6 7.0–0 

We are still in mainline opening theory, at least it is a mainline if that term applies to any line found in the tables of the Encyclopedia of Chess Openings, and not yet relegated to the footnotes. My opponent has used twelve minutes getting to this position; I've used three.

Black's normal move here is 7...Bb4, which generally leads to positions described in the books as unclear. I have played it in online games, but more often have thrown out an offbeat move that first appeared in Chess Informant 63/148 in Perez-Garcia, 1995 from the Cuban Championship. This game is found in the footnotes of ECO.

7...Bc5 8.Nb3 

Perez-Garcia continued 8.Be3


8...Bb4 may be better. I've used four minutes to my opponent's twenty-two. Tucked back on a7, my bishop will force my opponent to think about it for the rest of the game.

9.Kh1 h5

9...Nc6 has been played, but this move does not appear in my database. I spent five minutes considering this risky move, and decided that it gave my opponent more problems to solve than it was likely to generate for me.


10.f4! is nearly always a useful move against the Sicilian. Moreover, when a player has delayed castling, the king must be punished.

10...b5 11.Bg5 

White wants to take advantage of the difficulty Black will have to castle.

11...b4 12.Bxf6 gxf6 13.Nb1 

13.Na4 loses the knight.


13...Nc6 also attracted attention. I have used seventeen minutes; Nikolay spent forty-five. We've been at the board a bit over an hour, and I am hapy with my position because I think my pieces are coordinated much better than his.

14.N1d2 Nc6 15.Nc4 Ke7 

I did think about 15...O-O-O, but saw no benefits to giving up the exchange. My plan is to create some tactics, possibly with a rook sacrifice, then swing the other rook over for the coup de grace. Before playing 15...Ke7, it was necessary to be certain my opponent could not wrest open the center. It seems, however, that my attack is coming faster, my pieces are better coordinated, and any action in the center can be met with superior force. I spent eight minutes thinking about this move--my longest think of the game.


It is always tempting to be ahead a pawn, but this error helps Black launch an attack against the White king. 16.Qd2 at least threatens to start a fight in the center. My opponent has used half of his allotted two hours.

16... Ne5 

This move is not the computer's choice. According to my chess software, my next several moves reveal my failure to press the attack with the most precise and accurate moves.


17...Ncd2 makes Black's job more difficult.

17...Qxe5 18.Bg4 Bxe4 

18...Qxe4 forces concessions in the pawn structure, and wins a piece.


19... f5 

Again, Rag8 is superior to my moves.


White's string of blunders testify to the difficulty of the position in which he has found himself, perhaps due to having been lured into an unfamiliar opening. At least, I am tempted to give myself credit for creative transpositions.

20... fxg4! 

It took me two or three minutes to realize there was no reason to move the queen.

21.Qxb4+ d6 22.Kh2 g3+ 23.Kxg3 Qg7+ 24.Kh2 Qxg2# 0–1 

frankyyy27 wrote:

zirab this child says ur a coward...yes u challenged me..yes ur winning..but u said no rating..ur a pussy..i resign...lets play man to man..mmmmm

No need to insult someone who is willing to waste him time with you proving what we all know: Databases aren't why you are losing.

It makes sense to play unrated if you want to alter the rules.

Scottrf wrote:
frankyyy27 wrote:

zirab this child says ur a coward...yes u challenged me..yes ur winning..but u said no rating..ur a pussy..i resign...lets play man to man..mmmmm


It makes sense to play unrated if you want to alter the rules.

Or, if the game is more of a teaching game than a contest.


lol im staying out of this one....

I've always found it amazing when people use the "you know you're wrong" argument. First of all, he's not wrong- Ziryab very clearly explained his position and the rules of the game. I've played two correspondence games total and I was able to follow his reasoning perfectly. Secondly, of course he DOESN'T "know he's wrong"- he just spent several posts poking holes in your arguments and you haven't made any effort to address his points. You'll get "something new" when you start debating rationally instead of reacting emotionally (also a valuable lesson for chess, incidentally)

lol...my phone stops me chatting...and its irrational to allow cheating

frankyyy27 wrote:

and its irrational to allow cheating

That statement shows a complete lack of logic.


he's a deluded user..why cant people play straight...z started dissi mn g me so he's gotta take it back....read it back?


ur a db use then scott....denial is ur choice

frankyyy27 wrote:

he's a deluded user..why cant people play straight...z started dissi mn g me so he's gotta take it back....read it back?

I've posted several OTB games in your thread. Do you want to claim that OTB is not "playing straight." You really do need to see a counselor. Or, maybe you need to finish middle school.

I work with a lot of ten years olds who have better skills in logic.

Next time I'm in England, I'll look you up. We can sit down with a chess set in a pub and I'll show you my mental database of games that I've memorized. That will get us through enough pints that I'll be inebriated. Then we can play real chess.


It doesn't help that you post in Twitterspeak, either.  You shouldn't expect to be taken seriously when your response to others is simply to post personal attacks and you can't form a complete sentence (or a complete word).  How old are you, twelve?

yep...like to see u boys abuse me to my face:)..ur chess snobs...just because ur rated higher dont make u right...im a lonely voice on this subject cause most chess players r not anal and dont give a toss about u wankers..:)

sorry for my bad language..


im 44...not 12....lmao...enjoy ur life u sad person who sent abuse...;)


was my english ok then?mmmm