The Use of Databases for Chess Research


What database and database tools can I use to answer questions like the following:

What is the win/loss/draw result of games using:

  • Ruy Lopez Exchange Variation – Lasker Variation (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Bxc6 dxc6 5.d4 exd4 6.Qxd4 Qxd4 7.Nxd4). (aka Ruy Lopez Exchange Variation - Alekhine Variation.)
  • limited to games longer than 20 moves
  • both players FIDE 2300+
  • games played between 2003-Present

I use SCID for postmortem but it's unclear if it can do these types of searches. Yes, I probably have too much time on my hands to be asking such a question.



Scid can do all that.

First,do a position search, then set up the header searh like this:

(I only get 2 results)


rooperi, I've noticed your posts on SCID and was hoping you'd respond. How about downloading a database to search, any ideas?


You can do that query in SCID.  First, do a search/header on your 4 bullets in some big database.  Mine, of 5M games, returns 337,000 hits. Then, move the hits to a dummy database that you set up. To do that, create a new db in file/new, then open the database switcher window and drag your filtered hits to the dummy db. Then, use the dummy db as a tree (file/open recent base as tree).  Then open the clipbase to make your opening moves.  Doing all that, I get: 76% were draws, of the non-draws, white won 46% of the time.


Maybe I will beat rooperi this time: database to download:


There are some options:

Icofy base:

Pros: Large, around 4,5 million games

Cons: Very little information, often does not show much more than player names and dates. No rating, info, noevent info etc etc...


Pros: Much more information

Cons: Smaller, around 1,5 million games

Also, it's not 1 big download, I downloaded a few dozen files I had to join to make 1 large db. (although, this might also be a plus, because files are by opening, so it's possible to work with smaller files which makes it faster)

Overall, the pgnmentor is better quality, but more work to set up


It doesn't sound like icofy base has enough information to answer questions like the one I posed. Is that correct?

Does PGMENTOR have enough information? Is that what you used in your illustration above?


pgn mentor looks like this:

And yes, i think the information is more complete




Thanks rooperi. Thanks fredm73.


May I recommend a good free online database?

frank124c wrote:

May I recommend a good free online database?

I hadn't noticed the "advanced" search options before. It might require some hand culling. I can't tell how much until I join. Ten bucks seems more than reasonable. Thanks for the suggestion.


I posted the following in another thread. I just came across a relevant book that I am enjoying: Smith, Robin (2004), Modern Chess Analysis. It's scope includes the use of databases.

It's amusing to think one of the uses of computer technology in chess is to research the use of computer technology in chess."

If anyone else is interested in such things, here's a link to a review:

[Edit: I changed the title of the forum from one that asked for recommendations for database tools. 12-15-12]


quem fez esta pergunta idiota?