Tuesday, June 10, 2014


After the publication of my previous article I received an interesting question. "Which system do I apply to keep all my opening-study surveyable?". I couldn't answer this question properly in a few lines so I prefer here to write a separate article. However I want to add hereby immediately that I don't claim my system is the best. The system which I will describe here, has been empirically developed and is nothing more than a logical evolution of my personal needs. So everybody has to decide for themselves if some useful elements can be copied. The article therefore needs to be interpreted in the same way as my articles to analyze with an enginethe game preparation and annotations.

In my college-time I learned that writing down a summary on paper, was for me an important tool to captivate the subject material. I also do that today when preparing my games. A preparation summarizes all the possible variations which my opponent could play (mainly based on the games available in the databases) with the addition of my selected answers (minimally a few moves per line but it can also be much more). Below you can find a scan of such recent summary, built as preparation on the Bulgarian grandmaster Marijan Petrov.
Summary on paper
If you realize that in the first division of the Belgium interclub sometimes I was preparing for 6 different players then you know that those summaries quickly multiply. Such pile of summaries can be handy as passenger in the car to once again repeat the materials but for reuse in new game-preparation it is tedious. Therefore to win time I will regularly save the analyses of those paper-summaries in a personal database conform my white and black repertoire. It is a very simple mechanism which I created in 2005 in which a database is used of just 2 games. Below a screenshot to show how simple such database really is.
The first game consists all the lines which I can meet with white and which I have studied at least briefly. The second game consists of all the lines which I can meet with black and obviously also studied before. My answers on those lines are often unique in the sense of that almost no variation exists which obviously closely matches with my scientific approach. A screenshot of the first piece of my white-repertoire can be seen below.
Preview opening-book
It is easy accessible as I avoid using big trees of analysis for specific lines and because I mainly use only variety on 1 color (the opponent). The usefulness of this database mainly consists of having a tool to repeat quickly the most effective answers in the width of somebodies repertoire. Of course I also make in depth analysis but seldom for a game-preparation as time is often insufficient. If I study an opening seriously then it is not rare that I spend 2 weeks or more. I want to remark that today I don't hurry with the analysis as I anyway play few games and I do have a lot of other obligations. Somebody analyzing full time with the right equipment can probably achieve similar results in just a few days.

As most of the in depth opening-analysis happens on my own games, I mainly save those analysis for the sake of convenience in my game-analysis. In the meantime I have stored already 690 games so this has become a goldmine for opening-materials. Especially the more recent games include quite some interesting opening-analysis of which I already published often pieces on this blog. Furthermore I also possess a separate database of enhanced opening-analysis. Sometimes it becomes too difficult to maintain the readability if I save the analysis in the game. In other cases I sometimes want to check a system which I haven't met earlier in a serious game. A screenshot of this database shows us how this special database grew over the years.
Analysis database
Each entry presents this time an analysis of a certain system. A lot of text you won't find as for own usage not necessary. Here we will notice a lot of variety for both colors in contrast to the opening-book. An example of the analyse-dump can be found below.
Example from the analysis database
The loyal and clever blog-reader will surely have noticed that I show an analysis already used in my article aljechin with g6. Now and then I try to publish some pieces of the database to insert more content to the articles.

Next to building personal databases it is naturally never redundant to consult other sources of information. To integrate opening-books or online opening-analysis with the personal archives looks to me as a very doubtful strategy. If you know where to find the materials then this should be in most cases sufficient. Eventually we do want to win time with archiving.


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