I'm wanting to make some binders of different opening lines in a columnar layout like MCO uses. Is there any database program that can produce this type of output, or would I be better off creating it manually in a spreadsheet?

In addition, I'd like to be able to print out annotated games with diagrams.

  • 1
    Scid's "Opening Report" does this, I don't have time for a full answer. Commented Mar 24, 2016 at 13:27
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    Why the downvote? I've know that most of them can print out annotated games, but I'm not aware of any that have the other, primary feature for which I'm looking.
    – Herb
    Commented Mar 24, 2016 at 18:50

2 Answers 2


My suggestion does not link to a database, but you can use Tex to format chessboards, add your own annotations and put the content into column format.

We even have a Tex stack exchange! The link is of a question regarding a new Tex user learning how to use the chess specific packages.

Please note Tex is just a text editor though. The times I have used it (for my mathematics dissertation), I've used it to neatly represent content only. As far as I know Tex doesn't have analysis features, databases of master games etc., it just is to display text and text like objects.

  • I've used TeX/LaTeX once or twice in the past, including a couple of years ago when I re-did my resume. I do like this option, as it seems it would be easier to update the file with new columns and analysis.
    – Herb
    Commented Mar 24, 2016 at 12:45
  • None of those LaTeX packages in the cited TeX Stack Exchange post will produce a MCO-style table representation of lines from a database of PGN. Commented Feb 5, 2020 at 6:13

Chess Openings Wizard can produce output that is sort of the transpose of the MCO format. This isn't exactly what you want, but it might suffice.

More detail: Chess Openings Wizard (COW), by Bookup.com, are apps (Mac, Windows, iOS, Android) for training yourself in your opening repertoire that

[r]ather than store lists of games, Chess Openings Wizard stores chess theory in trees of positions, much the way theory is recorded in books such as the Encyclopedia of Chess Openings and the Encyclopedia of Chess Endgames.

It comes in a cheaper ("Express") and in a more-expensive ("Professional") version. According to the Comparison Chart, the Professional version "prints ECO/BCO-style sheets of analysis."

ECO and BCO refer to "Encyclopedia or Chess Openings" and "Batsford Chess Openings," respectively.

Apparently the format of ECO/BCO is sort of the transpose of the type of table used in MCO (which you referenced in your question). From Steven Lopez, "Table views and printouts in ChessBase 9," Chess News, August 31, 2006:

Books like Modern Chess Openings use a columnar format: the variations are printed in columns on the page -- you start at the top of the page and work your way down. The majority of other compendiums such as the Encyclopedia of Chess Openings, Batsford Chess Openings, and Nunn's Chess Openings use a table format in which the variations are read from left to right across the page. If a variation starts with the same move (or moves) as the one immmediately above it on the page, spaces are left blank to designate that the moves are the same as the variation above.

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