I like going through open variations and taking notes and saving them in my database.

However I have a problem. When I get to two of the exact same board positions and same color to play, if I got there via two different variations, any future variations I make and comment will be considered separate.

For example, suppose I start a game with 1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 and add some variations with, e.g., 3.Nf3 and 3.Bc4 and make some comments. Then, in the same database, I add a game with 1.Nc3 e5 2.e4 Nf6. This leads to exactly the same position but the variations and comments from the 1.e4 variation are not shown.

How do I merge these variations or get SCID to understand that it's the same so it shows the variations after both move orders? I don't want to write a whole new tree and branches just because I switched up one move.

Or if anyone knows a different program I can use for this to save uncompleted games such as opening variations and I can write my notes that would be great.

4 Answers 4


When you add comments, they exist on the current game only. If you want to comment on the position (independent of any individual game), you can do that by adding a mask.

The tree window shows you statistics on the current position (moves played, etc). Masks allow you to add additional information on top of that. Here is a resource to help get you started:


  • Note that this feature isn't in older versions of SCID. I could not find masks in 4.9, but in 4.22, by clicking on the tab for the tree view, I could access the menu and create a mask.
    – labyrinth
    Commented Jul 26, 2021 at 14:48

Chess Position Trainer recognizes transpositions in exactly the way that you're after, as it stores its opening books in a way that's designed to address this issue. Whenever two variations (like your 1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 and 1.Nc3 e5 2.e4 Nf6) that converge to the same position, it is automatically recognized that they do, so you'll never end up with two "versions" of the same position in the first place. As far as I know there's no good way to get that same functionality in SCID.

  • you = life saver
    – dane m
    Commented Mar 28, 2016 at 0:01
  • Chess Position Trainer is very beta. I can not recommend this software. It performs slow, has many bugs and has not been updated for years. There is no mouse wheel support, min maxing is broken, engine options can not be set, it deletes the engine hash when the user deletes moves, etc, etc, etc. This was created by someone who clicked this stuff together from .NET libraries he found on the internet. Support requests were never answered (and I did not ask unfriendly). Commented Apr 9, 2021 at 10:25
  • Also, its approach to memorize opening lines is inefficient. It will not lead to an understanding of these lines. Chess can not be learned this way. Move orders can be calculated during the game, the understanding of the positions is the relevant thing. Yes, CPT has a very basic (not sortable) motif trainer, but Lichess interactive Lessons do that much better. Commented Apr 9, 2021 at 10:25

Scid does detect transpositions:

  • Create a game starting with e4 e5 Nc3
  • Add your lines and comments.
  • Save the game and put e.g. "has comments" into the "white player" input entry (looks prettier in the notation).
  • Create another game starting with Nc3 e5 e4, save it too, put e.g. "is transposition" into the "white player" entry.
  • Now you have two games, the game with the comments and the one with the transposing line.
  • In the game list, make the "white player" header visible (right-click on the column headings).
  • Also in the game list, press the "filter by position" button (the bottom-most left which looks like a chess board, it may be hidden because the game list is not high enough).
  • Now, whenever you enter the moves e4 e5 Nc3 or Nc3 e5 e4 into a new game, the game list will show the game which "has comments", which you can click and edit.

Is this a result of the fact that the FENs are likely to be different. For instance; after e4 d6 e5 f5 White can capture ep, but after e4 f5 e5 d6 they cannot; and although the board may look the same, the possible moves are different.


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