I have spent around half an hour searching Google and I have not found what I am looking for -perhaps I did recognise it as what I needed if I had come across it. I have just recently downloaded SCID and decided to add all of my games from Chess.com as a starter to a database.

After combining all the separate PGN files into one, I used the utility that comes with SCID to convert it into the SCID database format. Along with the output of that utility is a file -.err format- of errors -if any- that occurred during conversion. While the number of errors I got is not much, it is large enough for it be a complicated process if I went through and deleted the games by hand.

An example from the first three lines of the error file (1 game):

my_games.pgn:(game 383, line 10658) Error: Invalid FEN: rnqkrbbn/pppppppp/8/8/8/8/PPPPPPPP/RNQKRBBN w EAea - 0 1

my_games.pgn:(game 383, line 10658) Error reading tag: [FEN "rnqkrbbn/pppppppp/8/8/8/8/PPPPPPPP/RNQKRBBN w EAea - 0 1"]

my_games.pgn:(game 383, line 10663) Error reading move in game graffitivisuals - walidmujahid, 2012: Ng3

Is there a utility out there where I could simply pass my PGN file though it and specify the game number -multiple- to delete. I am still new to SCID, so perhaps did I miss the fact that SCID has something that can help with this matter?

Any guidance on this would be most appreciated.

Post Script: GitHub was among the places that searched for such a utility, though, without fruition. If, perhaps, there is a script that comes remotely close to doing what I described, or perhaps even does exactly what I need, any guidance towards that script would also be most appreciated.

  • I think that if you just create a new database in Scid, then import the PGN file into it, it just skips all the games with errors. Wouldn't that work? Jan 11, 2017 at 9:38
  • Is this a Chess960/Fischer game?
    – Marco
    Jan 11, 2017 at 14:44
  • @RemcoGerlich Yes, that works, however, for larger databases loading the full PGN file would be rather slow and it is my understanding that converting it to the si4 format makes it more efficient within the program itself -I may be mistaken.
    – user12209
    Jan 11, 2017 at 18:14
  • @Marco Now that I think about it, I did have a few 960 games in my chess.com download. I did not even think about it, but I am aware that 960 does not work in SCID -SCID vs PC to be more accurate,
    – user12209
    Jan 11, 2017 at 18:14
  • @WalidMujahid: importing it into a database within Scid also converts it so si4 (that is the format of Scid databases after all). It probably uses the exact same code. Jan 11, 2017 at 20:41

3 Answers 3


A PGN file is simply a flat text file, which can be created/edited using a text editor (I use Notepad++).

ANSWER: While using a text editor may not be optimal, or may not be an automagical way of many specific games from a large PGN file, it works. I don't know of a text editor specifically designed to deal with PGN files otherwise. Also, SCID itself allows you to delete games from a collection. Notice in this link the option to delete current game?

I would also observe that the FEN you've posted is only valid if you're playing Fischer (or 'random') Chess where the pieces are randomly placed at the beginning. Copy your FEN HERE and observe that while valid FEN, is not a valid opening position for a regular game.

The problem with your file is that it is mixing regular and Fischer chess games..


Maybe use the free Chessbase Reader and import/open the file. That might work.


For the specific requirement to filter out Chess960 games from a PGN file, you could use pgn-extract.pgn-extract home page Since such games necessarily include a SetUp tag, the --nosetup argument of pgn-extract allows them to be filtered out. The same argument could be used to remove any game that has a non-standard starting position.

Disclosure: I am the author of pgn-extract.

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