I was thinking about creating a personalized chess database for my correspondence chess play. What sorts of contents are useful to put in it and is there any big difference in having your own database versus just using one from online. The main factor that contributed me to do this was to deepen my opening knowledge of certain openings. I am open to any other reasons why I should or shouldn't create one.

3 Answers 3


For correspondence I keep a database of my personal opening book that I extend whenever I encounter a new move. I include notes on things like why I chose a particular line and both numeric and verbal position assessment. I also include select text from books or other databases that discuss that position.


Do you mean a personal database of selected games? If that's the case, you're better off getting one of the databases with millions of games in it, since you can just search that for what you need.

  • Sorry about the misunderstanding, what I meant was a personal database which contains famous games of top players that play the same openings you play. It also contains some opening ideas.
    – SubhanKhan
    Commented Jan 7, 2020 at 9:42
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    @SubhanKhan Oh I see. Sure, that sounds like a good idea, but mainly to learn general middlegame concepts for the openings you play. But if you want to learn/memorize specific variations, having a small database won't help you since most lines won't be covered. Commented Jan 7, 2020 at 10:14

The question is why only one database?

I have a database of my own games, and a second for casual games I find interesting. You could have one for your OTB games, and correspondence games, for example.

Beyond that, you could have a database of both your white and black repertoire. This is very common among higher-rated players.

Lastly, if you are really into openings like an IM friend of mine, who has written about 10 books, you could have a database for every opening you want to study in-depth. This is a good thing to keep separate since it just makes it easier to manage.

I currently have in excess of 10 personal databases that I have created in ChessBase, and MANY more if you include other databases I have that are purchased.

  • Why not just one biggest and best database? Dont all of them show all the moves? How does separate DB help? Is this a memory or speed issue on your PC??
    – yobamamama
    Commented Jan 7, 2020 at 16:50
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    It has nothing to do with speed. It is just about organization. If I want big, I have the Mega 2020 database, for overall searching, but you can export data to smaller, more usable "chunks". Commented Jan 7, 2020 at 16:58
  • thanks. I am not sure I see the benefit of chunks unless you are short of memory or they run faster than the entire DB would do.
    – yobamamama
    Commented Jan 7, 2020 at 17:00
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    If you want to go over thousands of games, and pick out the ones that you want to follow in your repertoire, you will want to save them to a separate database. It makes it easier to find the material again. Commented Jan 7, 2020 at 17:05
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    A big database is great for searching for one specific game, or all the games of a specific player or tournament. You may want specific databases with just tactics or endgames. When you do opening prep, if you search for a specific opening, there might be hundreds of thousands of games in it. Of those, much of it may be garbage, or theory has evolved. You do not want to have to go through that many games every time you want to refresh your memory on the opening prep you have already researched. You want that in a separate database so you can find it quickly, often right before a round. Commented Jan 7, 2020 at 17:34

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