I have some ChessBase-format database files, and I would like to convert them to PGN so that
linux-compatible programs (like scid, chessdb, etc.) could read it.

Since I am running on linux and not windows, I can't use that workaround that involves downloading ChessBase Light then converting from there. However, I really need to use those files.

How can I convert them painlessly ? Is there an free online service that can do so ? Is there a
linux-compatible program that can do so ? Is there an opensource program that can do so (regardless of platform), so that I can port the conversion source to linux ?

  • Is there no "Chessbase light" on Vine ?
    – Tanj
    Commented Mar 7, 2015 at 11:07
  • 1
    This related question can be useful: "How to convert Chessbase format files to .pgn?"
    – lodebari
    Commented Mar 7, 2015 at 19:09
  • @Tanj: You mean Wine ? Well, yes there is, but the latest supported version is 13 years old. Plus, I don't want to install wine dependencies just for a 10 MB program.
    – Amr Ayman
    Commented Mar 12, 2015 at 15:02

3 Answers 3


I believe scidb can do it. You can get it here: http://scidb.sourceforge.net/

  • I am trying this ..
    – Amr Ayman
    Commented Mar 12, 2015 at 15:13
  • Hey, this actually was able to read the ChessBase format! However, I still can't figure out how to: 1. Convert to .pgn, 2. Play Sound files and view comments while watching the game (like ChessBase does).
    – Amr Ayman
    Commented Mar 12, 2015 at 21:42

Scidb can do it.

Here is how

  • Open the CBH database.
  • When it is opened, go to the Database tab.
  • Right-click on the rectangle of the CBH database and click on Export.
  • Choose PGN or any other format.
  • Enter the filename and click on Save.

The only drawback of Scidb for now is that it cannot unarchive .cbv file by now.

I made to tool to unarchive .cbv files. I believe it will be integrated into scidb in the future.

  • This works like a charm. Except if scidb has problems/incompatibilities with the os of with packages evolution on the os. Typically tickets #207 (yours) and #208 (mine) on sourceforge.net/p/scidb/bugs. Did you solve your problem ? Gregor is not answering btw, last thing I heard from him was that he has no computer during the confinement. Hope he's well.
    – Olórin
    Commented Sep 23, 2020 at 6:46
  • Nope. I gave up.
    – antoyo
    Commented Sep 24, 2020 at 23:48
  • Lol yeah. The guy "is a dev and is working from home during confinement but has no pc to work on scidb" = he abandonned the project himself.
    – Olórin
    Commented Sep 27, 2020 at 16:11
  • Well, that's a big project and I believe he was mostly working alone on this. That takes a lot of time.
    – antoyo
    Commented Sep 27, 2020 at 20:26
  • I will try to give a bit of time to isolate the only functionality I in fact need from scidb, that is the cbh to scid/sci on the go format conversion, has all the rest can be handled by the scid or scid vs pc applications.
    – Olórin
    Commented Sep 27, 2020 at 20:44

I want explain my procedure to convert the ChessBase MegaDatabase 2014 in to scid format...Normally it's quick if you have a little database.

1) I have used Virtualbox to install Windows7 and the ChessBase MegaDatabase 2014 in my Ubuntu.

2) After from Chessbase under Virtualbox with Windows7 installed. I have created a new database with PGN format and copy the files from database 2014 into the new PGN database.

3) ChessBase MegaDatabase 2014 have up 5.700.000 games, and need to be converted in 2 or 3 parts and this procedure take a lot of time !!!...When you have your parts run on a terminal:

"cat mypart1.pgn mypart2.pgn mypart3.pgn >> mypartsregrouped.pgn"

4) And finally with scid (you need scid installed), in a terminal run: (to convert the pgn file in to scid format):

"pgnscid mypartsregrouped.pgn"

and the scid database (consisting of myfile.si3, myfile.sg3 and myfile.sn3) will be created...

It's not difficult...but your computer to convert chessbase format to pgn format take a lot of time (with 5.700.000 games of course!!!).

I have make and put my aMule (emule) in share with the ChessBase MegaDatabase 2015 in SCID FORMAT 591.72MB...you can now directly download.


I hope that I helped you.

  • With ChessBase it is better to archive the database in the cvb format, to uncbv it (see antoyo's answer), to open the resulting cbh in scidb, and then convert the database in whatever format you want.
    – Olórin
    Commented Sep 23, 2020 at 6:43

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