Welcome to my article on free chess databases. As you may know, the best things in life come free, so I’m going to show you ways of obtaining free chess material to save you a truckload of cash.
Annotated Chess Games
Are you looking for a database of annotated chess games? Look no further than G. Ossimitz’s chess page. Here are a gem-load of annotated games. Most of them are “anno-fritzed”, which means that they have been automatically analysed by Fritz, a strong chess engine. If you want human-annotated games, look under the “curious” section. In fact, there is a file with 60 different annotations of the game Kasparov – Topalov, Wijk aan Zee 1999, including annotations from Kasparov himself.
There are also books that have been converted to chess databases (of course, without the original text, because that would be copyright infringement). These include noticeable titles such as Pandolfini’s Endgame Course (Pandolfini), Power Chess (Keres), Winning Chess Brilliancies (Seirawan), Karpov’s best games (Karpov) and Mammoth Book of the World’s Greatest Chess Games (Nunn, Burgess, Emms).
Newest Chess Games
The newest chess games every week can be downloaded free from The Week in Chess. This is a particularly useful source if you play sharp openings and want to keep up with all the latest games. As the name of the website would imply, new editions of TWIC files come out every week (I think on Monday).
Chess Database Programs
ChessBase is the world leader in this area. Annoyingly, their software costs money. They previously had a version of ChessBase Light which was able to edit and save games, but the newest version cannot. (Although, you can use it to view chess databases in a pleasant interface) A free alternative is SCID or “Shane’s Chess Information Database“, a chess database program that works under Windows, Linux and Mac. It’s packed full of features that are adequate for the majority of chess players.
There are tonnes of links to more chess freebies on Lars Balzer’s chess website. Lars has chess links from all around the world, all for free material! He really has done a magnificent job in compiling his website. Don’t forget to sign the guestbook!