by Steve Lopez

Last week we saw how ChessBase 7 can create an opening report (based on a board position) in a matter of seconds. Another (similar) feature of the program is the creation of player dossiers. By opening the player index and right-clicking on a player's name, you can have ChessBase create a report based on the games of that player.

This is a pretty handy tool for researching the games of your favorite players. What variations does he/she prefer? Who does the player face in top events? Has the player annotated any of his/her own games in the database?

For the example in this article, I again turned to my Caro-Kann Advance Variation database. I know that Anatoly Karpov prefers the Caro-Kann as Black, so I decided to see what he does with the Advance Variation.

I right-clicked on "Karpov, An." in the database's player index and selected the "dossier" command from the popup menu. In seconds, ChessBase generated a player dossier in text format.

The textfile begins with a header and a link to all of Karpov's games in the database. The file then shows a nice bar graph showing the years and frequency that Karpov played the Advance Variation:

At the bottom of the statistics graph is a breakdown of how each side scores (not pictured). In Karpov's games with White, he scores 100% against the Caro-Kann Advance, but in his games as Black he only scores 43% (considered average).

The next section is called "Career Highlights". It gives links to crosstables of events Karpov played in. This section is better suited to databases of complete tournaments; in my database, I only had games of the Caro-Kann Advance, so the results here are inaccurate.

The third section is a list of the opponents the player most often faced, with links both to the players' entries in the Player Encyclopedia and to the games within the database. It also gives the scores the player had against each opponent (did you know, for example, that Karpov has only scored 50% with the Caro-Kann Advance against John Nunn?).

Now we get to the really interesting part. ChessBase provides a breakdown of the player's repertoire as both White and Black:

We can see that Karpov has only played the White side of the Caro-Kann Advance three times, but that he's won every game. His performance rating (calculated as a function of his results against the level of his opposition) is a whopping 3430!

We also get a nice breakdown of his results as Black, with links to all the relevant games.

The next section provides some examples of Karpov's mating attacks, with diagrams from the critical positions:

All you need to do to jump right to the illustrated game is click on the link below the diagram ChessBase provides.

Finally we have a list (with links) of games which Karpov has annotated himself:

This list is particularly useful for gaining insights into what the player was thinking during the game.

The dossier function also creates a pair of trees (similar to the Fritz5 trees, but with additional functions), one with the player as White and one with the player as Black.

The player dossier is a great research tool. Professional players will find it invaluable for tournament preparation, while amateur players will give it a lot of use in keeping up with what their favorite players are doing over the board.

There are more new features in ChessBase 7 than you can shake a stick at, and we'll look at some more of them next week. Until then, have fun!

I have a serious e-mail jones. You can reach me by e-mail with your ideas and suggestions.