by Steve Lopez

There are a number of ways to display game lists when you open up a database in ChessBase 8. There's no "right" or "wrong" game list format; just use whatever's most comfortable and informative for you. In this (and the next) issue of ETN, we'll look at a number of ways to format your database game lists.

To select between the various list formats, right-click in the game list to get a popup menu. Select "List format" from the menu to get a submenu of several choices.

The first of these is "Full Game Header". This provides you with the player names, tournament, ECO code, year, result, and number of moves for each game. The rightmost column displays abbreviations designating any annotation forms that are used in the games:

This is the default format used by the ChessBase program. The advantage to this format is that it gives you a lot of information about the game's players, location, etc. The disadvantage is that it doesn't show you any of the moves to the games (you have to double-click on a game to see the actual moves).

The opposite end of the spectrum appears when you select "Moves only" from the "List format" submenu:

Now we've gone 180 degrees in the opposite direction -- we see the opening moves of each game, but have none of the "game citation" details as we saw in our first example.

There's a third option that provides a little of each approach. If you select "Header and moves" from the "List format" submenu, you'll get a display that combines a bit of both previous list formats:

With this display, you'll see the player names, year, result, and the first few moves of the games.

Notice with this last display that there's a lot of empty space between the truncated header info and the opening moves of the games. You can easily alter this spacing. Move your mouse cursor to the grey line between "Players" and "Tournament" at the top of this display. Your cursor will now resemble a two-headed arrow. If you left-click on this line and drag to either the left or right, you can change the spacing between the two columns of information:

By decreasing the spacing between these columns, you can display more moves for each game. Note that this technique also works with the default "Full Game Header" display; you'd typically use this to increase the spacing between the player and tournament names so that the full player names are visible.

You can also determine at what point in the game the list of moves will begin; this is especially useful for databases in which all the games are of the same opening. You likely already know the initial move sequence in such a database; the later moves at which variances start to occur will be more useful for you. If you want to change this in the display, select "First move" from the "List format" submenu, type in a move number, and whether it should be White's or Black's move. For example, I've altered the list so that it begins with Black's third move:

Once you have the basic format to a style that suits you, there are some additional minor tweaks that you can make on the list format. We'll look at these in next week's ETN. Until then, have fun!

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