You’ll recall that in the last blog post we were performing ChessBase 11 searches for Magnus Carlsen’s games, then looking at his results as White and Black as separate pie charts. This time around we’re going to look at other statistical displays available in the ChessBase software.
In that last post we discovered how to bring up the statistical display; in the first example from that post we did a search for Magnus Carlsen’s games as White, highlighted all of the games in the search results game list, right-clicked (on any one of them), and then clicked “Statistics”:
That brought us to the statistical display:
This same display can also provide other statistical info (besides wins/losses/draws) for the games we’ve selected. For example, clicking the radio button beside the word “Length” will give us a visual display showing the length of Carlsen’s games as White:
The numbers along the bottom of the graph (a.k.a. the x axis, for the mathematically inclinded) refer to the game length in moves. The numbers along the left side of the graph (the y axis) show the number of games in which a particular number of moves was played. So, for example, we can look at “39” for the “Length” value (along the x axis) and see from the height of the bar that twenty-seven of Carlsen’s games as White lasted exactly thirty-nine moves.
The “plus” and “minus” buttons allow you to zoom in or out on an area of the graph:
Clicking the “Years” radio button brings up a similar display, with the year numbers running along the bottom of the graph and the height of the bars showing the relative number of games:
We can see that the database contains more than a hundred games from 2008 in which Carlsen played the White pieces.
Now we come to the really fun part. Clicking the last radio button to the right (“ECO A-E”) displays a statistical breakdown of all of Carlsen’s openings as White, categorized by ECO (Encyclopedia of Chess Openings) code; this gives us a graphic overview of Magnus Carlsen’s chess repertoire when he’s playing the White pieces:
At first glance this might not seem too informative because of the “too much information clause”: there’s so much here that it’s hard to see anything of what’s going on. But we can narrow down the selection by using the five radio buttons for the five different volumes of ECO. For example, we can click the “ECO B” button to see just games which are categorized in the “B” volume of ECO (which are primarily semi-open 1.e4 openings):
The lower part of the graph is just a straight game count. The ECO codes are given along the bottom (the x axis) of the display while the height of the bar shows the number of games.
The upper part of the graph is a graphical display of game results. Again the ECO codes are provided along the bottom of the graph. But in this display the height of the bar indicates whether White or Black won most of the games. The higher the bar, the better White (Carlsen) did in that opening, while shorter bars indicate favorable results for Black (in this case, Carlsen’s opponents). The thin horizontal line does not indicate draws (a “draw line” would be at 50%, which would be lower down on the graph). You might recall from the “pie chart” in the last blog post that Carlsen scores 65.9% with the White pieces; that’s what the thin horizontal line is indicating here. Look closely and you’ll see that it’s about two-thirds of the way up the graph from the bottom.
You can also use the “plus” and “minus” buttons to zoom in and out on this display for a closer look:
The “left arrow” and “right arrow” buttons (directly to the right of the “OK” button) allow you to “slide” the display left and right (along the x axis) so that you can see the results for various ECO codes.
When you spot something interesting (for example, in the illustration above we see that B48 has been played by Carlsen a fair number of times), you can easily get to the games of that ECO code. Just click the “OK” button to close the statistical display and return to the game list of the search results. Click the column header which reads “ECO”; this will re-sort the game list by the ECO codes of the games:
Then just scroll down the list to find the B48 games (or whichever ECO code you wish to see):
Just click once on a game to replay it directly in the search results window or double-click on it to open it in its own game window in ChessBase 11.
Have fun! – Steve Lopez
Chessplayers who have purchased their ChessBase brand software from USCFSales can receive free technical support and advice on their purchases straight from me; just shoot me an e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org), but please remember to include the USCF Sales order number from your ChessBase software purchase. – Steve
Copyright 2011, Steven A. Lopez. All rights reserved.