BRITBASE - British Chess Game Archive
Further Information & Links
Last Edited: Saturday April 16, 2016 2:00 AM
OTHER ARCHIVES & BRITISH CHESS HISTORY LINKS
|John Saunders' Chess Blog||This is my chess blog, where I occasionally make reference to what is on BritBase, with perhaps a few background notes. It provides a way of sending me feedback. This blog post has some info about the philosophy of BritBase.|
|Lars Balzer Home Page||German enthusiast Lars Balzer is the 'King of the Links' when it comes to finding places to download chess games. He has compiled a list of places worldwide where you can do this and he keeps it up-to-date. This is an extremely good and valuable resource. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.|
|Belgian Chess History||Nikolaas Verhulst collects games played in Belgium or by Belgian players abroad. Very interesting website.|
|BrasilBase||Adaucto Wanderley da Nobrega has set up a Brazilian National Database. 12/12/02: URL changed|
|ChessLab||Chesslab is a 2,000,000 game database available online with built-in search facilities. Very much state of the art.|
|Czechbase||By Britbase contributor and chessfriend Zdenek Zavodny; it's in Czech. With photos, books and games.|
|Danbase||The admirable Eric Bentzen has set up the Danish cousin of 'Britbase'. It is part of the Danish Chess Federation pages. In English.|
|Dutchbase||Jack Goossens, a very helpful and generous contributor to Britbase, is in charge of the Dutch equivalent. This is an extremely important repository for chess information, given the tremendous contribution that the Netherlands has made to our game. Note (31 July 00): Dutchbase has moved to the 'Max Euwe Centre'.|
|Finnish National Chess Database||In Finnish, by Jarmo Sorvari. I confess I find the Finnish language impenetrable but there looks to be much excellent material available here.|
|Historical Games E-Mail List||Click on this link to send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org - the mail address of Michel Langeveld, who is putting together some very good archive material in Chessbase CBV format, and distributing it to subscribers to his list.|
|Irish Games||The Irish Chess Union has a downloadable collection of games from the early 19th century to the present.|
|Italbase||Francesco Gibellato has set up a national chess database for Italy. Particularly useful for the famous Reggio Emilia tournaments.|
|OlimpBase||Created in 2004, this site features downloads, results, etc, from the Chess Olympiads. Recently Continental championships and team championships have been added. This is a very impressive website which we can heartily recommend. By Wojciech Bartelski. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.|
|Ozbase||Ozbase is the Australian Chess Federation's games archive, which started in March 2000.|
|Rusbase||In English. Russian cousin to Britbase.|
|Scottish Chess History||Alan McGowan curates excellent pages about Scottish chess history within the Chess Scotland website.|
|Scottish Chess Association||Scottish game downloads.|
|UkrBase||Games from recent Ukrainian chess events.|
|Ilkley Chess Club||This Yorkshire club has some first-class historical articles by Britbase contributor Gerard Killoran, for example this one on the art of chess (re the 1905 British Championship, held in Southport Art Gallery), and also this one on the same subject. There is so much material on this website that specific items are quite hard to find, so I do recommend using the very good search facility provided.|
|History of Shropshire Chess||Another really good website with a plethora of historical material, games, photos, etc, lovingly researched by Keith Tabner and others.|
|Streatham & Brixton Blog||Not predominantly a chess history website, but Martin Smith's contributions on Surrey and London chess, and chess-related art, are outstanding.|
|Chess Notes||Not confined to British chess, of course, but Edward Winter's Chess Notes are essential reading for all chess history buffs.|
|Newport Chess Club||Gordon Cadden has made some very good posts here on the subject of chess in Wales.|
|Chess Devon||Some great historical content here from Bob Jones on chess in the West Country.|
|Hastings Chess Club History||A forum where Sussex chess historian Brian Denman posts a great deal of well-researched historical information.|
|100 Year History of the British Chess Federation||A general overview of organised chess in England (rather than Britain as a whole) from the mid-Victorian era to the present, by John Poole and Stewart Reuben.|
|Bulletins of Historical Tournaments||A list of 'Chess Player Series' bulletins available for purchase from Tony Peterson. It includes many historical British tournaments.|
PGN FILES... PGN stands for 'Portable Game Notation'. It is a special file format (files have the suffix *.pgn) which is used for holding chess game scores and exchanging them between various chess-related software programs. Most proprietary databases now allow you to import PGN format files, so you should have little difficulty importing the files you find here. If you need some software to read the unzipped PGN file, then you should pay a visit to Eric Bentzen's excellent Chess Programs & Utilities page to find a suitable software program or have a look round the web. If you're prepared to pay money, an excellent and inexpensive software package which I heartily recommend is Hiarcs Chess Explorer: it has a hundred and one uses in reading, writing and accessing PGN files, as well as featuring much other functionality. If you don't have any database software and cannot be bothered to get some, you can still open and read PGN files with a simple text editor (such as Windows Notepad or the excellent Textpad). The format is eye-readable English algebraic chess notation. So you can print off a PGN file and play through the games on a three-dimensional board and set.
I am pleased to say that many other people worldwide are now collecting and making available chess databases on the web. Lars Balzer has set up an excellent list of chess database sites, which is an admirable attempt to log all the worldwide activity in this specialised branch of archivism and is highly recommended. Britbase has several overseas 'cousins' (see below) to which you will find links elsewhere on this page. National-based databases have an advantage over worldwide archives in that the archivists are 'closer to the ground' and can provide greater assurance that the data is accurate, names & identities correct, etc. Remember - quality, not quantity!
GAME VIEWER - PGN4WEB... I have experimented with various game viewers over the past few years but am now in the process of standardising on the excellent PGN4WEB software, written by Paolo Casaschi, and systematically getting rid of other outdated solutions. (This process may take me some time and in the mean time you may find that some viewer links do not work. My apologies for this. Eventually I hope to install a PGN4WEB viewer for all the games on the site.) A good tip: it is worth spending a few minutes exploring the PGN4WEB viewer's functionality, which is really superb. Try it now - load a page with a PGN4WEB game viewer window (click here to load the game viewer for 2014 British Championship in a new tab in your browser) and start by mouse-clicking on the g8 square on the chess board. This will display a window listing all the useful things you can do by clicking on other squares on the board. Or click on the long rectangular drop-down box between the game title and the moves and board to choose which other games to load in the window. It's simple and intuitive.
ZIP FILES...Britbase downloads are 'zip files' (with the suffix *.zip). This means that the data has been compressed (or 'zipped') so that download times are minimised. If you have a modern Windows operating system, the software for handling these files should be available on your computer as standard. If not, you will need to install a compression utility (often referred to as a 'Zip program') on your computer to unpack the PGN downloads from the 'zip files'. If you don't have a reasonably modern Windows OS or a compression facility, you can buy one (called WinZip) at http://www.winzip.com/, or perhaps look for freeware to do the same thing. Try entering 'compression utility' into the search engine of your choice. 2015 Note: soon none of the above will be necessary as I am in the process of removing the ZIP files and replacing them with a simple link to PGN files. This work is ongoing.
'Korrection Korner' is an errata for British chess gamescores. Given the plethora of chess game scores across the internet, this is an attempt to inject some accuracy into the equation. Contributions awaited from readers and users of Britbase ...
Many thanks to Adam Raoof, Adolfo Bórmida, Andy Ansel, Andy Borg, Angus Dunnington, Arthur Brameld, Barrie Oakes, Bernard Cafferty, Bill Frost, Bill O'Rourke, Bob Jones, † Bob Wade, Brian Denman, Byron Jacobs, Chris Bird, Chris Jones, Chris Mattos, Daniel Gunlycke, David Anderton, David Clayton, David Walker, Doug Dean, Eddie Dearing, Eduardo Bauzá Mercere, Eric Bentzen, Gerard Killoran, Henri Serruys, Howard Grist, Ian Pheby, Jack Goossens, Jack O'Keefe, James Pratt, Jeff Heath, John Henderson, John Knight, John Richards, John Thornton, John Weightman, Jon Speelman, Jonathan Gilbert, Jonathan Wilson, † Keith Brown, Keith Selby, Ken Clow, † Ken Whyld, Kevin O'Connell, Kevin Thurlow, Kieran Smallbone, Lara Barnes, Louie Z. Moreno, Luc Winants, Malcolm Armstrong, Mark Crowther, Mark Orr, Martyn Goodger, Matthew Read, Maurice H. Carter, Max Devereaux, Mike Yeo, Neil Graham, Noel Griffiths, Osvaldo Orozco Mendez, Paul Dunn, Paul Dupré, Paul Harrington, Paul Headon, Peter Bevan, Peter Large, Peter Parr, Priscilla Morris, Ray English, † Richard Furness, Richard James, Richard Palliser, Richard Reich, Rob Appleby, Robert Bellin, Robert Parker, Rod McShane, Roger de Coverly, Roger Paige, Roger Watson, Roland Arbinger, Scott Freeman, Sean Hewitt, Sean Parker, Shaughan Feakes, Steve Giddins, Steve Potter, Stewart Reuben, Tony Cullen, Tryfon Gavriel, Vladimir Soos and Zdenek Zavodny for their help in supplying games, making corrections and generally providing support and encouragement.
Notes & Policies
- "British" - I have interpreted this in the broadest, geographical sense - England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland, plus Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man.
- I am quite aware that this list is far from exhaustive, especially for the later years. Most 21st century tournaments are now adequately digitised and published so don't really need further help from me. I have chosen to concentrate my limited resources on historical tournaments. However, if you are aware of obscure British tournaments from any era which have not already been covered by proprietary databases, and have information to share about them, please feel free to let me know.
- Policy on annotations: I include strictly factual information such as 'won on time', 'time trouble', 'Fischer mistakenly touched his King so had to move it', etc (either as text or symbols) where they are fundamental to the understanding of the progress of the game, but tend not to include annotations that might be interpreted as the annotator's intellectual property (e.g. 'Better is Qe4 (Topalov)' or 'Kasparov affixed his opponent with a baleful stare' [copied from a magazine]). Legally the actual moves of any game as played are considered to be in the public domain and not subject to any copyright laws.
- All materials posted here © 1997-2015 John Saunders