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- - By JDrysdale (***) Date 2009-07-15 20:18 Edited 2010-01-24 21:03
Certain questions about books frequently appear on this forum, so I've decided to make a general book informational directory of links.  Hopefully this post will serve to answer these book related questions. This post is intended for the book newbie or for the curious.  Below you will find links to many things book.  If you know of an additional resource please post it. 

I constructed these links by searching the forums, searching via Google, and scrolling through 25+ pages on this Computer Chess subsection.

On making:
General -
Importing Games -
Learn from Database -

On Testing: (link to Chessnet software)

On Book Choice:
Avoiding Draws –
More Avoiding Draws -

Free Books:
Since new books are released often, older books depreciate and become less useful.
Best place to find a top 10 public book -
[Deleted] (click on “Downloads”)

Book Sites:
[Deleted] (a bit old)

Many thanks to the bookmakers, testers, and to all those that posted and of course to Vytron
Parent - By Gryphus (**) Date 2009-07-15 21:11
THANKS, JDrysdale.
Parent - - By Nelson Hernandez (Gold) Date 2009-07-15 22:58
I think we need a separate section for Opening Books at this forum, and this post ought to be a sticky.
Parent - - By ForrestGump (***) Date 2009-07-16 00:05

>>I think we need a separate section for Opening Books at this forum, and this post ought to be a sticky.

I agree! (100%) :-)  (and I [also] vote for it ;-) )
Parent - - By ForrestGump (***) Date 2009-07-16 00:27
How to make an opening book like performance.bin? :
Parent - By ForrestGump (***) Date 2009-07-16 01:54 Edited 2009-07-16 01:59
Useful links: (Opening Chess Book) -> This page honor the following creators: Kevin Freyer, Mark Mason, Paulo Soares, Dagh Nielsen, Nelson Hernandez, Sedat Canbaz... -> Opening Books Arena's book format = *.abk -> Arena Mainbook -> FREE OPENNING BOOK .CTG FOR FRITZ/CHESSBASE GUI -> How to make a good .ctg opening  book for Fritz GUI (D.Nielsen)
Parent - - By Jonas (****) Date 2009-07-15 23:26 Edited 2009-07-18 00:57
Opening books
reason for their currently fast development and improvement and why rating lists looks so strange and how to be a good author.

before i want to give hints about how to make a good book i want to explain a few elemental things you have to understand:
i'd say the first opening book was maybe created after adding the first game into a database. from that point on, we got more and more information to create statistics on certain moves. there are four important statistics our books saves for us: 1.%-overall score of a move 2.N-Number of games with this move 3.Average Elo and 4.Elo Performance.

we have tons of human games from the past years. which is great! because Grand Masters have proven to act much more intelligent in choosing strong opening moves than engines. On the other hand engines have proven to make less tactical mistakes/blunders during a game after the opening.
before we had engines we had tons of good opening moves, but the problem was you couldnt trust their statistics. only a few top players had a clue of what opening moves are currently working quite good (what lines are refuted and so on). too many games with bad openings have been won and too many good openings have been lost, also because stronger players played bad opening against weaker (ok here its not so bad we have elo-performance.) 2nd: a move with an elo performance of 2800 was good for a human, but its not sayed that its also for an engine with almost 3000 elo.

Even so, to let engine use those games and statistics has proven to be a good thing, because engines were still weaker than human in choosing opening moves and wouldve played too often exactly the same moves based on their calculations. so we used books.
now that we did that you must note that there is no more problem in using eng-eng games for an opening book because the moves were invented by human.
so we have the possibility to add or only use the statistics of those eng-eng games which are more usefull than the more random statistics we had before. not because the results of eng-eng games are much more based on the opening, its because the results are more correct because less blunders happen.
imo we are already far enough not to use eng-eng games only

so currently we have many factors that automatically tune the strenght of our books:

1. tons of Eng-Eng games (on playchess server f.e.) are played that we can import in our books and improve our statistics
2. Engines + Hardware are getting stronger
3. tons of book authors using engines trying to find good moves and catch good lines. good working lines and moves will have good statistics and will therefor get famous and will be often played.

so that whole development and imrovement of opening books is currently running crazy fast and that almost just by playing games!

if all this happens anyway, what can you still do in beeing superior than other book authors? faster - be the first to find a new good move. be the first to see if a line doesnt work anymore and so on.

2.have more experience - its a good thing if you often create new books but remember what moves are good and what are not. save the most important hand tuned lines/games into an own database. maybe they havent been played yet and will later celebrate their success.(happens more often than u think) more accurate - change your lines exactly at the right position than just  remove the whole line if it doesnt work (thats what learning does) more careful with the games you choose (= get stronger moves) - choose games from databases you trust in. choosing games of better players than others and from higher time controls is always a good thing. what you want is having the correct result of an opening. a good idea is to have a look if rybka score after last book move agrees with the result.

5.have more information - size is a good thing if it doesnt affect the strenght of the information negatively.. one the one hand it would be stupid to analize every game before import it into your book and you'd have 100 games after a week on the other hand its dumb to just implement any game you find out there. there are ways that work fast and that also are effective to be quite sure that your games are good. more broadbanded - just make your book use a few lines that work well can have a good single result in book test especially in sedats (i can easily tell why amazing was strongest. it had the strongest main lines at that time and he didnt show them to noone before, not saying this wouldnt be great/amazing afford!) but in fact if its not broadbanded it will be destroyed very fast. i promise just a week after beeing on top there your book would be dead because everyone has the games it played.

last but not least
7.always update your book - even a super strong broadbanded book wont last more then a month. you have to be up to date because you are fighting against tons of other authors that automatically work together in destroying your book, and that automatically improve from new games and especially improve against your book if its on top. as you can see it often just takes to refute a few main lines which is going very fast without much work.
Parent - By Morpheus (****) Date 2009-07-24 07:32

JONAS for me U are the GOD of OPENING BOOK-a.

Is there somewere ON-LINE chessbase of the best moves? (TREE or PGN ) If YES, can U write a links.:D

Parent - - By Sunny (***) Date 2009-07-16 08:48
Two forums/website missing in the list

Parent - - By ForrestGump (***) Date 2009-07-16 10:22 Edited 2009-07-16 17:43
[Deleted /]
Parent - By Bobby C (****) Date 2009-07-16 11:27
They are going to edit your post. That website is illegal link here at Rybka forum because they support pirated software and other illegal activity's.
Parent - - By Asylum (**) Date 2009-07-16 08:53

>Certain questions about books frequently appear on this forum, so I've decided to make a general book informational directory of links.  Hopefully this post will serve to answer these book related questions. This post is intended for the book newbie or for the curious.  Below you will find links to many things book.  If you know of an additional resource please post it. 

>I constructed these links by searching the forums, searching via Google, and scrolling through 25+ pages on this Computer Chess subsection.


Many thanks, this is wonderful!!!
Much obliged for all Your work!
All the best, Asylum.
Parent - - By ForrestGump (***) Date 2009-07-17 23:15
Winboard and Chess engines FAQ
Section C - Opening books, Endgame Tablebases and Hashtables
Parent - By ForrestGump (***) Date 2009-07-18 00:16 Edited 2009-07-18 00:55
  Shredder User Manual:

    Opening Books

  The opening book

You find all functions dealing with the opening book in Extras -> Opening Book and in the
context menu of the book moves window.
The opening book in Shredder is saved in an opening tree. The included opening book contains ca.
20.000 moves and was carefully edited by the Italian opening book expert Sandro Necchi. The book
takes care of move transpositions.
For every position in the opening book many additional information will be displayed in the moves
window. The following information is shown:

Move in this column all the moves in the book in the current position are displayed
Prob shows the probability for Shredder playing that move in percent
N shows the number of games played with that move in this position
% shows the success of this move
Elo shows the average strength of the players who have played that move
Perf shows the elo performance achieved with this move
Year shows the average year in which this move was played
+ = - shows the number of won, drawn and lost games with this move

Hint: You can sort the entries by clicking on the header of each column.

You can edit and extend all books in Shredder and also create your own book. There is no size limit
the opening books in Shredder.

With the "Online" button at the bottom of the book moves window Shredder can directly access a huge
online opening book with 16 million moves. Your computer needs to be connected to the Internet to
use this feature.

New opening book

Creates a new initially empty opening book.
The file suffix of Shredder opening books is *.bkt.

Load opening book

Loads an existing opening book.
Hint: there is always only one active opening book


You can add moves to an opening book by importing other opening books or by importing games in
the opening book.

Import books
You can import opening books of other chess programs as well as other opening books of Shredder in
the currently loaded book.

Import games
You can import databases in CBF and PGN format in an existing opening book of Shredder.
These are the options:
With import lines the side lines of the games will also be imported in the opening book
Import statistics updates the statistics in the book according to the results of the imported
Import move attributes imports move comments in the book
The length of the imported games can be set either in absolute plies or in plies after the last
found position in Shredder's internal ECO database.
Import current game
Imports the current game in the opening book.

Count book moves

Counts the number of moves in the current book and displays the information in a dialog box.

Weed opening book

Shredder checks the content of the opening book and deletes unimportant moves.
For example moves which where played in just one game.

Book options

With this function the opening play of Shredder can be influenced. You can open the dialog from the
context menu of the moves window if it is currently displaying book moves or by pressing Ctrl-O.

Use Opening Book
Defines if Shredder is using the opening book.

Use Engine Book
Activates a special opening book of the chess engines which is used by some engines. In the
Shredder engine the opening book is handled by the GUI, therefore you cannot activate this feature
with the Shredder engine.

Book Mode
You can assign a value from a-g to every move in the book. "a" moves will be played often, "e" moves
seldom and "f" and "g" moves never.
In tournament mode Shredder is only playing "a"-"c" moves if there are some. In standard mode he is
playing "a"-"d" and in wide mode also "e" moves.

Book Learning
With book learning the program remembers whether the position after the book was good or bad and
is trying to repeat the good ones.

Result Learning
With result learning the program remembers the results of the played games and is trying to repeat the
successful opening lines.

Move Values
When selecting a move from the book Shredder obeys the "a"-"g" value for every move.

Use Statistics
Shredder uses the statistics in the book when selecting a move from the book.

Takes care of possible refutations in the opening book.
Example: A move was played 1000 times and has a winning chance of 60% but almost all of the last
games were lost. So probably a refutation was found. Shredder discovers that and is correcting the
winning percentage for this move automatically.

Specifies if Shredder should play rather old openings or new ones.

Here you can define which requirements are needed if Shredder should play a move out of his
opening book. Shredder will only play a move if at least "Games" games were played with this move of
which "Wins" games were won. With white the winning percentage must be at least "White's Score"
percent and with black at least "Black's Score" percent.

Move No.
Plays at most "Move No." moves out of book.

Here you can set the weight of all factors.
Example: If you set the "Move Value" slider to the right, a move with an "a" score will be played even
more often and if you set the slides "Num. Games" to the left it doesn't matter much if a move was
played 10 or 1000 times.
Hint: You can check the changes to the opening book preferences in the moves window while
modifying the parameters in this dialog.

Book moves comments

You can enter text comments to every book move in Shredder.
To add a comment to a book move right click on a book move in the moves window.
In the comment text field you can now add any text comment.
The comments will be displayed in the moves window if the book moves are shown.

Book moves values

You can assign a move value a-g to each book move which influences the probability of Shredder to
play a move out of book.

A moves will be played more often, e moves seldom and f and g moves never.
See also here.
Book moves can also have an attribute like "!" or "?", but those are only for commenting the book

Opening books for Pocket Fritz

If you own the program Pocket Fritz for Pocket PCs you can convert opening books to the format of
Pocket Fritz and use those books on your Pocket PC. Those .pbk books can also be directly accessed
by the Shredder chess engine
Here is what to do:
Load the opening book in Shredder.
Select Export Opening Book from the extras menu / opening book and if you are asked
answer the question with No if you would like to create a text book.
Shredder will create a book with the name shredder.pbk in the Shredder directory.
Rename the book to "book.pbk" and copy it to the Pocket Fritz directory on your Pocket PC.

To use the book with the Shredder engine just activate the Engine Book option in the Book
Options Dialog.

Shredder User Manual (download link):
Parent - By Asylum (**) Date 2009-07-18 08:35
Thank You for the help!

All the best,
Parent - - By 1337chess (**) Date 2009-09-15 08:02
Here is also database of 2.5 million games in Chessbase Format, and can be used in book.

You have to download all parts, put all in same directory and extract part01 to properly extract the database. You can also download all parts simultaneously instead of downloading one by one.


Parent - By Nelson Hernandez (Gold) Date 2009-09-15 09:59
What a guy!  It might have helped if you were to tell us ahead of time what kinds of games these are...engine or human, wherefrom, etc.  Now we have to do some heavy downloading until somebody tells us.
Parent - By mikal (**) Date 2009-09-24 14:25
Thank you!
Parent - By Pia (****) Date 2011-08-24 22:39
Mirror for sixth part, please? The hoster suddenly went out of money and down, ha ha...
Parent - By gerold (**) Date 2009-11-08 15:07
Parent - By pwbt72 (*) Date 2010-01-06 08:39
A question i have not seen addressed.   Sometimes I will run and engine tournament from a fixed position in an opening i am interested in.
Are the results of this only good by themselves?   If added to a database all made up of just one opening, would these result be less valid.
Sometimes you just have to try out some of these less common and sometimes rare moves, just to be tested or ruled out.
Are statistics from a 300 game trial of a new move  valid?  Sometimes i use this info in opening books, and so far  OK
Thanks in advance
Parent - By Rendruk (*) Date 2010-07-27 07:29
I'm very confused by this page. I came here looking for books since Moonrider died and he's the only one who had enough human decency to share the open source books. Gladiator/Pioner doesn't seem to be doing so, though they could given the availability. . . anyway, back to this page in particular. What's with the "Check in downloads", and the links to the incredibly outdated sites?
Parent - By Denkko (**) Date 2012-01-18 02:00
It took me awhile to find this Treasure; what can I say, Thank you JDrysdale and all of you guys who shared all this information. If there is something new you want to share, it will gladly appreciated.
Thanks again!
- By josias mauricio (**) Date 2010-01-26 11:11
Hello If someone can help me I thank, I would like that you took a doubt about importing games.
I have a book. ctg and would like to download more games, a former database that I have.
how to filter the imported games not to add double game?
it is the database table that was done the book and added more games and it has no way to separate them.
here is a way to import games without downloading games double? I use fritz 11 with rybka 3 and database 10

- By stupcii Date 2010-05-24 13:08
hi friends  her is me new book
elita-power 3.0.ctg
optionen:optimize 0=100
- - By sem (*) Date 2010-06-15 22:48
I bought  Rybka Aquarium Opening Book by Jiri Dufek
Open Book is located in the folder AquariumData/ATrees/Rybka4book
but the program does not work.
    Tree (Rybka4book) is empty (no info)
    How can I change it?
I try to send you a picture.
Attachment: book.jpg (100k)
Parent - By Felix Kling (Gold) Date 2010-07-06 22:12
try installing and install the book again after that.
- By Marcos Alexandre (**) Date 2010-07-06 20:56
- - By Dark_wizzie (***) Date 2011-06-10 17:44
Still no clue whatsoever as to which book is best. Book ratings list is dead.
Parent - - By TheHug (Bronze) Date 2011-06-10 19:37
It depends on what kind of book you want.
Parent - - By Dark_wizzie (***) Date 2011-06-10 23:07
What types are there? I think just the ones that promote variety, the ones that stop draws and the ones that promote draws... I can live with either of the last two.
Parent - - By TheHug (Bronze) Date 2011-06-13 00:12
Well there are a few different ones that I know of. There are very balance books and then there are books that are specially books, like they are very strong in one opening or another. Of course there are books that you talked about that have a variety.
Parent - - By Dark_wizzie (***) Date 2011-06-13 14:07
Let's bring up this scenario again. Suppose an alien comes to earth, and will destroy it unless we beat them at chess. Which opening book would you choose?
Parent - - By Uly (Gold) Date 2011-06-14 20:42

> Suppose an alien comes to earth, and will destroy it unless we beat them at chess.

The earth is doomed, if the aliens already are technologically advanced for interstellar travel, they probably can solve a given chess position on the fly and are intelligent enough to pick the hardest path for us to go into.

Drawing them would be almost impossible, so beating them is probably inconceivable.

You've got to pick a crazy gambit book, to die with style. Or replay some immortal game so that it lives in the Alien's database as the last game in the human race.
Parent - - By Dark_wizzie (***) Date 2011-06-14 22:55
Ok, that wasn't what I had in mind...
Parent - - By Uly (Gold) Date 2011-06-15 02:13
Well, you have to lower your standards, such as, "which book would you use if you had to win a chess game, because you'd be killed if you didn't?", which basically asks what would be the best book to use when a draw is as bad as a loss.
Parent - By Dark_wizzie (***) Date 2011-06-16 23:07
Ok. Then which book? :)
- By anandpardeshi (*) Date 2011-10-24 07:55
solid post... thxxx..
- - By shtch (**) Date 2011-11-17 01:36
i have thees 4 books

DeRybImSt5 - 2.05gb and more than 31 million moves
Vesely-1.0 - 4.88gb and more than 70 million moves
Masterbook 3.0 - 1.09gb more than 16 million moves
HS-Masterbook 4.0. -  1.98gb more than 24 million moves

which is the best?

what is better to use only one book or import many books in one book?
Parent - - By Uly (Gold) Date 2011-11-17 01:45
What are you going to use the book for?
Parent - By shtch (**) Date 2011-11-17 11:26
i like to play 4min blitz and i want that my engine be very hard. somtimes i like to play big (30 min and more) games. which book is the best for this "job"
Parent - By Morpheus (****) Date 2011-11-17 08:04
HS-Masterbook 4.0
- - By shtch (**) Date 2011-11-17 11:30 Edited 2011-11-17 11:36
what is better to use only one book or import many books in one book?

now i am using zeeman 3.5 or hs masterbook 4 and gaviota too (when i turn on the rybka i always need to turn on gaviota again). but somtimes my engine lose
Parent - By keoki010 (Silver) Date 2011-11-17 15:29
If you import other books into a book you will mess up the book being imported into!!! :roll:
Parent - By Uly (Gold) Date 2011-11-17 16:03

> but somtimes my engine lose

No book is going yo help you with that. Sometimes your engine will lose, with any book.
- - By shtch (**) Date 2011-11-17 17:02 Edited 2011-11-17 17:04
where is big base of free books and where i can see the top books list?

which book has best elo?
Parent - - By Uly (Gold) Date 2011-11-17 17:31

> where is big base of free books and where i can see the top books list?

This subforum has plenty of threads with free books:

>which book has best elo?

The problem is that opening theory is being revamped all the time, if there's a free book with the best elo, the other free book authors can tune against it, and after two weeks, your book is worthless. Changing book every two weeks isn't practical.

To combat this, you can have a private book that you made yourself, and tune it against the openings other people play against you. People can't tune against your book because they don't have it, they can only tune against the variations you play, but as long as you keep the book varied they're going to have a hard time and when they play you again in the same variations you've already improved them.

So I'm going to say it:

1. - Any book that people suggest you is going to be bad for your usage if it's older than 2 weeks, unless it's an obscure book your opponents haven't tweaked against yet.

2. - The best people use private books created by themselves, or had some public book as a base but have kept improving it for a long time so it has most of the good properties of a private book.
Parent - - By shtch (**) Date 2011-11-17 20:57
i imported many famouse books in one file and it is 8gb and more than 100 milion moves. is it good? and how improve it? to import again other books is bad idea because it takes a long time.
what function is "allow move adding"?

its my book and what i must remark?

Parent - - By Uly (Gold) Date 2011-11-17 21:25

> i imported many famouse books in one file and it is 8gb and more than 100 milion moves. is it good?

No, please read what was said to you above, doing that destroys the move information:

"If you import other books into a book you will mess up the book being imported into!!! :roll:"


Anyway, you'll probably do well against books at home, but I thought your goal was to beat other people.

As a base book that could work.

>how improve it?

You could play it against other books at home and see how it does against them. By mixing so many books together chances are it's going to play the worst variations of some book randomly (as this depends about what order you mixed the books, and that you had a good book importing order is unlikely), so you have to see them and mark them red.

Once you get good results against public books, you'd like to go on line and use the book, to see what are the opening fads and what killer variations are making your book lose. You want to check at what points your engine left book and if you can find better moves than what were played with the engine. If the variation is bad, mark the move red, and see what your book would play against that variation.

You have to also pay attention to see if you got a good book exit position but that your opponent just beat you by using better hardware, you wouldn't want to mark a good variation bad just because of that. You'll also like to beware of positions out of book in where the engine is very happy but the positions turn out to be losing.

And be original! Something you can do is specialize in specific unexplored lines that people rarely play and outbook your opponents on them.

>to import again other books is bad idea because it takes a long time.

Yeah, I think that was a bad idea on the first place. You probably want to focus on the lines you want to play, not adding random lines into your book and THEN seeing how it plays.

>what function is "allow move adding"?

You can add moves manually to the book, those that you know are better than what it contains.
Parent - - By shtch (**) Date 2011-11-17 22:04
maybe i unrerstand everything but i dont know how to do this. for example i dont know hot to mark moves red and how to add moves
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