Ranges Chess Club, Inc.

An Opening Book for Fritz

Ranges Chess Club meets on Tuesday nights 6.30pm to 10pm
at Ferntree Gully Community Arts Centre, 1010 Burwood Highway





(past champions)





Hi All,

I am in the process of looking for a opening and found myself asking, how do you practice the opening consistently? OTB or the Internet is no good, because as human players we are not consistent and like to try different things. The solution is fritz, most of us have a copy so why not use it.

Over the next couple of pages I will describe my journey in creating an opening book for fritz based on the Birds opening.

There are 5 basic steps in creating an opening book, they are

  • Clear all game data in fritz.
  • Create a new book file
  • Find your games of interest that use this opening, there are lots of resources on the web
  • Copy the games into your book file
  • Load the book and start playing

Lets tackle the steps:

Clear all game data in fritz.

This is the easiest step of all. Go to the file menu in fritz and select "New" and then "Blitz Game". Don't worry about time controls or other options, just press OK.

Create a new Book File.

Next we need to create the opening book file. Again go to the File menu and select "New" and then "Opening Book". At this point a file dialog will open asking for a file name. First select the location that you want to store your book file, (mine are not stored in the usual location so I navigate to my location by changing the location at the top of the dialog where it says "Look In:" you may need to do the same).

Next enter the desired name, let's call it "Birds Opening" and the press "Open".

Find games of interest that use this opening

I found the following 3 sites to be useful, but if you Google you'll find thousands more.




If you have a database in fritz you can also use that and find your games of interest. But let's use the ones that we just downloaded from the above mentioned sites.

In frits press F12 to open the database window. Once opened go to the file menu and select "Open" and then "Database". Navigate to where you saved the downloaded Birds opening files. And select it. I am going to use the one from www.very-best.de ass it contains about 3000 games. This database also contains some unconventional Bird openings the one I am interested in is the A03. So lets filter the database to only show the A03 games. Go to the "Edit" menu and select "Filter Games". On the Game data tab, check the ECO checkbox and enter A03 in the starting and A03 in the ending ECO textboxes, the other item I am interested in are the games that white has one. (I will do another one for black) so in the results area of the screen I check the 1-0 result. Then press OK

We now need to save these games to a new database. This is done by pressing Ctrl-A, then from the Edit menu select "Copy" and then from the "File" menu select "New Database". From the file dialog select the location as before and give it a name. Now again from the edit menu select "Paste" to copy the games into the new database.

We are nearly there, one last step.

Copy the games into your book file

Return to the main fritz window. Go to the "Edit" menu and select "Opening Book" and then "Import Games". Go to the location where you save the database that was created in the last step and select it. It should have an extension of ".cbh" (I called mine birds.cbh").

From the "Import Games" dialog, select the number of games that you want to import, I suggest importing all of them. Next select the length of the line you want to import. For example If you want to import the first 10 moves per player then you would set this to 20, I think 10 to 15 seems a reasonable number. Next select if it is to an absolute length or a relative length. Absolute means that every variation imported into the tree is exactly the same length, whereas relative means that frequently played lines are generally longer that the less often played lines. The include Variations check box is if you want to include the annotators variations if any are in the database, I generally don't select this option, but you may need to experiment with this.

Then press "Ok" at which point the games will be merged into the opening tree.

Load the book and start playing

Now that we have created the opening book, make sure that it is loaded by going to "File" "Open" and then "Opening Book". Now you can play against the Bird opening. Or the French or any other opening that you create.

Have fun with the openings.