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,
- 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
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
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
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
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
Have fun with the openings.