Why Buy?

Occasionally someone will ask me “Why should I buy Chess Openings Wizard? I already have Fritz, ChessBase, Chess Assistant, Chessmaster, Rebel, Genius, CB Light…”

Here’s one detailed answer to that question:

Hey Randy,

>I’m going to give you a chance to hop up on your soapbox <g>, and
>maybe you can sell a product along the way.


>I’m a national master with a relatively solid opening repertoire
>and a 400,000+ game database (Chess Assistant). I’ve seen your
>posts about (Chess Openings Wizard), and I’m interested, but I’d like you to sell
>me on your product. Let me ask you the following questions:
>(1) What would COW have to offer that I can’t get from my Chess
>Assistant database?

This is rather like asking “What would ECO have to offer that
I can’t get from my Informants?”

The answer is, of course, that you get a more effective way to
study opening theory. (Endgames too.)

I believe that we would all be studying the ECO instead of
the annotated games in the Informants — if only the ECO
could keep up with the new games. With the aid of a computer
program designed to add new lines easily and point out
transpositions instantly (without any opening ‘codes’) this
is now possible.

Consider this: Every IM and GM must know chapter and verse
from ECO in his particular repertoire — even though *most*
of the moves in ECO are no longer played! We all need some
way to model not only what the GMs are playing now but also
the moves they are no longer playing (and the reasons why).

I have to assume that you are familiar with the tree feature
of Chess Assistant. It will handle a limited number of games,
all of the moves from the games, and catch many of the
transpositions with its opening key.

Now imagine a program (Chess Openings Wizard) that handles millions
of unique positions, catches every single transposition *instantly*,
allows you to record moves that are not considered in today’s
GM play (read: old ECO/BCO/MCO moves) and lets you train
against those moves and get annotations from MChess Pro,
HIARCS, Zarkov, Chess Genius, Fritz, Rebel, Crafty, Shredder and others.
It also supports Informant symbols, figurine fonts, prints
repertoire sheets, exports text in various formats, imports
PGN games (including annotations and variations) and all
those other things you’ve come to expect from a professional
chess database.

>(1a) I understand that COW lets one create a repertoire
>of positions; that sounds good, but do I have to enter all
>these positions (via games) by hand? That doesn’t strike me
>as the most efficient use of my time.

You can import PGN games from Chess Assistant or ChessBase or
wherever. The perfect transpositional tree is created auto-
matically. You can even optionally have the games ‘recorded’
in the Chess Openings Wizard data if you like (Most users don’t
bother recording the games separately in COW as it’s like having
a game index in the back of ECO).

Assuming you play the same opening and defense, entering your
games into COW is easier than with a game database. With
COW you’re just clicking through your repertoire and then
mousing in only new moves. Creating a new variation is as simple
as dragging a chess piece. With a game database you must enter
the opening moves from scratch or first search for a similar game
to clone. As you enter your moves you also see *all* the moves
ever tried (and every note made) in every single position.

>(2) Are there ways that I could use my CA database in
>conjunction with Chess Openings Wizard?

Absolutely. Once you move some games from CA to COW
you’ll understand why over 92% of the ChessBase owners in
North America also use COW. If we traded mailing lists
with the CA people I would expect a similar statistic.

>(3) What cool things can I do with Chess Openings Wizard that I
>hadn’t thought about doing?

Start with having a really strong playing program analyzing
your repertoire (*not* just a collection of your games) overnight.
Then have it backsolved to point out the critical lines.

>Thanks for your help!

That’s what we’re here for!


Mike Leahy
“The Database Man!”