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Custom COW eBooks

Posted: Fri May 14, 2021 9:34 pm
by FreeRepublic
I have imported games, PGN files, into COW for years and am still discovering new resources and match-ups. Here are some that I have used.

Importing current games. I used to do this weekly using The Week In Chess. I switched to Chess Assistant and update annually. Either way there would be one COW eBook for each year: 2016, 2017, and so on. I am no longer keeping this up, but it remains an option and I sometimes pull up one of those a COW eBooks to look at something that is not specifically addressed elsewhere.

Game downloads by opening. will support this I think. Again, I use Chess Assistant. For example I download games from the Open Ruy Lopez and import them into my Open Ruy Lopez COW eBook. I do this once a year, or whenever I get around to it.

Annotated games by opening. You can subscribe to the Open Sicilian section from Chess Publishing, download all the annotated games from prior years and and import them into COW. Early in 2022, you will be able to import the additional annotated Open Sicilian games from 2021. This makes for a hefty eBook on the Open Sicilian. By now, it is hard to find a line that they have not covered.

Another source is Chess Informant: for the electronic Chess Informant. I downloaded Chess Informants from 1963-2020 as a single file. This can be opened by ChessBase or ChessBase reader. Using ChessBase, I recently selected games of interest stemming from 1c4 e5 2Nc3 Nc6 3Nf3 f5 4d4 e4 and saved them as a PGN file, which I uploaded into a single COW eBook. This seems to work just fine, and I already know how to be productive in COW.

Purchased Opening Books. There are the many opening books developed specifically for COW available at BookUP: Every opening book I have bought imports flawlessly into COW.

Once you have the games, annotated or not, COW is the best possible environment I know of to analyze, comment upon, and organize material of interest.

Re: Custom COW eBooks

Posted: Sat May 15, 2021 8:50 am
by FreeRepublic
I just ran across another source of games:

We are are spoiled for choices of PGN chess files. I think all are designed to be stand-alone. They vary considerably in price and features. However I think all can benefit from a match-up with COW. The reason is that at some point you will want to retrieve a position and see your comments. (COW's built in engine is great too.). COW provides the permanent repository of your understanding. At some point your COW file becomes the master file for the opening in question.

Re: Custom COW eBooks

Posted: Sat Jun 11, 2022 6:21 pm
by FreeRepublic
COW already has a nice feature I would like to recognize. I have four COW Ebooks open for analysis and comparison. Quitting COW closes all books. Opening COW now opens all four books at once, sized and placed as they were. That is very convenient. A nice enhancement would be to save the three books as a set. It may be some time before I return to the set and I might look at other Ebooks in the interim. A saved set would instantly bring me back to the last analysis session. In the last paragraph below, I'll mention another feature request that would be extreemly useful.

Tor those who might be interested, I will flesh this out, demonstrating other aspects of using COW along the way. I am currently using three sources of information on the Miesses variation of the Scotch game:
a) Starting Out the Scotch Game from Emms.
b) Opening Repertoire - Open Games by Martin Lockander.
c) ChessPublishing ECO code C45.
All sources are in PGN with copious comments. The first two products are from Everyman and their PGN imports are iffy. ChessPublishing imports extremely well.

I was initially skeptical about the Starting Out volume as I have had considerable trouble importing them into COW in the past. However, after a little perusal, everything seems to be working out in this case. I opened Lockander's work in ChessBase, selected the material I wanted, saved in to PGN. Similarly with ChessPublishing ECO C (code C45).

I created three COW Ebooks from the three sources above. The first is based on Lockander's suggested repertoire against the Mieses variation of the Scotch game. This gives me select, recommended lines. The second COW Ebook is Emms entire book on the Scotch game, moves noted with a yellow dot. His book is very broad and complete with numerous explanatory comments. The third Ebook from ChessPublishing is based on annotated games from various authors over several years, up to 2021, for the Mieses variation C45. Moves are noted with a green dot. I added the Emms Ebook to the Lockander Ebook. Then I added the ChessPub Ebook.

At this point I have one super master COW Ebook. The structure is provided by Lockander's select repertoire on the Mieses. Emms provides more breadth on the Mieses, and adds all other Scotch lines. ChesssPub provides supplementary material, some of it more recent. I can distinguish between author moves by the dots.

To better distinguish the source of comments on common lines, I wlll have four books open at once. The super Ebook, Lockander's Ebook, Emms' Ebook, and the ChessPub Ebook. I can see who said what and note that appropriately in the master COW Ebook.

A considerable amount of time could be saved if one could automatically provide introductory text to imported comments. In this case "Lockander: " for every comment from him, "Emms: " and "ChessPub: " as appropriate. The Master COW Ebook would be so complete that I would no longer need to reference the individual contributing Ebooks. That would be huge. In fact it would render the saved set request in the first paragraph unnecessary, at least for me.

Re: Custom COW eBooks

Posted: Wed Jun 15, 2022 11:15 pm
by reivax
I do not understand your workflow. You still uses other tools than COW for openings purposes ? Why not keep one tool (either COW or CB or chess assistant, etc. ) ?

Re: Custom COW eBooks

Posted: Thu Jun 16, 2022 3:56 pm
by FreeRepublic
reivax wrote: Wed Jun 15, 2022 11:15 pm I do not understand your workflow. You still uses other tools than COW for openings purposes ? Why not keep one tool (either COW or CB or chess assistant, etc. ) ?
COW is my favorite tool. I could rely on manual entry of moves into COW but that would take a long time. Instead, I get games, as PGN files, from other sources and import them into COW. COW is great but it has an insatiable appetite for PGN files.

Re: Custom COW eBooks

Posted: Thu Jun 16, 2022 11:56 pm
by reivax
I always had difficulties to export a PGN from COW. Imagine, you import your latest game played on lichess, how do you exactly get this game in PGN format so that you can send it by mail to a coach ?

More personnel: do you have a YouTube channel where you could share your tips ? :D Or even a blog ?

Re: Custom COW eBooks

Posted: Fri Jun 17, 2022 8:21 am
by FreeRepublic
reivax wrote: Thu Jun 16, 2022 11:56 pm how do you exactly get this game in PGN format so that you can send it by mail to a coach ?
My small tablet has much chess functionality than my PC, so I don't use it much. I log onto lichess and play games on my tablet, often while my laptop is recharging. I still use my PC for most things pertaining to chess.

To download one or more PGN games from lichess, I use my PC. COW on the PC does have a handy feature to upload your last lichess game into COW for immediate analysis. However if I wanted to send a lichess game to a coach, I would not use COW. Instead, I would use the browser on my PC to go directly to lichess, and download the game, either to the desktop or to the downloads folder.

Maybe someone else, someone who relies more on their tablet than I do, can offer you more useful advice.

Good luck in getting your game to your coach!

I don't have a personal blog, but I've made a lot of blog entries here!

Re: Custom COW eBooks

Posted: Fri Jun 17, 2022 12:54 pm
by reivax
What I want is get a game out of Cow in PGN and send it to my coach. Let's say I import from lichess. I can comment at some point. What if I want to share my game and comments from COW ?

Re: Custom COW eBooks

Posted: Sat Jun 18, 2022 3:16 pm
by FreeRepublic
I would be using my PC to do that, but I understand you are using a tablet. The only command I could find that might be useful using COW on my tablet is "Copy PGN to Clipboard." After that, you are on your own.

Re: Custom COW eBooks

Posted: Sat Jun 18, 2022 4:46 pm
by reivax
Is it possible with the Desktop version ?