International Chess Federation
Tuesday, 28 May 2024 12:37
Chess databases: empowering players and educators

The use of chess databases has revolutionized the way chess players study openings, prepare for games and analyze them. By offering an extensive collection of games and theoretical novelties, chess databases provide players with the tools they need to enhance their strategic understanding and tactical skills. This technological advancement has been instrumental in developing many grandmasters and chess enthusiasts alike.

A comprehensive chess database such as Opening Master allows players to access thousands of historical and contemporary games, providing insights into different playing styles and strategies. By studying games of the Grandmasters and International Masters, players can identify patterns, learn new opening lines, and avoid common pitfalls. The ability to quickly search and filter games based on various criteria—such as opening, player, or tournament—saves time and makes preparation more efficient.

Opening Master and FIDE: A Game-Changing Partnership

Since 2004, Opening Master has been a leading publisher of premium chess databases. Their dedication to the growth and learning of the chess community has now led to a significant collaboration with the International Chess Federation Education Commission, FIDE EDU. This partnership aims to support global projects focused on promoting chess as an educational tool. Launched a year ago, the project has already awarded hundreds of newly certified teachers free access to this great tool.

Through this collaboration, Opening Master has made its premium chess databases accessible to future chess teachers globally, whether they are in Slovakia, the USA, Nigeria, Brazil or India. Chess does not have state boundaries and does not know race, gender or political views. This initiative is a major step towards integrating chess into educational curriculums worldwide. By providing these resources at no cost, Opening Master and FIDE ensure that aspiring chess educators have the tools they need to teach the game effectively and inspire the next generation of players.

Alexander Horvath, CEO of Opening Master and Jerry Nash, Chair of FIDE EDU partner in education projects

The Importance of Certification for Chess Teachers

Certification for chess teachers is crucial for maintaining high standards in chess education. Teachers who successfully complete the FIDE Preparation of Teachers course gain the FIDE School Instructor title. School Instructors are equipped with the knowledge and skills required to teach chess in a structured and effective manner and to use chess as an educational tool to enhance 21st century skills, academic skills, and social skills in children. They are trained to understand and make use of the educational benefits of chess, such as enhancing critical thinking, problem-solving skills, and cognitive development.

With the support of Opening Master’s extensive databases, certified chess teachers can offer students a rich learning experience. They can utilize the vast collection of games to illustrate key concepts, demonstrate different strategies, and provide practical examples. This level of access and expertise can significantly elevate the quality of chess education.

The Enduring Appeal of Chess

Contrary to Elon Musk’s prediction that chess would be solved within a decade, the game continues to attract millions of players around the world.

Elon’s recent tweet (x): “Computers are so much better than humans at chess, it’s absurd. I predict that chess will be essentially fully solved (like checkers) within 10 years.”

Emil Sutovsky, the CEO of chess’ global governing body FIDE, replied: “Engines haven’t advanced much for a few years now. Even the task of solving all positions with 9 pieces can’t be completed. It’ll take years to cover 10 pieces, and you have 32. Engines are incomparably better than humans for 20 years now, but no checkers-type solution expected.”

The beauty of chess lies in its complexity and the endless possibilities that each game offers. While computer analysis has advanced the game, it has not diminished the enjoyment of playing and competing, especially in over-the-board (OTB) settings.

Chess remains a thrilling and dynamic sport where human creativity and intuition play a crucial role. The nuances of human play, including mistakes and brilliant moves, add to the excitement and unpredictability of each match. This is why OTB chess continues to be highly popular, with tournaments drawing large numbers of participants and spectators. 

Opening Master’s OTB Collection: A Treasure itself

Opening Master’s OTB collection, totaling 9.9 million official human chess games, is the greatest collection of chess games available. This vast database is an invaluable resource for players of all levels. It allows them to study games from various eras, understand different styles, and gain insights from the play of top grandmasters.

The partnership between Opening Master and FIDE EDU is a commitment to the growth of chess as both a competitive sport and an educational tool. By supporting global projects aimed at promoting chess in schools and educational institutions, they are ensuring that more people have the opportunity to experience the many benefits of this timeless game.

The positive effects of using chess databases are profound, and the recent collaboration between Opening Master and FIDE is set to significantly impact chess education. By making these resources freely available to future chess teachers who obtain the title of FIDE School Instructor, they are paving the way for a brighter future where chess is more accessible and inclusive. The enduring appeal of chess, combined with the thrill of OTB play, ensures that the game will continue inspiring and challenging players for generations to come.