Chess Position vs. Chess Game Database

Shortcomings of classical Chess Game Databases

The first generation of chess databases has been developed to manage chess games – those of the user and of course millions of other chess players. At the time they have been designed, probably nobody had in mind to manage the player’s chess opening repertoire in an efficient way. A repertoire should have reference games, but in general it’s just about positions and moves without any concrete chess games – similar to many chess opening books. The shortcoming of this old approach becomes clear as soon as you start to work with deeply nested variations within a single chess game or one game per main variation. Certainly this is not an intuitive way. The overview is soon lost and the management not efficient.


Advantages of a Position Database

Unlike classical game databases in a position database as Chess Position Trainer uses only positions and candidate moves are stored – absolutely independent of concrete, played games. In this regard position databases are similar to an editable opening book. The presentation of all possible moves for each position is much more concise than in a game database. In a separate window you can see all considered moves (called candidate moves) for the current position and easily edit them.


The concept of candidate moves is used in this context. That means your openings should cover for all positions all relevant replies by the opposite side (as you can’t force your opponent to play your favorite line), but for your side you should always have only one candidate move for each position.

One major advantage of a position database is the detection of any transposition (even between openings) which is otherwise very hard to find.


Train your Chess Opening Repertoire

As Chess Position Trainer doesn’t store games, but manages solely positions and candidate moves, it offers a very personal training experience. The program plays the opposite side and you have to find your pre-defined candidate move. Finally, the applied time-proven flash-card concept let you study your repertoire in a very efficient way.


  • I have been recommending Chess Position Trainer to students for several years now as part of a multi-pronged approach to learning openings. [...]"
    GM Nigel Davies (
  • "I'm recommending it to all my students. It's the best program for openings."
    FM Eric Peterson
  • "If you have the opportunity check the program out, it is hard to find someone who is not an ardent supporter of CPT specially, if you're an opening geek like me."
    FM Charles Galofre
  • "...this is almost exactly what I had wanted to see in a chess program for a long time! It is a thing of the future, for sure."
    IM Jovan Petronic - Advisor / Computer & Internet Chess, FIDE Senior Trainer



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