NICBase Online Help
Welcome to the NICBase Online consultation database. On this page you will find explanations about all the functions of NICBase Online.
What can I do with NICBase Online?
NICBase Online consists of 4 major functions:
Searching for games
The database contains over 1,000,000 games including all the games that have ever been published in NIC Magazine and the Yearbook (with source indication). You can search the database on various criteria. See 'How to search for games' for more details.
Classifying a game
You play a game on the board and ask the program to classify it to a NIC-Key. See 'How to classify a game' for more details.
Browsing through NIC-Key Tree
In the NIC-Key Tree panel you can browse through the extensive NIC-Key all the way to the games that belong to the key. See 'How to browse through the NIC-Key Tree' for more details.
Viewing a game
When you have selected a game you can play through it by using the board controls. You can also let the program play it for you by using the 'Auto play' function. See 'How to view a game' for more details.
The screen consists of three parts:
- The Board panel, containing the chessboard and it's controls
- This panel can switch between the Search, NIC-Key Tree, Classification Info and Current Game panel. This panel switches automatically on certain actions but can also be manually switched through the menu at the top.
- The Results panel, containing the games based on your criteria.
How to use the board
Operating the board is based on the drag-and-drop principle. This means that you can click on a piece and bring it to its new location while holding the mouse button pressed.
|Step 1||Select a piece by clicking on it. Hold the mouse button.|
|Step 2||The hand disappears and the piece itself becomes the cursor.|
|Step 3||By moving it around, you can bring it to a new position. Valid locations are highlighted.|
When releasing the piece, the cursor changes back to the hand. When a piece is dragged to an invalid location it will return to its original location.
Beneath the board are the controls. The controls in the grey border on the right allow you to browse through a game. You can also use the keys on your keyboard that are indicated in the second column (Note, the focus must be on the board):
|Home||Go to beginning of the game.|
|Page up||Go 6 ply (3 complete moves) backwards.|
|Left arrow||Go 1 ply back.|
|Space||Play this game automatically.|
|Enter||Stop playing this game automatically.|
|Right arrow||Go 1 ply forward.|
|Page down||Go 6 ply forward.|
|End||Go to end of the game.|
The controls on the left have to following functions:
|Clear game||This clears the board and the Current Game panel. The board is placed in the starting position and the current game is removed from memory and from the Current Game panel.|
|Rotate||This rotates the board.|
|Sound On/Off||In default mode you can hear the pieces touching the board during 'drag-and-drop'. You can turn this sound off.|
|Coordinates On/Off||This shows/hides the coordinates around the board.|
|Classify||See 'How to classify a game'.|
How to search for games
In the search panel you can choose several criteria to search on. You can enter the last name of the white and/or black player, the place, a minimum year and a maximum year.
Names should be entered accurately, e.g. 'Hübner' and not 'Huebner' or 'Hubner'. Alternatively 'H_bner' will find you all games by players with a different vowel between 'H' and 'b'. When entering 'H%bner' all games by players with a variable number of characters between 'H' and 'b' will be selected
The games that are found will be shown in the Game list panel. The games are sorted by year and per page no more than 100 games are given. You can use 'next page' and 'previous page' to view the next and previous 100 games.
To get the best search results from the database, the entered values in the fields should obey certain rules before the search button is enabled. First of all the 'White', 'Black' and 'Place' fields should contain a minimum of 3 characters. Both 'Year' fields should be numeric and have 4 digits. A search is only possible when 'White', 'Black' or 'Place' is filled in.
How to classify a game
With the button beneath the board you can classify a game. This means the NIC-Key will be found for the position that is currently on the board. When the NIC-Key is found the Classification Info panel will appear where you can look at the scores of the key and explore the sub keys.
To follow this example, first enter the moves, 1.e4 c5 2.f3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.xd4 f6 5.c3 bd7 6.e2. These are classified which results in key SI 3.5 as displayed in the Classification Info panel at the root. From here you can browse through the tree in the same way as in the NIC Key Tree. When selecting a label the position is set on the board, the scores are shown at the bottom of the Classification Info panel and in the Game List panel the games belonging to this move are shown.
How to view a game
When you have selected a game from the Game List panel (as shown above) or have entered a game on the board you can view the moves and the information on the Game Info panel.
The game info contains: the NIC Key and the ECO Key, the white and black player, nationality, elo rating at the time of the game, place/year/round of the event, the result and the source where the has been published. Under these 'info fields' the moves are displayed.
You can download the game in PGN format by clicking on . You can also download a game you entered yourself by clicking on the same icon (Note: If you classified your game, the NIC-Key code will be displayed in the PGN File).
By clicking on the moves you can view a game-position on the board. You can also browse through the game using the play controls beneath the board (See 'board panel' for explanation of the controls).
The names of all players are written with underscore, like Timman and Bareev in the above diagram. When clicking on a name biographical information on the player will be displayed. The biographical information includes the birth date, current Elo rating, a rating history and when available a picture
What is the NIC-Key?
The NIC-Key is a well-organised and logical system of classification for all chess openings, variations and subvariations. Instead of abstract codes like 'A', 'B' etc the openings are given lettercombinations that follow directly from the opening. For example 'SI" for the Sicilian Defence and 'KI' for the King's Indian Defence. Variations and subvariations are given numbercombinations that enable it to give every sub(sub)variation a unique code. The NIC-Key has been used internationally since 1984 and is still evolving.
How to browse through the NIC-Key tree?
You can browse through it by clicking the + icon left from the keys as seen above (1). The sub keys will be shown as seen in (2). By clicking the - icon the sub keys disappear again and you return to situation (1).
By clicking on the key (3) you get the corresponding position on the board and the corresponding score of this key in the database. The selected key will have a grey background as seen in (4).