1. What is the Game Explorer for
The game explorer is the interface for the SchemingMind opening database. The database contains all of the standard chess games that have been played on SchemingMind (except recently finished), as well as a small selection of classic grandmaster games. There is also a database of Chess960 games. You can use the game explorer to help decide what moves to play in the opening, or just to explore different opening lines.
As well as being a way of finding games played on SchemingMind, the Game Explorer is also an essential resource for those seeking to understand chess opening theory.
Each common opening line in correspondence chess is being annotated within the Game Explorer, these annotations are designed to give 'average' chess players some understanding into the theory behind each of those lines. This is an essential resource for those beginning correspondence chess games.
Beware though, the Game Explorer isn't a substitute for an understanding of openings, you can't follow its reccomendations blindly, you need to try and understand your opponent's intentions or you'll run into trouble!
The documentation of openings in the Game Explorer is currently the responsibility of Hansjürgen Baum (heuschrecke) and SchemingMind is very grateful for this work. Hansjürgen always welcomes contructive feedback about the Game Explorer, and a SchemingMind team has been set up with a private discussion forum to coordinate this feedback - those wishing to participate are always welcome to join.
2. Accessing Game Explorer
The game explorer can be accessed from the Chess menu. Choosing Game Explorer will take you to the game explorer with the start position. If you are interested in the Chess960 database, click on the Chess960 tab below the board display.
The game explorer can also be accessed from the game board of any standard chess game. In the row of small icons below the board display, click on the game explorer icon (
). This will take you to the game exporer with the current board position. (If you find that there are no moves listed at the bottom of the game explorer display, it means that the position shown is not in the database.)
3. Using the Game Explorer
3.1. Standard Chess
For each position shown on the board display, opening annotations and commentary (if any) is shown to the right of the board. The moves in the database for that position are shown in a table under the board, and for each move there is information about the position resulting from that move: the number of games in the database with statistics showing number of white wins, black wins, and draws, ECO code and opening name (if applicable), and first line of annotation (if available).
To make a move, click on one of the moves listed below the board or click on a piece on the board display to move it. After each move the game explorer will be updated to the new position.
Click on the GM Games or SM Games tab to bring up a listing of individual games in the database for each position, showing the names of the players involved. Click on a game to play it through. Full members can create thematic mini-tournaments based on a position from the opening of any GM game in the game explorer database, see the section on thematic tournaments here for more information.
The Filter tab, available to full members only, allows to you look for games played by specific players.
There are also links for "Reset Game Explorer", which will return you to the starting postion, and for "Set Up Position", which will allow you to enter a position using FEN notation, and go directly to the game explorer page for that position.
To use the Chess960 game explorer, select Game Explorer in the Chess menu, then click the Chess960 tab below the board display.
The game explorer for Chess960 is used just like the explorer for standard chess, except that you must choose your starting position before exploring (and, naturally, there are no opening annotations or ECO codes). When you click the Chess960 tab, all of the possible starting postitions are listed by number. Choose the number of the position that you are interested in (you can find this number at the top of the move list for each game).
4. Database updates
Grandmaster games in Game Explorer are updated rarely, by the site owner.
Finished SchemingMind games are added to the explorer periodically (once every 1-2 months). So, it usually takes some time before the finished game is visible there.