Canon 2020 (new edition)

Some more time at home recently has meant I have been able to do something I've been meaning to do for ages, which is tidy up my database of teaching games, which I call the Canon.

Sorry if you have an earlier version and have had to tidy it yourself.

Why was it such a mess? Well, I've been doing this for a long while, and although the early attempts to give chessplayers some useful software were valuable, they were pretty primitive. The first version of Fritz that I owned did allow you to record, store and annotate games, but you couldn't add variations. Then, you could add a variation, but only one at each move, so if you wanted to show multiple variations, you had to go back one move and add it there...

Also, I usually want to flag a game as being interesting for a reason -- like, it's a good Rook endgame. How do you flag a game? Well, I used to abuse the ECO code field, putting lower-case codes of my own devising in there. I also found you could add things to players' initials. ChessBase, bless them, later added 'medals', so I could tag a whole bunch of games with the green 'endgame' medal, but then they took away the facility to add medals to multiple games at once...

And I wanted to produce chess diagrams: so they got spat out in little 8x8 arrays of text, that I could convert into nice diagrams, as long as I avoided using capital letters again...

All this over twenty years and more meant that there was a lot of crud in the database, which I hope I have cleaned up a bit.

But... there is still nowhere to add a note to a game. So... now I'm abusing the Annotator tag. If that offends you, and you use ChessBase, you can edit all the Annotator tags at once and set them to empty.

It's in 'new format PGN' which means ChessBase will import it with diagrams, symbols and colours and arrows.

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