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Frequently Asked Questions
last updated 22 September 2008
This page is to help answer questions you may have in using Ozbase or chess databases in general. If you have any questions which are not answered by this FAQ, please email
What is Ozbase?
Ozbase is a games archive for chess games played by Australians.
How much does it cost?
It is a free service.
Who is behind Ozbase?
The Australian Chess Federation. Ozbase is an initiative of the Australian Chess Federation and your membership fees go towards paying for this service. So if you are using it and have not become a member, you should be ashamed of yourself. The Australian Chess Federation is affiliated with FIDE, the international chess federation, so if you are a member of another affiliated national body, we welcome you.
What sort of games are held on Ozbase?
Games played in Australia or games played elsewhere in the world which feature Australian players. This site may on occasions host games played elsewhere in the Pacific region if there is no other site to host them. If you are interested in New Zealand games click here.
Where do the games come from?
Many of the more recent games have been entered by the organisers of tournaments and matches. Older games have been entered from bulletins, magazines, newspaper columns, books, personal records of chessplayers, chess databases (i.e. Chessbase, New in Chess, etc.), in fact, any source we can find.
In what format are the games held?
The games are held in zipped PGN format.
What is PGN?
PGN means Portable Games Notation. This is a standard format for keeping chess gamescores. It is a text format so it can be read by people using an ordinary text editor, such as Notepad. It can be read directly by many databases and there are a number of conversion utilities for databases which cannot directly read PGN. A copy of the standard is available if you click here. Conversion programs can be downloaded from the archive if you click here.
What is Zipped PGN?
Zipped format is a coded file in such a way that it save space on you disk on when being transmitted over the Internet. Winzip is a program which converts files to and from Zipped format. A copy of Winzip can be downloaded if you click here. Note that Winzip is not free, it is a Shareware program which you can trial for 30 days, it costs $29.95 if you decide to continue to use it. In my opinion, it's worth every penny of the charge. I probably use this application program more than any other.
I have downloaded 10 files to my computer, how can I tell what games are in what file?
Each of the files on Ozbase is stored in a file with a standardised name. The Format for the standardised name is:
Where a means:
Code Meaning
a Australian National event (AUS)
c Australian Capital Territory (ACT)
d Northern Territory (NT)
f Fiji
i International
n New South Wales (NSW)
o Outside FIDE Zone 3.2b
p Papua New Guinea (PNG)
q Queensland (QLD)
s South Australia (SA)
t Tasmania (TAS)
v Victoria (VIC)
w Western Australia (WA)
z New Zealand (NZ)

1234 is the year of the start of the event, e.g. the 1991-92 Australian Championships would be 1991 (the year of round one).

tt is a code for the tournament, just to make the filename unique within the year. These may just use two letters out of the name of the tournament, e.g. Belconnen Club Championships may be "bc". Some common tournaments are:

Tournament Code Meaning
ch Championship
op Open
ma Masters
tt Teams Tournament
tx Telex
ol Men's Olympiad
ow Women's Olympiad
cc Correspondence Championship
sr Seniors Championship
jr Juniors Championship
wo Women's Championship

The v is the version number of the file which could be 1-9 and a-z. The bigger the number or the later in the alphabet the letter the later the version.

Where can I get other games for my database?
Ozbase has many cousin sites across the world which are building databases of chess gamescores. The primary site for games is, of course, Mark Crowther's This Week in Chess. Every week, usually on Monday, the TWIC magazine is published and along with it is a games file of recent tournaments from all over the world. We highly recommend you check out TWIC to keep up to date on chess news. To go to TWIC click here.
Some of the files available on Ozbase have already been published by TWIC. Other Australian games files can are available in various websites. Ozbase will attempt to consolidate all of these known game score files here.
John Saunders in Great Britain manages the Britbase site where you can find a large number of British games files. Britbase has an excellent links area where you can find the other games archive sites throughout the world. To go to Britbase click here.
Lars Balzer has an very good website where he tries to have links to every known chess database site to help you to find what else is available out there. To go to Lars site click here.
I don't have a database?
Never fear. The Chessbase Company have provided a free version of Chessbase called Chessbase Lite. It has some limitations over the full version of Chessbase 6 or 7, such as it only handles databases of up to 8,000 games. There are a few other limitations, but it is an excellent program to get you started with your database and we can guarantee you that no games file on Ozbase will be bigger than 8,000 games. Ozbase uses Chessbase 7 to enter all games and maintain all the games files you find on this site. You can download a copy of Chessbase Lite in the Downloads section of the Chessbase website. To go to the Chessbase web site click here.
Why don't you have annotations in your games?
The major reason for this is that the annotations are Copyright of the writer. In order to keep this a free service we normally do not include annotations. The exceptions to this are annotations which are purely of a factual nature to explain the gamescore, for example, to indicate that Black lost on time, etc.
There are many places on the Internet where annotated games can be found. An excellent site is Inside Chess where games annotated by Yasser Seirawan can be found. To go to Inside Chess click here. Also Kasparov Chess website has annotated games some by Kasparov himself. To go to Kasparov Chess click here. If you are looking for annotated games there is a site which gives links to as many sites with annotated games as can be found. To go here please click here.

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