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Chess Software  / Chess Bases Software  /  Description SCID

Lets talk now about free Linux chess software - the program-shell SCID. The name is decrypted as "Shane's Chess Information Database", and its author is Shane Hudson, site

The program works with Windows/*nix spreads free of charge, to download here (WIN version; *nix version can be found on the developer's site). And it is here possible download files for unification of writing ratings/last names (for example to avoid "mockeries" above the last name A. Yusupova, which is written Jussupow, Jussupov, Yusupov etc), libraries of opens to the playing modules and even connected file with 130 pictures of the known chess-players of the pas and contemporaneity! In a "basic complete set" after installation (on Windows ME passed without problems) I succeeded to find (except for the program naturally):

  • Playing module Scidlet 3.6
  • ECO classification file (
  • Spelling file (spelling.ssp) - for adjustment of the names (to correct ratings it is needed to get a separate file from the developer's site)
  • Sound files for dubbing of motions
  • Very detailed certificate (in English)
By the way about languages - an interface is a multilanguage, but among 13 languages for Russian, unfortunately, a place was not found (you can correct this failing - write to author).

Lets get the hang now with work in SCID. Frankly speaking after long work with ChessBase it was unusual, but literally after a couple of minutes it was everythinh OK.

SCID: general view
Basic windows at SCID four:

  • Basic window SCID (on the left above, at the picture, appears automatically),
  • Database switcher (on the left down),
  • PGN window (on the right above) и
  • Game List window (in the background)
Causing them is possible through the menu of Windows or pushing the button on the bar of tools. It is also possible to cause a window Comment Editor - for the correction of comments to party (in SCID it is possible even to add graphic comments as in ChessBase!).

An interface is intuitional clear - most the often used operations are duplicated in a menu and bar of tools (Open/Save/Close Database; Load Next/Prev Game; Reset Search/Search by Position/Header/Material и т.д.)

It is now possible to talk about failings too:

  • Interface SCID yields sure on comparison with ChessBase on the comfort of the use, though it's not so overloaded as in Chess Assistant
  • It is unfortunately impossible to combine a search to on positions/material/headings
  • It is impossible to create the special comments (training guestions, audio/videorecords)
  • In base it is impossible to keep the elements of texts (element Text in ChessBase)
  • SCID uses own format of storage, and although supports an import/export PGN it creates certain inconveniences however.

But dont judge strictly - in fact SCID is fully able to satisfy Your everyday queries as practicing chess-player!

Conclusion: SCID - simply rescue for users *nix systems (write us about Your experience of the use SCID for *nix) and excellent find for the users of not persons interested to pay imposing sums for ChessBase/Chess Assistant. Carry on, Shane Hudson!!

:: Added 01.09.2004

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