How to create your own opening books

We often get this question, in this article we provide step by step instruction on how to create and use your own books.

There are two basic ways to create your own books

  • Interactive
  • By importing games from a database or pgn files

In the interactive method one manually plays each variation on the board and then adds it to the selected book, this method is most suitable to prepare variations for tournaments or for fine tuning your book. The import method is intended to quickly build large books.

To create a new user book select File -> Book maintenance -> New book...


Give the book a name


ChessPartner will now ask for a description and the type of book:


In the description field enter a short description, the other option is to create a book win win/loss statistics. When this option is checked the program keeps track for each move how many times it is played and what the results where, e.g. win/loss/draw. This information is then used to calculate a score. Note that these counts are only updated when complete games are imported with the book import application, thus not during normal game play.

After clicking OK, the book is created and is automatically selected as active book. This can be checked in the Books tab of the Book moves window. One final warning, there can be a maximum of four books open at any given time.


Adding book moves

Once the book is created and active it is time to add some variations to it. Enter the variation you want to add on the board, this can of course als a game you load from the database. Important is to move the position on the board to the end of the variation you want in the book. Of course it is possible to add the entire game.

Now select File -> Book maintenance -> Add variation

This will bring up the 'Add book moves' dialog


This will show the complete variation that is added. If there are more books open then make sure to correct book is shown in the Book drop down box. Select White if you only want this variation to be played with the white moves (blacks moves are automatically marked as 'dont play'), black if only black moves are to be played and both if the variation is good for both.  The variation can be given a score between -128 and + 127 where 100 is the value of a pawn. The score is as seen from white's perspective.

Deleting book moves

The procedure to remove variants from the user book is similar to adding them:

- Play the variant up to the position that has to be removed.
- Select Delete variation from the Files - Book maintenance menu.
- The dialog shows the variant.
- Select the proper book from the drop down list.
- Press the Ok to remove the variant from the selected book.

If the variant overlaps another variant, only the non-overlapping part is removed. This will prevent the other variant from being damaged!

Modifying the book moves priorities

It is also possible to modify the scores and priority of individual book moves, this can be done by right clicking on the book moves windows and then selecting the Update moves.. function. This brings up the 'Update book moves' dialog.


In this dialog you can select for which book to update the moves and the individual moves parameters. You can change the score and priority of each move. It is also possible to add a single move, this must be added on a new line.

Note: It is generally not possible to modify the scores of the book moves in the standard book that came with your product. These books are in most cases marked as read only.

Importing games from a database or pgn file

It is also possible to create opening books from a database of game or from Rebel MVS books. For this a separate application is included, this is the Opening book converter. This application can be started from the windows start menu or from within ChessPartner from the Extra -> Book import menu.


First use the <<Add button to add databases to the top listbox, all the databases added in this box are imported in the selected book. To remove a database from the list select it and click the >> Remove button.

Next step is to select a opening book in the Opening book section. This can either be a new book or a existing book. The Nbr. of moves fields is to limit the maximum number of moves from each game to add to the book. The Play options have the same meaning as explained in the Add book moves chapter.

After all options are set pressing the start button start the import process. When you are creating large books it may take a very long time to complete.