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When I review my own games, I like to view the board with my color at the bottom of the screen.  Can SCID vs. PC flip it for me, automatically?

It can!

If you're like me, you often open and work with a database of your own chess games.  These might be games played over-the-board, in tournaments, or played online, or with a friend.

If you're also like me, then you prefer to view the board with the color you played at the bottom of the screen. 

SCID vs. PC can rotate the board for you automatically, each time you load one of your own games.  All you have to do is let the program know what your name is, as it appears in your database file! 

Click on OPTIONS - MY PLAYER NAMES and enter your name.  You're allowed to enter more than one name, in case you use a different name/handle on more than one server.

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I don't care for the default color schemes!  Can I change them?


1) In your bin folder, you will find a text file called scid.gui.  Open this file with your favorite text editor (TextPad is my choice, but Notepad probably works too) and do a search in the file for "ColorSchemes."  When you do you will see the following:

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# { name(unused), lite, dark, highcolor, bestcolor, bgcolor, highlightLastMoveColor }

set colorSchemes1 {
  { Blue-white  #f3f3f3 #7389b6 #f3f484 #b8cbf8 steelblue4}
  { Blue-ish    #d0e0d0 #80a0a0 #b0d0e0 #f0f0a0 grey}
  { M.Thomas    #d3d9a8 #51a068 #e0d873 #86a000 grey20}
  { GreenYellow #e0d070 #70a070 #b0d0e0 #bebebe #29764e}
  { Brown       #d0c0a0 #a08050 #b0d0e0 #bebebe tan4}
set colorSchemes2 {
  { Tan     #fbdbc4 #cc9c83 #b0d0e0 #bebebe rosybrown4}
  { Grey    #dfdfdf #808080 #b0d0e0 #bebebe black }
  { Rosy    #f8dbcc rosybrown #b0d0e0 #bebebe rosybrown4}
  { SteelBlue lightsteelblue steelblue #51a068 #e0d873 #002958}
  { Red     rosybrown1 indianred3 #ffa07a lightsalmon #780000}

You can edit each those five hex values, in each line.  Initially, try editing just one value, saving the file, and then re-loading the program to make to see the difference and to make sure this procedure is working.

You will, of course, need a utility or a program to determine what that hex value is, based upon the exact color you want.  I used Paint Shop Pro but as of this writing you can also do this online here and here.  I currently have three boards with different shades of green, three boards with different shades of brown, three boards with different shades of blue, and one gray board.  I named them Green1, Green2, Brown1, etc.:

set colorSchemes1 {
{ Brown1 #F0D9B5 #B58863 #FCFE7A #B86868 #000000}
{ Brown2 #EAC892 #AA7C56 #FCFE7A #B86868 #000000}
{ Brown3 #F0C98C #B97E4F #FCFE7A #B86868 #000000}
{ Green1 #EEEED2 #769656 #FCFE7A #B86868 #000000}
{ Green2 #EBEBC7 #89AD65 #FCFE7A #B86868 #000000}
set colorSchemes2 {

{ Green3 #F1F1DD #8EAE6E #FCFE7A #B86868 #000000}
{ Blue1 #EEEEEE #8FA1C7 #FCFE7A #B86868 #000000}
{ Blue2 #E3ECFF #A5B6D7 #FCFE7A #B86868 #000000}
{ Blue3 #f3f3f3 #7389b6 #FCFE7A #B86868 #000000}
{ Grey1 #dfdfdf #808080 #FCFE7A #B86868 #000000}

(Note that there is no highlightLastMoveColor value to edit.)

Also, you might want to make a backup copy of this scid.gui file, before you edit it, just in case you really screw up or something.


What about the ten default textures, underneath the ten color schemes.  Can I change these defaults also?

Yes, and this is even easier.

Visit my Downloads page to see how this is done.  You can download a bunch of different textures to choose from.



I'm having trouble opening a very large PGN file.   What can I do? 

Try to convert it to the SCID vs. PC database format with the included pgnscid.exe command-line program.  The format to use this utility is pgnscid large.pgn where "large.pgn" is the name of your large, pgn database. 
This will make a si4 database called large.si4.



I just finished playing an over-the-board tournament game, and now I want to add it to my PGN database that I have, of my own games. What's the best way to do this?

There are probably several ways to do this.  Here's one.

Open SCID vs. PC and begin entering the moves of your game.  As you can see, you're currently working in the clipbase, which is empty.

When you're finished entering moves, click on GAME - SAVE: ADD GAME. 

Enter the PGN tags, which includes the names of the players, the name of the event, the site location, the date the game was played, the round number, the result, etc.  When finished, click SAVE.

Click TOOLS - EXPORT CURRENT GAME - EXPORT GAME TO PGN.  Change the first dialog button from NO to YES, since we want to add this game to our existing database of tournament games.  Choose other options as desired and click OK.

Navigate in your folder structure to the PGN database file you want to add this game to.  Select it and click OPEN.

That's it!  The game you just entered is now the last game in your existing database of PGN games!


How can I store my own photo in the player database?

First, find a photo of yourself you'd like to use, and resize it to your desired size, with any graphics editor.  Save it as a GIF file.

Then, convert this GIF file to a base 64 string.  There are many online websites that will do this.  For example you can use this website:

Take the resulting base 64 string and save it to your own player database file, a text file.  Give the filename a "dot" spf extension.  (For example, call if "my_scid_photos.spf" or something similar.)

Preceding the string you will need the word "photo" and then your name in quotes and then a "{".  After the string you will need a "}". 

An example will clarify.

I've purposely shortened the data... the actual string goes on for many lines.  But I wanted to show how the data ends, and how another player can also be added to the file, immediately after your photo.

When SCID vs. PC loads, it looks for files with this .spf extension, and if it finds them it opens them up and loads the images.

The end result will be something like this:

click to see the full-size image

And you will want to create "photos" for your engines too, just because... well, because it's cool.  In the screenshot below, Naum is battling Fruit.  The process was the same...  Generate a base 64 string, create a new .spf file with the engine logo data, and save this file to your bin folder.  SCID vs. PC will open up all .spf files it finds, and store all the images.  When player photos are enabled, it will display the image when a game is reviewed or played with those player names.

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Help!  I have a large PGN file and I want to create a smaller PGN file of just Sicilian games where Black won.  How can I do this?

Load your PGN database.  Open the Gamelist window.

Click SEARCH - GENERAL.  In the "Result" field, only check the 0-1 box.  The other three Result boxes should be left blank. 

Click the ECO Code "CHOOSE" button and select 1.e5 c5, the Sicilian.

Click the SEARCH button.  After the games are found, drag this highlighted database, at the bottom of the Game List screen, to the clipbase. 

Export these filter games to a new file.  Click TOOLS - EXPORT ALL FILTER GAMES - EXPORT FILTER TO PGN.)



Some of your screenshots show a piece font that I don't have.  How can I add this piece font to my list of choices?

This piece font is known as TT USCF.  It's an additional piece font not available with the latest release.

First, make a new folder in your Scid vs PC-4.11
bin folder called PIECES.

Then, download the font from my website.  It's available from my site as an ascii text file.  Save this ascii text file TO that folder.

That's it.  Reload the program and enjoy the new font.

When it first loads, the latest version of Scid vs PC, (version 4.11), will look for a folder called PIECES and open all text files it finds in that folder.

Be sure to see my download section for other fonts you can download and install!

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I want an engine to evaluate a bunch of my games in "batch mode," meaning, one game after another, with no interaction from me.  Can the program do this?

Yes.  Here are the steps and I apologize if I've left anything out.

First, open the PGN file (database) of your choice.  Open the Game List window and drag your games from what I call the mainbase to the clipbase.  Select the clipbase by clicking on it to make this the active database.

Select the chess engine of your choice (it should start analyzing automatically... you probably want to stop it) and then click the annotate button.  

Select your annotation criteria... the number of seconds you want your engine to spend analyzing each move, the blunder threshold, whether you want it to evaluate all moves or just White's or Black's moves, etc., etc.

Select BATCH ANNOTATION near the bottom of this screen.  Select the number of games you want annotated, starting from the current game to game number x.

When done, click OK and go take a nap.

While you are sleeping the engine will evaluate and annotate all of the games you chose, with your selected criteria, one after another, in batch mode.

Note that all analysis is saved.  Just click on each game in the Game List window to see the analysis in the PGN window.  All of this analysis can be exported (saved) to a new file.  (TOOLS - EXPORT ALL FILTER GAMES.)

Note:  If you just want the engine to just analyze and annotate your moves, and not the moves of your opponent, you will have to do this in two phases.  You will first have to filter your games and select all the games where you played as White and move these games to the clipbase.  Perform the steps above, telling the program in the Configuration Annotation screen to just annotate White's moves. 

Then, you will have to do the same thing again but this time filter all of your games from the main PGN file and just select just the games where you were Black, and perform the steps above.... moving them to the clipbase, making the clipbase the active database, etc.

click to see the full-size image



I want to setup a position from Black's point of view.  I seem to have a problem doing this, using the Setup Board feature.  No matter what I try, when I'm finished I end up with a1 in the lower left corner.  Help!

This IS a bit confusing, but once you know "the trick", it's easy.

Setup the position from Black's point of view and then click INVERT and then click TRANSPOSE. 

That's it.  Click OK and you're all set.



I'm always opening the same database immediately after I load Scid vs. PC.  Can I automate this process?

Yes.  For example, when I view the properties of my target, I see "C:\Program Files (x86)\Scid vs PC-4.10\bin\scid.exe"

If I edit that line and add e:\chess\pgn\collins.pgn to the end of it, when the programs loads it will automatically load my collins.pgn file, which is a small database of all of my tournament games, located on my E: drive.



I set up an engine vs. engine tournament which just finished and I wish to save all of the games played in this tournament to their own database.  How in the blazes do I do this?  I can see the games in the game list window, but I can't find an option to save all of these games.  I DID figure out how to save one at a time, but I don't wish to do that.  I want to save all of them in one PGN file.

Yea, this took me a few minutes to figure out.  But once you know how, it's easy.   You might initially expect it to be under FILE - SAVE or possibly in the database maintenance window.  However, right-click the Clipbase icon and click Reset Filter.  Then just click on TOOLS and then EXPORT ALL FILTER GAMES.



Is there a way to "force" an engine to play a certain opening against me, so that I can practice against that opening?

There are probably several different ways to accomplish this.  Here's one:

Let's assume you want to play the Black side of the Advance French.

1)  First, click the flip board icon to place Black at the bottom, assuming it isn't already.

2)  Select PLAY and then COMPUTER - UCI ENGINE

3)  Select your desired engine as the engine to play against.  Select the amount of time you want to give each player, (give yourself more time!!) the increment (if any), or whatever time control you wish. 

Select Permanent thinking if you want the engine to think when it's your move.  Now select the specific opening you wish from the list. 

Attached is a screenshot of this Configure UCI game window.

That's it!  Now click Play!  Your chosen engine will now play the Advance French from the White side!


Is there an easy way to view two or more games at one time?

Yes, I recently learned how to do this, thanks to pawpatrol, a member on!  From the Game List Window, right-click on any game and select BROWSE.   That's it!  You can then step through this game as you normally would.




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