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Home * Software * Databases * SCID

SCID User Interface [1]

SCID, (Scid, Shane's Chess Information Database)
a cross platform open source chess database under the GNU Lesser General Public License, to view, edit, and manage collections of chess games, initially developed by Shane Hudson, who worked from 1999 to 2003 on it, the back end written in C++, the GUI in Tcl/Tk [2]. Pascal Georges worked on SCID from December 2006 until January 2010 and added UCI, FICS and Novag Citrine support, and ported SCID to the Pocket PC [3]. Further contributors were Marc Lacrosse, Michal Rudolf, Hans Ericson [4], Franz Nagl, Alexander Wagner and Uwe Klimmek, et al.. SCID can read PGN and EPD files (and export to PGN, LaTeX and HTML) and uses its own database format for fast database search and queries by position, material, pattern, players, and opening, etc., and can use XBoard and UCI compliant chess engines to analyze games, and further supports mining of 5-man Nalimov Tablebases [5]. The SCID library was used by Gady Costeff and Lewis Stiller to implement the Chess Query Language [6].


The SCID GUI, written in Tcl, evolved to a sophisticated multiple purpose tabbed document interface, with game lists of databases and game windows with board and tabbed notation, opening tree, and analyze panes as document views. Database queries and transactions are initiated via modal dialog boxes.

Database Format

SCID Databases consist of three kind of files, index files (.si4), name files (.sn4) and game files (.sg4), the latter containing the moves, variations and annotations of each game. The compact move encoding requires an incremental updated board representation aka piece list, and therefore takes only one byte for most moves (except diagonal queen moves), using a nibble as piece list index, determining from square and piece to move, and the second nibble as enumeration index of possible target squares [7].

SCID Forks

See Also

Forum Posts


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