General Search Facility
Instructions and guidance
Enter values in the form on the left to match fields in the database that within them contain those values, comprising part or whole of the field. The matching is not case-sensitive.
The fields are ANDed together. For instance if you enter a value of
Shinkman in the Composer field and a
value of 1890 in the Years field the
search will retrieve only problems by Shinkman that were published in 1890. An empty field
will match any value in the database. Once you have entered the required values in the
fields, click the Submit button to start the search. Results
(limited to the first 100 problems found) will be returned in ascending order of year of
publication. Click the Reset button to empty all the fields.
Each value entered will be treated by the search routine as a
regular expression, so enabling many types of search. The various fields are
described in the following table, which also contains several examples of searches using
regular expressions. For other examples, you are limited only by your
If you are not already familiar with Unix/Linux style regular expressions, then you are strongly recommended to find out about them (using the link in the previous paragraph) before perusing the material below.
|Composer||In the database, composers' names are held last name first - thus Rice, John M. A search for Rice will retrieve problems by John M Rice, William B Rice and even Jean Morice. A search for ^Rice will limit the results to composers with a last name starting with Rice.|
This database field is always at least 4 characters long and holds the year(s) of
publication of the problem. This can be just one year or two years separated by a
hyphen (for instance 2004-2005) where a tourney has run
over more than one year. Where more than one tourney has been run for a given source
in any one year, then this is indicated by adding after the year the tourney number
within the year, as in 2004/II. Where the year of
publication is not known, then this field contains 0000.
To search for problems published in the 1900s, use ^19. To search for problems published between 1920 and 1923, use 192[0-3]. To search for problems where the year of publication is recorded in the database, use ^[^0].
This database field is always 4 characters long and records the positions of the two
kings in the diagram position of the problem. Each position is written in 2 characters
in the conventional way, for instance e1. The position of
the white king is written before the position of the black king.
To find problems where the white king is on e1, search for ^e1. Searching for e1 will find problems where either king is on e1. To find problems where the black king is on e8, search for e8$.
Search for specific king positions and left-to-right reflections by using this kind of value - a1c2|h1f2. To find problems where the white king occupies one of the middle four squares of the board search for ^[de].
GBR is an acronym for 'Guy-Blandford-Roycroft', which is a numeric code for indicating
the material used in a chess diagram. The overall form is
nnnn.nn, where n stands for a digit between 0 and 8 and the full stop for a
full stop. The first digit indicates the number and colour of queens, the second does
the same for rooks, the third for bishops and the fourth for knights. Each of these digits
is a total comprising 1 for each white piece of the appropriate rank and 3 for each
black piece of the appropriate rank. After the full stop the digits indicate the number
of pawns, the white ones coming first. So the code 4888.88
would be the GBR code of the position at the start of a normal game.
To search for problems where Black only has his king (rex solus) use the value ^\..0. To search for White minimals, where White has only his queen, use the value ^\.0..
Each problem has a stipulation, recorded in the following conventional ways, where
n is a digit.
#n for directmates.
S#n for selfmates
H#n for helpmates
R#n for reflexmates
To search for directmates in two, use the value ^#2. If you use #2, the search will retrieve all problems in two moves - directmates, selfmates, helpmates and reflexmates. To search for selfmates in more than 4 moves use the value S#[^234].
|Award||This field in the database contains any award that the problem won, such as a Prize, an HM or a Comm. These are the most common though others are possible. When a problem has not won an award this field is set to None.|
|Source||This field is for the orignal source of publication of the problem. As an example, to search for problems published in The Problemist, use the value ^The Problemist$. Using the value The Problemist will retrieve problems published in all sources which include that substring, including for instance The Problemist Supplement.|
Each problem in the database may contain 0 or more quotation fields, each one
recording a source where the problem was quoted. To search for problems quoted in
The Problemist, use the value ^The Problemist$.
I have created two special values for this field that can be searched for. Snap indicates that there is at least one other problem in the database using exactly the same position, possibly reflected (with or without pawns) and/or rotated (without pawns). This is how complete anticipations are recorded in Meson. When you eventually display the problems retrieved there will be links to the anticipators or posticipators.
Using a search value of Near Snap will retrieve problems, currently only #2s, which are either substantially anticipated or do themselves substantially anticipate another problem in Meson. When you eventually display the problems retrieved there will be links to the anticipators or the posticipators.