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How best to store reference positions?

Posted By: Matt Ryder
Date: Friday, 20 November 2009, at 11:17 a.m.

In Response To: Gammonvillage Article (Matt Cohn-Geier)

A superb article, thanks MCG. By far the best I've read on the value of reference positions. I look forward to your future pieces.

Here's question I'd like to open to the forum: What mechanisms are best for storing, cataloging and cross-referencing all these reference positions? I've tried a lot of approaches, but nothing quite works for me. Here are some possible strategies:

1. Old school paper-and-pencil scribbles.

2. Flashcards a la Bart Brooks, perhaps using third-party software to assist.

3. Print outs from a bot, storing hard-copy versions in a filing cabinet (or in my case, a random tangle on the desk).

4. Saving SGF, MAT, SWM, XGP (etc!) files, then storing them in intricate nested folder hierarchies.

5. Somehow utilizing GNU databases. (I haven't figured this out yet, but perhaps there's a way to store similar positions in batches?)

6. BGBlitz's position storage functionality (which I've tried, but find exasperatingly difficult to use).

I've gotten to the point where I've started considering writing my own software to do this (a last resort!). My proposed software would:

* Allow the user to quickly enter positions, either with the mouse or by typing a GnuBGID or XGID.

* Import matches in various formats (from bots and the major online sites)

* Allow the user to group positions by theme or source (book, article, online match etc).

* Allow the user to link positions together (eg 1st roll positions link to 2nd roll replies to 3rd roll replies)

* Allow the user to 'tag' positions with relevant information (e.g. 'Prime vs. Prime', 'Mutual Holding Game', 'High Anchor', 'Back game' etc.)

* Allow the user to search and filter by dynamic combinations of these 'tags' and other relevant information (e.g. number of moves into the game etc.)

* Create iTunes-like 'Smart Folders' with this search criteria.

* Create dynamic quizzes testing various aspects of the positions (for example: best move, percentage wins, percentage gammons, pip count, EPC, Keith Count etc).

* Automatically flag all errors in a match. The user could 'tag' these, and analyses + reports could be drawn highlighting which aspects of one's game are costing the most equity. (It's hard to objectively judge this type of thing oneself...)

Is there anything out there that does this sort of thing? Or should I proceed to write it myself?

(On the other hand, perhaps I'm merely procrastinating the hard work of actually committing these positions to memory!)

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