ChessBase 12

File names and extensions

File names and extensions

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File names and extensions

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All files which belong to an individual database have the same name, but their suffixes are different:


NAME.CBH      = Game data (“H” is for game “header”).

NAME.CBG      = Game moves and variations (“game”).

NAME.CBA      = Annotations (text commentary).

NAME.CBP      = Players index.

NAME.CBT      = Tournament index.

NAME.CBC      = Commentators index.

NAME.CBS      = Source index.


These files contain the minimal game information in a database. If you delete the CBA file all commentary will be removed from the games – but not the moves and the variations, which are stored in the CBG file. If you delete the CBG file the database can still be opened and many operations carried out (e.g. openings, players, tournament indexes, statistics). You can even load individual games, but of course there are no moves to play through. It is not recommended to delete files of a database, if necessary, please be sure to have a backup before doing so.


NAME.CBE      = Team index.

NAME.CBJ      = Second header file, team information, final material.

NAME.CBM      = Multimedia baggage in HTML database text files.


Those files contain additional information to the games. If they are lost, information is irrevocably lost, but the games will still be fine.


NAME.CBB      = Search booster.

NAME.CBGI = A second smaller search booster.

NAME.CIT      = Index file for fast player/tournament/team access, automatically generated, if lost.

NAME.CIP      = Index file for fast player/tournament/team access, automatically generated, if lost.

The first two contain hashed information on the games in a database. It increases the speed of retrieval by a factor of 100. These files are generated by the program and they are not critical.


NAME.CKO      = ChessBase key, openings.

NAME.CPO      = ChessBase positions, openings.

These files contain the openings keys for a database. The CKO file contains the names of the keys and the record numbers of the games for each key. The CPO file contains the positions which ChessBase uses to classify a game and determine which openings variation it contains.

NAME.CKN + .CPN      = General theme key, theme definitions.

NAME.CK1 + .CP1      = Tactical theme key and definitions.

NAME.CK2 + .CP2      = Strategic theme key and definitions.

NAME.CK3 + .CP3      = Endgame theme key and definitions.

These keys make use of definitions created with the help of the search mask to classify games according to various themes.






These three files make up an openings book.



NAME.CBV      = Archived ChessBase database.

NAME.CBZ      = Encrypted archived ChessBase database.

This is used to store all of the database components in a single, compressed file. You can use it to backup your work or send databases by email. The .CBZ file is protected by a password which you enter when you archive the database and need when you open it again.

NAME.INI      = Database initialisation file.

The name and type of the database are recorded in this text file. In addition, this is where ChessBase saves the import protocol and the type of database.

\NAME.BMP      = Multimedia subdirectory for picture files.

\NAME.AVI      = Multimedia subdirectory for video files.

\NAME.WAV      = Multimedia subdirectory for sound files.

When you record or copy a multimedia file the corresponding directory is automatically created in the directory where the database is located.

NAME.CBF      = Old ChessBase games file.

NAME.CBI      = Old ChessBase index file.

NAME.PGN      = Commonly used ASCII textfile format.

ChessBase 7.0 can read and write files in the old ChessBase format and the ASCII format known as PGN which is widely used on the Internet.

NAME.PGI      = ChessBase (redundant) index into a PGN file, not essential.