About MESON

The menu on the left contains links to information about MESON, while the menu above contains links for actually using the database. They are separately described in the following sections.

The About Meson item leads to this page. The History of Meson menu item leads to background information about the development of MESON. I am happy to include an Acknowledgements menu item. Choose this to learn about those who have helped over the years in the building of the database. For irregular updates on what's happening with MESON, use the Blog item. The To Do item takes you to a page listing the enhancements I plan to make to Meson. Finally, once I have activated it, you can contact me by using the Contact item. If this database is not enough for you, and it won't be if you are interested in problems longer than five moves, fairy chess problems or orthodox types other then directmates, then I provide links to four other free and online chess problem databases – the PDB, YACPDB, The Sadier Collection and The Albrecht Collection.

The database can be searched in three ways, all available when you select the Search item, which displays a menu on the left of the screen that contains the following items.

The Search by PID allows the search for the problem with a specific Problem Identifier (PID). Problems do get deleted from MESON and PIDS are not reused, so don't be too surprised if one of these searches results in a nil return.

The General Search item allows a regular expression search using a selection of different fields. The results of any particular search are limited to the first 500 problems sorted in ascending order of publication date. If you need to see results other than that, you will have to refine your search.

The Matrix Search item allows aspects of the diagram position to be searched for. You can search for pieces on specific squares or pieces in the specified relation to each other. In either case you can also search for those positions rotated or reflected and for stipulations.

If you want to look at the work of a specific composer, as well as doing a General Search, as mentioned above, you can also select the Composer item. This will lead initially to a list of the first letters of the surnames of the composers represented in MESON. If you select one of those letters, this will lead you to a list of all the combinations of that first letter with a second letter of the surnames of the composers represented in the database. You can drill-down' in this manner until you get to actual composer names. When you get there you can select one of them, after which you will have access to a paged list of all the problems by that composer. Each problem can be viewed individually.

In a similar way if you want to look at the problems published or quoted by a particular source you can select the Sources/Quoters item. This will lead you to another 'drill-down', this time ending in a list of specific sources/quoters, from which you can select one and then look through a paged list of problems either originally published by that source or quoted by it. Each problem can be viewed individually.

If you are interested in anticipations, then select the Anticipations item. Anticipations come in two kinds – complete and substantial. Complete anticipations have the exact position of a later problem, possibly reflected and/or rotated. I run regular checks on the database to find these. Use the appropriate menu item to bring up a paged list of all currently in MESON. Substantial anticipations are those which contain a substantial proportion of the play in a later problem. I wrote a program that trawls through the database identifying them and I run it regularly. Use the appropriate menu item to view a paged list of all those that it has found so far.

I keep a record of all the books and magazines from which I have abstracted chess problems. Use the menu item Books/Mags abstracted to see a paged lists of those records.

Various statistics may be of interest to readers and they are available form the Stats item.


Developed and maintained by Brian Stephenson.
Implemented with HTML5, MySQL, Perl (with, inter alia, CGI::Simple, HTML::Template & XML::LibXML) & CSS/Javascript (jQuery, Bootstrap & DataTables).