Category Archives: Database software

How to use the chess Mega Database with ChessBase and Fritz

The new Mega Database 2012 for ChessBase 11 and the Fritz family of playing programs (Fritz, Hiarcs, Junior, Shredder, and Rybka) is here! The ChessBase company updates their master database annually to include new games played over the previous year, as well as to add historical games which have recently been unearthed. The latest version of the database contains 5,154,657 games (an increase of 357,739 games over the 2011 version), as well as 700 tournament crosstables and reports, and an updated Player Encyclopedia for use in ChessBase 11. Among Mega Database 2012′s treasures are more than 78,000 games annotated by titled players.

Over the years, I’ve sometimes heard players say, “Why do I need millions of games? I’ll never play through all of them anyway!” Gee, I don’t know – why do you need a local library? You’re never going to read all of those books. Comments like these illustrate vividly that the point has been missed. A database of five million games (or any chess database of any size, for that matter) is just like a library – you’ll never use everything that’s in it, but what you will use is there for you whenever you want it. Let me show you what I mean with a simple chess example… Continue reading

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Filed under chess, Chess DVD, Chess playing software, Chess software, ChessBase, ChessBase 11, Database software, Fritz, Mega Database

Using transposition tables in Fritz & Rybka

Another way to “speed up” your chess engine (Fritz, Rybka, Hiarcs, Junior, or Shredder) is through the use of transposition tables, also known as hash tables. Proper use of these tables doesn’t actually make your chess engine analyze any faster (it’ll still evaluate the same number of positions per second), but you will get deeper searches in the time you allot to the analysis, because transposition tables ensure that the engine won’t waste time by re-evaluating board positions which have already been evaluated earlier in the search. Continue reading

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Filed under Chess playing software, Chess software, ChessBase, ChessBase 11, Database software, Fritz, Hiarcs, Junior, Rybka, Shredder

Making your chess analysis engine stronger

I’ve spent the last few blog posts writing about chess engines (chessplaying computer programs), and it’s for a reason – this is all headed somewhere. We’re going to be looking at using a chess engine for chess training and analysis, not just in the native Fritz12 and Rybka4 interfaces, but also in ChessBase 11. But before we go there, we need to look at a couple of important (and only slightly technical) details of which you should be aware. Continue reading

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Filed under Chess playing software, Chess software, ChessBase, ChessBase 11, Database software, Fritz, Hiarcs, Junior, Rybka, Shredder

Understanding chess engine evaluations

Coming up in the near future we’ll be using this blog to discuss chess engine functions in ChessBase 11, Fritz12, Rybka4, etc. But before we jump into detailed explanations of these functions, it’s a good idea to take the time to review some of the basic concepts and visual displays relating to chessplaying programs in ChessBase software. Continue reading

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Filed under Chess playing software, Chess software, ChessBase, ChessBase 11, Database software, Fritz, Hiarcs, Junior, Rybka, Shredder

Color coding chess variations in ChessBase 11

In the last couple of blog posts, we examined a number of different ChessBase 11 toggles which allow you to avoid the dreaded “wall of text” effect when you are reviewing a game containing multiple variations occurring at a single branching point: Continue reading

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Changing the position of variations in ChessBase 11

In Tuesday’s post we learned how to change the appearance of variations in ChessBase 11. You’ll recall that we ended up with the following display in the Notation pane: Continue reading

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ChessBase 11 game notation displays

Many of us as chessplayers own extensive personal chess libraries (I’ve met few players who didn’t) and we often find ourselves manually inputting games and analysis from our books and magazines into ChessBase 11. There’s a host of reasons for doing so: finding positions in an opening tree for statistical analysis, searching out games with the same position as the final position from an analysis line, running Fritz, Rybka, or another chess engine on those final analysis positions (or on a whole game). Continue reading

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ChessBase “how to” videos

It’s been an unusual couple of days around my home office. I was going to record a few videos yesterday (to get ahead of the work) when my phone suddenly went nuts – I was answering ChessBase and Fritz questions on and off all day long (which is a good thing, other than the fact that I didn’t get a single video recorded). Continue reading

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Filed under Chess playing software, Chess software, ChessBase, ChessBase 11, Database software, Fritz, Hiarcs, Junior, Rybka, Shredder

A great ChessBase 11 keyboard shortcut

Nearly every user of ChessBase 11 will, at some point, wind up entering games by hand (and probably annotating them as well). In fact, a majority of users immediately create databases of their own tournament and casual games once they find their way around the software. Continue reading

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More ChessBase 11 opening book options

Today we’ll take a look at a couple of additional (and useful!) opening book options which you can toggle “on” or “off” in ChessBase 11. Continue reading

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ChessBase opening tree statistics

In our last blog post, we saw how to get extended opening statistics from a ChessBase 11 tree. Today we’ll look at the numbers themselves, as well as an additional (and very useful) statistical display. Continue reading

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ChessBase 11′s extended book display

Viewing opening books (also known as opening trees) such as Powerbook 2011 using ChessBase 11 can provide valuable information when you’re researching openings; you can bang through a series of moves and see statistics on how well (or poorly) specific moves and variations have fared in practical play. Continue reading

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Filed under chess, Chess software, ChessBase, ChessBase 11, Database software, Fritz Powerbook

Mega Database’s Superkey opening index

In the last post we discovered how to associate an opening with an ECO (Encyclopedia of Chess Openings) code using ChessBase 11. It was a quick way to do it, but it’s also not entirely accurate for extremely short variations. However, we have another tool for learning the ECO code for a specific opening variation: the “Superkey” opening index which is a part of ChessBase’s Mega Database (as well as the other large databases offered by ChessBase). Continue reading

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ChessBase 11 – finding an opening’s ECO code

One of the most frequently asked questions I’ve encountered over my years in the chess software business is “How do I find the ECO [Encyclopedia of Chess Openings] code for a particular opening?” There are a couple of different ways to do this using ChessBase 11, both by itself and in concert with the Mega Database’s opening key. Continue reading

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ChessBase 11′s “New Games” button

ChessBase 11 comes with a database of nearly four million chess games spanning the years 1475 to the third quarter of 2010. But new games are being played all the time. How do you get new games for inclusion in your ChessBase database? Continue reading

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