ChessBase 11 – Updating the Player Encyclopedia

In Tuesday’s blog post we learned how to semi-automatically (“semi” because it does require some action on the part of the user) copy Mega Database 2011 to your hard drive within the ChessBase 11 software. But there’s a second component to the Mega Database DVD: an updated Player Encyclopedia. How do you update the files on your hard drive with the new ones on the Mega Database DVD?

This requires a little bit more work than copying the Mega Database, since there’s not a ChessBase command that takes care of it for you (automatically or otherwise). The procedure’s not very difficult but it does require that you understand the concepts of “files” and “folders”. If you don’t know how to copy files, it’s not very difficult and doesn’t require a degree in Computer Science; it’s fairly simple stuff. Please check out the link we’ve provided in the right-hand sidebar of this blog, under “Various links of interest”: the “Windows tutorial” link will take you to a site containing numerous instructional videos, including one on copying files and folders. It’s not hard to learn (nor especially time-consuming) and you’ll be a far more adept computer user after you’ve learned the process.

The Player Encyclopedia is installed to your hard drive when you install ChessBase 11. There have been a few prior blog posts describing CB11 features which wholly or partly use the Player Encyclopedia (look for the posts from late March 2011, plus the one from April 1st). You can access the Player Encyclopedia directly in CB11 by clicking the “List player encyclopedia” button in the initial database desktop screen:

ChessBase 11 chess database software from

Click the picture for a larger view

You can type a player’s last name in the search box in the lower left-hand corner of the screen to go to his or her name in the scrolling list, then double-click on the listed name to get an “ID card” for that player:

ChessBase 11 chess database software from

Click the picture for a larger view

That’s just one example of the utility of the Player Encyclopedia; there are plenty of others. Updating the Player Encyclopedia will make sure you have newer information available to you than the info which was installed by CB11.

What we’re going to do is copy the updated information from the Mega Database DVD to the proper folder on your hard drive. Now I would love to give you a “quick and dirty” guide to this, but there’s a hitch: using different Windows versions means that there will be different default location for the Encyclopedia. So, instead, I’ll show you how to find the default location on your own computer, and then we’ll copy the files.

To find the default location of the Player Encyclopedia, fire up ChessBase 11, click on the Application menu button, then on the “Options” button near the bottom of the menu:

ChessBase 11 chess database software from

This will open the Options dialogue. Click on the “Folders” tab near the top of the dialogue:

ChessBase 11 chess database software from

The box under “Player Database Path” will show you the path (drive letter, folders, and subfolders) to the default location of the Player Database. Make a note of this location, because you’re going to need it in a few moments. Then click “Cancel” to leave this dialogue.

Next you’ll right-click in an empty spot somewhere on your ChessBase 11 database desktop (not on a database icon!), and select “Windows Explorer” from the pop-up menu:

ChessBase 11 chess database software from

This will display the Windows Explorer dialogue, allowing you to navigate to any drive, folder, and file on your computer. With the Mega Database DVD in the drive, go to your DVD drive’s listing (in the left-hand pane in Windows Vista and 7) and select the “Playbase” folder to open it:

ChessBase 11 chess database software from

Click the picture for a larger view

Single-left-click on the “Playbase.MMA” folder to highlight it. Hit the CTRL-A key combination on your keyboard to highlight everything in the Playbase folder. Then right-click on any of these folders and select “Copy” from the pop-up menu:

ChessBase 11 chess database software from

It’ll look like nothing has happened, but you’ve just told Windows Explorer that you want to copy these files.

Remember a few steps ago when I told you to make a note of the default location of the Playbase folder on your hard drive? Navigate to that location now and open the Playbase folder. Right-click on an empty spot in this list of Playbase folders and select “Paste”:

ChessBase 11 chess database software from

Click the picture for a larger view

This will start the process of copying the files from the DVD to your hard drive. When you see confirmation dialogues asking if you want to “Merge folders” and “Overwrite files”, the answer is “Yes” (and be sure to look for the shortcut boxes which say “Do this for all current items” – they’ll save you a passel of work). Note that you’re going to be copying thousands of files, so the copying may take a while. Be patient. When the status bar disappears, the copy process is finished and your ChessBase 11 Player Encyclopedia is updated. Now when you use CB11 features which draw information from the Player Encyclopedia, you’ll know that the info is more up-to-date than that which was supplied on the CB11 DVD.

Have fun! – Steve Lopez

Chessplayers who have purchased their ChessBase brand software from USCFSales can receive free technical support and advice on their purchases straight from me; just shoot me an e-mail (, but please remember to include the USCFSales order number from your ChessBase software purchase. – Steve

Copyright 2011, Steven A. Lopez. All rights reserved.


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Filed under chess, Chess software, ChessBase, ChessBase 11, Database software, Mega Database

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