Opening ChessBase-format chess eBooks using Fritz12

My friend Will at USCFSales has been getting hit with this question a fair little bit lately: “I just bought a ChessBase-format eBook from USCFSales. How do I open and read it using Fritz12?” So I’ve decided to write it up today to hopefully clarify this point for our customers.

The first (and, arguably, the most important step) is this: when you download the eBook you’ve purchased, you need to know where you’ve saved it on your hard drive. You’ll need to know (and remember, at least for the next few minutes) which folder you’ve saved the downloaded file into. This is one of those times where you can’t just rely on some “program default” or expect that it “just happens” automatically. This is precisely why there’s a link in this blog’s sidebar leading to a third-party Web site containing Windows instructional videos. Here’s the link again in case you need it:

Windows instructional videos

After you’ve downloaded the eBook file, launch Fritz12 and select “Play Fritz” in the initial splash screen. Once you’ve reached the main chessboard screen of the program, you’ll need to open the game list window. There are two ways to do this:

1 – Hit the F12 key on your keyboard;

2 – Open the Application menu (by clicking on the green button in the screen’s upper left-hand corner), select “Open”, and then “Open database”.

Fritz12 chess playing computer software from USCFSales.com

A game list will open as a separate window. Go to the Application menu in this window and select “Open”:

Fritz12 chess playing computer software from USCFSales.com

Click on the picture for a larger view

After you’ve done this, the Windows file select dialogue will appear:

Fritz12 chess playing computer software from USCFSales.com

Click on the picture for a larger view

Use this dialogue to navigate to the drive and folder into which you downloaded the ChessBase-format eBook you’ve purchased. (Here again, if you don’t know how to use this dialogue to get around on your computer, those Windows video tutorials will show you how to do it). After you’ve opened the folder into which you downloaded the file, you’ll see it displayed in the large box in the dialogue’s center:

Fritz12 chess playing computer software from USCFSales.com

Click on the picture for a larger view

Boring, but necessary, technical detail: You may note that the filename ends in .CBV – this is a special compressed file which actually contains the multiple files (as many as twenty or more) which make up a ChessBase-format database. When you open this CBV file it will expand into these many multiple files. This is why I recommend that you DON’T save an eBook download onto your Windows desktop and instead save it into a specific folder of your choice; otherwise you’ll have a Windows desktop crowded full of icons when the CBV file uncompresses.

There are two ways to open (and uncompress) the CBV file using this dialogue:

1 – Single-click the filename to highlight it (as seen in the illustration above) and then click the “Open” button;

2 – Double-click the filename (which will open it immediately).

After you’ve used one of these two methods to open the file, the files will uncompress (you might see a brief flicker of a status bar, because the decompression process usually takes less than a second), and you’ll see the game list for the eBook you’ve purchased:

Fritz12 chess playing computer software from USCFSales.com

Click on the picture for a larger view

Note that games are listed in bold face while texts are shown in a normal typeface. With most ChessBase-format eBooks you’ll begin by reading the text files; these will typically contain links to the games. You’ll read some of the text, play through a game, close the game, read more of the text, play through another game, and so on.

Fritz12 chess playing computer software from USCFSales.com

Click on the picture for a larger view

If you decide to open another database in Fritz, you’ll be able to find your eBook in the “Recent databases” list in the Application menu of the game list screen:

Fritz12 chess playing computer software from USCFSales.com

Click on the picture for a larger view

USCFSales offers chess eBooks on a wide range of topics, most of which are in ChessBase format and are thus readable in ChessBase 11 and the various playing programs which ChessBase produces (Fritz12, Rybka4, etc.).

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 (steve@uscfsales.com), 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 playing software, Chess software, ChessBase, Fritz

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