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.
For those users (meaning, of course, all of us), I’d like to present what may well be the handiest keyboard shortcut you’ll ever use in ChessBase 11: the “T” key.
When you’re in a game window, hitting “T” allows you to take back the current move and enter a different one as the start of a new variation. For example, you can open a new game window and input the moves 1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3 g5 4.Bc4 g4 5.0–0 gxf3 6.Qxf3 Qf6:
Let’s assume that you want to input a variation starting with 3…d6. You could click on the move 3.Nf3 (to highlight it and jump to that position), then make the move 3…d6 – but you’d get that annoying popup asking if you want to overwrite the original move, replace it, start a new variation, etc.
What you should do instead is this: highlight the move 3…g5 and then hit the “T” key on your keyboard. This will take back the current move (that’s what “T” stands for in this case: takeback) and allow you to make a different one as the start of a new variation. You’d just make the move 3…d6 and input the moves following it. When you’re done, the Notation pane will look like this:
As you can see, the line starting with 3…d6 has been added as a new variation.
Now that alone makes this a really useful keyboard shortcut – but there’s more…
Have a look at the final position from the game Schmidt-Rumpl, Austria 1998:
White has just played 62.Rf7+ and Black resigned because of the forced mate in this position. Here’s what the Notation pane looks like:
What we’d like to do here is input the mating combination and save it as an annotation. But what happens when we try to enter the moves?
They wind up being entered as part of the actual gamescore. But we don’t want that, being as the moves weren’t played in the actual game. So how do we get around this problem?
I’ll bet you’ve already figured it out. Just click on the final move (62.Rf7+) to highlight it, hit the “T” key, and then make the move 62.Rf7+ again:
Notice that the same move has been entered as the start of a new variation. Now we can just bang in the rest of the moves to illustrate the forced mating sequence:
And don’t forget, if you want to save your work as part of a ChessBase 11 database, you’ll need to use the “Save” command (to save it as a new game) or the “Replace” command (to replace the existing game with the newly-edited version).
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org), but please remember to include the USCFSales order number from your ChessBase software purchase. – Steve
Copyright 2011, Steven A. Lopez. All rights reserved.