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:
Notice, though, that in this game most of the analysis is contained within the variation 4.e5. It would make much more sense (both visually and organizationally) to make the 4.e5 variation the game’s main line (instead of the present 4.Bd2).
So how do we do that?
As with many other things in ChessBase 11, right-clicking gets you everywhere. In this instance we’ll right-click on the move 4.e5 to get a pop-up menu:
I’m sure you’ve guessed where we’re headed next from looking at the above image. Click on the “Promote variation” command, and you’ll see the game’s notation change accordingly:
The 4.e5 variation is now the main line while 4.Bd2 has been relegated to the status of a variation line.
We have another fork in the road later in the game, the choice between White’s 7.Qg4 and 7.Nf3. This is a good place to illustrate how valuable this feature can be to correspondence chess players. Let’s say that this Notation pane represents your ongoing analysis of one of your games as Black. Looking ahead, you’ve expected White to play 7.Qg4, so that’s what you’ve entered as a main line move. But your opponent surprises you with 7.Nf3, so you’d like to make that move the main line instead. You’d just right-click on the move 7.Nf3, select “Promote variation”, and you’d see the notation change to this:
…and, after further thought, you decide to play 7…Qc7 instead of your previously preferred 7…Nbc6. Just follow the same procedure with the 7…Qc7 variation to get this view:
Compare the above illustration with the first one at the start of this article and you can vividly see the difference. Even if you’re not a correspondence player, you’ll find this feature useful for making games much more organized.
Note that none of these changes are permanent unless you also use either the “Save” or “Replace” commands from the Application menu.
Also please take note of the fact that the “Promote variation” command is also useful as a means of reorganizing branch variations (such as at White’s fourth move in the illustrations above). The “Promote variation” command can be used as a way to resort variations, since the promoted and demoted variations always swap places. For example, if I promote 4.a3 (the second of the three variations listed at White’s fourth move), it swaps places exactly with 4.e5, so that 4.e5 (the former main line) is now the second listed variation (just the same as 4.a3 had been):
So, for example, in the illustration below:
…White’s fourth move variations are listed in the following order:
But let’s say that, for whatever reason, you want the moves listed in this order:
…(in other words, you want to reverse the order). By using “Promote variation” in the way just described, you can change the order of these variations:
This is almost like a game in itself – by using ChessBase 11’s “Promote variation” feature just three times, you can change the variation order from one display to the other. Try it!
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.