Fritz Powerbook 2012 provides users of the Fritz family of chess playing programs (Fritz 13, Rybka 4, Junior 12, Hiarcs 13, and Shredder 12) with a broader range of openings than the books which come with those programs. The individual books which ship with the programs are “tuned” to maximize the strengths of a chess engine (favoring open, tactical positions, and steering away from closed positions whenever possible); on the other hand, Powerbook 2012 is based on a compilation of games played between humans, with no artificial “tuning” – therefore Fritz Powerbook users will see their chess playing engines go into lines (such as closed games or speculative gambits) that are usually avoided when the engine’s regular opening book is used.
But the process of installing Powerbook 2012 is a bit different than we’ve seen in previous versions. The opening books and databases of previous Powerbooks were accessible directly from the CD or DVD. The latest version of Powerbook contains its books and databases in compressed form, so they must be installed to your hard drive by using the executable files on the Powerbook 2012 DVD.
Start by placing the Fritz Powerbook 2012 DVD in your computer’s disk drive tray. Close the tray and after a few moments you should see the following popup appear:
Click on the command I’ve highlighted in the above illustration – the one beside the picture of a tree – to begin the installation process.
Next you’ll see this:
…which lets you set up the language for the installation program. Pick your language from the pulldown menu and then click “OK”. You’ll see this message:
…and click “Next”.
This next display is pretty important. ChessBase 11 and the Fritz family of playing programs will NOT automatically find the opening books and databases after you’ve installed them; you’ll need to use each program’s “Open” commands to “point” the software to the correct location. So when you see this dialogue:
…be sure to note the folder into which the Powerbook files are going to be installed. Write it down if you feel the need (in fact, that’s a pretty good idea regardless). You’ll need this folder path later when it comes time to show your ChessBase and Fritz where the files are located.
If you want to change this folder path, you can type a different path into the box (highlighted in blue in the illustration) or use the “Browse” button to select a different drive and/or folder.
After you’ve selected a destination folder (or decided that the default is where you want the files to go), click “Next”:
This dialogue lets you select which components of the Fritz Powerbook to install.
Here’s a short description of the four items:
Powerbook 2012 – a large opening book (a.k.a. opening tree – the terms are interchangeable) containing 4,443,678 individual positions, each with statistics as to White/Black success rate and the average ratings of the players who undertook each move. The book was created by merging together 1,531,511 games taken from actual tournament practice by human players.
Powerbook Database 2012 – the aforementioned 1,531,511 games, provided so that when you come across an interesting position in the Powerbook tree, you can easily search for the position in the Powerbook database and play through the complete games in which that position appeared.
Strongbook 2012 – a subset of the complete Powerbook, intended primarily for professional players as a statistical reference and for use by pros as an opening book when using a chess engine as a sparring partner. The Strongbook is a tree created from top level games which contained “bleeding edge” opening theory at the time the tree was created.
Strongbook Database 2012 – the database of games from which the Strongbook tree was created.
Obviously, anyone who purchases the Powerbook 2012 DVD can use any or all of these components. Since I’m a club level player (not a professional player), I opted to install just the two “Powerbook” components and didn’t install the “Strongbook” (to save drive space for the videos I produce and my other professional work). But, as I said, you can install any or all of the four components as you wish.
After you’ve selected the components you wish to install (by checking or unchecking the boxes beside their names), click “Install” to let ‘er rip.
Next you’ll see this:
….which is simply asking what folder you want to put the tree/book into. This is just a sub-folder of the folder you previously selected, so click “Extract” (and make a quick mental or paper note to add “\books” to the database path you wrote down before, so that you can find your opening books later). Another dialogue will show you the progress of the file extraction/copying process.
When that’s finished, you’ll get another dialogue which pertains to your database choice(s):
…and here again you’ll want to note the folder path so that you can find your database(s) later. You’ll see another progress dialogue showing how far along the database installation process is at any given time.
When the database or databases have been installed, you’ll see this:
Click “Finish” and you’re done.
The last step will be to point ChessBase 11 and your Fritz programs to the opening books and databases.
In ChessBase 11, go to the Home tab and click the “Open” button:
to get this dialogue:
Use the pulldown menu to select which kind of file you wish to open (a database, which will have the “*.cbh” extension or a book/tree, which ends in “*.ctg”) as shown in the illustration, then navigate to the folder where you installed the item.
If you don’t know how to do the navigation, just click the “Computer” button on the left side of this dialogue, then follow the folder path you (hopefully) previously wrote down to “drill down” to the last folder listed in the path – and there you’ll see your file.
In the Fritz family of playing programs, you click “Play name of program” in the splash screen, then go to the File menu, select “Open”, then either “Open Database” or “Opening Book” (depending, obviously, on the type of file you want to open):
…and that will display the File Select dialogue, just as we saw for ChessBase 11 earlier.
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And don’t forget — when you purchase ChessBase, Fritz, and now ChessKing Windows PC computer software from uscfsales.com, you can receive free technical support from yours truly. Just e-mail me with your questions (but don’t forget to include your uscfsales.com order number!).
Have fun! – Steve Lopez
Copyright 2012, Steven A. Lopez. All rights reserved.