ChessBase 9.0 – the chess browser (1)

10/23/2004 – It has taken a while to finish, mainly because the program has been completely rewritten to modularise it and integrate it seamlessly into our software range. But now at last ChessBase Version 9.0 is out and available for purchase. For users of the previous versions we bring a list of all the new features and facilities the new program has to offer. Part one...

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ChessBase 9.0 – Part 1

The new database browser

Installing ChessBase 9 is a simple matter of inserting the program disk into the drive and choosing the install option. However a few things have to be said. For one the program is delivered on a DVD, not a CD. This means you will have to have a DVD drive on your computer in order to install the new program. DVD drives have become standard these days, so if you do not have an older system there should be no problems. The advantage of the DVD is that everything you need for productive work with the program is installed in one session: the program itself, a big database of 2.6 million games, openings keys, the players encyclopaedia, etc.


ChessBase 9.0 main workspace (click to enlarge)

When you first start the program you will, as a user of ChessBase 8, feel immediately at home. Not much seems to have changed. The layout is very similar to what you have been working with so far, but there are a few things you might notice immediately. One is the Playchess.com button at the bottom left of the screen. This takes you straight to the Playchess server for a quick game, or when you want to follow a lecture or some live event. The other is the “Game History” folder in the navigation window on the left. This is the place where you can find any material you recently looked at.

Once you start delving deeper you will find that although everything looks very familiar, there are countless enhancements that make its operation simpler and more efficient. And very much faster. Searching, sorting, classifying – operations that used to require a considerable amount of computing power and time, are no problem for the new program. We will look at some of the new functions in this article, although the space will only allow us to do so somewhat cursorily. In future editions of ChessBase Magazine we will describe individual functions and operations in greater detail. You can also visit our web site, www.chessbase.com, where we regularly publish tutorials and support articles on our software.

The list windows

ChessBase 9.0 has a completely new and very powerful list window format. Each list is freely configurable, and the tabs at the top of the window allow you to switch very easily between different lists. The information contained in each can be sorted by clicking on the column headers with the mouse.


The new list window with one-click sorting (click to enlarge)

One useful feature is the tool-tips information. If you move your mouse cursor onto any entry (and leave it there for a second or two) you will get more specific information on it. For instance moving it onto an ECO code will produce the full name of the opening in plain language.

Here are some of the things you can do in the ChessBase 9.0 lists:

  • Drag a column header to the left or right to change the order of the columns in the list window.

  • You can also right-click a column header to configure the list. A menu appears in which you can hide or show individual columns.

  • Right-click the game list to select predefined list formats, fonts and other format options.

  • Left-click a column header to sort the list by the contents of this column. Click it again to reverse the sort order. For instance: clicking the column “Elo W” will immediately bring the strongest white players to the top of the list. A red marking tells you which column was used for sorting.

  • Drag one or several games with the mouse to another position in the list. In this way you can manually reorder the entries in the list. This is useful if you want to change the order in which a batch of games is printed or merged.

  • Use Tools – Fix Sort Order to make the current list order permanent.

  • Drag a game notation (from a board window) into a list to save the game there.

In summary: you can reorganise lists, add new columns, remove the ones you don’t need, sort the lists, automatically by clicking on column headers, or manually by dragging entries around, and then make the new sorting permanent if you wish.

– To be continued –


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