MyGames: free Cloud Database on the web (1/2)

by Albert Silver
2/15/2015 – Among ChessBase's new free software designed for web browsers is the rather innocuous sounding 'MyGames', but the sheer power and possibilities of this particular service are not to be underestimated. It is intimately tied in with the new Cloud Database service in ChessBase 13, but allows a wide range of possibilities for players, teachers, and tournament organizers.

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The Cloud Database function in ChessBase 13 is a great addition to the toolset, leveraging the ever growing trend in cloud computing in general. Stripped down to its most basic functionality, it allows a user to store a database of games on the internet, where it can be accessed, updated, and modified from any computer. Anyone could do this with other classic services, even your email could be used to send and receive a CBV file, but this skips all those steps. You just work with the database directly as if it were on your computer. A significant step in convenience, granted, but why is that such a big deal?

The big deal is when you work with others. Using the Cloud Database, you can not only store a database, but can set special permissions, allowing you to invite specific users to access and edit it as you wish. A teacher can work with a student by sharing a database this way, editing it little by little, and vice-versa. The same is true of players with seconds and friends, or an organizer updating a database of games from an event. There was one small caveat though: in all cases, both parties needed to have ChessBase 13 installed on their machines. You'll notice I said 'was', as in 'not anymore'.

Introducing the new MyGames browser app, that in many ways opens the door to options without ChessBase 13 installed on all machines. In the following two-part tutorial, you will learn what it is, how to use it, and a variety of ways to leverage the new possibilities it offers.

Accessing the web Cloud Database

First click here to go to MyGames.chessbase.com

If you are not logged in already, click on the Log In button at the top right.

Creating a ChessBase account is free, though if you have a Playchess account, use that.

If you have databases already in the Cloud Database, it will allow you to
choose one to work with as soon as you log in. If you have none, do not
worry, you can create a new one here. Here I will select 'test cloud', which
has one game in it as can be seen. It will also show database shared by others.

Creating and editing databases

Once you open a database, it looks much like the Database app that can be searched. On the
right, it shows the stats based on the online database, and at the top you have the usual options.
However, there are a few key differences.

One of the functions it allows is to open a PGN stored on your computer,
or if you are in a LAN house, from your pendrive

At the top left is a button called Databases that allows you to Open a
database, Create a new database, or delete a database. Let's create one.

A small window will open asking you to select a name for it

Once it is created, the list of databases will open, allowing you to select it

We then press New Game and begin entering moves. There is a key difference heree though:
at the bottom are all the editing functions you would find in ChessBase. You can add comments,
evaluations as well as text, promote lines, and more. Here I pressed 'Text After' and added the
text comment above.

Afraid you might be making bonehead comments? Just click the Engine button at the top.

The Fritz 14 engine will open and provide instant analysis of the move. You can copy and paste the
engine's analysis, but only as a text comment at the moment.

When it is time to save the game to the database, click on Save and choose an option. 'Save'
is to replace a game already saved, but that you were editing. 'Save as New' means it will be
saved as a separate game, and Edit is only to change the header information such as names.

A new window will open allowing you to enter all the pertinent information

As you can see, the MyGames browser app allows you full game entry and editing functionality, from text comments, to moves, and even engine analysis. You can do all this without Fritz or ChessBase 13 on your machine.

Obviously there is a limitation: to export the games, or change permissions such as sharing it with someone else, you need ChessBase 13.

In the next part, we will look at the various ways one can exploit this functionality on the web and with ChessBase 13 for use between players, teachers and students, and even event organizers.

Click here to go to MyGames.chessbase.com



Born in the US, he grew up in Paris, France, where he completed his Baccalaureat, and after college moved to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He had a peak rating of 2240 FIDE, and was a key designer of Chess Assistant 6. In 2010 he joined the ChessBase family as an editor and writer at ChessBase News. He is also a passionate photographer with work appearing in numerous publications.
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KarlOve KarlOve 3/28/2016 11:46
This seems to be fixed by now.
KarlOve KarlOve 12/21/2015 12:59
I agree with rooster85. Quite buggy, unfortunately.
rooster85 rooster85 2/19/2015 12:09
Bertman, I am logged in with my playchess account. In fact, I'm trying to edit games in my playchess.com database from the cloud. Still doesn't work. The "Games Attributes" window won't go away after I click OK and I can't do anything but to restart the app. When I do that, my changes are not saved.
I have now tried the same with latest chrome browser and with Internet Explorer 11, and the same happens in all browsers.
Bertman Bertman 2/19/2015 06:10
@prucea

There are two ways, though one is less reliable at the moment. The first is simply to open ChessBase 13, create a Cloud database of your choice, and then to go to My Databases (see the left menu of directories) and drag and drop the games into the Cloud database.

The second method involves opening a PGN file with your game within MyGames, and then using the Copy and Paste functions in the app, but I have found this a bit unreliable. In a few days I will post a follow-up article, answering this question in detail.
Bertman Bertman 2/19/2015 03:48
@Rooster85

You need to be logged in with your Playchess nickname for the functions to work.
prucea prucea 2/17/2015 03:00
I currently have all my tournament games saved on my computer in Chessbase database format.
Is there a way to export this database to this new Chessbase cloud database?
rooster85 rooster85 2/16/2015 11:33
Hello,

I'm sorry but the app is not functional, still... I have tried with Firefox before (and I have also sent feedback on this, though I have not heard back), and now I have tried with newest Chrome browser - after making changes to the game such as adding text comments or adding/editing lines, the save feature does not work. I clicked save, the pop-up window shows and when I click ok, nothing happens... nor can I close the pop up window afterwards, or do anything at all. The pop-up window remains open and the app looks frozen.
It's a great idea IMHO, but there are still a lot of bugs in the app. It is useful only for browsing through games or checking lines with the engine at this time.
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