Watch Yannick and Almira online

2/13/2004 – Remember our last Radio ChessBase broadcast, with stunning video images of Elisabeth Pähtz? Well, tonight (16:00h GMT) we have another visual feast: Swiss GM Yannick Pelletier will appear live on the show! Oh, yes, he will be joined by Almira Skripchenko, France's top female grandmaster. Here are full instructions on how to tune in.

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Normally the Friday broadcast by Radio ChessBase is a fairly staid affaire, with two chess commentators – André Schulz and IM Oliver Reeh, both permanent staff of ChessBase – discussing and analysing topical games on the Playchess.com server. In German. The show is very popular, since the two move the pieces on the board while annotating games, starting variations, drawing arrows and highlighting squares while they speak to the audience. Cool technology, interesting to watch.

Then last Friday, in a relatively impromptu session, Radio ChessBase staged a premiere. Instead of the usual voice commentary we switched on a high-quality video feed. About a hundred visitors saw some pretty spectacular images. The special guest in the studio was Women's Junior world champion Elisabeth Pähtz. Here are pictures from the show.

Today we expect two interesting new guests: Yannick Pelletier, Swiss grandmaster, who is playing in the German Bundesliga. On Saturday his team, Werder Bremen, faces Hamburg's HSK.


Yannick Pelletier, here in a game against Germany's top GM Christopher Lutz

The second guest is our own Almira Skripchenko, who also plays for Werder Bremen. She is a bit of a star in this first-league soccer club, which has taken to doing promos for their chess section in front of 40,000 soccer fans on their giant replay screen.


"For Werder Bremen at the board: Almira Skripchenko", reads the display.

The Radio ChessBase broadcast starts at 17:00h local time (Hamburg/Paris). This translates to 16:00h GMT (= London), 21:30h New Delhi, 01:00h Tokyo and 11 a.m. New York, . You can find your own time zone here. Note that you will need broadband to be able to see the high-res video images.

How to get on Radio ChessBase

In order to watch the Radio ChessBase transmission you will either need Fritz or any Fritz-compatible program (Shredder, Junior, Tiger, Hiarcs); or you can download a free trial client here. Once you have installed the software you should set up an account. Full instruction on how to do so are available by pressing F1 (Help).

This painless procedure will only take you a couple of minutes. You should spend a little time thinking of a suitable name (or "handle"). Typing in something flippant, like "bla-bla", may seem funny right now, but if you start playing in tournaments or talking with chess celebrities you will rue the fact that you did not register with proper name. And we cannot change the handle later, you have to live with your choice. So choose with care. Remember that the chances are fairly remote that Garry Kasparov, in a Q&A session, will actually say "Well, here's an interesting question from bla-bla in New York..."

Assuming that you have registered properly, you will be able to log into the Playchess.com server in the future with a single click. Within seconds you can be playing chess against someone who will probably be located a few thousand miles away from you. Instructions on how to go to the different rooms, see the players, challenge a specific visitor or send out general challenges is to be found in the help above ("Playing chess online"). If you are a strong player, e.g. a grandmaster, there are special instructions to help you get acquainted here.

On the Playchess.com server there are many different "rooms". To watch tonight's Radio ChessBase show you should go to the Chess Media System room. In the German section you will find "Radio ChessBase" – that's where the action will be.

Once you are in the room you should click on the "Games" tab and load the game that is broadcasting the show. The name will be selfevident. If you arrive early you may want to watch excerpts from earlier broadcasts. Yes, we do record these sessions, which can be watched offline.

Note that a separate window "pane" opens for the audio and video broadcast, whenever this is available. If it doesn't do this automatically you can open the media window manually by clicking "Window – Panes – Chess Media System" (or pressing Ctrl-Alt-V). Note that you will need broadband to be able to see the high-res video images.

Note that we will be broadcasting very high resolution video images, which require a lot of bandwidth. This means that there will be a cap to the number of viewers during the session. If you miss the show by coming in late, or not at all (because of an inconvenient time zone) you can watch it later, in the same room, as an archive file. Some of the lectures require payment (usually one ducat (= 10 cents). The ducat system is explained here...

Finally, due to popular demand, we once again bring you The Picture:


Glamour shot of our studio guest Almira Skripchenko [Photo: J.B.Thiele]


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