Web publishing with ChessBase 12 (part 1/3)

by Albert Silver
12/22/2013 – A common issue when considering writing a chess blog, or publishing chess news, is how to publish the actual chess material. Diagrams, chess notation, or a nice game replayer such as the one seen in the ChessBase News pages are a must, and the truth is, all our ‘secret’ tools are available in ChessBase 12. Here is an easy step-by-step guide on how to use all the main tools for online publication.

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Publishing notation

In its most classical format, as seen in books, chess games can very easily be inserted into a web page or blog. The first step requires a setting inside ChessBase so the notation is presented with letters for pieces and not pictures (know as figurine notation). The reason is that although you may be able to see the figuring notation just fine, they depend on special chess fonts that are installed with ChessBase 12, and others may not have them installed. If they don't, the figuirnes will appear as oddball codes. However, anyone should be able to see 7.Qg4 0-0 8.Nf3 etc. If that is how your notation already appears in ChessBase, feel free to skip this step.

To be certain non-figurine notation is published, click on File, then Options

Click on the Notation tab at the top, and press the KQNBRP
button, then Apply. The important things is the pieces be
represented by letters and not figurines.

The notation

Extracting the notation for a blog, as part of a text or commentary is very straightforward. Let's suppose you have the game open, just annotated it, and now want to publish it in text form. One tip: don't waste time adding diagrams now into the notation. For web publishing, it is better and easier to do this after. This is covered in the subsequent steps.

With the game open, click on File (top left), then Save, and select Textfile

The default options should work fine, just be sure you choose the
Format tab, and HTML

Select a name for your file and a location, and save. If it doesn't read HTML files,
you can change here as well

Ok, so you now have the game in an HTML file (meaning web-ready), how do you get that into your blog? If you are already a bit savvy with blog publishing, this step may not be necessary, but if you are not, don't worry, it is not hard.

First locate the HTML file where you saved it and open the file. It can be in Notepad for ease, but most likely if you double-click on it, it will open in your browser.

When you open the HTML file created by ChessBase 12, it will look something like this

Almost all blog editors are WYSIWYG, in other words, they act like Word, and whatever you copy and paste into them will appear very close to the original, with the same font size, color, and so on. Before worrying about more complicated steps, try highlighting the text you want to use, part or all, and then pasting directly into your blog or web page editor.

Highlight your text with the mouse and press Ctrl-C (or Ctrl-Ins) to copy, and
then paste with Ctrl-V (or Shift-Ins) onto the editor

It is possible this will do nothing, and you face an unfriendly editor. If this is the case, here is what you may need to do:

In the browser, right-click on the page, and select "View page source"

The page with the actual HTML code will open, and for the uninitiated, this can be scary. Don't be. All you really need to do is find the lines with <body> and </body>. You want to copy and paste all the code between those <body> lines. Remember, this is only in case your blog or web editor is not correctly handling the normal copy and paste process. If so, this way will absolutely work. Once you have copied this code, go to the web or blog editor, showing the code, and paste this where you would want the game to appear.

Adding diagrams

You will note that no mention of adding diagrams has been made yet. The reason is simple: although this HTML export can perfectly well use diagrams in the notation, the diagrams will always look the same, and always be the same size. You cannot affect them. As a rule, I prefer to save the diagrams seperately, and include them as I see fit.

Saving a diagram is incredibly simple. First go to the point in the game you want to save as a diagram. Then go to File (top left), Save, and Save position. But wait! You noticed how the board is set to its maximum size? The diagram you save is exactly the size of your board. If you want to save a smaller diagram, you need to ... shrink the board before saving.

If you drag the bar separating the board from the other panes you can resize it, and consequently the image saved. Please note that done this way, the image saved is not just the same size, but also retains the same colors and pieces you chose. Want a different board color to be published? Change the color and the image saved will use the colors you see. The same goes for the chess piece types.

Now just add the image(s) where you like, include captions, and you are set!

Sample game with diagram

1.e4 B/0 0 e6 B/0 0 2.d4 B/0 0 d5 B/0 0 3.Nc3 B/0 0 Bb4 B/0 0 4.e5 B/0 0 Ne7 B/0 0 5.a3 B/0 0 Bxc3+ B/0 0 6.bxc3 B/0 0 c5 B/0 0 7.Qg4 B/0 0 0-0 Both last book move B/0 0 8.Nf3 0.00/28 6 Qa5 (c5-c4) -0.15/24 6 9.Bd2 0.00/27 4 c4 -0.15/24 12 10.Be2 0.08/28 6 Qa4 -0.05/23 4 11.Ra2 0.18/25 6 Nbc6 (b7-b6) -0.07/24 20 12.0-0 0.00/23 4 Bd7 (f7-f6) -0.01/22 4 13.Ng5 (Nf3-h4) 0.26/23 7 13...Ng6 (b7-b6) 0.06/21 5 14.Rb1 (Qg4-h5) 0.46/25 5 14...b6 (Rf8-b8) 0.01/22 6 15.Qh3 (Ng5-f3) 0.51/28 5 15...h6 0.05/21 2 16.Nf3 0.54/30 5 Nce7 (Kg8-h7) 0.13/23 15 17.g4 0.96/27 10 Rfb8 0.13/23 17

Stockfish played a fantastic sacrifice against Houdini 3
for a decisive longterm attack

18.Bxh6!! 1.89/27 30 gxh6 0.13/21 0 19.Qxh6 2.02/28 5 Nf8 0.12/25 6 20.h4 (Nf3-g5) 2.12/28 3 20...Bc6 (Bd7-e8) 1.16/23 34 21.Ng5 (h4-h5) 3.67/21 1 21...Bb7 0.12/20 3 22.f4 3.45/26 6 Qc6 (Rb8-c8) 1.73/22 28 23.h5 (Qh6-f6) 4.86/27 3 23...Qe8 3.09/18 4 24.Rf1 5.18/29 5 Bc8 3.57/20 4 25.Kf2 5.21/30 16 Rb7 (b6-b5) 3.81/20 3 26.Bf3 (Rf1-g1) 5.65/26 3 26...Rc7 (Ra8-b8) 4.35/15 4 27.Rg1 6.10/27 3 Nc6 4.50/19 2 28.f5 7.51/28 8 f6 4.50/18 0 29.exf6 7.71/28 2 Nd8 5.94/19 5 30.Re1 8.84/27 13 Bb7 (Ra8-b8) 6.06/19 3 31.Raa1 (Re1-e5) 10.53/27 4 1-0

In part two, the javascript replayer with some powerful options and valuable tips will be shown.

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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