ChessBase 10 taken for a tour in The Atlantic

1/13/2009 – Not the ocean, the monthly magazine known for its visionary articles. In December The Atlantic took a look at the ChessBase 10, the "beefier new version of the database program that is the tournament player’s gold standard." The reviewer, Edward Tenner, concludes: "New chess software makes it easier for younger players to reach the top of their game - and harder to stay there." Rook dreams.

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The Atlantic, which was formerly known as The Atlantic Monthly, is an American magazine founded in Boston in 1857. Originally created as a literary and cultural commentary magazine, its current format is of a general editorial magazine primarily aimed at a target audience of "thought leaders". The magazine is known to have published speculative articles that inspired the development of whole new technologies. The classic example is the publication of Vannevar Bush's essay "As We May Think" in July 1945, which inspired Douglas Engelbart and later Ted Nelson to develop the modern workstation and hypertext technology. Full article on The Atlantic in Wikipedia.

Rook Dreams

Review by Edward Tenner

This past fall, the world championship match in Bonn, Germany, wasn’t the only thing stirring up chess enthusiasts. ChessBase 10, a beefier new version of the massive database program that is the tournament player’s gold standard, had arrived.

ChessBase, introduced for Atari in 1987, is now a compendium of 3.75 million games reaching back more than five centuries. Compiling statistics, including the results from games just downloaded from the Web, it also shows percentages of games won after various alternative moves. The heritage of chess thus becomes a vast, branching cave to be explored game by game. Young Bobby Fischer huddled in the New York Public Library stacks with Russian magazines, constantly resetting pieces. Today’s contenders can play through new games online and onscreen, adding their own games to the ChessBase record and learning more rapidly from their mistakes.

Knowing thine adversary has never been easier. Even the victorious defending champion Viswanathan Anand has said he can’t afford to have a favorite opening. Under pressure because of efficient scrutiny through databases and analysis engines like Fritz (another popular high-level software program that works out new moves), top players must prepare more variations than ever.



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