ChessBase Magazine and Pocket Fritz 3

7/13/2009 – If you own Pocket Fritz 3, you will have known for some time that the program allows you convenient access to almost all the data from the ChessBase Magazine DVD (since CBM 126). This means that the combination of Pocket Fritz 3 and ChessBase Magazine is unbeatable training and reference tool when you are away from home. Peter Schreiner gives more details…

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Using CBM Magazine with Pocket Fritz 3

Many of those who use Pocket Fritz 3 consider the program to be above all a chess opponent which is available at any time and an analysis assistant when they are on the move. But as well as its  numerous play and analysis functions the program offers yet another highly interesting option, which is not properly taken into account by many users. It does in fact provide you with a flexible reader which allows you to load and study when on the move much of the content of ChessBase Magazine.
For many years now ChessBase Magazine has been one of the leading chess publications. The combined issue with its booklet and DVD offer ambitious club and top professional players a rich variety of training material.
Pocket Fritz 3 can be used more or less like an e-book reader for most of the content of the magazine. So a Pocket Fritz user can be reading the magazine and doing some chess training at any time – e.g. during a long train journey.
Let us take a look at how, using CBM Magazine 130 as an example, we can use the data and contents of the magazine in combination with our pocket PC.

Installing the data

On the DVD of CBM Magazine 130 you will find the folder PPC_CBM130. Simply copy the complete folder on to an SD card: insert the said SD card into the card reader of your desktop computer and copy the folder directly on to your card. When the memory card has been put back in the Pocket PC, access to all its contents is possible. Be sure not to make use of any deeply complicated tree structure for your CBM data. Windows Mobile behaves in a relatively awkward way when confronted with long and complicated pathways and you could end up with problems accessing your data. SD cards are cheap and can easily be changed when your machine is running. As an example, I have reserved one of my own SD cards purely for use in combination with Pocket Fritz 3.

Accessing the contents

Pocket Fritz offers convenient access to the contents of the magazine via a database text. After the SD card with the data has been inserted and Pocket Fritz 3 started, the database text for the magazine is automatically proposed for you to select. Alternatively you can load the data via the menu  File - Chess Media.

A click on the entry "CBM130_ENG will launch a database text.

The database text is in fact an HTML-file with the appropriate extras required for chess, e.g. diagrams, links to games or Chess Media lessons. This data format is the equivalent to the database texts displayed within ChessBase. It makes it possible for you to see in a convenient fashion the contents of the ChessBase Magazine on your Pocket PC. A click with the stylus then loads a specific text which in turn contains links to games or interesting positions.

Below the text window, you will find the option of increasing or decreasing the display size by means of the two magnifying glass symbols.
The embedded links allow you to load into the board window the game or position which is under consideration.

In the board window you can play through the game and, in order to receive extra ideas, you can launch in the background the chess engine, which will display the program’s evaluation of the position on the board. The games are frequently analysed and you have the possibility of increasing the size of the notation.

When you play through a game, the program supports, in addition to variations and text commentary, the graphic commentary which is employed in our PC programs.

Playing audio commentary on games

But that is not all that Pocket Fritz 3 can do in conjunction with ChessBase Magazine. In my opinion, an absolute highlight is that it supports our Chess Media Format. Chess Media Format was first implemented in our chess program Fritz (PC version). It enables the playing within the program of videos in which chess lessons are embedded. What is happening on the graphical chess board is synchronised with the video which is being played. Pocket Fritz 3 also supports Chess Media, only the videos are not integrated. This makes sense because of the relatively restricted space on the screen for the display of the videos.
On the chess board the notation advances in parallel with the spoken commentary by the authors. Graphical comments such as coloured arrows and squares underscore visually the explanations given by the commentators. Such games with audio commentary can be found in the various columns, e.g. the opening trap or endgame training.

Conclusion: in conjunction with the CBM Magazine, Pocket Fritz 3 demonstrates in exemplary fashion the advantages compared to a notebook or a netbook. The Pocket PC fits into a jacket pocket and is simply much more convenient when you are on the move. All the contents are easy to consult and to work with, and in addition the program provides you with excellent analysis.

Problems with the Media files from the CBM Magazine?

Included with every magazine are the data in the Media format which is compatible with Pocket Fritz 3.
What can you do if the links from the database text do not work?
1. Be sure that you have installed the latest update for your Pocket Fritz Update. You will find that update in the column Service and Download.
2. Generally speaking, the data is transferred via Active Sync or the mobile device manager. When very large files are being copied on to the memory card of the Pocket PC it can happen that the file structure is not correctly transferred and that problems occur with the reading of the Chess Media files. Should this be the case, proceed as follows:
Step 1: Format the memory card with the file system FAT 32.
Step 2: Copy via the card reader.

Peter Schreiner

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