ChessBase 13: everything you wanted to know

by Albert Silver
11/22/2014 – ChessBase 13 is one of the most significant steps forward in all the iterations, bringing a slew of refinements and usage improvements, as well as important new tools for the casual and pro user. These include Cloud databases, new repertoire tools, batch analysis tools for positions, new annotation tools, and many more. See what else you'll find in this detailed overview.

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The number of improvements, changes, and new tools is truly impressive and it is clear the development team has not been idle, putting out one of the most ambitious upgrades ever.  

The latest and greatest version of ChessBase

Cloud Databases

Clearly, if there was a flagship function that helped define ChessBase 13, this is it. Cloud technology has grown by leaps and bounds in the last years, and ChessBase has embraced it with open arms. After creating the Cloud Engines in the Fritz interface, with ChessBase it is now possible for you to store your data not only on your own hard drive but also on the ChessBase servers. 

The easy access functions allow you to create and share a database and keep it to yourself,
or choose who to share it with

This makes it possible for you to quickly and easily access files or databases at anytime, or share with others such as a friend, colleague, or student. You have complete control on who gets access, and can keep them private, share with specific users, or even make them public on the web!

Repertoire Databases in the Cloud

In ChessBase 13, no longer is there a single massive repertoire database and you can manage your opening repertoire in two databases, one for White and one for Black. These can be saved and updated to the cloud so that you can access them from any computer that has ChessBase 13 installed.

Analysis Jobs

New to ChessBase is a series of incredibly powerful position analysis tools, leveraging the powerful hardware that is commonplace nowadays, as well as the new tools such as Cloud Engines. Now you can create a list of positions described as an Analysis Job that is easily edited and that is automatically analyzed by ChessBase 13 when you choose.

The new Analysis Jobs lets you save positions to a database to analyze
at a later time of your choosing

You can choose the type of analysis, the engine used, and more. The results of the evaluations by chess engines are stored in a database with the same name, so that you can return to them later to study.

Publishing Cloud Databases on the Web

Just as you could publish games and databases online with a click, you now extend this ability to your cloud databases. Your standard browser will be loaded, together with functions to replay games, choose from a list, and a link will be created so others can download them in PGN if they wish.

Game annotation improvements

Annotating a game is one of the most primary functions in the program, and to streamline this process just that extra bit, a new toolbar now appears in the Notation Window. In the board window this toolbar contains the most important functions for editing the notation in easy to understand buttons. Naturally, if you want access to all the tools you can right-click on the notation as always.

Now the most common annotation functions are readily accessed at the bottom of the notation

Furthermore, entering moves has been made much easier. The variation dialog pops up less often, and if an alternative move is entered in the notation a variation is usually created without a variation dialog being displayed.

Deep Analysis with multiple instances of an engine

Multi-core computers are the norm and not the exception, and now the same engine can be loaded more than once in the same window. This allows more possibilities in the analysis mode "Deep Position Analysis", which analyzes moves and variations in detail as it tries to reach the truth of the position. This means that an engine such as Komodo 8 can be opened several times with each analyzing a different move.

Extended Rating information

Now that FIDE's blitz and rapid ratings are gaining traction, it makes sense to be able to choose which rating is saved with a game. Now, when saving a game, there is now a new tab called Rating where information on International or National ratings can be selected, or Blitz and Rapid for example. And correspondence players need not feel they were overlooked, as there are also options for ICCF and correspondence ratings.

The new ratings tab makes it easier to differentiate standard games from blitz or rapid

Player Encyclopedia server lookup

Each and every edition of Mega Database or ChessBase program has been accompanied by a large and continuously updated file with player pictures and information. Unfortunately, these updates came with a considerable gap from one product or version to the next. Now ChessBase 13 will automatically consult ChessBase's online files and download the pictures and information of any players so you always get the full experience.

Now ChessBase will automatically update the Player Encyclopedia with the players of the game

Also, not only is there now much more information in the top line of a game in the board window, but if you click on the photo you will see a larger version. Bear in mind that the year of the game is taken into account, so a game with Kramnik from 1998 would not have the same picture as a game of his from 2014.

New CBCloud Database Format

The CBCloud format is made up of only four files. There are no index files for the players, tournaments, etc. The same data can be stored as in the CBH format, but due to the lack of index files there are less functions to access the data. Sorting and two-level deleting is possible.

Input and saving of illegal positions

For a variety of reasons, it can be useful to have access to illegal positions to illustrate a concept, such as a pawn structure without kings. Previously ChessBase would not permit this, but ChessBase 13 now supports the input and saving of illegal positions. Naturally, it will give you a warning when you do, to prevent this happening by accident.

Previously one was forced to add a king somewhere even when the point was just to illustrate an idea

Syzygy Tablebase support

ChessBase 13 supports a relatively new endgame database format, the Syzygy Endgame Tablebases, a new format designed by Ronald de Man from Holland. One of its biggest advantages is the huge amount of space saved (seven to ten times smaller) and how easily engines can access them from the RAM. New engines such as Komodo 8 and Houdini 4 support them. Still, do not worry as the older formats such as Nalimov and Gaviota continue to be supported if you use them.

Purchasing options

We have four different packages to meet the needs of both new and exisiting customers, from the everything-you-could-wish-for Premium package to the no-frills upgrade option from ChessBase 12 to ChessBase 13. Whatever your wants or needs you should find a package to your taste.

ChessBase 13 Premium package

• ChessBase 13 program
• Mega Database 2015 (approx. 6 million games, 68,000 with annotations)
• 1 year premium membership to
• Access to ChessBase Cloud and ChessBase Online Database (over seven million games)
• Games download until 31st December 2015
• One year subscription to ChessBase Magazine (six issues)
• Corr Database 2013
• Endgame Turbo 4 (four DVDs with Syzygy tablebases)

Available here...

ChessBase 13 Mega package

• ChessBase 13 program
• Mega Database 2015 (approx. 6 million games, 68,000 with annotations)
• Access to ChessBase Cloud and ChessBase Online Database (over seven million games)
• Games download until 31st December 2015
• One year subscription to ChessBase Magazine (six issues)

Available here...

ChessBase 13 Starter package

• ChessBase 13 program
• Big Database 2015 (approx. 6 million games)
• Access to ChessBase Cloud and ChessBase Online Database (over seven million games)
• Games download until 31st December 2015
• Subscription to ChessBase Magazine for half a year (three issues DVD + booklet)

Available here...

ChessBase 13 - Upgrade from ChessBase 12

• ChessBase 13 program
• Access to ChessBase Cloud and ChessBase Online Database (over seven million games)

Available here...

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, and the content creator of the YouTube channel, Chess & Tech.


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