Chessbase 17 review: "Even more of a substitute for a human trainer"

by Elmira Mirzoeva
12/13/2022 – We sent a copy of the new Chessbase 17 to the noted Russian journalist WGM Elmira Mirzoeva, and she wrote back quite excited how impressed she was, and that it was just such software and their new functions that allow young players to rise as quickly as they do. Read what she thinks in this review!

ChessBase 17 - Mega package ChessBase 17 - Mega package

ChessBase is a personal, stand-alone chess database that has become the standard throughout the world. Everyone uses ChessBase, from the World Champion to the amateur next door. It is the program of choice for anyone who loves the game and wants to know more about it.

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The updated program leaves a very positive impression. I liked a lot of things, but I can't say that I've fully understood all the new features of Chessbase 17 yet. What really caught my eye is how human-oriented the program has become.

For example, when you turn on an engine, any engine, it doesn't just show you possible lines, it gives you an evaluation of the position in words! This makes the program far more comprehensible for players who are just beginning to forge there way in chess, since instead of drowning them numbers and long lines, here everything is spelled out directly in verbal commentary!

In other words, Chessbase 17 has become even more of a substitute for a human trainer than it already had been. Of course, a computer program can't really replace a good instructor, especially for a young chess player, but it certainly can try! I think the rapid growth of young chess players today is linked with the development of chess software. So by working with Chessbase 17 even without a trainer, a person can reach a level of chess that previous generations of chess players couldn't even dream of!

The good thing about Chessbase 17 is that new games from around the world now pop up in the window and appear on your screen like a flash card, even without asking for this or setting it up. It happens automatically and it means you're up to date, which is great for professional players too.

Note the appearance of signs after the moves. Not only does it annotate moves with "?" or "!", but if you mouse over them, you can see the analyzed position right on the board! I found this quite useful too. Again, it's especially important for up-and-coming players.

On the whole I think Chessbase 17 is in keeping with the spirit of modernity. That is, the program has developed many tools for amateurs, and at the same time the feature set makes it possible to enjoy fast progress even without a living coach!

This is especially important nowadays when you can't always meet a trainer in person. The program helps to answer many questions and explains the decisions of the computer.
I also found the Buddy Engine to be very interesting, and it continues the line of thinking of Chessbase 17 as a whole, aimed at making the work of the chess player as autonomous as possible.

The interface of the program and a set of usual functions remained, but my overall personal impressions are improved. Granted this is purely my subjective perception, but it must be said my first experience with Chessbase 17 has been a positive one.

Hopefully in time, it will be even more so as I discover more in the new Chessbase 17! Many thanks to the developers!


Elmira Mirzoeva is a Russian journalist as well as a WGM and trainer.
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