ChessBase Account: videos for phones, computers

by Albert Silver
11/19/2015 – Last week, ChessBase announced a new suite of tools for Premium and Starter subscribers. Previously, these subscribers already enjoyed Playchess perks such as rated play, live grandmaster commentary, and more. Now they can also benefit from these new tools. Among the most exciting are the video/audio courses that can even be streamed on your smartphone!

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ChessBase Account

With the many new browser-based tools as well as usage of the words such as 'app' and subscriber, there was understandably a certain amount of confusion for some readers that should be clarified.

Web Apps

The word App is commonly used for programs that are downloaded for a smartphone or a tablet, sometimes free, and sometimes paid. A Web App, or browser app, is simply a program that runs directly from your browser, such as Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, or Safari. There is no need to download anything extra! Just open your browser, and click on the link (or save to your bookmarks).

Note: using a browser on a smartphone or tablet can often be impractical, but in the tutorials you will learn how to create an icon on your main screen that will open to the tool with a simple tap.

The graphic menu you will see to choose one of the many options

To access the ChessBase Web Apps go to and log in with your nickname and password.

ChessBase Video library

The new online ChessBase video library is a huge web archive of all the chess broadcasts shown on the server during the last years. Here you will find highlights such as Daniel King's "Power Play" show, Karsten Müller's "Endgame Magic Show" or TV ChessBase. At the moment about 300 videos are online and the number is constantly growing!

The home screen of the videotheque

The video library also offers you access to ten videos from the "60 minute" series - for free!
Well-known players and coaches explain opening concepts and inspire you with interesting
ideas that help you to broaden your repertoire.

If you click on the first one by elite player Loek Van Wely this is what you will see. Click on one
of the videos, such as Introduction, to see what happens.

It opens a board, with a video on the side and the game notation. Under this player you
will also noticea couple of symbols. The first one (above left) is to switch sides and show
Black on the bottom. The second (above right) is to maximize the board and video.

Maximized the board fills the screen, as do the video and notation. You will need to click
the same maximize button to revert to the way it was before. If you move the mouse over
the video, the play/pause button will appear as well as the volume and progress bars.

Smartphone and Tablets

One of the great benefits of these Web Apps is that they can run from browsers in any platform. That means not only can you enjoy this on a Mac or a Linux computer, but also iPhone, iPads, and Android smartphones and tablets. In other words, whether you are on a bus, or in a cafe, you can enjoy these tools, including the "videos".

Why the quotation marks? The multimedia chess presentations will work on a smartphone, but without video, only audio. The reasons are simple: even though many readers may enjoy powerful and fast connections, many do not, or have bandwidth limits. Audio only means far less connection data is used, and a smoother experience overall.

To access the videos directly, without going through the ChessBase Account home page, go to

The web site will automatically adapt to the width and orientation (portrait
or landscape) of your screen. Compare to the desktop image earlier on.

When a video is started, this time by Sergey Tiviakov, the board may
look very small. Be sure to tap the maximize button to increase the size.

As you can see the board immediately fills the screen and is easy to
follow. The video will pause if you were watching, so tap on Play to resume.

If you turn your phone or tablet to the side, while maximized, this is what it looks like. Now
you can also see the notation, and may prefer this.

How to create a one-tap icon on the home screen

This advice will work for all Android users, and may work for iPhone/iPad as well, though not having one, I cannot confirm.

In the Videos screen, tap on Menu (or the menu button) and select
Add to Home screen.

When you do this, it will open a pane as above, where you can give it
the name you want. The default here is ChessBase Videos.

Now on the main screen I can just tap on it and it will automatically
open the browser directly to the ChessBase Videos page

Subscription info

There are two types of subscriptions, the Starter package, which costs either 34.90 Euros/year or 3.49/month if you prefer to pay a smaller monthly fee only. The Premium Account, which also gives access to the videos, retails for 49.90 Euros/year or 4.99 Euros/month. Currently the Starter package is being offered for a free 90-day trial to allow users ample time to test them out to their fullest.

Bear in mind that both Starter and Premium accounts offer more than access to the Web Apps, they are fully enabled Playchess accounts, with rated play, access to live grandmaster commentary, and more.

For details on what each package offers go to Matrix in the ChessBase Account
page where a detailed list showing what each package offers is displayed.

A small note on the value. Each and every one of the 60-minute videos alone is worth 10 Euros in the ChessBase Shop, but are included at no extra cost here. Nevertheless you will also enjoy the numerous other videos such as the Power Play series by Daniel King, and many more!

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.