ChessBase Light 2007 - part 11

by ChessBase
8/4/2007 – ChessBase Light Premium 2007 allows you to enter and save games manually, and even provides you with an electronic "helper" which can dramatically reduce the time required to input a game by hand. Meet HEUMAS in the new ChessBase Workshop.

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We've seen (in the last ChessBase Workshop) how to create a new database and copy existing games from database to database. But what if you want to enter a game from scratch? Let's say you have one of your own games you wish to add to a database -- how do you do it?

It's really an easy thing to accomplish -- it may seem a bit laborious at first but after you've entered a few games by hand you'll come to appreciate how easy it is.

Launch ChessBase Light Premium 2007. Double-click on the icon for the database into which you want to add/save a game; this will open the game list for that database (This step isn't strictly necessary but it'll make you're life easier. If you have the game list for only one database open, ChessBase Light Premium will save any manually-entered games into this database by default).

After you've opened the game list for the "target" database (the one into which you wish to save the game you're about to manually input), open a new game window. You have several means of doing this:

  • The "open a new board" button (which looks like a chessboard) in the Toolbar at the top of the screen;
  • Selecting "File/New/Board" from the menus at the top of the screen;
  • Hitting CTRL-N on your keyboard.

Any of these three methods produces the identical result: a fresh board window. Now to enter the moves, just use the mouse to grab and move the pieces on the chessboard. Left-click on a piece and hold down the mouse button to pick a piece up. Move the piece to the target square, then release the left mouse button to drop the piece onto the chosen square.

If you wish to use it, you have a "helper" which can aid you in inputting the moves a bit more quickly. It's called HEUMAS, the intelligent move assistant. Click on a piece or pawn and hold down the left mouse button. After a moment you will see a potential target square be highlighted; if the highlighted square is the correct destination square, just release the mouse button and the piece or pawn will move to that square automatically. If the highlighted square isn't the correct destination, just move the piece to the square you wish and drop it there (as described above).

HEUMAS works in another way as well. You can left-click directly on the destination square and hold down the left mouse button; after a moment a piece or pawn will be highlighted. If this is the correct unit (the one which is supposed to move to that square), just release the mouse button and the piece or pawn will be moved to that square automatically. If a different chesspiece is supposed to move to that square, just move the mouse cursor over the correct chespiece and then release the button to automatically move that piece to the destination square. (As a side note, I find that using the second method [clicking the destination square] tends to be a bit more accurate than the first method mentioned, but both methods typically cause HEUMAS to "guess" correctly with an accuracy of 80% or more).

What if you enter an incorrect move? You have several ways to correct the move. One is to just go back a move (to the one immediately before the incorrect move) and make the correct move instead; when you see a popup appear with several buttons, click the "Overwrite" button. Another method is available if you've chosen to display VCR buttons under the chessboard -- the red arrow button will retract (and erase) the previous move, allowing you to enter a different move without getting the previously mentioned popup. You can also use the VCR buttons from the Toolbar -- the center button (which looks like a curved arrow) acts just like the red arrow button from the larger set of VCR buttons we just mentioned.

After you've input the moves, it's time to save the game. Go to the File menu and select "Save" (which will be followed in the menu by the name of the currently open database). You'll see the following dialogue appear:


This is where you'll fill in the header information for your game. Much of this dialogue is self-explanatory, but let's quickly run through the fields.


  • White/Black -- the names of the players. Remember that a player's last name goes in the lefthand box and the player's first name or initial goes in the righthand box. (See the previous ChessBase Workshop column on game searches in CBLight for more details).
  • Tournament -- the name of the event or its location. In reality, you can use this field for a variety of purposes. When I save games I've played against computers, for example, I use this field for time control and/or level setting information.
  • ECO code -- the alphanumeric ECO classification of the game's opening. This will be filled in automatically by ChessBase Light.
  • Elo White/Black -- the players' Elo ratings (if known).
  • Round/Subround -- the round and subround numbers for multi-round rated events.
  • Result -- the outcome of the game (1-0 is a White win, 0-1 signifies a Black win, the halves mean a draw, and there's even a pulldown menu of evaluation symbols available for incomplete games or blocks of analysis which you want to save in a database).
  • Year/Month/Day -- you can enter the complete date here if known or desired.

Note that you don't have to fill in every single field, only the ones you find necessary. In the case of actual games, it's usually desirable to have at least the player names and result filled in (but the more info you provide, the more valid header information will be present when you do games searches on that database later). For variation lines, analysis, etc. that you're adding to a database (creating your own "playbook" of openings, for example), you might just enter the word "Analysis" for the White player name, the name of the opening in the fields for "Black", perhaps the book or magazine title in the "Tournament" field, and a year of publication (using the "Year" field). It's up to you; this dialogue is very flexible.

After you've finished filling in the header information, click "OK" and the game will be saved. It will appear as the last game in the open database; scroll to the end of that database's game list and you'll see your game as the last entry in the list.

In the next ChessBase Workshop we'll look at a related function: replacing games. Until then, have fun!

You can e-mail me with your comments on ChessBase Workshop. All responses will be read, and sending an e-mail to this address grants us permission to use it in a future column. No tech support questions, please.


© 2007, Steven A. Lopez. All rights reserved.


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