ChessBase Magazine 216 - a review

by Davide Nastasio
11/23/2023 – The ChessBase Magazine offers many advantages. When he got hold of the latest issue of the magazine - #216 - Davide Nastasio was happy about the wealth of chess content CBM offers, but he was also happy about the other advantages of the magazine. In his review he reveals why.

ChessBase Magazine 216 ChessBase Magazine 216

World Cup 2023: Analyses of Pragg, Abasov, Giri, Vidit, Berkes, Duda, Svidler and many others. Videos of Rogozenco and Paehtz, "Special" on Hou Yifan, opening videos of Engel, King and Marin, 11 repertoire articles and much more.


When I received and installed ChessBase Magazine #216, I was perplexed at the amount of data I downloaded, over 3.8 GB! And then I was amazed at the speed it was installed on my HD, just a few seconds.

The problem for me is the following, I'm from the paper generation, I learned from books, while my son mainly discovers the world through YouTube, so I would be inclined to buy a chess magazine on paper, but then I would have problems with my soul-mate who doesn't want to see chessboards and magazines everywhere. And I must also admit now I consume chess in different ways. I lay down in bed after a long day at work, and just enjoy the latest games on my computer screen while my back rests, or I like to walk on the treadmill now that the temperature outside dropped in the freezing range, and I still want to watch some chess videos.

Hence the format of the Chessbase Magazine is the best to actually give me chess knowledge, compared to the chess books I love but which often lay on bookshelves unread.

Chess is made by many elements, two of the main elements are calculation and tactics, when practiced extensively they improve our chess, devoting more neurons in our brains to pattern recognition.

CBM 216, but also previous issues, do cover this important aspect of chess training through the following sections, Tune your tactics by Oliver Reeh, with 4 videos, and over 42 games with different combinations, and questions like the following:

And Practice makes perfect, it's your move! With 50 positions which are very instructive, and will stretch our calculation to the limit, like the following one, in which I found the correct move, also if I admit not within the time allotted.

The above position is really a good example of how we should train. In today's tournaments the time control is quite shorter, than what it was in the 1970ies, therefore we need to become quite good at calculating fast and precisely, hence the need for a magazine like this one which challenges us with positions taken from real games.

Notice how Oliver Reeh is also training our visualization asking to project our mind's eye a couple of moves in advance and find the winning move in... 5 seconds LOL

I did it! Just one second left! Very exciting.

On the cover of the CB Magazine is portrayed Magnus, but this issue is dedicated to Hou Yifan.

I must admit I didn't know much about her, definitely I didn't know she learned to play chess when she was 3 years old. I found it strange that she learned chess instead of XiangQi, since she is Chinese, and XiangQi is popular in China like soccer in Italy.

However, she was clearly quite passionate about chess, she made GM at 14 and became Women's World champion at 16!!

Now this is where ChessBase excels over everyone else in chess, yes even Magnus! In a few clicks, thanks to Megabase 2023, I saw all the games of the above-mentioned world championship.

I was honestly curious to see how Hou Yifan won that world championship. This is my favorite game, notice after move 13th we have a unique position in which 4 bishops are aiming at each other!

Returning to CBM 216: In this issue you'll find 22 selected and annotated games played by Hou Yifan, giving an idea of how good she is as player.

There are definitely many more sections in this ChessBase Magazine which are worth mentioning, for example the one on endgames selected by the world endgame expert GM Mueller, 

but I'd like to briefly talk about the games included in this issue: 992!

There are many ways we can use these games to grow as players. For example, the most interesting games for me are those between players with a 400 or more rating gap.

And of course, I can do it by watching the elo, like in the following table where I highlighted some games with such rating gap.

Or we can ask ChessBase 17 to find them for us.

In the filter games I put 400 as difference.

The result is the following:

For example, the following game in which a player rated around 2000 make a very expert top of the world 2600+ play 90 moves before losing, is quite interesting.

Don't forget to check out the Move by Move video by Robert Ris, because this kind of training is what helps an ambitious player improve in chess.

and in this issue, I found also the following video in German language which is quite interesting, because if one is interested in learning German and chess, then this is a unique chance one has thanks to ChessBase!

In conclusion: CBM 216 covered all my needs for training, and learning, keeping me updated on the latest opening trends, while giving me a lot of material to improve my chess like endgames and tactics. The videos, and the interactive training created by various GMs and IMs are what make ChessBase Magazine unique and in tune with our times, where we want to improve while reading the magazine. The amount and quality of the material are worth every penny spent on it.

ChessBase Magazine 216

World Cup 2023: Analyses of Pragg, Abasov, Giri, Vidit, Berkes, Duda, Svidler and many others. Videos of Rogozenco and Paehtz, "Special" on Hou Yifan, opening videos of Engel, King and Marin, 11 repertoire articles and much more.


Davide is a novel chess aficionado who has made chess his spiritual tool of improvement and self-discovery. One of his favorite quotes is from the great Paul Keres: "Nobody is born a master. The way to mastery leads to the desired goal only after long years of learning, of struggle, of rejoicing, and of disappointment..."