ChessBase Shop: new tools to browse and find

by Albert Silver
1/27/2015 – You walk into the chess store determined to find something to raise your game, or simply to entertain. On the shelves are dozens, no, hundreds of DVDs, representing thousands of hours of pure chess delight. What to choose and how to find it? In order to solve that exact dilemma, two new tools have been added to the ChessBase Shop: the Openings index and the new Shopping Consultant.

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It's wonderful to have such a huge selection of top-notch products with elite authors such as Garry Kasparov, Alexei Shirov, Vishy Anand, Vladimir Kramnik, and great GM pedagogues like Daniel King or Karsten Mueller, but when the catalogue extends into the hundreds of items, the question isn't whether there is something there for you, but how to find it.

Openings index

Instructional DVDs on openings are far and away the most sought out items, and at this point there is hardly a line that has not been covered in detail.

When you enter the Shop's main page, you have the classic presentation of new and top items,
plus a small menu on the left. If you click on Openings, it will now show you the new index.

A new index appears that is organized either by type of opening, such as
Open Games, Semi-Open, and so forth, or by alphabetical order from A-Z.
However there is more to it than a mere list. Let's click on Semi-Closed and
King's Indian Defence to see what it yields.

As can be seen, each opening now shows the position, to make sure it is the opening you were
looking for, but also a short summary. The summaries can be interesting in and of themselves, or
if you are just curious about a change in your repertoire, it might help guide you. Under it you will
find a list of all the DVDs on the opening or line. Although the image above only shows four DVDs,
know that it was cropped and there were more.

The description text of the King's Indian Defense above reads:

The characteristic of the King’s Indian is the fianchetto of Black’s king’s bishop in conjunction with ...Nf6 and ...d6. Black allows White to march forward in the centre with his c-, d- and e-pawns and only lays claim to his share of the centre later on with ...e5 or ...c5. The popularity of the King’s Indian was due first of all to the games of the Soviet grandmasters Isaac Boleslavsky (1919–1977) and David Bronstein (1924–2006). The first heyday of the King’s Indian was in the 1950s and 1960s when Bobby Fischer too played it. At the end of the 1980s the most prominent exponent of the King’s Indian was Garry Kasparov, a position which has nowadays been occupied by Teimour Radjabov.

Bear in mind there are also Openings DVDs that don't fit any precise category, such as the Tricks and
Traps series by GM Nigel Davies. click on the topmost option Universal topics, to see what is on offer.

The Shopping Consultant

The Openings index described above is great if you are searching for an opening, but sometimes you don't really know what you want, much less what there is. It is fun to browse in a store, perusing all the options, but even casual browsing should be directed. Suppose you want to see what is available on the Middlegame for beginners? Or perhaps you really wanted something in French (parlez-vous Français?). In that case, the Shopping Consultant is the perfect assistant to help you find what you want.

The Shopping Consultant is visible at all times in the ChessBase Shop
and can be found at the bottom left of the screen

In order to see what sort of results we get, let's select Level Beginner
(there are also Advanced, Tournament, and Professional) and the topic
will be Middlegame. We'll leave the language as Any, more on that below.

After pressing the Search button, we are told there are 22 DVDs that fit the criteria, of which
the first ten are shown on the first page. Click on Next to see the next ten. As can be seen, the
selection of titles certainly fits the idea of Beginner and Middlegame, with titles such as "First
Steps in Chess Strategy
" or "1000x Checkmate"

Languages

ChessBase's catalogue is dominated by two languages unsurprisingly: English and German, but they are not the only languages covered.

Users who prefer German may wonder why DVDs with distinctly English titles appear when
they filter for German. This is not a mistake. Many items come in complete English and German
versions. If you purchased Master Class vol.3: Alexander Alekhine, the DVD or download files
will offer both the English and German versions.

These are the full video recordings in both languages, and not just the texts.

Some languages such as French have a much more reduced selection.
To avoid missing the choices there are, select only the language you are
searching for, and leave the Level and Topic set to Any. This way it will
show all DVDs in French, regardless of the level or topic. Are there any?

Absolutely! Not only is there the extremely popular children's DVD Fritz and Chesster
in French, called "Fritz et Bianca", but French GM Marie Sebag has an openings repertoire
DVD against 1.e4 in French called "Les ouvertures contre 1.e4".

The Shopping Consultant is an excellent tool to help narrow down the huge selection of DVDs in the ChessBase catalogue, but like any such tool, it is not perfect. For example, if you searched for Advanced and Middlegame and did not see anything to your liking, consider widening the search to Level Any in case that item you really wanted was classified differently.



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.
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