Deep Fritz 12 – 'An Amazing Program'

by ChessBase
8/16/2010 – Recently Stephen Kullas, a review author at ChessCafe, installed our flagship program on his computer – and was impressed by the "enormous scope" of the software. He did run into a bit of trouble when accessing the one-year Premium account which is part of the Deep Fritz 12 package (he needed to give his serial number every time he logged in). Here's how to solve this problem.

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An Amazing Program

By Stephen Kullas

Deep Fritz 12 is the newest incarnation of the extremely popular Fritz franchise of chess engines from ChessBase. Deep Fritz 12 is designed for multiprocessor use, not to be confused with Fritz 12, which utilizes a single processor. Deep Fritz 12 is a powerful program that can be used for training in a variety of ways: by simply playing games, using the tutorials, or watching the free chess media that accompanies the purchase. The program is useful for players of all abilities; it acts as an opponent, an analysis partner, and chess coach. Deep Fritz 12 is a solid program whose features are enormous in scope.

The purchase of Deep Fritz 12 (or Fritz 12) also includes a one-year premium accout. This allows you free access to the ChessBase playing server, where you can play online against opponents from all over the world, listen to the audio commentary during major events, receive live training, play in simultaneous exhibitions, watch ChessBase TV shows, or play in league tournaments. However, I was disappointed with my experience in accessing my account. For one, it asks for a serial code every time I log in, and I have yet to be able to take advantage of any of the "premium" content. When I viewed my account status, it told me my premium account privileges expired in 1990, and I was unable to ascertain why.

Solving the problem

We would like to use this opportunity to help Setphen and other users to overcome the problem described in the second paragraph above. The basic misunderstanding is that the serial number printed on the Deep Fritz 12 handbook needs only be entered once, when installing the program. It does legitimize the legal use of your copy of the program on your local computer (and can be used three times for this purpose). If you switch hardware you can unregister the old installation and use it on the new computer.

The serial number has a different use as well: to legitimize your Playchess account. You can access the Playchess server in any number of ways, using Fritz, Deep Fritz, Rybka, ChessBase 10, ChessBase Light or the free client which you can download for free from However, if you want to make use of the full Premium membership that is part of the Deep Fritz 12 package, you must show "proof of purchase" to the Playchess server.

This is normally not a problem, especially if you create a new Playchess account after installing Deep Fritz 12. However, if you already have an old Playchess account, which may have expired, you could run into the same problem as Stephen Kullas. The solution is, however, fairly simple:

When you are logged into the Playchess server you should click on "Enter serial number" in the "Account" tab:

This will produce the following input window (for obvious reasons we have blurred some of the characters):

Now comes the important part: Playchess may be showing you the serial number of an account which you created years ago. You must enter the new serial number from your Deep Fritz 12 handbook and you will be ready to go – as a Premium Member with all the free content, for a period of one year. Note that you have not "used up" an installation in the process – you have only legitimized your Premium account at Playchess by showing proof of purchase of the Deep Fritz package.

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