Downloading and installing ChessBase 13

by Frederic Friedel
12/2/2014 – Our new flagship program is the buzz in the chess world. Top players are sending in congratulations, chess fans are busy experimenting with the new cloud functions. But how easy is it to get your hands on the program? We have step-by-step instructions on how to install ChessBase 13 via download. But beware: it is going to take you all of six minutes to complete. It's easy peasy.

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Downloading and installing the program ChessBase 13

We start by clicking on the grey button on the top right of the news page, the one that reads "SHOP", will take you to the main ChessBase Shop page, where you see the hottest products that are selling at the moment.

Click on "Account" in the red navigation bar at the top of the page.

This takes you to the account page, where you can log in if you already have an account. If you do not you can use "Order and create an account" to make one:

To create an account for yourself you only need to give your email address and a password. They will be used to log into the shop from the previous screen. Your browser will remember the login data if you allow it, so in future you will automatically be logged in when you want to browse or purchase anything. If you (and your browser) have forgotten the password you can use the "Recovery" button in the previous screen to retrieve it. The password will be sent to the email account you have given.

When you are logged into the Shop there is a new navigation item on the left: "My Downloads". Clicking on that will show you what is ready for download for you. We will assume you have ordered ChessBase 13, in the download version, and paid for it. In the above screen capture we have for obvious reasons distorted the activation key that will allow you to install the product on your computer.

Clicking on the product icon will take you to the download page:

Here you decide what you want to install – note that you do not have to do it in one go, but can, as we will do, begin with the ChessBase 13 program, specifically the 64-bit version. To start the process click on the download icon to the left of the item: "Setup ChessBase 13 (64bit)". This produces the following window:

Note that for someone who already has an account in the ChessBase Shop and has ordered the program the above operations have taken considerably less than a minute. It's like ordering something on Amazon.

Clicking on "Save File" will give you a Windows file selector where you can specify where to save the file, or if you are set up differently it may automatically save the file in "My Downloads".

With a relatively normal Internet connection the download of the 148 Megabyte file took just over a minute. So we have used less than two minutes to get this far.

Installing ChessBase 13

Now start the installer setup_x64.msi (or setup_x32 if you have chosen the 32-bit version).

Click Next and the program will offer ...

... to install ChessBase 13 in a standard location. It is advisable to accept this, as it will make life easier, with future updates and when you install other products that plug into ChessBase 13. Of course if you are a computer wizz you can select any location you want.

The same applies to the data. If you click on the Program and 3D buttons you can choose not to install individual components, or install the program on a network. But we just click "Next".

The final click to install the program. Total time used up to this point: less than three minutes. After clicking Install it took just around a minute for the process to be completed. Okay, we have a fast SSD drive – on a hard disk drive the process may take two or three minutes to complete. Big deal.

The next step requires you to enter your activiation key, which was given to you in the "My download" screen above. You didn't write it down?? Not to worry, go back to "Account" and "My downloads" – the key is still there. Highlight the key and press Ctrl-C to copy it into the Windows clipboard. When you return to the Activation window you will see, hey presto, that the entire key is already entered in the boxes. They were automatically retrieved from the Windows clipboard.

Incidentally you can also buy an activation key here, if you have a trial download of the program and have not purchased it yet.

Now all that is left is to enter the code shown in the orange field. It is a Captcha to make sure it is a human activating the program, not a robot making millions of guesses at an activation key.

Click OK and the program, depending on your administrative rights on the system, will ask for final confirmation. And then you are done – sound the trumpet!

Now ChessBase 13 appears on the screen, in its full glory. Total time we expended: less than six minutes. Installing the program from a DVD is similarly simple. The choice is yours.

You will notice that the start screen of the new program does not look much different from the previous version of ChessBase. As John Hartmann wrote in his review of ChessBase 13: "...most of the features in 12 reappear in 13. What you know from 12 is still true for 13, so there is no real learning curve to be navigated." But of course there is a lot of – can we say – quite revolutionary new functionality. Is all up in the clouds (pun intended) and will be dealt with in future reports.

Ordering the program

ChessBase 13 Premium package
  • ChessBase 13 program
  • Mega Database 2015 (approx. 6 million games, 68,000 with annotations)
  • 1 year premium membership to Playchess.com
  • Access to ChessBase Cloud and ChessBase Online Database (over seven million games)
  • Games download until 31st December 2015
  • One year subscription to ChessBase Magazine (six issues)
  • Corr Database 2013
  • Endgame Turbo 4 (four DVDs with Syzygy tablebases)

Available here...

ChessBase 13 Mega package
  • ChessBase 13 program
  • Mega Database 2015 (approx. 6 million games, 68,000 with annotations)
  • Access to ChessBase Cloud and ChessBase Online Database (over seven million games)
  • Games download until 31st December 2015
  • One year subscription to ChessBase Magazine (six issues)

Available here...

ChessBase 13 Starter package
  • ChessBase 13 program
  • Big Database 2015 (approx. 6 million games)
  • Access to ChessBase Cloud and ChessBase Online Database (over seven million games)
  • Games download until 31st December 2015
  • Subscription to ChessBase Magazine for half a year (three issues DVD + booklet)

Available here...

ChessBase 13 - Upgrade from ChessBase 12


• ChessBase 13 program
• Access to ChessBase Cloud and ChessBase Online Database (over seven million games)

Available here...




Editor-in-Chief of the ChessBase News Page. Studied Philosophy and Linguistics at the University of Hamburg and Oxford, graduating with a thesis on speech act theory and moral language. He started a university career but switched to science journalism, producing documentaries for German TV. In 1986 he co-founded ChessBase.
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