Everything new in ChessBase 17

by Sagar Shah
1/30/2023 – In the latest version of ChessBase, there are some huge changes to the software, modifications which add significant improvements to the software! The two main programmers, Matthias Wüllenweber and Mathias Feist, have implemented a completely new file format, added beauty filters and medals, a fast interactive search, and much more! IM Sagar Shah takes you through all the new features of ChessBase 17 along with relevant screenshots and video instructions on how to make full use of the new features. | Thumbnail: Abhyudaya Ram

ChessBase 17 - Mega package - Edition 2024 ChessBase 17 - Mega package - Edition 2024

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What does ChessBase 17 bring to the table?

Let us start with an instructional video:

All the ChessBase 17 new features explained in depth | IM Sagar Shah ChessBase India

Timestamps of the full video with explanations

Here we bring you links to the individual parts of the above video, with summary explanations and screen shots. We will start with the first part of the tutorial, and follow up with parts two and three later in the week.

0:00 - Introduction

0:52 - Beauty Medals + Nakamura games

The Beauty medals are one of the many new features added in ChessBase 17. Let's say you have a database of Hikaru Nakamura's chess games. But how do you find the really exciting hidden treasures in it? ChessBase 17 attributes "beauty" to each game, in four stages. Beauty is awarded between zero and three medals in a new column of the game list. This makes each database sortable by beauty, i.e. the spectacular games are at the top. 

First step - extracting the games you want to work with from the Mega Database 2023 or any other source you want - in this case, games of Nakamura [click all images to enlarge]

Now, just go over to the Games tab, and click the Set beauty button!

Once you have clicked on set beauty, it'll take a short while to process and order the games. Beauty is mostly determined by the amount of sacrifices in the game. Three medals indicate the highest amount of beauty – and many of Nakamura's games have three medals! This goes to show you that Nakamura is a very aggressive player. Here's the first game in the list:


4:00 - Detect sacrifices

Once you have opened any of the games which has 2/3 medals, you might think "What is so great about this game"? Well, there's a very quick way of doing that with the new Sacrifice detector in ChessBase 17.

Clicking the red sacrifice detector button (or F6) will show you the sacrifices made in the currently loaded game, highlighting key points with images in notation. Nakamura's brilliant ...Rf1+ is highlighted! All the sacrifices are shown with diagrams.

The best way to use this feature is to get to know a player. He could be your opponent, or a great player of the past. It very quickly shows you some of their best ideas during the game!


A quick tip - make sure to convert your Mega Database 2023 into the .2cbh format! Just right click on the icon and the first option you see is to convert. It will take roughly 30 minutes to one hour, depending on your computer.

You can also assign Beauty medals to your whole Mega Database 2023 (it'll take 3-4+ hours, just do it overnight). This is a one-time operation, and will immensely help you later!

5:45 - Beauty Medals in games of Tal

Applying the Sacrifice detector on one of Tal's beautiful games! This also becomes training material. Let's say you are a trainer, you want to teach someone. You set beauty medals, click "Detect sacrifices", and you pose a question to the student.


Just look at the crazy Tal move 21.h4!! The White queen can't be taken, because there's Nxc7#. The sacrifice detector brings out a lot of instructive moments from each game! As a trainer, you can now create high quality learning material for your students in just a few minutes!

7:05 - Beauty Medals in recent games

Let's say you want to assign beauty medals to the games of some ongoing live event. How do you do that?

Just click the live button on the left-hand menu bar of the ChessBase 17 home screen. It will show you the live events which are going on across the world right now!

If I want to assign beauty medals to it, I'll just copy all the games with Ctrl+A, then create a new .2cbh database, and then paste all these games in the new Database.

So Beauty Medals have many uses. One, you can quickly find the most interesting games in a current event. Two, you can find best games of any player very quickly. Three,  you can find the games of the great masters of the past and use it in a very instructive way. Four, you can gauge what your opponent is like if you are playing someone tomorrow.

10:28 - Beauty Medals + Replay Training 

Let's say you want to study the games of the 4th World Champion, Alexander Alekhine. Pick any game you like and hit "Replay Training" on the top of the notation bar:

Replay training is an excellent method to learn from the games of the old masters! The idea is to guess the moves of Alekhine from the beginning.

This is not a new feature at all, but Replay Training is extremely useful to use on a game which you found to have beauty medals. It keeps giving you points on your correct moves and deducts points when you make a mistake. Replay training makes your brain work and makes you practice chess in a very active manner.

13:25 - The genius of Anna Muzychuk

Here I take you through a beautiful game by Anna Muzychuk from Linares, 1990, which I found in seconds using the Beauty Medals feature! The game has a lovely This king walk. Note how the key positions have been marked with diagrams by ChessBase 17. You can click on each to jump to it on the main chessboard. 


The above instructions are the first part of our ChessBase 17 tutorial. The second and third parts will follow shortly. A word of advice: it is quite important to learn how to use the new features. Don't leave that to others, who will gain from the increase in rating points it brings.

Sagar is an International Master from India with two GM norms. He loves to cover chess tournaments, as that helps him understand and improve at the game he loves so much. He is the co-founder and CEO of ChessBase India, the biggest chess news portal in the country. His YouTube channel has over a million subscribers, and to date close to a billion views. ChessBase India is the sole distributor of ChessBase products in India and seven adjoining countries, where the software is available at a 60% discount. compared to International prices.