Fritz Q&A

by ChessBase
4/18/2008 – Each time a new Fritz version is released, you can bet your bottom dollar that certain "standard" questions will invariably be asked of our support people. Steve Lopez answers these in the latest installment of ChessBase Workshop.

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In this week's ChessBase Workshop, we'll field a passel of commonly-asked questions about Fritz.

Q: How do I get Fritz to stop talking?
A: There are three levels of verbal audio in Fritz: full speech, announcement of moves only, and no speech at all. You can select which of the three you prefer by going to the Tools menu, selecting "Options", then the "Multimedia" tab. You'll see three separate radio buttons for the aforementioned three levels of verbal audio: "Talk" (corresponding to the full range of speech, including the wide range of "kibitzer" commentary during a game), "Announce moves", and "Off". These three are (obviously) mutually-exclusive (i.e. you can select just one). Make your selection, and then click "OK".

Q: Fritz will often display arrows during a game. How do I turn these on/off?
A: There are two different types of arrows which the program will show. One type is a simple single arrow which displays the move the engine just made. You can toggle this on/off by going to the Tools menu, selecting "Options", then the "Game" tab. You'll see a check box next to "Mark Move with Arrow". This is used to toggle the single arrow on and off. The other type of display shows in graphical form what the engine's possible long-term plans are, and this results in a large number of colored arrows appearing on the board. This, too, can be toggled on and off. Go to the Tools menu, select "Options", and the "Engine" tab. Checking or unchecking the box next to "Show plans" will turn this feature on/off.

(By now you might be discerning a theme here -- you can change a wide variety of program settings by going to the Tools menu and selecting the "Options" command.)

Q: How do I set the clock in Friend mode? After I select that mode and check "Use clock", the game starts immediately.
A: Set your desired time control first, then start Friend mode. This mode of play will always use the most recently set time controls if "Use clock" is selected.

Q: When I send my game directly to a document or to the Windows clipboard, I get strange characters instead of the piece figurines. How do I change this?
A: These are High ASCII characters which represent the figurines. You can highlight the moves in your document and apply a ChessBase figurine font to them to display the figurines. If you're creating a HTML file or just plain don't want the figurines, you can change the setting from Figurines to letter notation before clipping/exporting game. Go to Tools/Options/Clocks+Notation tab and select the radio button next to "KQNBRP" instead of the one beside "Figurines" and click "OK".

Q: I'm seeing strange characters instead of letters for the piece names in the Engine analysis pane; how can I change this?
A: Right-click in the pane, select the "Choose font" command from the popup menu, and select a font which begins with the word "Figurine".

Q: How can I get figurines to display in the "Score sheet" view in the Notation pane?
A: If there's a way to do this, I'm not aware of it. This is a deliberate design decision, since the display is intended to resemble a handwritten scoresheet. (I've only known one player who actually drew little figurines on his scoresheet [instead of using letters] during tournament games. I'm not joking. I won't say I've seen everything that can happen in a tournament, but I'm getting closer all the time...)

Q: What's the difference between "talk" and "chatter"?
A: "Talk" refers to Fritz' spoken audio commentary. "Chatter" refers to the little wiseguy comments that the program will offer in a box on the screen (typically displayed under the 2D chessboard). That's why unchecking "Chatter" under Window/Panes doesn't shut off the program's audio commentary. Checking this option (in the Window menu, under "Panes") causes a new box to appear on the screen; at various points during the game some commentary will appear here (for example, just now when I turned this option on, the box appeared with the words, "Hey, Steve, I was just about to switch YOU on"). The only comments I've seen of any real chess value occur when the program identifies the opening and displays the name and ECO code in the Chatter box. The Chatter option is a holdover from the Fritz4 days, and is still useful for players who might want some friendly banter from the software during a game but might be in a situation where the audio option would be disturbing to others nearby.

Q: How do I turn the algebraic coordinates on/off around the chessboard?
A: Right-click on the chessboard, select "Board design", and check/uncheck "Coordinates".

Q: I want to enter my own games, but each time I make a move Fritz responds with one of its own!
A: Go to the Engine menu and select "Switch off engine". You can now enter moves for both sides without response from Fritz.

Until next week, have fun!

You can e-mail me with your comments on ChessBase Workshop. No tech support questions, please.

© 2008, Steven A. Lopez. All rights reserved.

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