Jon Edwards: Why you should upgrade to ChessBase 15

by ChessBase
10/21/2019 – Say you have ChessBase 13, and are perfectly happy with it. But the world has moved on to version 15. You wonder what is new, how useful it is, and do I really need to upgrade? In 2014 Jon Edwards, World Correspondence Chess Championship contender, wrote a seminal book on the program that all serious players use to study and prepare, Now he has published a supplement that tells you which new features of ChessBase 14 and 15 are "are stunning and very valuable." And also trains you to use these new features. Definitely worth a click on Amazon to get a copy of this book.

ChessBase 15 - Upgrade ChessBase 15 - Upgrade

ChessBase is a personal, stand-alone chess database that has become the standard throughout the world. Everyone uses ChessBase, from the World Champion to the amateur next door. It is the program of choice for anyone who loves the game and wants to know more about it. Start your personal success story with ChessBase and enjoy the game even more.


Forward by GM Dr Karsten Müller

ChessBase programs are moving on, but the royal game is still the same. The title of Jon Edwards book, ChessBase Complete, was indeed a dangerous one. Such a project is never really complete, as time and technology move on. So what do the new versions of ChessBase offer? Of course, you can still enter your games, annotate and analyse them with an engine. But the internet and the rapid management of a very large amount of data make much more than that possible. Edwards, who is a master of didactics as well as simple, understandable English, describes the new features very well, in great detail and reinforcing them with many relevant graphics. I only want to highlight a few features: 

  • ChessBase 13: The “chess cloud” makes its appearance. This makes it possible for coaches working with students anywhere in the world to share games, repertoire suggestions and analysis and it makes it easy to publish games on the web.

  • ChessBase 14: Assisted Analysis and Tactical Analysis is the main new feature. This helps to analyse games quickly and automatically.

  • ChessBase 15: The Replay Training and Fast opening reference search and improved advanced searches. I especially like the trapped piece option to find tactical exercises for my students.

  • Finally, ChessBase is also gravitating more and more to the internet, with web applications for mobile devices. Edwards does a fine job describing the new features, for example, the online tactical training and the video portal, a feature which will also certainly grow in the future.

So the new versions of ChessBase are really fascinating. Following the success of Alpha Zero, engines using Monte Carlo techniques are advancing quickly. Several can already be used within ChessBase. Artificial Intelligence will without doubt open new windows not only in chess but in almost all aspects of human life. ChessBase will certainly go in that direction even more in the future so that such a manual can never really be complete.

However, Edwards’ excellent manual is in a way the missing handbook of the ChessBase program family. So explore the vast options and, last but not least, enjoy the eternal beauty of the ancient royal game through new windows!

GM Dr. Karsten Müller
Hamburg, June 2019

Introduction by Jon Edwards

Just months after the publication of ChessBase Complete, ChessBase released ChessBase 13. How time flies.

We now have ChessBase versions 14 and 15! Many of the new features are stunning and very valuable. Those of you who have already upgraded will want to know how best to take advantage of all these new, powerful features. Those answers are here. For those of you still back on ChessBase 12, there will two additional questions. Do I really need to upgrade? If so, should I upgrade directly to version 15? ChessBase’s user interface and legacy functions have changed modestly, sustaining the utility of the first edition of ChessBase Complete.

This supplement does not replace but rather builds upon the original book. If you are new to ChessBase, please get a copy of that book.

There I explored 14 scenarios, essentially 14 chapters organized around key uses of the software. In order to make this supplement as useful as possible, I have throughout referred back to these scenarios. “Sc 13, p. 237” references Scenario 13, page 237 of ChessBase Complete.

You will have a comprehensive place to go for answers to your basic questions: How should I train, how should I analyse, and how can I best teach the game? I am happy to report that the new versions of ChessBase actually address difficulties that users faced, most notably having to do with installing and activating the software.

Do you need to upgrade from version 12, or even to buy this supplement? The answer lies within the next five sections of this book. If the new features excite you as much as they excite me, you will want to upgrade straight to ChessBase 15.

ChessBase 15 - Upgrade

ChessBase is a personal, stand-alone chess database that has become the standard throughout the world. Everyone uses ChessBase, from the World Champion to the amateur next door. It is the program of choice for anyone who loves the game and wants to know more about it. Start your personal success story with ChessBase and enjoy the game even more.

Every new version of ChessBase has introduced something new and special. Rather than integrate these changes within the original scenarios, I have added five additional “sections.”

Apart from some pleasing, refinements and cosmetic changes, the major addition to ChessBase 13 was its embrace of cloud computing and chess collaboration. Once again, I have tried hard to make sure that readers can actually understand and use the software without unnecessary stress. Those of you who are heavily involved in analysis will also appreciate the new Analysis jobs function, which permits you to organize and even interrupt and later restart your analysis!

The second and third new chapters focuses on the major additions with ChessBase 14 and 15. Know that if you go upgrade to ChessBase 15, everything in ChessBase Complete and in this supplement will be relevant to you.

ChessBase 14 introduces new forms of automated analysis that most users will find very appealing. Assisted Analysis and Tactical Analysis are exciting additional features to ChessBase. The strongest players will probably not trust such automated analysis, but then again, the features are so very easy to use that there’s no good reason to avoid them.

ChessBase 15 adds remarkable new search capabilities but places its emphasis on younger learners. Playing through games now incorporates a strong educational approach, with a radar board, automated hints, and other pedagogical approaches that will appeal to chess learners. 

The fourth new section examines the online environment that ChessBase has made available for computer, tablets, and smartphones. Tablets and smartphones certainly have limited processing power, but here you have access to the engines and the data placed in the cloud. With those enhancements in place, you can do meaningful ChessBase work from your network-connected, portable device wherever you might be. From a technical perspective, these new possibilities are impressive! If you now regularly use a tablet or smartphone, and that includes most readers of this book, you will soon be amazed at all you can now do while commuting to work on the train. Just don’t attempt these features while driving!

For perhaps another brief moment in time, ChessBase Complete is once again complete. To the dedicated reader, I thank you and I hope to see you back here again for ChessBase 16!

Jon Edwards
July 2019

ChessBase Complete
2019 Supplement Covering ChessBase 13, 14 &15
by Jon Edwards

Table of Contents
Section 1: ChessBase 13+: Embracing the Cloud
Section 2: ChessBase 14: Automated Analysis
Section 3: ChessBase 15: Chess for Everyone
Section 4: ChessBase on the Web
Section 5: Epilogue

About the Author

Jon Edwards recently qualified for the World Correspondence Chess Championship final round. He won the 10th United States Correspondence Championship in 1997 and the 8th North American Invitational Correspondence Chess Championship in 1999. He is a four-time winner of the APCT (American Postal Chess Tournaments) Championship and has been awarded the APCT Game of the Year Award twice. He received his correspondence International Master in 1997, his Senior International Master (SIM) in 1999. He is currently fighting for his final grandmaster norm in the prestigious ICCF Spanish Masters tournament.

He has competed on the US Correspondence Chess Olympiad team competing, reaching the final round. His correspondence ICCF rating places him the top 100 correspondence chess players worldwide.

In addition to the extremely popular ChessBase Complete, Jon has written more than a dozen chess books, including The Chess Analyst (Thinkers Press 1999) which chronicles the success in the US championship; Teach Yourself Visually: Chess (Wiley 2006), a photographically based chess primer; and Sacking the Citadel: The History, Theory, and Practice of the Classic Bishop Sacrifice (Russell Enterprises 2011). He also writes a regular column on chess technology for the American Chess Magazine.

Jon provides chess instruction in the Princeton, NJ area and monthly lessons to college-bound students in the Chess in the Schools program in New York City. He has taught chess to more than 2,500 students over 30 years.

Order ChessBase Complete from Amazon ($14.95)

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