Problem finding positions? A five-minute fix

1/18/2008 – Big or Mega Database 2008, with over 3.7 million games, are now installed in computers all over the world. Some users have encountered problems when searching for positions. This can be caused by a damaged or incomplete search booster. Luckily there is a quick fix that takes just a few minutes and cures all related problems. Here's how you go about it.

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If you are encountering problems with Big or Mega 2008, in the sense that specific positions you know are in the database are not being retrieved by ChessBase using the search mask or Shift-F7 ("Find position in Mega Database"), this may be the result of a faulty or incomplete search booster. To cure the problem you should perform the following steps. It is advisable to do so even if you haven't encountered any problems, as you may simply not have noticed that any existed.

Mega Database 2008 contains 3.75 million games, from 1560 to 2007, of which 61,000 contain analysis. Big Database contains the same number of games but without the analysis. When you ask the program ChessBase whether a specific position has occurred before, it is essentially searching through about 300,000,000 positions. In order to increase the search speed through such a large volume of data the program uses a "search booster". This is a file that contains preprocessed information that would otherwise be repeated during each search.

If the search booster is damaged or incompletely installed the program may have problems finding certain positions. Here is how you can repair it:

Expert version

Highligh Mega Database in your database window. Use "Tools – Database – Delete Search Booster" to delete the current booster, and then "Tools – Database – Create Search Booster" to create a new one. The whole process will take a couple of minutes.

For beginners

Click on the Mega Database 2008 icon on your ChessBase database window to highlight it. If you have the "Details" view switched on it will look like this:

Now go to the Tools menu and use "Database – Delete Search Booster" to, well, delete the search booster.

Astute readers will have guessed the next step:

Yes, "Create Search Booster". This should take just a few minutes:

After that you are fine to go. You may want to check one more thing: that Mega 2008 is your "Reference Database." This simply means it is the default place to look for information.

Right-click Mega Database 2008 and click "Properties" in the context menu that appears.

Make sure that Mega Database 2008 is your reference database (checkbox clicked on).


Don't have Big or Mega Database 2008?

System recommendations for ChessBase 9.0: Windows XP or better, 1 GB RAM, 2 GHz or better, DVD drive,. New graphics adapter for a fast 3D board. Windows Media Player 9.0 for ChessMedia System.

Minimum requirements: Windows XP, Internet-Explorer 6, DVD-ROM drive, 256 MB RAM, 600 MHz.


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