ChessBase 17 and Power Fritz 18

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ChessBase 17

ChessBase is a personal, stand-alone chess database that has become the standard throughoutthe 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.

WHAT YOU CAN DO WITH CHESSBASE: Retrieve games according to openings, players and tournaments; generate tournament cross tables and full graphic statistics of players or openings; “Similarity search” shows all games with similar pawn structures, sacrifice patterns, endgame positions, etc.; “Let’s check”*: access the world’s largest database of in-depth analysis (more than 200 million positions); “Instant Analysis”: Any unannotated game is analysed almost without delay immediately on loading (optional). “Assisted Analysis”: as you enter a game, whenever you click on a piece an evaluation is produced for all its possible target squares; “Tactical Analysis” will annotate game, inserting commentary, variations and diagrams, before strong moves or errors, into a game or an entire database. It will also point out combinations, played in the game or missed, tries, attacks, initiative, and of course the latest in openings theory; Cloud analysis: you can analyse positions simultaneously with several engines from on di©erent computers running in parallel; “Deep analysis”: generates an analysis tree that changes dynamically, as with time weaker variations are dropped; automatic analysis jobs for correspondence games; “Replay Training”: Playing through a game with the notation hidden and automatic training questions with tips for each individual move. Extended reference search for openings shows increase/decrease in popularity and typical recurring endgames; merge games on the fly into an opening tree; Repertoire recommendations for every move with a single click; generate a dossier containing all available information on a specific player from the database; Preparation for opponents with recognition of their weaknesses; generate a comprehensive openings report with main and critical lines, plans and most important games; Urgent news about recently played innovations; Search for characteristic tactical positions in an opening variation single click publication of games on the Internet; Improved search mask with tactical motifs and examples for manoeuvres and material distribution; Completely new search booster for patterns and plans; print games in superb quality with diagrams and multiple columns; Crisp new 3D boards thanks to raytracing technology; automatic update of your local reference database with the weekly installments of games (one year); access to the ChessBase online database with over eight million games*, mobile access with the ChessBase Account

The most important innovations

ChessBase 17 focusses at things that, in our view, are the foremost of the program's areas of application. First of all, a lot of work has gone into functions that one only notices subconsciously, but which improve the user experience: the new ultra-high-resolution 2D board; the really crisp display of notation and lists through support of Direct 2D which runs on all recent Windows versions; and popular in more recent times: the "Dark Mode".

Technical improvements

Then there are many technical improvements that generally improve the program, such as: a new faster data format, with fewer files and no search booster - which overcomes limitations of the CBH format; and a fine-tuning of the database paths that solves conflicts with the Documents directory and OneDrive, so you can smoothly manage your databases outside the standard Windows directories.

Interactive search mask and much more

The smart inputting of positions is of direct chess significance. You place a few pieces onto the board, and immediately see in which games of the reference database this position fragment occurs. By clicking on a game, you can save yourself the rest of the inputting. The new search mask is also more interactive: if you enter a search criterion, the number of games in the database for which it matches is immediately displayed. This way, you know what yield to expect before you click on "OK".

interactive searchmask

Pearl search: Find spectacular games instantly!

The new engine window

A lot has also been done in an area that is crucial for daily chess work: the engine window. Most ChessBase users probably spend 90% of their time with interactive analysis of positions. The output of engines has altered little in the last 30 years: variations, evaluations, dry as dust, done. In ChessBase 17, this has been fundamentally re-evaluated. The visual evaluation of pieces and measurement of complexity - you know from Fritz 18. The display of non-trivial threats or temptations is fancy, but also already familiar. The same goes for the training option to suppress the entire engine output, and only receive subtle tips as a stimulus to your own thinking. This is primarily intended for when watching live games.


Analysis in natural language

However, the interpretation of an engine variation in natural language is groundbreakingly new. It is often a challenge for many players to imagine what is actually happening based on just an engine variation. You see the best move, the rating, and that's it. ChessBase 17 describes in words what the variation entails

For example: In a super-sharp position, a complex variation has the strange rating "0.00". ChessBase 17 would then add "perpetual check" or "repetition of the position" and the situation would become clear. Material changes are vividly described: "White wins the queen for rook and knight"; "Black loses two pawns"; and even "The position is simplified into an endgame R+B vs R+N". There are also exciting statements like: "White gains a dangerous passed pawn on e6"; or "White sacrifices a bishop"; "Black has an attack"; "White gets the majority on the kingside"; "Both kings are insecure"; and "Manoeuvre Nd2-f1-e3-d5" etc.

Such assertions clarify the motives behind a position. If you want to understand even more of what the program means by these hints, simply move the mouse over the move indicated and the position appears on the main board. Clicking on a move copies the variation up to that move into the notation, which then simplifies the commentary

“The more colourful, the sharper” - or "Death to the exclamation mark!"

It does make a di'erence whether a position contains sharply forced variations, or several moves of almost equal value. Today's engines do not provide this information. ChessBase 17 therefore diverts a small part of the hardware resources towards a clone of the main engine, and calls this the "Buddy engine" - this only slightly impacts the computing power of the main engine. Buddy now goes over the variations, and analyses the position after each move. The variations are saved so that you can easily view them by moving your mouse cursor over on the move. Importantly, forced moves are annotated with coloured rectangles. The exclamation mark used in commenting on games for 170 years, doesn’t do justice to Buddy's search results; therefore, we now only use it for sacrifices

The colour of the rectangles indicates the evaluation. The shape shows from which depth the forcing is recognised in the calculation. Trivial tactics have vertically divided rectangles. Medium forcing divides the rectangle into two triangles from top left to bottom right. Deep forcing divides diagonally from right to left. If the upper (or left) part is green, the move wins. If the lower part is yellow, for example, the position remains roughly in the draw range after the worse alternative move. If it is red, the alternative move loses. This system may seem complex at first glance, but it has the advantage that a lot of information is signalled in one space-saving symbol. The exclamation mark has had its day. In any case, one thing is clear: the more colourful, the more forcing!

For years, we have recommended analysing with two engine variations, so that at least one forced main move can be recognised immediately. However, this costs a lot of additional computing time. ChessBase 17 marks the beginning of a renaissance of single-variation analysis. At the same time, the calculation goes much deeper. Buddy shows whether the first move is forced, and also provides the second variation.

New in ChessBase 17: 

  • New data format: fewer files, more functions, more comfort, more speed.
  • Engine analysis renovated: Variants are automatically verbally annotated, forced continuations are recognized, “buddy heuristics” for greater search depth!
  • Pearl search: Find spectacular games instantly! Beautiful games are marked in the database list.
  • Optimised program interface: high-resolution 2D board, faster graphics.
  • New clearer search mask: material & positional searches simplified, immediate feedback on expected results.
  • Intelligent position input: when setting up pieces, you are shown the games where those positions occur.
  • Dozens of detail improvements for improved usability, e.g. automatic loading of the last edited game.
  • Control via One-Drive: all database paths can be set in the options dialogue. 
  • Newly structured game notation: with intelligent folding and symbols.
  • Modern integrated browser for all database texts.
  • More insight: Visualisation of attack correlations (optional).
  • Dark Mode: darkened program interface.

*) Access via PREMIUM ChessBase Account

Power Fritz 18

Fritz has fascinated the chess world for 30 years. And the success story continues. In Vienna, the most popular chess program ever was once again able to underline its premier position: the newly developed neural engine with NNUE technology won the official Chess Software World Championship! With Power Fritz 18 you have the world champion program on your PC

Despite overwhelming playing strength, it is fun to play against Fritz: with the game mode "Evolving Genius” you will succeed in scoring glorious wins against Fritz. The new AI-based training method leads you to brilliant sacrificial combinations via clever variant selection and discreet hints!

Exclusive to this special edition: the Fritz Powerbook 2022! This complete chess opening theory with 25 million positions and 1.7 million tournament games guarantee you total insight into every opening position including statistical evaluation. With it Fritz can play every opening optimally and make you an opening specialist!

This is what Power Fritz 18 offers:

  • 2 top chess engines: PowerFritz18 NEURONAL, the world champion engine with NNUE technology by Frank Schneider and Fritz 18-"Classic"-engine, optimised for short thinking times.
  • Fritz Powerbook 2022 with 25 million opening positions and 1.7 million chess games
  • 1 year Premium ChessBase Account: 10 professional WebApps for mobile playing and training

Fritz Powerbook 2022

The Fritz Powerbook 2022 contains 25 millions opening positions, derived from 1.7 million high class tournament games. Together with each position all relevant information is stored: all moves that were played in the position, by players of what average rating, with what success and performance results. The games from which the Fritz Powerbook 2022 were derived (except the Corr Games) are also included on the DVD or download version. The Fritz Powerbook 2022 represents the state of the art of current openings theory. The FritzPowerbook was derived also from the best 100,000 games from the Correspondence 2022 Database to enhance even more the theoretical value of moves given by the book. With the 2022 edition you get 3 Books: Fritz Powerbook, Strongbook and the CorrBook.

Discover exciting and tricky new lines and practice them against Fritz. In addition the DVD has a small but very exclusive book with the strongest GM games (ELO >= 2550) from the past 100 years (2.7 Mio positions) and StrongBook Games Database.

Minimum: Desktop PC or Notebook, 4 Threads, 8 GB RAM, Windows 8.1 64bit, DirectX 10 graphics card with 1 GB RAM, DVD ROM drive (when ordered by post), Internet access to activate the program, ChessBase Cloud and updates.

Recommended: intel core i7 or AMD Ryzen Processor with 8 Threads, 16 GB RAM, Windows 10/11 64bit, DirectX 11 graphics card (or compatible) with 1 GB RAM or more, DVD ROM drive (when ordered by post), full HD Monitor and Internet access to activate the program, ChessBase Cloud and updates

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