For me, as a professional chess coach, the emergency of every new program for processing chess data is a big event.
It is neccessary to study the program carefully to see what advantages it has compared to previous versions of the same program and also to similar programs that already exist on the market. Before, this was a relatively easy task because then new programs brought just a few new possibilities and it was not hard to compare them. Modern programs, like Chessbase 11 has such a large number of options that it is practically very difficult to know all them. That’s why in this article I will only mention the options that are especially useful for a chess coach and a practical player (and will mention only those that are, in my opinion, the most important).
I have been using Chessbase programs from their first “Atari” version and I know well the possibilities of these programs (Chessbase and Fritz). The version Chessbase 10 that I have been using until now is, in my opinion, an excellent chess program (especially with the new update): the player has practically everything that is needed for tournament preparation as well as for abstract preparation. The options are simple and a user has no problems to use them. That’s why I was a little surprised when heard that Chessbase prepared a new version of this program, Chessbase 11. And, of course, professional curiosity forced me to try to understand what is that what is new in this program and I did this using a beta version of the program (which I also did before watching the previous beta versions). So, this summary deals with the beta version of the program (Beta version 2a because the program has not been published on English yet) and I will mention only some of the most important new options of the program. Detailed analysis of the program (all its options) will follow later when the program is published.
When Fritz 12 was published the most often heard remark was that the new interface was a limiting factor because a big number of users simply didn’t want to learn how to use this program properly. This is same when we buy a new car (which is better than our previous car) and, of course, we need some time to learn options on the instrument panel. And nobody complains saying that their old car was better. That’s why I do not take this remark as a serious one especially because of the fact that a user gets used on their new environment only after a few days and this is because it is natural, intuitive and simple. Chessbase 11 is based on the new Microsoft Office based interface just as Fritz 12 and I can say that it is very easy to manage with the new environment. I had no problems when using it for the first time.
It is not needed to work for a long time with this program to understand its big advantages compared to the previous version (Chessbase 10 which is, to remind readers, very good). Though CB 11 has a large number of new possibilities I will mention just those that are most important and that are intended to be used by players and chess coach.
The first thing we can see in the program is that the icons of bases are changed and that there is a much bigger number of icons. This is, of course, important because now we can differentiate between a bigger number of bases (the author of this text strived for this as an addition to the version of Chessbase 10).
Maybe there will be users that will not consider the change of icons to be important but I would like to say that this helps us make various bases which is very important for players and especially for a coach.
For me, the most important and most interesting is the following new option:
If we want to see in what moment in a game was played a novelty e.g. on what move the game was different to the all other played games, we can get the answer for a very short time just by clicking on one icon. And not only this, we get two more answers: What variation is relevant for the variation that we are watching as well as predecessor of this game. And thereby the criteria for defining a variation as a relevant one in this program is different – it is not the principle of the biggest number of played games with this variation any more (which very often cannot give us a correct answer) but it is the number of games played by good players recently. And if we want a game with moves that are most similar to the moves of our own game then we can see it by using the option predecessor. So, with only one click we get almost all the relevant date about opening! This is really a revolutionary novelty and its simplicity and speed are amazing!
The next very important difference to the previous version of the program is that when we look for Reference games now we also get a possibility to see what variation is the main variation e.g. what variation is most often played on top level. This option is significant because when we use a base with a large number of games the pure fact that some move is played many times does not mean much. Much more important is the fact if that move was played on top level.
It should be mentioned that in this version of the program already known options are improved much – I will only mention some of them:
The repertoire database is completely revised which helps players prepare their opening repertoires much simpler and easier.
The functions “Opening report” and “Dossier” are improved much and there is no need to say how much these options are important both for a player and coach.
For a chess coach most important is to prepare questions of high quality for their students and this version of Chessbase enables them to do that much simpler and easier than the previous versions.
It is also important that the users of this program will always have database remained up-to-date.
This program enables a user to increase or decrease the number of CPU (as in Fritz 12) – from the maximal number that our PC has to only one.
These are only some of the novelties in Chessbase 11 that makes it (besides other well-known options) the best program on the market.
The price and way of ordering this program can be seen on the site http://www.chessbase.com.