Getting Started with Fritz 13 (using Windows 7)

Nov 29, 2014, 8:26 PM |

Getting Started With  Fritz Chess 13 from Viva Media (for Windows 7)

Note:  These instructions below are for a computer running Windows 7 and Fritz Chess 13 from Viva Media.  Other operating systems and/or versions of Fritz may be different in the exact steps to follow, but should be similar.  I don't pretend to be an expert, but thought it would be helpful to others to document what I did to get the program installed and configured, and dowloading and installing endgame tablebase files, etc.

1.        Do the standard install

2.       Browse to the CD.  There is a folder “Manuals”. 

a.       Copy the manuals to your computer local hard drive.  I copied it to C:\Program Files(x86)\ChessBase\Manuals

b.      Go into the Manuals folder you just copied (on your hard drive).  There are two PDF files there.  I copied a shortcut of the two PDF files to my start menu.  Start – All Programs – ChessBase – right click on the ChessBase folder – it will open – Paste Shortcut.

c.       The manual “eng.pdf” has good information about how to use Fritz.

d.      See page 11 for playing against the computer.  Fritz can play against you at full strength or reduced strength.

e.      You can also access help in the Fritz 13 program by hitting the small circle ? symbol in the upper right hand corner.  It seems to have the same information as the PDF manual, just in a Windows Help format.

3.       Update Fritz to make sure you have the latest version of the software.  In the Menu bar:  File – Activation (drop down) – Update Program

4.       Installing Endgame Tablebases (optional)

a.       This link has a good introduction to endgame tablebases, and why they are important.  Also how to configure Fritz to use them.

b.      This link has good information on endgame tablebases, but it seems kind of dated. , see section 7.

c.       Apparently Fritz 13 will only use the Namilov tablebases, but there is also an option to use the Gaviota tablebases in the options settings.

d.      This site is where I downloaded the 3-4-5 Namilov tablebases.  They are about 7 GB in size and it took me 2-3 hours to download them with high speed internet.   I downloaded the file.

e.      I moved the file to my Fritz program file folder  C:\Program Files(x86)\ChessBase

f.        I created a new folder C:\Program Files(x86)\ChessBase\Endgame Tablebase

g.       I right-clicked on the file, Extract All, and selected the Endgame Tablebase as the target folder.  This will take a while to extract.  Maybe 7 minutes on my system.

h.      When that’s done, then in the Endgame Tablebase folder there will be a new folder named 3-4-5.

i.         Follow the instructions in this link to configure Fritz to use the new 3-4-5 folder as the endgame tablebase  .  I also increased the Cache option to 2 MB.

j.        Exit from Fritz completely.

k.       Start Fritz up again fresh.

l.         Set up a new endgame to test it.  Home – New Game (drop down) – Position Setup.  I tested KN vs KRB.

m.    Click the “Infinite Analysis” button.  If it gives you results in a few seconds then it is working.  Mine quickly returned two lines with a #14 and #18, meaning checkmate in 14 or 18 moves.  If it was very fast and didn’t have to calculate much, this confirms Fritz was using the endgame tablebase to look up the answer.  See this link near the bottom to see how to confirm the endgame tablebases are working.

5.      More on Endgame Tablebases – downloading Gaviota tablebases using the DownThemAll tool

a.       Apparently the StockFish engine (free download) will use the Gaviota tablebases but not the Namilov tablebases.  Discussed at this link

b.      The Gaviota tablebases are available for download at this link

c.       However, unfortunately for Windows users, there are 147 files and by default you would need to download each one separately.

d.      This link suggests tips to download the files more easily.

e.      It suggests using a tool called DownThemAll.  See

f.        The tool works as an add-on to the FireFox browser, which you would also need to download and install

g.       Once you have downloaded and installed FireFox, then downloaded and installed DownThemAll, then exited and restarted FireFox, you can go to the download web page

h.      Right click on the first cp4 file to start the first download.  Select “Save Link with DownThemAll”

i.         A pop-up window will appear with options.  There is an option for “Save Files In”.  Click the folder icon and browse to where you want the files downloaded to.  Do not change the other options.  Click on the “Add paused” button.

j.        A new pop-up window will appear, this is the DownThemAll Manager window.  At the bottom right click “Preferences”.

k.       A new pop-up window will appear “DownThemAll Preferences”.  At the top tab click “Interface” and then at the bottom right under “Tools Menu” click on “DownThemAll”.  Click the OK button to close that window.

l.         Return to the Firefox window that has the cp4 files you want to download, the link is    At the top in the menu bar, click on “Tools” then drop-down “DownThemAll”

m.    At that point a new DownThemAll pop-up window will appear and it will list all the cp4 files, plus a few other files.  Control-A to select them all, then (with all the file links selected) right-click “Check Selected Items”

n.      Manually uncheck a few files you don’t want, they are the non-cp4 files such as gaviotachessengine, favicon.ico and filelist.txt .

o.      At the bottom of that window, select the local download folder you want the files to be downloaded into.  Do not change the “Renaming Mask” field.  Click “Add paused”.

p.      A “DownThemAll” Manager window will appear and list all the files.  At the bottom right click “Preferences”. 

q.      The pop-up Preferences window will appear again.  Click on the “Network” tab at the top.  You can control how many concurrent downloads you want.  The defaults should work OK, or you can limit it to downloading one file at a time.  I did a little testing with 1-4 “Concurrent Downloads” and decided that two concurrent downloads worked OK for my system and internet connection.

r.        Click on the “Advanced” tab and the top option “Max number of Segments per Download” defaults to four.  You can change it, but I left it at four and it worked OK.  It will break larger files into four logical segments, and download from all four segments in parallel for faster downloads.  Click OK to save the preferences.

s.       Back in the Manager window, click on one file pending download.  Control-A to select all.  At the top hit the green “Resume” button.

t.        At that point you should be able to watch all the .cp4 files download.  This will take a while – it probably took around 2-3 hours on my system with a fast internet connection.

u.      Optionally – move the Gaviota files where you want to store them on your system.  I moved them to C:\Program Files(x86)\ChessBase\Endgame Tablebase\Gaviota

v.       Launch Fritz and add the path to the Gaviota folder.  In Fritz 13 this is done under File – Options – TableBases Gaviota tab – in Path1 browse to the folder you created and click “Select Folder”.  I also increased the Cache option to 2 MB.

w.     Exit Fritz completely (to save the new option) and launch it again.

x.       OK after all that, I tested a position using the Stockfish 5 64 SSE4.2 engine using KRB vs KN.  Stockfish found the optimal mate (mate in 14), but it had to calculate for over 2 minutes to find it.  So my conclusion is that after all that work, the Stockfish is still not referencing the Gaviota endgame tablebases.

y.       I switched the engine back to Fritz 13 and ran “Infinite Analysis” against the same position.  Sure enough it found the solution almost immediately (less than 1-2 seconds) and displayed (#14) and tb=66, which confirms it found mate in 14 by referencing the endgame tablebases.

z.       Please post if you can identify a way to use Fritz 13 with the Stockfish engine, and get the Stockfish engine to use the Gaviota endgame tablebases.

6.       This link discusses setting options for the Opening Book in Fritz.  I clicked on the “Optimize” button.

7.       That same link also discusses configuring your hash table size.  My laptop has 8 GB of RAM, so I tried increasing the hash table size for the Fritz 13 engine to 2048 (the max).  But if I clicked on the “Advanced” button again, then it seemed to have automatically reduced to 1536.  I think that is an automatic optimization by Fritz.

8.       If you’d like to download and install another engine so you can use it in Fritz 13, it is easy.  This article describes how to do it.  The user interface (exact commands) have changed somewhat, but you should be able to follow this using the updated user interface.  Stockfish is a newer and powerful engine and can use multiple processors.  It is currently being advertised as the “Worlds Strongest Chess Engine”.  If you have a recent computer (maybe i3, i5, i7 processor) then it sounds like you should be able to install and run the “modern” version of the .exe file.  I installed the Stockfish x64 modern and it worked OK on my laptop that has i7 processors.

a.       After installing the Stockfish engine, you can select the “Engine” tab, then top left “Change Main Engine” then click on Stockfish and hit the “Advanced” button.  I set the options for “Permanent Brain”, “Use tablebases” and “Smart CPU usage”.  I left the hashtable size at the default 1536 MB. 

b.      I clicked on the “Engine Parameters” to see what the options were, but left them all at the defaults.

c.       When running analysis with Stockfish there is a button “1 CPU” that showed it was only using one CPU.  I clicked on that button and had the option to use 1, 2, 3 or 4 CPUs.

9.       For more information on using Fritz, Steve Lopez is a Fritz expert user and has many YouTube videos on using Fritz.  Here is an intro to Fritz 13. 


10.   This link should give you a list of the available Fritz 13 videos  on YouTube.

11.   Please post if you have any other advice for new Fritz 13 users.  Thanks!  Good luck!