Adding More Tools
Having happily rediscovered my copy of Bookup Express, I started digging around in my software collection to see what other gems I may have neglected that might contribute to my development. I discovered a copy of Fritz 8 I had bought long ago and not installed on my new PC that was just gathering dust.
I never properly learned how to use it, as I recall, on the old PC. Other than playing blitz games, a lot of the functionality seemed more than I wanted to engage in at the time. However, I guess being a pack rat pays off sometime, as now I'm in the perfect position to get substantially more mileage out of what it can do.
Looks like they're currently up to Fritz 11, although the interface and featureset seems much the same as Fritz 8. I suppose there have been enhancements in the engine, etc. that might make getting the new one worthwhile, but I'm reluctant to until I get my money's worth out of Fritz 8. Perhaps readers can comment on the differences and whether they represent good value for the expense.
Undoubtedly Fritz will be a help in post-mortem analysis. With Bookup and Fritz, I'm now feeling I've got a good portion of what I need to update my toolbox to the 21st century. One of my goals is to get my entire repertoire onto Bookup, so my small laptop/tablet PC will be all I need to take to future tournaments, instead of the library of books I drag around now.
Bookup is a great tool for sharp opening preparation. However, as my repertoire turns more positional, I'm finding it has less value in London System and 1...d6 openings elements of my repertoire, where understanding of strategic and middlegame themes is infinitely more important than memorizing move orders. That said, my repertoire will never be devoid of sharp openings, so Bookup will now always have a place on my shelf.
If anyone has other automated tools they use which they really enjoy, I'd be happy to hear about them.