How to Use Chess Software (ChessBase/Fritz)

Chess has now been taken into a computer age. Working without a computer is an almost unfathomable disadvantage. Today, I’m going to demonstrate how to use the popular chess program Fritz, made by ChessBase.

If you do not have this software and you are considering purchasing it, I highly recommend that you do. I recommend you purchase a chess engine rather than the multi-purpose ChessBase database program. By buying a chess engine (e.g. Fritz 11), the program automatically comes with a GUI interface with database functions that are adequate for 99% of chess players. If you purchase the ChessBase database program (e.g. ChessBase 10), you only receive a highly-functional database program without the really strong engine. In addition, you have to pay more money.

Now let’s start by going through some basic database functions. I will demonstrate on my Deep Junior 8. I know it’s 2009, and Deep Junior 8 is extremely old, but it’s database functions are pretty much still the same as current versions. Deep Junior 8 utilises the Fritz 8 GUI interface and any newer versions of the Fritz GUI interface would include functions discussed in this article.

First, I’ll turn on my Deep Junior. The most useful menus in the upper right are the “settings” and “game” menus.

The top right-hand corner icon opens up the database.

Let’s create a database of new games so you can enter one of your games into the database.

Click on the left icon to create a new database. Name your database and the database will automatically open itself with 0 games inside.

Now, switch to the board menu and make a new game. To start a new game, click on the yellow icon.

Click on the magnifying glass. This is called infinite analysis and it enables you to go through your game while the chess engine gives its thoughts in the background. (Oh, and don’t try solving the game of chess by putting your engine on infinite analysis in the starting position.) If you want to flip the board, click on the icon next to the “new game” icon.


You can now follow two paths: a) auto-annotation by Fritz (lazy option) or b) analyse the game yourself with the help of Fritz

– a completely unsuspicious game auto-annotated by Fritz

a) Enter your full game in infinite analysis mode and then go to Tools –> Analysis –> Full Analysis. This is a very powerful function which has repeatedly won prizes, according to my Fritz 8 interface, in 1996, 1997 and 1998 from the Herschberg Award of the International Computer Chess Association, for the best computer generated commentary of a chess game.

According to ChessBase, “the program not only annotates games at very high quality and in natural language, it is also the only program that can identify tactical categories and ‘tries’.”

You probably don’t need to check “training” under the annotations section as that would create puzzles in your game. Click on “help” to see a full explanation of what each function does.

b) You can enter the game yourself. Enter some variations in the game so that you can come back later and check them out. It’s your choice whether you want to write detailed annotations on your game or if you only want to work with symbols.

Great! Today, you have learned how to create and enter games into a database using Fritz/ChessBase.

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