Chessbase 12, New Mexico, eBook, News and Notes

  • I traveled down to Rio Rancho New Mexico last weekend to play in the New Mexico Senior Memorial tournament with my buddy Paul Grimm.  This was Paul’s first full weekend tournament in about 5 years.  Rio Rancho is about 5 hours from Colorado Springs.

    It was fun to do a chess “road trip”.  This was my third time playing in this tournament.  The first time I went it was held in an Indian casino which was interesting.  There were about 5-6 people from Colorado there.

    roadtripWhen Paul and I showed up at the tournament on Saturday both of our preregistrations were messed up.  I had paid with paypal, which I thought was cool that they offered this option, but when I got to the tournament, my name was not on the preregistration list.  Paul sent in his registration via “snail mail”, but it was also missing.  Apparently they only check the P.O. Box once a week on Wednesday, which seems silly.  I think that the TD should have had the registrations go to his home if he wasn’t going to be checking it right before the tournament start.

    We got the registration cleared up, but then I didn’t get paired in the first round!  The TD had to do the pairings again, then made a “blame the victim” speech about how it was everyone’s fault except his own that the pairings were messed up.  This was kind of annoying.

    But overall the playing conditions were very nice, and I had a good time.  Here is a tactic from one of my games, white to move, answer below.

    White to Move

    White to Move

  • I just got Chessbase 12 as a Christmas present to myself. I plan on doing a more detailed review at some point, like I did for Fritz 13, which I get quite a lot of hits for.

    121024_CB12 SplashI like how the “Let’s check” is built into it.  The program also let me know that there was an update available, which was a feature I suggested they add in my Fritz 13 review. Also, they added more “tool tips”, which make the program more user friendly.  It is also designed for a 64 bit operating system, which is nice.

    The training feature has been enhanced as well, which has needed to be done for quite some time.  Now if a game has more than one training question, it jumps to the next training question, instead of the user having to do this manually.

    The one click “Publish to Web” is really cool, and I think that will be helpful when doing my newsletters.  I will check to make sure that it is not flash based, and can be read on an iPhone.  If it is javascript based, I will probably start using this for my newsletters.  I did notice that the first time I loaded the page some of the squares didn’t seem to be loaded into the window.  You can see an example of the game reply here: I like how the page has a Facebook Share button. A Share on twitter button would be nice also.

    This was actually another feature that I had hoped to see in Fritz 13, because I saw that the chessbase site was no longer “eating their own dogfood” when it came to publishing games, and I mentioned it in my Fritz 13 review.  They were using the game replay that we only have access to now. This is a very nice feature – the old game replay was still using HTML frames, and had not been updated in about 10 years at least.  So I am glad to see they are using my suggestions :-)

    The program did give me some problems.  It crashed once, and I could not load the Fritz 13 engine at first (although that is working now).  The program froze during a drawn position in “Let’s Check”, which was a bug I also saw in the early additions of Fritz 13. 

    I noticed that when I did a “search for duplicates” in my database, Chessbase 12 found some duplicates that Chessbase 11 did not.  So I am not sure if I did the search differently, or if Chessbase 12 is smarter.  I was pleased with that, either way.

    The chessbase cloud of analysis is really getting huge.  Even doing a search for absurd positions like 1. h4 d5 2. a4 e5 you will find deep analysis of the position.

  • I am a judge for the Chess Life Online (CLO) awards for 2012.  More details on this coming soon.  I was sent a list of about 15 articles that appeared on the USCF website, and I had to rank them all.  It was a real honor to be a judge!

  • Speaking of judging, my chess tactics book “Tactics Time! 1001 Chess Tactics from the Games of Everyday Chess Players”, available here,, didn’t make the cut in’s “Book of the Year”.  Thanks to everyone who voted!  I wasn’t too surprised, since the book is only sold on, and I didn’t think that wants to redirect their customers to the competition.

  • I’ve been really overwhelmed with the positive comments that people have posted on amazon, and with the e-mails that people have sent me, telling me how much they like the book. Thank you so much!  I just discovered yesterday that the reviews posted on the international versions of amazon do not appear on the main amazon.  So if someone posts a review on (the Canadian amazon), it only appears there.

  • In more Colorado Chess news, there will be a Wild Boar tournament on January 19th, and Liz Wood sent an email letting people know she has had some health problems, and the Pueblo tournaments will still be on hold for a while. 

  • Tactics Time was mentioned in Stephen Dann’s Worcester Telegram & Gazette Sunday Chess Column last week:

  • Answer: I missed 14. Bxf7+ if 14…Kxf7 15. Qc4+ Kf8 16. Bc7 trapping the Black Queen.  I actually saw this idea, but played the wrong move order with Qc4+ first.  This doesn’t work though, because after Rf8 the Black Queen now has an escape square and the f7 pawn is defended.

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