ChessBase for Windows and/or Fritz 3 Review

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Hakan Nohre

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Sep 6, 1994, 4:05:36 AM9/6/94
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Have Chessbase for Windows and/or Fritz3 been reviewed here ?

In that case, could anybody repost ?

Regards Håkan


Johannes Fuernkranz

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Sep 6, 1994, 7:14:28 AM9/6/94
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In article <1994Sep6.0...@terminus.ericsson.se>,

Hakan Nohre <ha...@terminus.ericsson.se> wrote:
>Have Chessbase for Windows and/or Fritz3 been reviewed here ?

Well, this reminds me to post my review. I have the programs for about
a month now.

FRITZ 3:
I find it much stronger than FRITZ 2. I used to win Blitz games occasionally
against FRITZ 2 (something like 1 or 2 out of 10), but I can't get to Fritz3
guts yet. I won the 3rd game I played with it, but never again (and this was
not in X-Mode where it uses the full extended memory for hash tables and
stuff. Other than playing strength it looks like Fritz2.
I'm having troubles with moving pieces. Sometimes it's really hard to
"lift" them. Anyways (without knowing many other programs) I dare say
this is the best program on the market (not necessarily in playing strength,
but in what it gives you for the money (except you care for bells and
whistles like speech support, rating facilities, 3-D animation etc.)).
It also supports the most important database features of ChessBase, so
you might as well get started with Fritz.

CB for Windows:
Could be a very good program. It has several things that were missing from
CB4.0 including checking for doublettes, extended printing facilities,
using several databases at once, extended search facilities etc.
The program is completely redesigned as a Windows application.
They still insist on selling the endgame and middlegame classification tools
separately.

However, the version they have delivered as an upgrade for CB4 really sucks.
I feel like I'm Beta-testing a program, but I had to pay for that.
- It comes without a manual!!
- The windows for opening keys get often screwed when you have keys that are
longer than a page.
- physically deleting games from a database is fully integrated into the
program, but it doesn't work on compressed drives (it works on my C:, but
not on the D:).
- Changing font colors always hung the program completely
- Exporting opening keys gives always gives you stupid warnings, but seems
to work nevertheless when you export to a keyless database (doesn't work
when the other database already has a key).

Besides they also sticked with their data representation:
- the encoding is not documented and therefore is unreadable for other
programs (but highly compressive)
- ELO ratings can only be entered in intervals of 5 and not below 1600,
which is very annoying when you want to enter your own tournament games.
- No complete dates (only years) can be entered
- Commenting is somtimes inconvenient because you can not skip moves (as
e.g. e4 with the idea/threat e5).

Differences to CB4:
- many useful additions, complete redesign (see above)
- a new Heuristic move entry support that has much higher hit ratio
than the previous one. However you can not change the suggestion
without actually moving the piece (in CB4 you could use the right
mouse button for that).
- The short game preview only has 3 boards (instead of 6 boards) at least
on my small screen.

If this product would be marketed by a company that shows a little bit more
respect and care for their customers, it would be a great program, despite
some of the principal shortcomings mentioned above. If you care about
getting a bug-free program and/or customer support, don't buy it. If you
already have CB4 its probably best to stick with ChessBase and get the
upgrade which is quite cheap compared to the full costs of the program.

Both programs have a 2-copy copy protection.
For both programs 486 or higher is highly recommended.


Juffi

Monica Vann

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Sep 9, 1994, 7:44:56 PM9/9/94
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Hello Juffi,

I much appreciated your review. ChessBase for Windows I haven't got my hands
on yet, but the information you give on it is very useful.
With regards to your rosy Fritz 3 report....have you tried Chess Genius 2,
or Hiarcs. Or even, given its orrible interface...MChess Pro. ?
--
Monica Vann

Johannes Fuernkranz

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Sep 16, 1994, 6:38:18 AM9/16/94
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In article <779154...@marlow.demon.co.uk>,

No.
No.
No.

I'm very happy with Fritz 3 and can not imagine any feature which would
add to it. I could imagine many that might be missing from the others.

But I'm willing to learn...

Juffi

Hakan Nohre

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Sep 22, 1994, 4:08:34 AM9/22/94
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In article 81...@hal.depaul.edu, pst...@falcon.depaul.edu (Peter Stein) writes:
>In article <35bsiq$r...@infosrv.edvz.univie.ac.at>,
>Well one thing that's missing from other products is the opportunity to
>repeatedly shell out cash for additional opening books just to get the
>opening book to a level which it should have had to begin with!
>
>Give the user an opening book editor? Nah, lets just keep socking 'em for
>additional opening books.
>
>But I'm sure someone can contrive a clever rationale to portray this
>ChessBase philosophy in a better light.
>
>Peter Stein
>pst...@falcon.depaul.edu
>

According to CB Software you can create your own openings books for Fritz
with Chessbase for Windows.

This was THE feature of Chessbase for Windows that tempted me into upgrading.

I have not received my upgrade yet, so I cannot say how well it works.

Regards

Haakan

Johannes Fuernkranz

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Sep 22, 1994, 6:50:17 AM9/22/94
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In article <1994Sep20....@hal.depaul.edu>,

Peter Stein <pst...@falcon.depaul.edu> wrote:
>>
>>I'm very happy with Fritz 3 and can not imagine any feature which would
>>add to it. I could imagine many that might be missing from the others.
>>
>>But I'm willing to learn...
>>
>> Juffi
>>
>
>Well one thing that's missing from other products is the opportunity to
>repeatedly shell out cash for additional opening books just to get the
>opening book to a level which it should have had to begin with!
>
>Give the user an opening book editor? Nah, lets just keep socking 'em for
>additional opening books.
>
>But I'm sure someone can contrive a clever rationale to portray this
>ChessBase philosophy in a better light.
>
You have a point here. I didn't realize this, because I can edit Fritz 3
Books with ChessBase for Windows. However, I definitely agree with you
that this is another example for the ChessBase people's way of marketing
products. I really don't like that (I think nobody does).

So I have to weaken my recommendation for Fritz 3 a little.
Being in the lucky position of having access to both, Fritz 3 and CB for
Windows, Fritz 3 is still perfect for me. CB is not even close as I have
stated my original article.

Juffi


Peter Stein

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Sep 24, 1994, 6:26:00 PM9/24/94
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In article <35rnh9$e...@infosrv.edvz.univie.ac.at>,

On a related note I've seen mention of some reviews of
ChessBase for Windows, but I don't recall seeing any
FTP addresses. Are any of these reviews available via FTP?

Here in the US ChessBase for Windows will not be available
for shipment until October, it would be nice to check out
the reviews before then.

Are there any OS/2 users out there who have succeeded in
running ChessBase for Windows under WINOS2? As I mentioned
in a previous posting the official word from ChessBase USA
was that this is not possible. It would of course be
welcome news if someone has proved them wrong.

Peter Stein
pst...@falcon.depaul.edu

Andy Duplain

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Sep 27, 1994, 4:10:20 AM9/27/94
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In article <1994Sep20....@hal.depaul.edu>,
Peter Stein <pst...@falcon.depaul.edu> wrote:
>In article <35bsiq$r...@infosrv.edvz.univie.ac.at>,
>Well one thing that's missing from other products is the opportunity to
>repeatedly shell out cash for additional opening books just to get the
>opening book to a level which it should have had to begin with!
>
>Give the user an opening book editor? Nah, lets just keep socking 'em for
>additional opening books.
>
>But I'm sure someone can contrive a clever rationale to portray this
>ChessBase philosophy in a better light.

On a, sorta, related note:

The next release of CBUTILS will contain a program called CBFBK
for creating Fritz powerbooks from ChessBase files... while not
exactly being an opening book editor, it does allow them to be
created... for free. The next release should be uploaded to
chess.uoknor.edu in the next week or two. Also new in the release
is CBEPD, a program that converts between EPD-files and ChessBase
files, giving Fritz2/3 some EPD-capability.

--
Andy Duplain, Syntegra, Brighton, UK. dup...@rtf.bt.co.uk
#define DISCLAIMER "My views and opinions are my own, and not my company's"

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