Thursday, December 13, 2007

To Base, Or Not To Base



I am trying to decide whether or not to buy Chessbase 9.0. Given the price tag, I want to be sure it’s not just an impulse purchase…

I own Fritz 8 which I am perfectly happy with as far as analyzing games. But more and more I feel like Chessbase would be a really good addition for researching/studying/annotating/organizing etc. On the other hand, I think part of me wants Chessbase purely out of gadget lust - Chessbase could be my shiny new toy that I could spend lots of time with, or as Gollum from Lord of the Rings would say, my precioussss :)

But in all seriousness, it’s kind of the Gold Standard out there, no? So my question to those of you that own Chessbase: would you recommend getting it? Do you think owning both Fritz and Chessbase is overkill, or are they really complementary products? What do you mostly use Chessbase for?

Also, there’s the question of whether to buy the Starter Package or the Mega Package. There’s quite a bit of a price difference between the two, and I’m not sure whether I need all the bells and whistles that come with the Mega Package.

Last but not least, there’s the question of where to buy the software. Seems like wholesalechess.com has the best price, but I’ve never bought anything there. Does anybody reading this have any experience with wholesalechess.com?

If anybody has any thoughts on all of this, your feedback will be much appreciated.

8 comments:

drunknknite said...

First of all, definitely get it. I use ChessBase much more than Fritz.

As far as which to get, that's a tough one, I would say that the best part of the Mega is the annotated games, which are extremely well done. I would recommend the Starter and then upgrading later.

I have had good experiences with wholesalechess.com in the past and one of my friends lives in Utah and says that it's a cool place.

Glenn Wilson said...

I have CB 8.0 Mega. The one thing that has had continued value for me over the base package is the mega database itself...but I wonder if, in this day and age, one can't fairly easily construct such a database from publicly available pgn files?

I use it with Deep Fritz. They compliment each other well. I use the Deep Fritz Engine from CB. The only thing I directly use Deep Fritz for these days is its analysis mode to quickly walk through and analyze my games. And, when I do that I use the mega database as the opening reference to use...

Temposchlucker said...

I would consider chessbase only when a free database like SCID wouldn't meet my demands. It does though. Is there any chessbase functionality you cannot miss and that is not in SCID?

Chessaholic said...

Thanks all for the feedback!

drunknknite: yeah, the 60,000 annotated games are the most tempting aspect of the Mega package to me, almost worth the extra money just for that, especially if they're well done. Glad to hear you've had good experiences with wholesalechess, I'm going to give them a try.

glenn: I've actually heard people say they prefer CB 8.0 over 9.0, do you have any thoughts on that? Seems like you've got a good setup with Deep Fritz. That kind of complimentary setup is what I was picturing too.

tempo: from what I know (which admittedly is not all that much), SCID does indeed offer most of the same functionalities. I would argue that CB has a more user-friendly interface, but that's probably a matter of taste and preference, and probably not worth the cost in and of itself. As I mentioned above however, the 60,000 annotated games alone would almost be worth the money to me. Also, I'm not sure if and how you can integrate Fritz with SCID? Maybe it's possible, which would be great. I do want to continue using my Fritz 8 engine for analysis, and whichever database I use should be able to integrate it.

Glenn Wilson said...

I do not know how CB8 compares to CB9. But as to Mega vs Starter looking at the price difference if I was doing it today with what I know today I would get the starter package. There are tons of games on the internet (some, I would assume are annotated).

As to SCID I'd give it a try before buying CB8 -- Free is a nice feature. If it was around when I got CB8, I was not aware of it. And, I should probably take a look at it, anyway...

wang said...

I don't think its a good idea. I recently bought Chess Assistant 9 mega package and I can tell you that overall it was gadget lust.

Since it is much more complex than Frtiz 9 it is much harder to navigate and use than Fritz.

This is not a problem but I annotate my own games and use simple database features. I simply do not have the time to use all of the advanced features that it offers.

I would say upgrade Fritz and get yourself some Nalimov Tablebases for endgame study. Unless you are the type to go over GM games and research the latest line in your favorite openings and such. That sounds good in practice but most people don't do this.

Plus the price tag is HEFTY!

Atomic Patzer said...

I have the ChessBase starter package and find it helpful. I save tournament game in in it and then search openings positions from my games. It pulls up games from the database with the same positions and I can go through them to see where I went wrong. I also use it to get a feel for my openings by pulling up games and then quickly playing through a bunch to get a feel for how to play. It works well with Fritz too.

Chessaholic said...

wang & atomic patzer: thanks for the feedback. I've got some food for thought now...