by Steve Lopez

This week we'll look at another batch of various tips, all of which will make either you or I say "Doh!".


I get caught by this one a lot. You've been working with a database in ChessBase 7, doing searches, adding games, making changes. You go to archive the database to make a .cbv file of it and you get the error message "Please close window first". You go to the Window menu and see that the only window that's open is the Database window. What the heck is going on?

This one's not at all obvious but it's one of those problems that makes you smack your forehead and say "Doh!" once you figure it out. If you find yourself in this situation, check the Clipboard. I guarantee you'll find some games on it. ChessBase 7 can't archive the database while games from it are in use -- games that are on the Clipboard count as such. Clear the Clipboard and try archiving the database again. It'll work this time.


Here's another of those "Doh!" situations. I read a few of the Internet chess message boards and I see this one all the time. Somebody will post a message asking if there's a way to print out a database's game list using ChessBase 7. Invariably, some helpful(?) soul will reply that it can't be done. Yes, it can. There's even a button for it right on the screen ("Doh!").

In the Database window, click once on the database's icon to highlight it. At the bottom of the Database window is a row of buttons. The second one from the right looks like a blue memo pad. Move the mouse cursor over it; the popup reads "Create game lists". Click on it and the Windows file selector appears, allowing you to choose a folder for the list you're about to create. You can also name it (making sure the file extension is .txt, of course). Save the list, fire up your word processor or text editor program, open up the file to see the game list in text form, and then edit and/or print it.


Another frequently-asked question on the message boards: "Can I import a tournament crosstable into a text document or web page?" If you answered "No", smack yourself and say "Doh!"

All of the tournament's games have to be in the database sequentially (you can't toss a game from another event somewhere in the middle of it). Go into the game list, highlight the first game of the tournament, and click the button for "Generate tournament table" at the bottom of the game list window. You'll get a new window that shows you the crosstable. But how do you get this into a text document?

There are several buttons at the bottom of this window. One of them reads: "ASCII -> Clip". Click it and the crosstable will be sent to the Windows clipboard (not the ChessBase clipboard). Fire up your word processor, text editor, or HTML editor and open up your document. Position the cursor at the point where you want the crosstable to appear and hit CTRL-V. The crosstable will be inserted at that point.

It's important to remember that you'll need to use a fixed-pitch font (such as Courier) for the crosstable or the columns won't be straight. If you're creating a web page, you'll need to use either the FONT tag or the PRE tag to get the table to read correctly. If you're an overachiever you could instead use the TABLE tags to make your own crosstable and cut and paste the ChessBase-generated information into it. Good luck -- that's too much like work as far as I'm concerned.


This one's a "Doh!" on us. There's a chart on page 155 of the ChessBase 7 manual showing the various keyboard shortcuts you can use to get Informant-style commentary to appear in a text window. However, a few of them are missing or wrong ("Doh!"). Here's a list of corrections for you to make in your manual:

There are three more that are in error, but we've not been able to track down the proper keystroke combinations. These are:

If you happen to stumble across one of these, please let me know and I'll provide appropriate credit in a future issue of ETN. My e-mail link is at the end of the article.

Until next week, have fun!

You can e-mail me with your comments, suggestions, and analysis for Electronic T-Notes. If you love gambits, stop by my Chess Kamikaze Home Page and the Yahoo Chess Kamikazes Club.