ELECTRONIC T-NOTES


CHESSBASE USA'S WEEKLY ON-LINE NEWSLETTER


FOR THE WEEK OF DECEMBER 17, 2000


MISCELLANY

by Steve Lopez

This week, we'll look at a few odds and ends that need to be addressed.

TABLEBASE CORRECTION

In two prior ETNs (June 27, 1999 and July 2, 2000) I provided extensive writeups on tablebases and the Fritz Turbo Endgame. It's come to my attention over the last week that something I stated was dead wrong. The chess engines provided by ChessBase do not use the six-piece tablebases. I was under the impression that they did due to the inclusion of the tablebase generation program (which allows a user to generate the six-piece files) with the Turbo Endgame package and some of the playing programs.

Consequently, the amount of hard disk space required for the tablebases was also incorrect, according to ChessBase programmer Mathias Feist. A full set of three piece to six piece tablebases requires about 33 gigabytes of hard drive space. The subset of three piece to five piece files takes about 8 GB (as stated in the previous articles), while the Turbo Endgame CDs (which contain the three piece, four piece, and most commonly encountered five piece endings) require about 2 GB of hard disk space.

At any rate, the errors in the previous articles were entirely my fault and I'll take the rap for it. A special thank you goes out to both Randy Schmidt and Mathias Feist for setting me straight.

E-MAIL FUNCTIONS IN CHESSBASE 8

Some users of ChessBase 8 are having problems getting the e-mail functions to work properly. The most common error message refers to a "MAPI error". To understand this message, we need to understand what MAPI is -- I'll try to not bore you with overly technical details.

MAPI is a relatively recent "standard" created by Microsoft which allows non-e-mail programs to link up with e-mail client programs in order to pass information directly to the e-mail program. If an e-mail client contains MAPI support, it (in theory) should be able to receive information directly from another program in which such a feature is enabled.

That last part is the catch. Not all e-mail clients have MAPI support and, to further complicate matters, the MAPI standard's been changed by Microsoft a couple of times. E-mail clients that are supposed to have MAPI support may be using an older set of MAPI instructions which aren't compatible with the latest set. For example, my e-mail client came bundled with an external utility that's supposed to add MAPI capabilities to the client. Even after running the utility, ChessBase 8 still fails to link up with the e-mail client. I don't get a MAPI error message anymore; instead, CB8 asks me what file format I want to attach to the e-mail (so I know that running the external MAPI utility actually worked, though it added the older MAPI support). After I select the file format and click "OK", nothing happens -- my e-mail client fails to launch.

The upshot is that the e-mail functions in CB8 may or may not work with your particular e-mail client. Your e-mail program must use the latest MAPI protocols. There are literally hundreds of e-mail programs on the market, so there's no way to provide some sort of list. If you're using an older non-MAPI client, the e-mail functions won't work. If you're using a client that supports MAPI, it may be using an older instruction set and won't work (as is the case with my e-mail client). Even some older Microsoft e-mail clients that support MAPI may not work (which is why I placed the word "standard" in quotes a couple of paragraphs back; MAPI is still relatively new and it's a non-standard standard because it's already been changed).

If, however, you're using one of the latest Microsoft e-mail clients, the latest version of Netscape mail, or another client that supports the latest changes to the MAPI standard, the CB8 e-mail functions should work properly.

If your e-mail client does support the latest MAPI standard and the function still doesn't work, make sure that you've set the client program as your default e-mail program in Windows. The procedure varies depending on the software you're using but, as an example, in Internet Explorer 5.5, you can go to the Tools menu, select "Internet options", click the "Programs" tab, and use the pulldown menu next to "E-mail" to select an e-mail client as your default.

THE GOTO FRITZ FUNCTION IN CB8

A few people have written to me with problems in getting this to work properly. In order for this function to work, you must run the Fritz6 service pack included on the ChessBase 8 CD. It's in the folder \Fritz6SP. In that folder you'll find the file setup.exe -- run this program to upgrade your Fritz6 program.

After you've run the upgrade program, be sure to start and run the Fritz6 program once before trying the "GoTo Fritz" function in ChessBase 8. Doing so will then enable ChessBase 8 and Fritz6 to hand games off to each other.

ADDENDUM

A couple of people have asked me why I haven't yet previewed the new ChessBase training CDs. I'll be covering them in ETN in two weeks. I usually write book reviews in the ETN issue falling between Christmas and New Year's, but I think I've set a new record this year: I've not purchased any chess books since sometime back in the spring. Consequently, I'll be doing CD previews this year, as well as reviews of some new electronic books from Sid Pickard.

Until next week, have fun!

Thanks to Tom Purser for the valuable reminders regarding this week's issue!

You can e-mail me with your comments, suggestions, and analysis for Electronic T-Notes.