by Steve Lopez

It's here -- the English version of Fritz7 has finally arrived. Obviously, the first step to enjoying the program is getting it installed on your computer (you can't run it directly from the CD). The procedure is pretty simple; we'll show you how to install Fritz7 in this week's ETN.

If you have Autorun enabled, you'll see this popup appear when you insert the Fritz7 CD into the CD drive:

If you don't have Autorun enabled, just click on the Start button on your Windows Taskbar, select "Run", and use the "Browse" button to browse for the file Autorun.exe on the Fritz7 CD. After successfully launching the file, you'll see the same popup depicted above.

In the popup, click the "Install" button. This will bring up the following dialogue:

This dialogue is asking you what language you want the program to be in (i.e. menu items, dialogues, etc.). In the English version of Fritz7, this defaults to "English", so you need change nothing. Just click "OK". This advances the installation process to the next dialogue:

This is just a welcoming screen, letting you know that the Installation Wizard is about to be launched. Click "Next" to continue.

You'll see this dialogue next:

This dialogue is asking you to identify the folder in which you want to install Fritz7. The default folder given by the Installation Wizard is:

C:\Program Files\ChessBase\Fritz7

There's really no reason to change this folder, unless you have a good specific reason for doing so. In fact, if you've installed other ChessBase programs (such as ChessBase 8 or the other playing programs) to their default folders, using this default for Fritz7 ensures that all of the chess engines you've acquired will be usable interchangably in all of the various programs. Click "Next" after selecting a folder (or accepting the default) and you'll see the next dialogue:

This dialogue asks you to identify the default folder for your game databases and opening books. The default path is:

C:\My Documents\ChessBase

As with the previous dialogue, there's no reason to change this unless you want to do so. Click "Next" (after selecting a folder or keeping the default) to advance to the next dialogue:

This dialogue asks you for the type of setup you want. Selecting "Compact" will pretty much require that the CD be in the drive whenever you play against Fritz7 in the future. "Typical" is a good all-around setting in this dialogue, while "Custom" allows you to add the program's music files to your hard drive. Make your selection by clicking on the radio button next to the choice you want, then click the "Next" button. At this point, the Installation Wizard installs Fritz7 to your hard drive. When the installation is complete, you'll see the following dialogue appear:

Obviously, you'll want to select the option that restarts your computer in order to complete Fritz7's installation.

After the computer reboots, you can start Fritz7 by double-clicking its icon on your Windows Desktop, or else click the Start button (on your Windows Taskbar), go to "Programs", then "ChessBase", then "Fritz7".

The first time you run Fritz7, you'll see the following dialogue appear:

This dialogue asks you to fill in your name and town. This is so Fritz7 can address you by name in its on-screen Chatter window and make references to your geographical location. You can also fill in some information about your computer (which is automatically added to the header information for games plyed in Computer-Computer matches or Computer Tournaments on your machine). You can also select a radio button next to your approximate skill level -- Fritz7 uses this information to set a few defaults (for example, selecting "Beginner" causes Fritz to set itself for an easier play mode and display algebraic coordinates around the board by default). Also select "Mr." or "Ms." (also crucial to the proper display of comments in the Chatter window). Finally, if you don't want to see this dialogue displayed everytime you start the program in the future, be sure to check the "Skip on program start" box near the top of this dialogue. Click "OK" after filling in this dialogue.

Finally, you'll get to this dialogue:

This allows you to choose between using the standard playing, analysis, and database functions of Fritz7 ("Play Fritz") or using the program as a graphical user interface for playing against other people live online at ChessBase's Internet chess site ("Playchess.com").

We'll look at a couple of closing points regarding installation. Fritz7's opening book is not copied to the hard disk during installation -- you must do this yourself using "Copy tree to hard disk". The procedure is identical to that used in Fritz6 -- see ETN for February 27, 2000 for information on this procedure.

Likewise, the game database is not copied to the hard disk upon installation either. If you want to copy the database to the hard drive, go to the Tools menu (in the database window), select "Database", and then "Install to hard disk". Then select the folder to which you want to copy the database files.

Now you're ready to enjoy Fritz7. We'll have a look at the program itself in upcoming ETN articles. Until next week, have fun!

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