by Steve Lopez

For some odd reason if I get a question once, I'll get the same question multiple times over a short period. This week we'll look at answers to several questions that have popped up more than once recently.

Q) Why can't I get Fritz to generate an evaluation profile for games from my database, even in Full Analysis/Blundercheck/Infinite Analysis mode?

A) Because Fritz doesn't work that way. It only stores an evaluation profile for games that you're playing against the computer. While it's certainly possible to view an evaluation profile for database games you're playing through (while Infinite Analysis is running), you can't save this information into the game. (And note that you'll still only be able to save an evaluation profile for games you're playing if you have "Store thinking time" and/or "Store evaluations" checked under Tools/Options/Clocks+Notation).

Q) How do I copy the Fritz Turbo Endgame tablebase files to my hard drive and get Fritz to use them once they're copied?

A) This is actually three questions in one. So we'll break it down/reword it into separate questions.

How do I copy files? This is a Windows issue for which every user should know the answer. If you don't, check ETN for October 20, 2002 to find several links to free Windows tutorials on the Web. Now for the rewording:

What do I need to copy from the four CDs onto my hard drive? Create a folder on your hard drive to store the tablebase files (and make sure you remember where you put it and what you named it). Copy all of the files ending in .emd from the four CDs into this new folder; this will require a bit more than 2 gigabytes of drive space.

How do I get Fritz to recognize the files once they're copied? Start Fritz and go to Tools/Options. Click the Tablebases tab and then click the "Browse" button next to "Path 1". A dialogue will appear -- use this to select the folder into which you copied the tablebase files. Click "OK" and you're done. If you like, check the ETN issue for July 2, 2000 for more yah-dah yah-dah about tablebases.

Q) Why can't I use UCI engines in ChessBase 8?

A) UCI isn't supported in ChessBase 8, but I'll be truly surprised if we don't see it in ChessBase 9.

Q) What can you tell me about Fritz8/ChessBase9?

A) Very little until I see them myself. Fritz8 is due in the U.S. in December. All I know about it (from the reports of European users) is that it plays a better positional game than Fritz7 and that the 3D chessboard has been greatly improved. I understand that there is also an opening training feature of some kind included but I don't know anything more about it yet. There are undoubtedly more new features besides those. As for ChessBase 9, my understanding is that a mid-2003 release is probable.

Q) How can I get maximum performance/strength out of my chess program?

A) This was the subject of a whole ETN article earlier this year. See the issue for March 10, 2002.

Q) Why does it take you a while to preview new CDs?

A) It takes about a week after its European release for a new CD to hit my mailbox and then I have to spend some time with it to be able to write about it. For example, the new biographical CD on Mikhail Tal just landed in my mailbox yesterday; you'll likely see a preview of it in next week's ETN.

And vistors to ChessBase USA's website occasionally barrage me with questions/problems/comments regarding the site. Other than writing the weekly ETN articles, I have nothing to do with the website, contents, scripting, etc. I'm happy to forward e-mailed concerns to the right folks. But if you have a problem with a page not loading, with registration or ordering, etc., please don't call CBUSA's tech support phone line, as there's nothing I can do about them. Faster results can be obtained by using either the Customer Support e-mail link or the webmaster's like (Cool Coyotes) which can be found on the site itself.

Likewise for problems concerning the Playchess server -- that's ChessBase GmbH's baby and you should e-mail them with any questions/problems concerning playing chess on the server.

Until next week, have fun!

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