The groundbreaking release of the new ChessBase 17 is something that chess enthusiasts should look out for. This ChessBase 17 review will examine its new features and how it is compared to the old ChessBase 16.
The new ChessBase 17 boasts new features such as Interactive Search Mask, ultra-high resolution 2D board, and dark mode that optimizes the user’s experience.
Besides that, ChessBase 17 now runs on 2CBH data format, which no longer requires search boosters. This feature is one of the major upgrades from the previous version.
Let’s discuss some of the pros and cons of ChessBase 17 and the program’s new features.
ChessBase released the newest chess database program in November 2022. Known as ChessBase 17, this fresh program is an upgrade from the previous ChessBase 16.
Since it’s been a whopping 26 years since the previous program was released, we expect major enhancements from the old program and never-seen-before features.
According to ChessBase, the new program has amazing new features with enhanced analysis functions. With millions of games to watch, let’s evaluate if the new ChessBase 17 is a breakthrough for chess database programs.
About the Company
ChessBase, the leading company for chess software distribution, has been around since 1986. The 36-year-old company originates from Hamburg, Germany.
The company markets chess engines mainly from the Fritz line. They also publish magazines and distribute training DVDs and chess databases.
To this day, ChessBase is notable for its massive chess databases, where you can access millions of games. In fact, numerous international chess players recommend ChessBase as useful software to improve their gameplay.
Furthermore, ChessBase has game records for some of the most historical chess games ever played. The program allows you to access games from world champions like Magnus Carlsen, too.
At the same time, the company operates an online chess server called Playchess. It hosts thousands of tournaments that well-known chess players and amateurs alike are known to be very fond of.
ChessBase 17 is a chess database software available for PCs running on Windows 8.1 and higher. The new database program comprises almost 10 million chess games in five languages. The program is sold together with DVDs as well.
You can buy just the program alone or opt for other packages. You may choose between the starter, mega, and premium packages.
By purchasing the program only, you get a free chess base magazine subscription for half a year. At the same time, it includes half a year of premium membership for Playchess and ChessBase accounts.
After looking into ChessBase 17’s new features, we’ve drawn the following advantages:
1. Faster Than the Previous Chessbase 16
ChessBase 17 has the advantage of speed—thanks to the new 2CBH data format that runs 2x faster than the old CBH data format in ChessBase 16. That way, the new caching method prevents the accumulation of files that slow the program.
2. Game Analysis Is in Natural Language With Verbal Annotations
This amazing new feature makes training more comprehensible and convenient. It’s like having your trainer guide you during the game.
Instead of squinting through the words on the screen, users can activate the speak text annotation. The speak text annotation allows users to listen to verbal commentary regarding their current position and possible threats to look out for. This feature is especially helpful for beginners.
3. Better Graphics and Screen Resolution
The program’s interface may be the same as the 16, but the 17 has high-resolution 2D boards with quick graphics.
4. No Need for Search Booster
Search booster updates are pretty annoying. Luckily, with the 2CBH data format, there’s no need for search boosters that make the program run slow.
5. Reduced Eye Strain and Blue Light Exposure
The new dark mode feature prevents users from suffering eye strain during a lengthy chess session.
6. Free Access to Premium Features
Although offered for a limited time, the free premium account with your program purchase lets you explore ChessBase’s connected programs and services. Some amazing services you can access are the cloud engine, tactics trainer, and the Playchess server.
Meanwhile, here are some drawbacks that come with purchasing the ChessBase 17 program:
1. Not Available on Mac and Linux
Sadly for Mac and Linux users, the new ChessBase 17 only runs on PCs backed by Windows 8.1 or higher.
2. Outdated Chess Engine
What makes us wonder is that ChessBase used the same Deep Fritz 13 Chess Engine. It’s the same engine as the previous ChessBase 16.
Given that other chess engines’ Elo ratings can be as high as 3333, Deep Fritz’s 3028 Elo ranking is inferior. The stats are based on CCRL’s rating list for 23 chess engines.
Comparing the Elo ratings, we can conclude that Deep Fritz 13 is slightly slower and provides less quality game analysis.
3. It Takes up Bigger Space
For storage-conscious users, expect the ChessBase 17 to occupy bigger storage than the previous ChessBase 16.
Since the program is new, encountering annoying bugs is quite common. Due to bugs, ChessBase 17 had to update several times.
ChessBase 17 is loaded with interesting features, allowing users to enjoy the program with no lags.
Furthermore, users can search for specific games using the Interactive Search Mask with enhanced filter options. Millions of games are in the database, so this is a very helpful function.
Aside from that, here’s a list of some distinct features found in ChessBase 17:
- Dark Mode (gray and black theme)
- Ultra High-resolution 2D Board
- Buddy Engine
- 2CBH New Data Format
- Speak Text Annotation
- Intelligent Position Input
The price for ChessBase 17 depends on the package you want. So, prices may vary, but they usually start at around $163.
The Starter package costs around $199 to $217, while the Mega package may cost around $326. The Premium package, including Endgame Turbo 5, is the most expensive one, priced at around $544.
The ChessBase 17 upgrade is suitable for all levels of expertise. With its new features like Speak Text Annotation and Interactive Search Mask, beginners can kick start their chess training wholesomely.
Despite the amazing benefits of its special features, ChessBase 17 has disadvantages. Its downsides include frequent bugs, and it only supports Windows 8.1 and up.