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Brand new: ChessBase Tutorials

by Frederic Friedel - 18/04/2023

Experts estimate that more books have been written about chess than about all other games combined. Chess addicts may own hundreds, but have an ambivalent relationship to them. On the one hand, one is proud to own the books. On the other, most cannot be read! Not by 95% of the people who buy them. ChessBase is currently in the process of launching a new "Tutorial" format. First volumes can be purchased in our Shop. Check out the new interactive ebook format which you can play it out on the board and also enlarge photos, watch videos. Photo: ChessBase

Cross your heart: when was the last time you pulled out a board and replayed games from a chess book? Followed the moves and the analysis it contained? Most amateurs and club players will only look at diagrams and attempt to play a few moves in their minds.


Unless of course you are a grandmaster or a strong IM. These people can follow everything in their minds. I vividly remember how the young Vishy Anand would grab the latest volume of the Chess Informant, curl up in a corner, and spend hours giggling and laughing. He was replaying the games in his head. Players of this calibre can read chess books like Agatha Christie novels.


So what to do? Well, why not publish chess books electronically? The world is moving towards e-books, and this is especially advantageous for chess. ChessBase has developed a new book form for chess. Our goal is to make it very easy to write tutorials and e-books. Any chess player or chess trainer should be able to do it.


Experimenting with the system, I have managed to put together a lot of interesting stories in a relatively short span of time. Of course, I had decades of material I had used on our news page, and elsewhere. Most of the stories had sunk into the bottomless obscurity of the Internet archives, where nobody would ever find them again. But I have them all on my hard drive.


So we took the first twenty chapters of what I had written and designed an e-book, entitled "Frederic's Chess Tales – Part one". It is intended to show you how our e-publication works. Naturally, you can replay all the moves of games, on a graphic chessboard. You can move the pieces on diagrams, start an engine to help you understand everything. You can enjoy pictures (which enlarge when you click or tap on them), and watch videos.


Much of this will be familiar to readers of our new page. We use very similar facilities that are installed there. But the point of the e-book format is to have it all nicely together, in a very book-like form. Something to read on your PC, your tablet or your mobile phone.


Perhaps older users will recognize from where some of the stories came, which articles they were inspired by. But in most cases, the original articles were posted before many of our potential readers were even born. Others can view them nostalgically as part of a collection they are glad to possess.


You can read the introduction to Frederic's Chess Tales here


And here are the contents of the book

1 Introduction

2 The beautiful Behting

3 Darkness on the Horizon

4 Puzzles on a train

5 Alekhine's Best Games

6 1983: Thirteen super-grandmasters!

7 The handshake challenge

8 How God plays chess

9 Reconstructing Turing's "Paper Machine”

10 Nigel Short and the chess player's brain

11 Alex Roshal and the Great Russian Chess Joke

12 Almira! Chess, poker and soccer

13 The Sicilian Vespers

14 The wrong bishop

15 Chess puzzles – easy and fun

16 Chess Madness

17 April chess pranks

18 Love interests of chess players

19 East German programmers in Budapest

20 The Great King Walk


You can buy Frederic's Chess Tales in our Shop, and then access it from your devices. The price is a modest €9.90. Try it out – there is more to come.

About the Author

Editor-in-Chief emeritus of the ChessBase News page. Studied Philosophy and Linguistics at the University of Hamburg and Oxford, graduating with a thesis on speech act theory and moral language. He started a university career but switched to science journalism, producing documentaries for German TV. In 1986 he co-founded ChessBase.

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