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Enjoy Chess with Text Commentary

by Frederic Friedel - 17/03/2017

We have some very interesting new functionality on our news page. On the right you see a list of "Live Tournaments" – these are events that are currently or were recently broadcast on Playchess. A single click takes you to a luxury broadcast page where you can follow the most important games, or replay all of them from the event, analysing them with engine assistance. But best of all: you can load deep realtime analysis and find out instantly what happened. All on different devices, without ever leaving the news page!


Enjoy Chess with Text Commentary

The crazy thing about chess is just how addictive it can become. It does not matter if you are studying for your exams, or slogging away on your computer completing your work. It is tough to resist a peek into the LIVE games page. What is Hari up to? Has Magnus begun the grind yet? How is Wesley doing?


Obviously, watching a game live is just a few simple clicks away. You can watch it in one of the several websites broadcasting the games. Some of them even have commentaries by top players.

ChessBase now carries games LIVE by commentary by the best engines on very powerful servers!

Just visit You will be led to this page:

You may be working as usual on your computer. Now, just keep the tab open on your browser and have the games from around the world to enjoy. Click on any of the tournaments...


This takes you directly to a Playchess live broadcast page, with the most recent game – one that is being broadcast live in the above screen shot – and two others displayed. You can click on the small boards to get the notation in the window on the right, or on a game in the list to transfer it to the larger board.

You probably know that you can move pieces on the replay boards to analyse, and even start an engine to help you. You can maximize the replayer, auto-play, flip the board and even change the piece style in the bar below the board. At the bottom of the notation window on the right there are buttons for editing (delete, promote, cut lines, unannotate, undo, redo) save, play out the position against Fritz and even embed our JavaScript replayer on your web site or blog. Hovering the mouse over any button will show you its function.

At the bottom of the replay page you have a list of all the rounds of the tournament. You can click any one of them to see just the games from that round – or click on "All" to have all the games listed below the board. Below the rounds, you have other live or recent events which you can click to switch to them.

Now comes a very interesting option: Analysis. In the above event, the Women's World Championship, our live broadcast says that a total of 186 games are available with with analysis. Click on that and scroll to the bottom (most recent games):

Click to enlarge

How did Tan Zhongyi beat Anna Muzychuk in game two of their match, to take the lead? Click on that game and it will appear on the board, together with full commentary.

Of great interest is the evaluation bar below the notation: it shows you where the decisive part of the game occurred. If you click on it, as we have done above, the replayer jumps to the relevant position. So with just a few clicks you have loaded a tournament, retrieved an interesting game and located the decisive part – and that with full analysis.


How is all of this done: the annotation of live events in real time? Well, we have a Ukrainian IM sitting in the ChessBase office, ferociously annotating hundreds of games while they are being played. Just kidding! Actually, the analysis is the product of 18 different programs on 16 servers that are working together to provide the live broadcast. Many of these servers, like the ones providing player portraits, or the Live Book information, are not being used to full capacity all of the time. In the periods where they have nothing to do we have instructed them to load a game from the live broadcast and analyze it with a very powerful chess engine. The result is posted in the "Analysis" list.


Note that the comments are in natural language: "If only Black now had time for ...Ke6" is actually a machine generated annotation. Just in the above game, Tan-Muzychuk 6.2, we find "Rd1+ is the strong threat", "And now ...Rf8 would win" and "Endgame KRN-KRN". Is this the future: machines explaining games to us humans, patiently and in our own language?


Because we have been enjoying this all week here are some more examples:

This is a game from the Aeroflot tournament (click to enlarge). When we loaded the machine analyzed version we noticed that White was winning steadily, but at one stage there is a gap in the evaluation bar.

Clicking on the blank in the evaluation bar will show you what happened: Black could have played 39...Qb8! and got away with a draw. Instead, he played 39...Qa7? and allowed White to win.

This is another example of finding interesting games and jumping to the decisive position with just a couple of clicks. How did the Iranian prodigy Alireza Firouzja, rated 2465, beat GM Emilio Cordova, 90 points his superior? You click on the evaluation profile to get a full explanation.


That's it for today – we hope you enjoy the new functionality of the ChessBase news page. And make good use of it. Comments and suggestions are always welcome.