Whenever I study anything, be it a programming language, a chess thingy or whatever, I like to keep my own notes.
Usually I use OneNote for stuff like notes on programming languages and recipes and things, however recently I tried to study chess openings in the hope that it would assist me in beating Fritz and generally becoming a better player.
Chess is a bit weird because I really need planty of diagrams to help me grasp something, and if it moves so much the better. Reading a book only gets me so far. What I needed was a way of playing through a game, opening or endgame, and keeping notes as I went.
Fortunately, chess has a standardised text file format, .pgn, or ‘Portable Game Notation’ which allows you to transfer moves and comments between different software platforms. Thus, if you can find a way of making a .pgn file containing moves, games and commentary you can share it between chess programs on different devices (e.g. Chessmaster/Fritz/Arena on the PC, ScidOnTheGo on your Android Tablet etc.)
Creating a Huge Great Annotated .pgn File Using Fritz 12
- Green Button -> Create a new database
- Navigate to a suitable folder on your hard drive to put it in
- Important:Select .PGN in file-type drop down. If you don’t, you’ll create Chessbase database, which is useful, but not quite as portable
- Name it
- Click ‘Create New’
- This creates a new .PGN file at your chosen location on your hard drive
- Important: do ensure that the file type is set to PGN! It defaults to Chessbase database format, and if you’re not careful it will generate a Chessbase Database with its myriad little attendant files instead. It’s dreadfully untidy.
- Go back to the Fritz Board, and start creating/annotating games:
- Start a new game (Home -> New Game)
- Turn the engine off (Engine -> ‘Switch Engine Off’ box; you have to do this every time you start to create a new game. If you don’t, Fritz will jump in and start moving pieces about)
- Move the pieces around
- To annotate, right click a move in the Notation Window and select ‘Text before/after move’. Enter Text into pop-up window
- To add a variation, rewind and enter new move on the board. A popup will ask what you’re up to, choose ‘Add New Variation’
- Repeat until you’re done with the game/study you’re creating
- Click Green Button->Save->Save
- Enter details of game in the window that pops up (player names, game result, date, tournament etc.)
- Click ‘Save’ and the game will be appended to the .pgn file
- Repeat from step #8 until you have a whacking great .pgn file with loads and loads of games/studies/notes on it
Fritz’s interface can be a trifle opaque at times, but it’s a very powerful and useful GUI once you can find your way around it!
You can add the ‘New Database’ and ‘Save’ options to the quick toolbar as well, which is very handy if you use them frequently.