top of page

ChessBase - Annotating games

I mostly play chess online. This is a convenient and quick way to participate in a chess tournament or to spend time with a friend chatting and playing chess in a suitable online location.

I play on PlayChess server, which is hosted by ChessBase company.

On PlayChess, my chess games are automatically saved in the MylnternetGames database, which I access from ChessBase and Fritz.

The database of my chess games currently contains over 3000 games and is an excellent material for analysis and consideration aimed at improving the quality of my chess play.

There is no point in making mistakes if we are not going to learn from them.

I monitor my game in making annotations and analyzing with the chess engine. Over time, ChessBase provides me with statistics for each chess opening and on the games of my opponents.

This is part 3 of a 5 part course on the ChessBase program.

Suitable for ChessBase 12 or later.

How to do annotations - that's what this part of the course is about.

Annotating game

When reviewing a completed chess game or when entering moves, ChessBase allows you to add explanations to variants, comments, move ratings (!, !!, ?, ?!, etc.) and positions (+-, ±, -+, =, etc.).

To enter Evaluations and / or Marks select Insert on the board ribbon, then click Annotations.

A palette of different symbols will be displayed.

Using the Symbol Palette, you can select and add the appropriate symbol for your chess game notation.

You can get a wider selection by selecting Set Mark or Set Evaluation or Prefix to the right of the Annotations option.

You can also recall these symbols by right-clicking on the movement and selecting one of the available options.

After adding the ?! symbol to black's thirteenth move, the notation looks like this:

The red numbers next to the moves tell you the number of seconds spent on that chess move. The chess game in this example was played on the PlayChess server at blitz tempo. Of course, if the information about the time spent on each move is not needed, you can remove this information.

Right-clicking on any move and choosing Delete - Delete Evaluation + Time Commentary will...

Remove the time thinking and evaluation information for each white and black move.

Adding text commentary and variations

To enter a variation, select Insert on the ribbon and click Enter Variation (or press T key).

When you are finished entering a variation, you can click on any field notation (outside the variation) and click End Variation.


Here is the new variation ( 13...Kh8 14.Bxf5 b5 ) after its entry:

To add a text comment, select Insert in the ribbon and choose Text Before Move or Text After Move.

A new window opens where you can enter a text comment.

After typing the comment and clicking OK button, we should get the following notation:

You can get the same effect if you right-click on the selected move and select Text After Move or use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+A.

Deleting variation.

After clicking Delete Variation as shown in the following image (18...c5= deserves consideration.)...

A variation of move eighteen has been removed from the notation.

Promoting variation.

When you click Promote variation, the selected variation will be moved up one step in the chess notation of that chess game. You can also use the keyboard shortcut Alt+Up ( Up is the up arrow key ).

After promoting the variation, the notation looks exactly like this:

Insert diagram

Since Chessbase version 14 (also in ChessBase 15 and newer, like ChessBase 16) - it is possible to insert a diagram into the chess notation for each selected move.

This is a very useful option that increases the readability of the chess notation and allows you to easily see e.g. the key positions in the commented chess game.

In the commented chess game in this case, after black's move 13...f4 we will insert a chess diagram.

Choose Insert Diagram on the Insert ribbon.

In the newly inserted diagram we see the position created after black's thirteenth move 13...f4.

To remove a diagram that has been placed next to a badly chosen chess move, simply select that move - in this case 13...f4 and click again on the Insert Diagram option on the Insert ribbon. The diagram will be removed.


If you want to delete all comments you need to click Delete All Commentary from the Insert ribbon.

Delete All Commentary option deletes all text and graphic comments!

This is what the notation looks like after removing all text and image comments.

Quick access to symbols

In newer versions of ChessBase, there is a way to quickly access symbols via the bar under the chess game notation, below the score graph.

You can use this to make annotations in chess games even more efficiently.

Finding and insert novelties.

You can use ChessBase to find novelties in any chess game.

Using the chess game notation example in the batch shown earlier, let's select the Report ribbon and click on Novelty Annotation.

After a while, we see changes in notation.

ChessBase now transforms the notation in game, identifying the new move 9...Rb8N, marking it in blue as a novelty - that is, a critical opening move - and adding two parties to the annotation - the first one it identifies as Relevant and Predecessor.

You can also label yourself a move that you think is novelty-critical in the opening. For example, I'll create a new variation of move 9...Na5 and mark it as novelty.

Right-click on the desired move 9...Na5 in the newly created variation and choose Special Annotation - Critical Opening Position. Then by pressing Ctrl+A I type "My novelty.".

After the changes made, the notation is as follows:

Using ChessBase we can add annotations to chess games in many different ways described above in the course content.

This is to make the annotations on chess games as clear and attractive as possible, and to help understand the moves made and the flow of the chess games played.


This is the end of the course:

ChessBase - Annotating games

I invite you to choose the next course :-))



bottom of page