Chessbase 16 Review: How Much Does It Cost & Is It Worth Buying?

Reviews / By Andrew Hercules

I wouldn’t be exaggerating when I say 99% of titled players use Chessbase as a tool for chess improvement. Most of these players I know use it more than any other offline or online tool.

Chessbase has a ton of cool features which I will be sharing inside this review article. This program is great for players of all levels and more importantly coaches who wish to train and develop their students chess skills.

With Chessbase, you can create and store game positions as well as store valuable lessons about the game. The newly released version, Chessbase 16, has some updated features that you will surely find fascinating. This and more will I be covering further in this review article.

Now I get a lot of questions from players as to whether they should buy the software, Is it worth the cost? and more importantly how should they use it?

Don’t you worry. I will be addressing all these questions and help you to decide whether or not this software is right for you. With that said let’s jump right in!


What Is Chessbase?

ChessBase is a personal, stand-alone chess database that has grown to become the standard throughout the world.

Believe me when I say everyone uses Chessbase. From World Championship winners to the amateur next door. It is no doubt that this program is the best choice for anyone who loves chess and wants to know more about the game.

How Much Does Chessbase 16 Cost?

Chessbase 16 comes in three different packages:

  1. Starter Package
  2. Mega Package
  3. Premium Package

First you have the Starter package edition which costs $215 USD inclusive of the big database. The Mega package edition is priced at $320 USD while the Premium is selling for $505 USD both of which contains the Megadatabase. 

Of course, you have the option to get Chessbase 16 without the database which will cost you less (just $109 USD). But you will need the database of games if you don’t already have one.  Here is a table outlining the cost and features of each package.


ChessBase 16 – Premium package Edition 2021

ChessBase 16 – Mega package Edition 2021 ChessBase 16 – Starter Package Edition 2021 ChessBase 16 – program only


Mega 2021

Mega 2021 Big 2021

DB-Updates 2021

CB Magazin Abo


6x 3x

ChessBase Account

12 Months Premium

12 Months Premium 6 Months Premium

3 Months Premium

Corr. Database 2020

Endgame Turbo 5

Ducates incl.





$320.00 $215.00


  Get Premium Package Get Mega Package Get Starter Package

Get Chessbase program only

As you can see the Chessbase 16 program alone costs $109 without the database and premium memberships. Note that you will need a windows 7 or higher system to download Chessbase 16. 

Choose the package that best fits your needs below:

Features of Chessbase – What Can You Do With It?

chessbase 16 review

With Chessbase, you can retrieve games/positions from a megadatabase according to openings, players and tournaments. Chessbase allows you to generate tournament crosstables and a complete graphic statistics of chess players and chess opening.



Here are some of the features you get with Chessbase when it comes to analyzing games and board positions:

1. Similarity Search

It has a cool feature called the “Similarity Search” which displays all games with similar pawn structures, endgame positions and sacrifice patterns among others.

2. Let’s Check feature

Once you download Chessbase to your computer, you get access to the world’s largest database of over 200 million positions. The “Let’s Check” feature will allow you to create an in-depth analysis of these games.

3. Instant Analysis

Another similar feature is the “Instant Analysis”. This will allow you to analyze any annotated game without any delay immediately on loading.

4. Assisted Analysis

Whenever you enter a game and you click on a chess piece, “Assisted Analysis” will produce an evaluation for all it’s possible target squares.

5. Tactical Analysis

Tactical Analysis” will annotate game, inserting commentary, variations and diagrams, before strong moves or errors, into a game or an entire database. It will also point out combinations, played in the game or missed, tries, attacks, initiative, and of course the latest in openings theory.

6. Cloud Analysis

With this feature, you can analyze positions simultaneously with several engines from on different computers running in parallel.

7. Deep Analysis

Generates an analysis tree that changes dynamically, as with time weaker variations are dropped. This automatically analyzes jobs for correspondence games.

8. Replay Training

Playing through a game with the notation hidden and automatic training questions with tips for each individual move.

Get Chessbase 16 (Program Only)

More Features Of Chessbase

  • Extended reference search for openings shows increase/decrease in popularity and typical recurring endgames
  • Merge games on the fly into an opening tree
  • Generate a dossier containing all available information on a specific player from the database
  • Generate a comprehensive openings report with main and critical lines, plans and most important games; single click publication of games on the Internet.
  • Improved search mask with tactical motifs and examples for maneuvers and material distribution.
  • Completely new search booster for patterns and plans; print games in superb quality with diagrams and multiple columns.
  • Crisp new 3D boards thanks to raytracing technology.
  • Automatic update of your local reference database with the weekly installments of games (one year).
  • Access to the ChessBase online database with over eight million games
  • Customers get mobile access with the ChessBase Account

Get Chessbase Starter Package (w/ Big Database)

Surveys – Chessbase 16 New Updated Feature

The central new function in ChessBase 16 consists of automatic opening surveys for any move whatsoever. Until now opening preparation was above all about move selection. With the traditional tools such as LiveBook, Reference and Online Database, however, one’s attention is strongly concentrated on only the next move.

It is much more effective to have a variation tree, an opening survey. ChessBase now provides that. At a glance you will see the complete opening in front of your eyes and you can immediately evaluate which variations are important to master safely.

This ready survey can perhaps be supplemented by material you have prepared yourself and thus quickly becomes part of your own repertoire. But how is the move selection made? That may happen through an algorithm, but it is you who set the parameters, the style of the opening choice.

To set it there is the choice between Main Lines – Fashion – Side lines – Gambit – Attack – Positional and Endgame. I would like to briefly present some of the styles which are perhaps most important for your practice.

1. Fashion

“Fashion”. In it moves are selected which dominate modern practice. This often results in considerable deviations from the traditional main variations and delivers the most interesting and theoretically best founded survey.

2. Side Lines

For the time-poor participant we recommend the “Side lines” style. Just as on a Google search we usually click only on the top links, in opening preparation too those moves which are frequently played and at the top of the list exercise a magnetic attraction. Like this, very playable secondary systems are overlooked through which passable positions can be reached and which demand little preparation time.

3. Gambit

There is a somewhat flashy opening survey in “Gambit” style, which takes into account any half-way playable sacrifice. Almost every one of the known gambits in chess theory will certainly show up in these surveys.

4. Attack

Then we also have the style “Attack”. It searches in respectable recent games for the sharpest continuations possible. That leads to very aggressive secondary systems, e.g. often with an early h2-h4. When you wonder: “Who plays something like that?”, the answer is quite often “Magnus Carlsen”.

The search is based on your own reference database, thus best of all the latest Mega Database including the online updates. If someone else with a reasonably up-to-date reference database has already looked at a survey from that particular move it (while adjustable) comes directly from the server and thus is ready immediately.

Get Chessbase Mega Package(w/ Mega Database)

Smooth Handling Of Deep Variation trees

Opening surveys with deeply nested variations make particular demands on the representation of the notation. For that reason ChessBase 16 possesses a new way of “folding” variations which can be opened or closed simply with a click of the mouse.

Another novelty is the automatic recognition of games quoted. All the opening surveys of ChessBase 16 contain pointers to recent strong sample games.

Real Time Notifications Of Interesting Opening Trends

The tactical analysis for automatically commenting on games is extended by means of particular opening comments. ChessBase 16 recognizes whether an innovation is important and comments appropriately. Furthermore, hints are provided to recent theoretical trends and successful secondary systems.

Further Innovations In Brief

Update of Mega database with one click. Improved search booster with a need for half the space on your hard disk. Link to ChessBase Shop with direct installation of purchased products. Preparation for opponents with spotting of weaknesses based on your own repertoire. Search for characteristic tactical positions in an opening variation.

Get Chessbase Premium Package (w/ Mega Database) 

All That You Can Get In Chessbase 16

  • Opening surveys for every move with a single click. With a choice of focus: Main Variations, Fashion, Side Lines, Attacking, Gambits, Endgame
  • Better overview when playing through deeply analyzed games thanks to dynamic folding of the notation
  • Urgent news about recently played innovations with direct access to the database
  • Direct database access to tournaments being played live
  • Preparation for opponents with recognition of their weaknesses taking into account your own repertoire
  • Innovations and trends as annotations in Tactical Analysis
  • After an update to Megadatabase, overview of important recent innovations and theoretical trends.
  • Tags for the management of games.
  • Search for characteristic tactical positions in an opening variation
  • Link to the ChessBase Shop with simple installation of purchased download products
  • Slimmed down search booster: required hard disk space halved
  • Playchess chat modernized

Final Verdict: Is It Worth Buying Chessbase 16?

The answer is a resounding YES!

Whether you are an expert or a complete rookie to chess, this software is bound to set you on the right path to success. Many grandmasters and World Champions heavily use and endorse Chessbase as a tool for learning and preparation. I strongly encourage you to jump on board. Take a look at a few testimonials below from some of the world’s top A-list Grandmasters:


GM Rustam Kasimdzhanov: “Nowadays I don’t know a single chess player, amateur or 2800, that does not use ChessBase, and for good reason

GM Hou Yifan (World Champion 2010-2017): “When people asked me to recommend software for chess, the first word that come to my mind is ChessBase. I have used it for all of my chess career.”

Anish Giri: „ChessBase is the software you really need. It is definitely essential and useful.“


GM Vishy Anand (World Champion 2007 – 2013): “ChessBase 15 – awesome! Love the reference and the replay so far. The search booster alone makes life better!”


GM Maxime Vachier Lagrave: “I grew up when ChessBase was almost the only web site for chess, and it helped me to follow tournaments, when I was a kid. Of course I still use the software.”


What are you waiting for? Start your personal success story with ChessBase and enjoy the game even more

chessbase 16 review

Click Here To Get Chessbase 16 Today



Andrew Hercules

Hercules Chess, launched in 2020, is a website that teaches you about chess. We started as a chess blog and became a chess training platform in early 2022.

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