How to get Mega for free
On any other website or forum, the first thought that such a headline would provoke would be “scam” or “hack”, but that’s not the case, although there is a catch.
Mega Database is rightly considered the Rolls-Royce of databases. While there are undoubtedly other sources of games, Mega brings a huge collection of amazing content in the form of articles, cross tables and most importantly: tens of thousands of annotated games. Some may have light notes, a kind of light informant, but others contain deep analysis and sincere thoughts on the part of the players analyzing them. There is simply no other source like this. This incredible package comes at a price, without a doubt, and well worth it, but you can enjoy these nearly 90,000 annotated games for a fraction of the cost.
How? ‘Or’ What? And what are the conditions? Simple: you need to own a copy of ChessBase 16 or 15 (it can work even with ChessBase 14, but I haven’t installed it), and have a Premium subscription to the ChessBase account.
A subscription goes for 50 euros / year, and includes a huge range of features and options, which you can check out on the page, but one of the unpublished features is that when you search the database live at Using ChessBase, the search results will also include fully annotated games!
At the airport, at the hotel or at home on your couch: with the new ChessBase, you always have access to everyone in ChessBase: the new ChessBase video library, the tactics server, the training app. ‘opening, live database with eight million games, let’s check out and go to playchess.com
How to access the 85,000 annotated games
To use it, you must first be logged into ChessBase.
If you don’t have a photo like me, you can upload one from the ChessBase account webpage of your profile.
Once connected, you click on Live Database and a dialog box will open. It looks very basic and offers you a simple search by player or tournament. It will work fine if that’s enough, but if you want more control click on Advanced.
This opens up a much more detailed list of search options. Here we can select the two players, tournament, year, Elo lineup and results. Let’s try a simple tournament search: Linares 2004
It is important not to write 2004 but to enter the dates in the filter as above
A massive spill will be displayed, but what stands out is that many games have annotators.
If we click on one, like the one annotated by Tom Wedberg, we immediately see:
But we can also manipulate the data. For example, you can highlight all games:
The selection ‘Crosstable’ and we are served with a colorful and detailed crosstab, with results and Elo changes.
Now let’s take a look at the matches between players, just to see different search options in action. We will choose all the matches between Shirov and Kramnik from 1990 to 2000 which ended with a decisive result.
Note that the date range has been chosen, as well as the draws have not been checked, which means that it will not include the draws in the results.
Once again we see a list of annotated games, but a closer look reveals a spectacular roster of annotators, including Kramnik, Shirov, and Anand! But how detailed are these notes? Let’s click on one annotated by Shirov.
In a nutshell: this is the content of the real Mega Database that we can see. You will notice that it also contains German notes by Huebner. As for the results between the players during this decade:
During the 90s, Shirov recorded a positive score against Kramnik with 15 wins to 12.
Needless to say, you can save games on some basis or whatever. Having said that, as you can see, you can access all of the annotated games if you have a ChessBase account subscription and copy of the ChessBase program. Was the title misleading? Only a little, since most people subscribe to all of the amazing apps and benefits it offers, so the ability to enjoy the tens of thousands of rated games is essentially a free, unannounced benefit. To be fair, Mega Database offers a lot more than that, but it’s also not a stretch to say that these are one of its greatest features. If you don’t have a ChessBase account subscription yet, this can be seen as another selling point to convince you to take the plunge.