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I have many old chess games saved from Chessmaster 7000, 8000, and maybe even 9000. They are all saved in the Chessmaster .CMG file format.

How can I access these games today?

I would like to either open them or convert them to .PGN format.

  • If I might ask, are you trying to resurrect Chessmaster? – magd May 20 '15 at 23:02
  • Impossible without Chessmaster. – HelloWorld May 21 '15 at 2:59
  • If I could learn the format, I could code this utility. – Xonatron May 24 '15 at 6:09
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To access them today, you either need to reverse engineer the format (hard) or export them to PGN inside Chessmaster (moderate):

HOW TO CONVERT CHESSMASTER GAME FILES (*.CMG) TO *.PGN FILES

(*.CMG files or Chessmaster game files are typically for use with the Chessmaster programs and may contain various enhancements, such as annotations, illustrated voice analyses, etc. Cf. page 25 of the Chessmaster 9000 user manual.)

  1. Log in (on Chessmaster 9000) and go to Game Room.

  2. Click on "File" in upper menu bar and then on "Load" in pull- down menu, to get "File Open" window.

  3. By default, the "Look in" box will show a folder that is named the same as the name you log in with. Let's say it is "Loginame." If the file you wish to convert is not in the list in the big box below, then you will have to find it by scrolling to other folders. In front of the file the little icon will contain the number 9000. (The icons for *.PGN files contain the initials PGN.)

  4. Click on the name of the *.CMG file that you wish to convert. The name will show in the "File name" box below. The "File of type" box should mention Chessmaster files. Leave "Auto" in the last ("Open as") box. Click the "Load" button and get the game on the board.

  5. Click on "File" and then on "Save" in the pull-down menu.

  6. "File Save" window comes up next. Check that the "Save in" folder is acceptable. (Your "Loginame" folder is OK, but you could even scroll to save the file on the floppy in drive a:) In the "File name" box below you can fill in a shorter (8-character) name of your choice, rather than accepting the long name created by Windows. In the "Save as type" box at the bottom,scroll and pick "PGN Game Files (*.PGN). Click on the "Save" button. In the "Annotation Type" window that comes up next, accept "None" by clicking "OK."

  7. The *.CMG file has been stripped to the plain *.PGN format and saved in the folder that you have chosen. If you wish to add this file to a database of your choice, see our earlier instructions under the appropriate heading.

Obviously, if you don't have Chessmaster installed, you will need to do that. Easiest way might be to install a Windows VM, then install a legacy copy of Chessmaster.

  • Clearly, this method will work, but you will have to repeat the steps to process each game individually. There is no method for bulk processing of CM format game databases. – jaxter Oct 24 '16 at 22:39

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