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Encyclopedia > Algebraic chess notation
Chessboard notation
Chessboard notation

Algebraic chess notation is used to record and describe the moves in a game of chess. It is now standard among all chess organizations and most books, magazines, and newspapers. It replaced the older system of descriptive chess notation, which was standard in the 19th century, and was sporadically used as recently as the 1980s or 1990s. Image File history File links SCD_algebraic_notation. ... Chess is a recreational and competitive game for two players. ... Chess is a recreational and competitive game for two players. ... Descriptive chess notation, or just descriptive notation is a notation for recording chess games, and at one time was the most popular notation for doing so. ...


Algebraic notation exists in various forms and languages, as will be described below.

Contents

Naming squares on the board

Each square of the chessboard is identified with a unique pair of a letter and a number. The vertical files are labelled a through h, from White's left (i.e. the queenside) to his right. Similarly, the horizontal ranks are numbered from 1 to 8, starting from White's home rank. Each square of the board, then, is uniquely identified by its file letter and rank number. The white king, for example, starts the game on square e1. The black knight on b8 can move to a6 and c6. Chessboard Chessboard with Staunton chess pieces A chessboard is often painted or engraved on a chess table. ... This page explains commonly used terms in chess in alphabetical order. ... This page explains commonly used terms in chess in alphabetical order. ...


Naming the pieces

Each type of piece (other than pawns) is identified by an uppercase letter, usually the first letter in the name of that piece in whatever language is spoken by the player recording. English-speaking players use K for king, Q for queen, R for rook, B for bishop and N for knight (since K is already used). S was also used for the knight in the early days of algebraic notation, from the German Springer (this is still used in chess problems, where N stands for the popular fairy chess piece, the nightrider). Staunton chess pieces, left to right: pawn, rook, knight, bishop, queen, and king. ... Queen. ... A rook (♖ ♜,borrowed from Persian رخ rokh, Sanskrit roth, chariot) is a piece in the strategy board game of chess. ... A bishop (♗♝) is a piece in the board game of chess. ... The knight moves in an L shape. ... Godfrey Heathcote Hampstead and Highgate Express, 1905-06 (First Prize) White to move and mate in two. ... A fairy chess piece or unorthodox chess piece is a chess piece not used in conventional chess, but used in certain chess variants and some chess problems. ...


Players may use different letters in other languages. For example, French players use F for bishop (from fou). In chess literature written for an international audience, the language-specific letters are replaced by universal icons for the pieces, producing Figurine notation. Here are the symbols of chess pieces in Unicode. ...


Pawns are not indicated by a letter, but by the absence of such a letter—it is not necessary to distinguish between pawns for normal moves, as only one pawn can move to any one square (captures are indicated differently; see below).


Notation for moves

Each move of a piece is indicated by the piece's letter, plus the coordinate of the destination square. For example Be5 (move a bishop to e5), Nf3 (move a knight to f3), c5 (move a pawn to c5—no initial in the case of pawn moves). In some publications, the pieces are indicated by graphical representations rather than by initials: for example, ♞c6. This is called figurine algebraic notation or FAN and has the advantage of being language independent.


Notation for captures

When a piece makes a capture, an x is inserted between the initial and the destination square. For example, Bxe5 (bishop captures the piece on e5). When a pawn makes a capture, the file from which the pawn departed is used in place of a piece initial. For example, exd5 (pawn on the e-file captures the piece on d5). Sometimes when it is unambiguous, a pawn capture is indicated only by the files, e.g. exd, ed5 or ed.


A colon (:) is sometimes used instead of an x, either in the same place the x would go (B:e5) or after the move (Be5:). En passant captures (see pawn) are specified by the capturing pawn's file of departure, the x, and the square to which it moves (not the location of the captured pawn), optionally followed by the notation "e.p." It is never necessary to specify that a capture was en passant because a capture from the same file but not en passant would have a different destination square. Within the SAN (Standard Algebraic Notation) standard, the "x" capture indication is always required while the "e.p." en passant move suffix indication is always forbidden. The colon (:) is a punctuation mark, visually consisting of two equally sized dots centered on the same vertical line. ... ġĠ ġ Εý ŚÝ ¼Ћ This article is about the chess move en passant. For other uses, see En passant (disambiguation). ... Initial placement of the pawns. ...


Some texts, such as the Encyclopedia of Chess Openings, omit indications that a capture has been made. The Encyclopedia of Chess Openings (ECO) is a book collection (now also a computer database) describing chess openings. ...


Disambiguating moves

If two (or more) identical pieces can move to the same square, the piece's initial is followed by (in descending order of preference):

  1. the file of departure if they differ;
  2. the rank of departure if the files are the same but the ranks differ;
  3. Both the rank and file if neither alone uniquely defines the piece (after a pawn promotion, if three or more of the same piece able to reach the square).

For example, with two knights on g1 and d2, either of which might move to f3, the move is indicated as Ngf3 or Ndf3, as appropriate. With two knights on g5 and g1, the moves are N5f3 or N1f3. As above, an x may be used to indicate a capture: for example, N5xf3.


Pawn promotion

If a pawn moves to its last rank, achieving promotion, the piece chosen is indicated after the move, for example e1Q, b8B. Sometimes an "=" sign or brackets are used: f8=Q or f8(Q), but neither is a FIDE standard. (The "=" sign is in fact used to represent the offer of a draw.) Pawn Promotions can also be found with a "/" symbol in older books. For example f8/Q could be used to explain a promotion of a Queen. Queen. ...


Castling

Castling is indicated by the special notations 0-0 for kingside castling and 0-0-0 for queenside (note that while this is what the FIDE Handbook uses, PGN requires O-O and O-O-O instead). Optionally, it may be indicated by the king's move alone, since moving the king more than one square implies castling. For example, Kg1. Castling is a special move in the game of chess involving the king and either rook. ... Portable Game Notation (.PGN) is a computer-processable format for recording chess games (both the moves and related data); many chess programs recognize this extremely popular format due to its accessibility by ordinary ascii editors, including word processors capable of importing and exporting plain ascii. ...


Check and checkmate

A move which places the opponent's king in check usually has the notation "+" added. Some use . (Sometimes ch is used to indicate check.) Double check is sometimes represented "++". Checkmate can likewise be indicated "#" (some use "++" instead, but the United States Chess Federation recommends "#"). Sometimes ‡ is used. The word 'mate' written at the end of the notation is also acceptable. Staunton chess pieces, left to right: pawn, rook, knight, bishop, queen, and king. ... In games such as chess, shogi, and xiangqi, a check is an immediate threat to capture the king (or general in xiangqi). ... Everyone please stop nitpicking on the use of daggers in theoldnewthing blog! This article does not cite any references or sources. ... In chess, a double check is a check delivered by two pieces at the same time. ... Checkmate (frequently shortened to mate) is a situation in chess (and in other boardgames of the chaturanga family) in which one players king is under attack and there is no way to meet that threat; it is a check from which there is no escape. ... The United States Chess Federation (USCF) is a non-profit organization, the governing chess organization within the United States, and one of the federations of the FIDE. The USCF was founded in 1939 from the merger of two regional chess organizations, and grew gradually until 1972, when membership doubled to... A dagger (†, †, U+2020) is a typographical symbol or glyph. ...


End of game

The notation 1-0 at the end of the moves indicates that white won, 0-1 indicates that black won, and ½-½ indicates a draw. Often there is no special indication of how a player won (other than checkmate, see above), so simply "1-0" or "0-1" may be written to show that one player resigned. Sometimes the word "Resigns" (or "White resigns" or "Black resigns" as appropriate) is used to show this. In chess, a draw is one of the possible outcomes of a game, the others being a win for white and a win for black. ...


Example

Moves are generally written in one of two ways.


(1) written in two columns, as a white/black pair, preceded by the move number and a period:

1. e4 e5
2. Nf3 Nc6
3. Bb5 a6

(2) in text: 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6.


Moves may be interspersed with text. When the score resumes with a black move, an ellipsis (...) takes the place of the white move, for example: Distinguish from ellipse. ...

1. e4 e5
2. Nf3
Black now defends his pawn
2. ... Nc6
3. Bb5 a6

An ellipsis is also used when a score starts with a Black move (when the score is not of a complete game but starts from a diagrammed position). However, helpmates usually use an opposite convention; Black moves first by default and White moves are indicated with an ellipsis if no Black move precedes. Z. Maslar Die Schwalbe, 1981 Helpmate in eight moves. ...


Naming the pieces in various languages

Here are names for all the pieces as well as the words for "chess", "check", and "checkmate" in several languages:[1]

Language King Queen Rook Bishop Knight Pawn Chess Check Checkmate
figurine ♔ ♚ ♕ ♛ ♖ ♜ ♗ ♝ ♘ ♞ ♙ ♟ ... + #
Arabic م ف ر فل حص شطرنج
Catalan R rei D dama/reina T torre A alfil C cavall (P) peó Escacs Escac, Xec Escac i mat
Chinese K Q R B N 國際象棋 將軍 將死
Czech K král D dáma V věž S střelec J jezdec (P) pěšec Šachy Šach Mat
Danish K konge D dronning T tårn L løber S springer (B) bonde Skak Skak Skakmat
Dutch K koning D dame T toren L loper P paard pion Schaken Schaak Mat
English K king Q queen R rook B bishop N/Kt knight (P) pawn Chess Check Checkmate
Esperanto R reĝo D damo T turo K kuriero Ĉ ĉevalo (P) peono Ŝako Ŝak
Estonian K kuningas L lipp V vanker O oda R ratsu (E) ettur Male šahh
Finnish K kuningas D kuningatar/daami T torni L lähetti R ratsu (S) sotilas shakki shakki shakkimatti/matti
French R roi D dame T tour F fou C cavalier (P) pion Jeu d'échecs Échec Échec et mat
German K König D Dame T Turm L Läufer S Springer (B) Bauer Schach Schach Schachmatt
Greek Ρ βασιλιάς Β βασίλισσα Π πύργος Α αξιωματικός Ι ίππος (Π) πιόνι Σκάκι Mάτ
Hebrew מלך מלכה צריח רץ פרש רגלי שחמט שח מט
Hungarian K király V vezér B bástya F futó H huszár (P) gyalog/paraszt Sakk Sakk Matt
Icelandic K kóngur D drottning H hrókur B biskup R riddari (P) peð Skák, tafl Skák Skák og mát
Indonesian R raja M menteri B benteng G gajah K kuda (P) pion Catur Skak
Irish R B banríon C caiseal E easpag D ridire (F) fichillín/ceithearnach Ficheall Sáinn Marbhsháinn
Japanese キング ' クイーン ' ルーク ' ビショップ ' ナイト ' ポーン チェス 王手
Korean K Q R B 비숍 N 나이트 (P) 체스
Italian R re D donna T torre A alfiere C cavallo (P) pedone Scacchi Scacco Scacco matto
Latin K rex Q regina R turris B episcopus N eques (P) pedes Scacci Scaccus Mattus
Lithuanian K karalius V valdovė B bokštas R rikis Ž žirgas (P) pėstininkas Šachmatai Šach Matas
Luxembourgish K kinnek D damm T tuerm L leefer P päerd (B) bauer Schach Schach Schachmatt
Norwegian K konge D dronning T tårn L løper S springer (B) bonde Sjakk Sjakk Sjakkmatt
Polish K król H hetman W wieża G goniec S skoczek (P) pion Szachy Szach Mat
Portuguese R rei D dama (formely rainha) T torre B bispo C cavalo (P) peão Xadrez Xeque Mate
Romanian R rege D regină T turn N nebun C cal (P) pion Şah Şah Mat
Russian Кр король Ф ферзь Л ладья С слон К конь (П) пешка Шахматы Шах Мат
Sicilian R re D riggina T turru A alferu S scecchu (P) pidinu Scacchi
Slovakian K kráľ D dáma V veža S strelec J jazdec (P) pešiak Šach Šach
Slovene K kralj D dama T trdnjava L lovec S skakač (P) kmet Šah Šah Mat / Šahmat
Spanish R rey D dama/reina T torre A alfil C caballo (P) peón Ajedrez Jaque Jaque mate
Swedish K kung D dam T torn L löpare S springare (B) bonde Schack Schack Schack matt
Turkish Ş/K şah/kral V vezir K kale F fil A at (P) asker/piyon Satranç Şah Mat
Ukrainian король D королева T тура C слон K кінь (П) пішак Шахи Шах Мат
Welsh T teyrn/brenin B brenhines C castell E esgob M marchog G gwerinwr Gwyddbwyll Siach Siachmat

Staunton chess pieces, left to right: pawn, rook, knight, bishop, queen, and king. ... Queen. ... A rook (â™– ♜,borrowed from Persian رخ rokh, Sanskrit roth, chariot) is a piece in the strategy board game of chess. ... A bishop (♗♝) is a piece in the board game of chess. ... The knight moves in an L shape. ... Initial placement of the pawns. ... Chess is a recreational and competitive game for two players. ... In games such as chess, shogi and xiangqi, a check is an immediate threat to capture the king. ... Checkmate (frequently shortened to mate) is a situation in chess (and in other boardgames of the chaturanga family) in which one players king is under attack and there is no way to meet that threat; it is a check from which there is no escape. ... Arabic ( or just ) is the largest living member of the Semitic language family in terms of speakers. ... Catalan IPA: (català IPA: or []) is a Romance language, the national language of Andorra, and a co-official language in the Spanish autonomous communities of Balearic Islands, Catalonia and Valencia (in the latter with the name of Valencian), and in the city of LAlguer in the Italian island of... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... Chess is a recreational and competitive game for two players. ...   is the most widely spoken constructed international auxiliary language. ... “Hebrew” redirects here. ... Latin is an ancient Indo-European language originally spoken in Latium, the region immediately surrounding Rome. ... Luxembourgish (Luxembourgish: Lëtzebuergesch, French: , German: , Walloon: ), also spelled Luxemburgish, is a West Germanic language spoken in Luxembourg. ... Sicilian (, Italian: ) is a Romance language. ... The Slovak language (slovenčina, slovenský jazyk), sometimes referred to as Slovakian, is an Indo-European language belonging to the West Slavic languages (together with Czech, Polish, Cashubian and Sorbian). ... Welsh redirects here, and this article describes the Welsh language. ...

Similar notations

PGN

Chess games are often stored in computer files using Portable Game Notation (PGN), which uses algebraic chess notation as well as additional markings to describe a game. Portable Game Notation (.PGN) is a computer-processable format for recording chess games (both the moves and related data); many chess programs recognize this extremely popular format due to its accessibility by ordinary ascii editors, including word processors capable of importing and exporting plain ascii. ...


Long algebraic notation

Some computer programs (and people) use a variant of algebraic chess notation, termed long algebraic notation or fully expanded algebraic notation. In fully expanded algebraic notation, moves include both the starting and ending squares separated by a hyphen: for example, "e2-e4" or "Nb1-c3". Captures are indicated with "x" instead of a hyphen: "Rd3xd7". This notation takes more space and thus is not as commonly used. However it has the advantage of clarity, particularly for less skilled players or players learning the game.


Some books using primarily short algebraic notation use the long notation instead of the disambiguation forms.


Numeric notation

In international correspondence chess the use of algebraic notation may cause confusion, since different languages have different names (and therefore different initials) for the pieces; hence the standard for transmitting moves in this form of chess is ICCF numeric notation. Correspondence chess is chess played by various forms of long-distance correspondence, usually through a correspondence chess server, through email or by the postal system; less common methods which have been employed include fax and homing pigeon. ... ICCF numeric notation is the official chess game notation for all International Correspondence Chess Federation games. ...


Common shorthand notation

Main article: Punctuation (chess)

The following short-hand notations are frequently used to comment moves: When annotating chess-games, commentators frequently use question marks and exclamation points to denote a move as bad or good. ...

  • ! a good move
  • !! an excellent move
  • ? a mistake
  • ?? a blunder
  • !? an interesting move that may not be best
  • ?! a dubious move, but not easily refuted
  • only move

and many others.


Notes

  1. ^ Sources for this section include this page and Wikipedia articles in various languages. Note that the symbol for pawn is not used in algebraic notation.

See also

Descriptive chess notation, or just descriptive notation is a notation for recording chess games, and at one time was the most popular notation for doing so. ...

External links

  • FIDE rules on algebraic notation (see appendix E)
  • notation website

  Results from FactBites:
 
Chess Guide > Algebraic Notation (836 words)
Algebraic chess notation is the method used today by all competition chess organizations and most books, magazines, and newspapers to record and describe the play of chess games.
Chess games are often stored in computer files using Portable Game Notation (PGN), which uses algebraic chess notation as well as additional markings to describe a game.
In full algebraic notation, moves are simply written as the beginning position, a dash ("-"), and the ending position.
Algebraic chess notation - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1128 words)
Algebraic chess notation is the method used today by all competition chess organizations and most books, magazines, and newspapers to record and describe the play of chess games.
Notations from short algebraic notation are frequently used in long algebraic notation in such constructions as "Nb1-c3" or "Rd3xd7".
In international correspondence chess the use of algebraic notation may cause confusion, since different languages have different names (and therefore different initials) for the pieces; hence the standard for transmitting moves in this form of chess is ICCF numeric notation.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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