In the diagram below, Black makes the move denoted as “Ne7” which moves the black knight on g8 move to e7.

[StartFlipped "0"]
[FEN "r1bqkbnr/pp3ppp/2n1p3/1BPpP3/8/4B3/PPP2PPP/RN1QK1NR b KQkq - 0 1"]

1... Ne7

The problem is, based on my limited knowledge about chess, “Ne7” should be ambiguous in this case since also the black knight on c6 can also move to e7.

How come we need only to write this move as “Ne7”? Is it simply a wrongfully written move?

I found this PGN online, so I have not written/played them myself. I would rather not go in and correct the moves myself, and I would rather find a way to disambiguate them correctly.


2 Answers 2


The c6 knight is pinned by the bishop on b5. Note that if the c6 knight were to move it would leave Black's king in check, which renders any such move illegal.

Therefore it is ok in this case to write "Ne7" instead of "Nge7", since the pin means that there is no ambiguity as to which knight moves.

  • It's not only okay. Nge7 would be wrong.
    – xehpuk
    Commented Jun 5, 2020 at 19:03
  • 5
    @xehpuk Why would Nge7 be wrong? Commented Jun 5, 2020 at 19:23
  • 1
    @GregSchmit The relevant section of algebraic notation in the FIDE laws starts "If two identical pieces can move to the same square". Since that does not apply, one strictly should not write Nge7. Or at least, if one wanted to have a hair-splitting discussion it should be whether Nge7 is an acceptable alternative, rather than the other way round.
    – richardb
    Commented Jun 5, 2020 at 20:39

This is an error.

When two pieces of the same type can move to the target square, you must specify enough information to make the move unambiguous. The person / computer notating this should have switched to algebraic notation (g8e7) or specified Nge7. If a human entered this, then it was human error, plus a system that doesn't check for such errors. If a computer entered this, it's a bug.

  • 13
    The knight on c6 is pinned, so it cannot go to e7.
    – Scounged
    Commented Jun 4, 2020 at 22:20
  • Ne7 is algebraic notation. g8e7 is a kind of long algebraic notation, and it isn't accepted by PGN or the FIDE, I believe. Commented May 27, 2021 at 21:49

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