# What does this algebraic notation expression mean?

What does this algebraic notation expression mean?

``````exd5
``````

There is no such notation as x. There is only a, b, c, d, e, f, g, and h. I don't know how this algebraic notation works.

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The "x" means "captures". So, exd5 means the e pawn captures the piece on d5, which may be either a pawn or a more valuable piece.

If the piece doing the capturing is not a pawn then the letter for the piece is used, e.g. Nxc3

Here is an example from the Scotch Gambit

``````[fen ""]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 exd4 4. c3 dxc3 5. Nxc3
``````

For those of you (like me) who use this notation (x = capture) all the time: it's good to note that the confusion probably arises from a variant which uses a colon (:) to indicate captures. I've only seen it in old books myself, but Wikipedia lists it:

A colon (:) is sometimes used instead of "x", either in the same place the "x" would go (B:e5) or at the end (Be5:), but this is not the FIDE standard.