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When I analyze my chess games for studying, I like to write a high level summary or action items.

For example, a summary of a game might include some positive feedback for myself, as well as constructive action items:

  1. Good job managing my time. I stayed ahead on the clock the whole game.
  2. I need to review how to punish ...Nc6.
  3. I could have mated in fewer moves. Review King/Rook mating pattern again.

These are distinct from per-move analysis comments, because they apply to the entire game.

Is there a standard practice for storing this type of information? It would be great if I could store it in a PGN so that I have all my analysis and game data in one file, but I haven't seen something like this described in any of the PGN specifications.

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  • Can't you put all this either in the first comment in the PGN prior to move 1 (or the last one): { game wide comments} 1. e4 e5 2. Ke2!! Nov 7, 2022 at 14:54

3 Answers 3

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You can put comments, contained within {}, almost anywhere in your pgn file. The obvious place to put summary comments is in between the header information, e.g. {White "name"], [Black "another name"], and the first move.

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There is nothing like that for PGN. You can, thus, do almost what you like, and what your particular PGN software allows you to do.

You should be aware that comments are poorly defined by the PGN standard, especially in context where exchange of PGN files are concerned. One point is that long comments inside the movetext area must be split to fit into 80-character lines (section 8.2.1), and that can cause the first or last character of a line to contain a space character. PGN does not allow that. This is one of the things the PGN Standard author refers to in chapter 5 when he mentions that further work is needed for comments.)

This also means that as the standard is unclear, there's no guarantee that software X will treat comments in the same way as software Y. If you ever need to change software you might run into problems. But as long as you only write for yourself, and keep using the same software, it will probably work without problems.

You probably want to be able to search for text inside your comments: make sure your software allows you to do so, when you place the comment where you want it. Some software (admittedly long ago) failed to search for text in comments that were placed after the final "1-0" / "0-1" / etc. marker of a PGN game.

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There's no universal standard, but everyone would expect a regular comment before White's first move to be a summary of the game (since there isn't too much to comment on move 1)

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