Questions tagged [notation]

Notation refers to any formalized method of recording chess games so they can be replayed and shared later. Common notations include algebraic, figurine algebraic, descriptive, and the digital PGN format. Descriptive notation is considered obsolete, though familiarity with it allows one to read older books that use it.

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Ambiguity in notation resolved by +

In the board position both knights can move to e4. To distinguish which knight moved one would normally write Nce4 or Nfe4. However in this special situation only Nce4 is check. Would it be ...
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When and why was the notation changed from descriptive to algebraic?

When I was young I used to play chess with the the old form of notation KB (King Bishop square number), even books used to have the same notation, then later found that everyone was using algebraic, ...
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Tools for automated notation: webcam movie to PGN

Sometimes during blitz games over the board, or when in zeitnot, it gets very difficult to annotate them. I've seen several software / hardware to help in writing the notation, even one that's FIDE ...
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How are PGN ambiguities handled?

How are ambiguities handled when writing the PGN when more than one piece of the same type can move into the same square? [FEN "1R4QQ/R1R4Q/8/6pP/5P1P/8/NK1k4/1N1N4 w - g6 0 1"] Note: It isWhite to ...
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How is notation done for similar pieces capturing the same piece?

When a capture can be made by two rooks, or two knights, etc., how does the notation clarify which piece makes the capture? For example, if two pawns, one at e4 and one at c4, capture a pawn at d3, ...
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Why is algebraic notation called algebraic?

How does algebra relate to this chess notation? Why do they call this chess notation algebraic?
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Why is offering draw not recorded but giving a check recorded?

In recording a game, one typically does not record offering draws (if yes, how and is it required?) while one does indicate that a particular move gives a check by using + (or ++ for double checks). ...
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What is the origin of descriptive notation?

Algebraic Notation is the modern standard for recording chess games. It is easily human-readable, yet it can be parsed by computers without difficulty. Descriptive notation predates algebraic ...
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Why are the symbols 0-0 and 0-0-0 used for castling in algebraic notation?

I'm curious about why the symbols O-O and O-O-O are used for castling in algebraic notation. Why not use the consistent and logical Kg1/Kc1 for White and Kg8/Kc8 for Black? Why adopt the less than ...
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What does “bxa1=Q” mean?

I have a PGN file with the following move in it: fxe5 bxa1=Q I understand the equals sign represents a draw offer, but what does "=Q" mean?
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Two knights can move to e7, but the move is only specified as Ne7 [duplicate]

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 ...
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Move first, record later; or vice-versa?

Is it better to teach young players to record their move first and then make it? Or should they be taught to move first and write later? Is one considered better etiquette over the other?
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Differences between FEN and EPD?

I just read the description of FEN (Forsyth–Edwards Notation) and EPD (Extended Position Description), I have a basic idea of what they are, but I still have some points that are not entirely clear: ...
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Is this case considered an ambiguity or not?

From the answer to my question How are PGN ambiguities handled?: In the case of ambiguities (multiple pieces of the same type moving to the same square), the first appropriate disambiguating step ...
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Question on chess commentary in written form

I'm new to English chess notation and have never read or heard chess commentary in a broadcast or publication form. I'm trying to decipher the following commentary ICGA's footnote to caption: ACM CCC,...
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At what time control do you stop recording your moves?

I've been to a 15|2 (Fischer) tournament where it was not necessary to record your moves and I've also played in longer games where it was expected. My question is at what time limit are you no longer ...
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Alternatives to the FEN notation

Apart from the FEN notation, are there other even more compact known chess-position notations? One that would of course also entail castling rights, and en passant possibilities. One really missing ...
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How can one easily learn chess board coordinates?

I am relatively new to chess, and I wonder, what is a fast (and hopefully easy) way to learn chess board coordinates? This is so when I am watching a video where the commentator says, for example, &...
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What happened in this game between Hong Li and Sandor Farago in the FSIM November 2018?

I downloaded a bunch of games from Kingbase which included the below game. [Event "FSIM November 2018"] [Site "Budapest HUN"] [Date "2018.11.06"] [Round "4.4"] [White "Farago, Sandor"] [Black "Li, ...
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When are both the rank and file required for disambiguation of a move in PGN/SAN?

The PGN "Standard" (if you want to call it that, because it is very flawed and seems out of date), states: First, if the moving pieces can be distinguished by their originating files, the ...
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Is “Rdxd2” algebraic chess notation valid?

Is the algebraic notation Rdxd2 valid? If there is a problem with this notation, then how can it be corrected?
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Unusual chess notation

I recently bought a chess book that had unusual chess notation, such as B x KP; P X B, Q - R5 Does anyone know what type of notation this is and how to read it?
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Is it legal to record moves that have not yet been played?

In a hypothetical tournament game where there is a completely forced series of moves for your opponent (e.g. their next move is an only-move and you have already decided on the response), would it be ...
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Is there a space between the move number and the move algebraic notation?

I know everyone will say that this is a stupid question, but I'm going to ask it anyway... Is there a space between the move number and the move algebraic notation? In other words, which of these is ...
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What does [6/10]-611 stand for?

I am using Chess for Android app by Aart Bik. Fairly easy to use and understand (and difficult to beat). I get these numbers displayed below the noted moves and I think these are analysis symbols ...
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How do I learn to visualize algebraic notation?

So, now based upon the recommendation from this question, How do I learn to understand the middlegame?, I bought how to Reassess Your Chess. It's pretty interesting, but I am struggling some with ...
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For white's next move, should it be recorded as Nge2 or Ne2 as there is only one knight which can legally move to e2?

[FEN "rnbq1rk1/ppp2ppp/4pn2/3p4/1bPP4/2NBP3/PP3PPP/R1BQK1NR w KQ - 0 6"] If white move his king knight to e2 in the next move, should this move be recorded as Nge2 or Ne2 in the algebraic notation? ...
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How to correct reversed game notation?

My son and I are rank chess amateurs, and we wanted to play our first "real" game where we keep track of moves to analyze later. We started the game but then realized that the board was reversed (i.e....
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Why do Super GMs still have to write down their moves at tournaments?

I thought that the boards can register the moves electronically. What is the point of writing them down?
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Unfamiliar with this move notation

I'm not even sure what to call this one. I'm reading Caro-Kann Defense: Advance Variation and Gambit System by Anatoly Karpov. In the first chapter karpov mentions a move order: e4 c6 d4 d5 f3 So ...
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Parsing PGN files - when can a move be shortened?

I'm writing a PGN file parser, and need to know in which situations you don't need to write the rank/file of a piece that makes the move. I can think of the following: only one piece can conduct the ...
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Is there an online PGN editor for Blank Chess?

Blank Chess is a variant where the board starts empty and the first two moves are placing the Kings on your side of the board. You can then either place a piece or move a piece in subsequent turns. I ...
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Is there any other notation system other than algebraic notation?

Other than the current coordinate notations used in chess, are there any other notations that anybody knows about? I am looking for anything that does not employ the coordinate system like naming all ...
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Chess problem by A. G. Kopnin - Russian notation explanation needed

[Title "Alexey Grigorievich Kopnin - mate in two - 1948"] [FEN "nR1rB3/2PPPN2/bbk1N3/1p2p3/1p2P1nq/1K1Pp3/7B/8 w - - 0 1"] (source) In this problem, it’s white to move and mate in ...
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What does the †† notation mean?

I am reading a book on chess openings called 51 Chess Openings for Beginners by Bruce Albertson and the author uses notation like so: ...†† Kxf7 What does the †† mean? I know a single † ...
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What if you messed up your notation a lot?

While playing in an OTB game where both players take notation, it's not uncommon for people to make a mistake here and there. Is there any rule regarding having a lot of mistakes? Furthermore, what if ...
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Following the moves from the black’s point of view

I am an intermediate level chess enthusiast. I have noticed that one of the main hindrances that slows down my progress is that I have never been able to internalize the algebraic notation and lack a ...
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Converting from Algebraic notation to Coordinate notation

I saw this thread: Converting square notation to algebraic notation programmatically Unfortunately, it's the reverse of what I need to do. Given a FEN and an Algebraic move, I need to generate the ...
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Moves to test a notation generator

I've made a small program that takes a list of moves in ICCF notation and translates them to the following: SAN FAN LAN MAN RAN CRAN Smith Descriptive Coordinate ICCF For example, a starting move of ...
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What is the algebraic notation for the bishop?

Let's say that I have a pawn at b2 and a bishop at d2 and I want to capture the pawn on c3 with my bishop. The expression I used is bc3. However, it uses my pawn at b2 to capture the pawn at c3. I ...
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How many times can the same pawn move be made in a game?

How many times in a game can "the same pawn move" be made? By "the same pawn move", I mean, a move made by a pawn that would be notated the same way. For instance, after 1.e4 e5 2....
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Why is the algebraic notation not just two numbers?

Instead of 'a1', why not '11'? First file, first rank. Instead of 'g6', why not '76'? Seventh file, sixth rank. And so on. Why not just use two numbers to represent the square, as opposed to 1 ...
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Why are chess.com opening names and notations seemingly mismatched?

I often see something like the above when playing chess online. When I played Ruy Lopez and my opponent played Classical Variation, but I transposed us to Four Knights Game Spanish Variation, I had ...
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Does a non-copyrighted scoresheeet exist that I can print out instead of purchasing pre-printed sheets?

Please provide a download link for a scoresheet for recording moves during match-play. I could format my own but why reinvent the wheel? I am happy to provide a sample as an illustration.
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Does FIDE or USCF allow ICCF type numerical notation instead of the so called algebraic?

ICCF uses pure numerical notation counting each square by row and column eg 11 to 88. So Pd4 often written just d4 - would be 2224 so there can never be any confusion should two pieces be able to ...
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Notation for ambiguous moves with three pieces or more

Given three knights that can move to d2, one on b1, one on b3 and one on f3, how would you notate knight on b3 moves to d2? N3d2 is ambiguous, so would it be correct to write Nb3d2? Presume that a ...
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How to disambiguate checking moves in descriptive notation?

Question: In general, is noting a check/checkmate sufficient to disambiguate moves in descriptive notation? If for example two of the same type of piece could move to the same square, but one giving ...
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Did any other language than English ever use Descriptive notation? Which languages have always used Algebraic?

Descriptive notation seems to be limited to certain languages like English, and I found a Wikipedia article that mentions Spanish and French. I have never seen a Russian book that uses Descriptive, ...
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Help! I cannot understand this game’s notations!

I was surfing across Tim Krabbe’s website, as I usually do on occasion, and I found his article DE KOEWEITSE ONSTERFELIJKE," a very interesting tidbit. A game of 34 moves is mentioned in the last ...
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Does practising Lichess coordinates help with reading chess books chess games faster?

Some strong players are able to read entire chess games from a book, as they are very familiar with the notation of the chessboard and theory. For amateur online players, this can be a difficult task ...