Chess - Notation For Recording Moves

Notation For Recording Moves

Chess games and positions are recorded using a special notation, most often algebraic chess notation. Abbreviated (or short) algebraic notation generally records moves in the format "abbreviation of the piece moved – file where it moved – rank where it moved". For example, Qg5 means "queen moves to the g-file and 5th rank" (that is, to the square g5). If there are two pieces of the same type that can move to the same square, one more letter or number is added to indicate the file or rank from which the piece moved, e.g. Ngf3 means "knight from the g-file moves to the square f3". The letter P indicating a pawn is not used, so that e4 means "pawn moves to the square e4".

If the piece makes a capture, "x" is inserted before the destination square. Thus Bxf3 means "bishop captures on f3". When a pawn makes a capture, the file from which the pawn departed is used in place of a piece initial, and ranks may be omitted if unambiguous. For example, exd5 (pawn on the e-file captures the piece on d5) or exd (pawn on the e-file captures a piece somewhere on the d-file).

If a pawn moves to its last rank, achieving promotion, the piece chosen is indicated after the move, for example e1Q or e1=Q. Castling is indicated by the special notations 0-0 for kingside castling and 0-0-0 for queenside castling. An en passant capture is sometimes marked with the notation "e.p." A move that places the opponent's king in check usually has the notation "+" added. Checkmate can be indicated by "#" (occasionally "++", although this is sometimes used for a double check instead). At the end of the game, "1–0" means "White won", "0–1" means "Black won", and "½–½" indicates a draw.

Chess moves can be annotated with punctuation marks and other symbols. For example "!" indicates a good move, "!!" an excellent move, "?" a mistake, "??" a blunder, "!?" an interesting move that may not be best, or "?!" a dubious move, but not easily refuted.

For example, one variant of a simple trap known as the Scholar's mate, animated in the diagram to the left, can be recorded:

1. e4 e5
2. Qh5?! Nc6
3. Bc4 Nf6??
4. Qxf7# 1–0

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