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Notation for recording moves

Naming the squares in algebraic chess notation

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Chess games and positions are recorded using a special notation, most often algebraic chess notation.<ref>See paragraph "E. Algebraic notation" in {{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> 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. (The notation "++" for a double check is considered obsolete). Checkmate can be indicated by "#". At the end of the game, "1–0" means "White won", "0–1" means "Black won", and "½–½" indicates a draw.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref>

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 not easily refuted.<ref name="Hooper & Whyld 1992, p. 92">Hooper & Whyld (1992), p. 92</ref>

For example, one variant of a simple trap known as the Scholar's mate (see animated diagram) can be recorded:

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

Until about 1980, the majority of English language chess literature used a form of descriptive notation, whereby files are named according to the piece which occupies the back rank at the start of the game, and each square has two different names depending on whether it is from White's or Black's point of view. For example, the square known as "e3" in algebraic notation is "K3" (King's 3rd) from White's point of view, and "K6" (King's 6th) from Black's point of view. The "Scholar's mate" is rendered thus in descriptive notation:

1. P-K4 P-K4
2. Q-R5?! N-QB3
3. B-B4 N-B3??
4. QxBP# 1-0

A few mostly older players still prefer descriptive notation, however it is no longer recognized by FIDE.


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Notation for recording moves
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