Annotated Chess Guide: Part of the Beginner's Chess Guide (Section 1)
Unique Identification Code for Chessboard Squares
The following image shows how each square on the chessboard has been given its own unique identification code, each made up of a letter and a number, respectively...
The Ranks are identified by the numbers (1 up to 8); the Files are identified by the letters (from a across to h) and those letters and numbers are cross-referenced to label each individual square, just like the grid reference on maps.
Keeping those square references in mind, we can now work our way through the different Notation symbols, to get a better understanding of how they relate to actions during a game of Chess.
The symbols all relate to the Algebraic Notation System, as used in all major tournaments, run by FIDE (the World Chess Federation).
Chess Notations for Naming Pieces
All Pieces are identified by a unique CAPITAL letter:
As 'K' was already taken for the most important Piece on the Board (that being the Kings), 'N' was an easy-enough substitute, to refer to the Knights.
You'll notice there's no letter for Pawns ... I don't see why they don't have the letter 'P', as they used to with the old Descriptive Notation System. Alas, it's not used with the Algebraic Notation System, so we've just got to get on with it.
Recording Pawn movements will be discussed next, along with recording the moves made by the Pieces, mentioned above.
Chess Notations for Recording Moves
Now we get to the reason for showing the image with the square references, first. Whenever a Piece moves, you write down its capital letter BEFORE adding the square reference code that the Piece 'finished' upon. So you have the following examples:
As for the Pawns, you simply write the reference of the square that said Pawn finishes upon:
Chess Notations for Recording Captures
There's no specification of what exactly was captured, but the way it's written will tell you what made the capture and which square the capture occured on:
As for Pawns, when they make a capture, you give the File letter which they came from, followed by the x, followed by the square reference, where the Pawn finishes its capturing maneuver:
Which Side Made The Move?
When recording any action, using Chess Notations, the Move Number is written first, then comes White's actions, followed by Black's actions.
You may see a slight variation in actual display, but the order always remains the same, as we'll now demonstrate.
The notation log will either be in linear form:
Or, it' could be more of an ordered list, like this:
Or, like this ...
Chess Notations for Checks & Checkmates
In the Notation log, they'll appear like this:
Double Check is only sometimes used, but it's simple to understand that it'd be, say 37.Rxh7++, rather than 37.Rxh7+.
Other Chess Notation Symbols
Note that ep is only sometimes used for En Passant; otherwise, it'd just be recorded as with a standard capture (e.g. 2. ... exf4,).
The Chess Notations for the game result are tacked on to the end of the notation log. E.g.:
|Return to the Annotated Chess Guide Index|