Want to learn a new language called “Algebraic Chess Notation” ?

All those who are in this grand WORLD OF CHESS, it is very important to learn the language of this world. Chess notation has an important role in chess because it preserves the game’s history. All chess coaches strongly recommend the recording of one’s games so that one can look for improvements in one’s play. It allows you to record games for posterity and gives you the chance to review the history of the game’s development to date.  In  chess competitions, all players are required to record all the moves of both players in order to resolve disputes about whether a player has made an illegal move and what the position should now be.  The most simple and universally understandable chess notation is called “ Algebraic  notation ”. It allows the chess players to overcome language barrier to communicate with each other. Algebraic notation is also the official notation of FIDE which must be used in all recognized international competition.

Standard Walnut Maple Wooden Chess Board with Notation

Understanding Algebraic notation –

  1. Naming the chess squares : There are 64 chess squares on a chess board. The rows of squares on the chessboard are called ranks and the columns of squares are called files.
  • The vertical files (columns) are labeled a through h, starting from left to right on White’s side;
  • The horizontal ranks (rows) are numbered 1 through 8, starting from bottom to top on White’s side.
  1. Naming the chess pieces : Each chess piece is denoted by the first letter of its name in uppercase, except for the knight (N) and the pawn (nothing).
  • King = K
  • Queen = Q
  • Rook = R
  • Bishop = B
  • Knight = N (since K is already taken by a more important piece)
  • Pawn = (no letter) — pawns are denoted by the absence of a letter.
  1. Learning the chess Punctuation – Punctuation is commonly used to comment on the effectiveness of moves, usually relative to the skill of the player. It is placed after the move.
or ch Check
0-0 Kingside Castling
1-0 White won the game
½ -½ Game drawn
e.p. en passant move
! Good move
? Bad move
+/= Slight advantage for white
+/- Advantage for white
+- White decisive advantage
= Even position or draw

Wooden Chess Boards with Algebraic Chess Notation

or ++ Checkmate
0-0-0 Queenside Castling
0-1 Black won the game
* Game in progress
or : Capture
!! Very good move
?? Very bad move
=/+ Slight advantage for black
-/+ Advantage for black
-+ Black decisive advantage

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  1. How to write the game in algebraic notation – By using the algebraic naming of chess pieces, chess boards and punctuations, players can note down their game with the help of following examples –
·         f4 e5 The White pawn moves to f4 and the Black pawn to e5.
·         fxe5 d6 The White pawn on the f file takes the pawn on e5. The Black pawn moves to d6.
·         exd6·         Bxd6 The White pawn on the e file takes the pawn on d6. The Black Bishop takes the pawn on d6.
·         g3 Qg5 The White pawn moves to g3. The Black Queen moves to g5.
·         Nf3·         Qxg3+ The White Knight moves to f3. The Black Queen takes the pawn on g3 and checks the White King.
·         hxg3 Bxg3# The White pawn on the h file takes the Queen on g3. The Black Bishop takes the pawn on g3 and delivers checkmate.

Congratulations you have learnt the chess language!! Enjoy playing chess and keep a record of your moves by noting it down on the “scoresheet” with the help of chess notation. Wish you – Happy Chess playing!!

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