Show Menu

Chess - Algebraic Notation Cheat Sheet by DaveChild

A guide to algebraic chess notation - how the squares are named, what the various symbols all mean, and how to mark up a game for sharing with other people.

Algebraic Notation: Squares

Board is always oriented with a white square at the bottom right.
Squares are named from white's perspe­ctive
Vertical columns are files, named a-h (always lower case) from left to right
Horizontal rows are ranks, named 1-8 from near to far
White king begins on square e1

Algebraic Notation: Pieces

Piece
Code
Symbol
King
K
Queen
Q
Rook
R
Knight
N *
Bishop
B
Pawn
[no letter]
Pieces are always uppercase.
* In chess problems, "­S" is used to represent the Knight.

Algebraic Notation: Moves

The notation for a move indicates which piece is moved, and to where:
 
Qa3
Queen moves to a3
 
Kh6
King moves to h6
 
b4
Pawn moves to b4
Where two identical pieces could move to the same square, the piece name is followed by its original file (or rank where the file is the same), like so:
 
Rba3
Rook on b file moves to a3
 
N4f2
Knight on rank 4 moves to f2
 
cxd5
Pawn on c file takes d5
 

Algebraic Notation: Symbols

x
Piece taken
e.p.
Piece taken en passant
+
Check
#
Checkmate
=
Pawn promotion *
0-0
Castle King-side
0-0-0
Castle Queen-side
1-0
White win
½-½
Draw
0-1
Black win
(=)
Draw offered
* e8=Q means e-file pawn promoted to Queen. The equals is often omitted.

Algebraic Notation: Example

1. e4 c5
 
White pawn to e4; Black pawn to c5
2. Nf3 d6
 
White knight to f3
3. Bb5+ Bd7
 
White bishop to b5, Black in check
4. Bxd7+ Qxd7
 
White bishop takes black bishop on d7, black in check; Queens takes d7 bishop
5. c4 Nc6
6. Nc3 Nf6
7. 0-0 g6
 
White castles king-side
8. d4 cxd4
 
White d4 pawn taken by c-file black pawn
9. Nxd4 Bg7
10. Nde2 Qe6
 
White knight on d-file to e2
Moves are first ten from Kasparov vs the World, http:/­/bi­t.l­y/1­fOcfIY
 

Algebraic Notation: Annota­tions

!!
Extremely strong move, often game-w­inning
!
Great move
!?
Specul­ative move, possibly strong but more analysis needed
?!
Dubious move, possibly weak but more analysis needed
?
Bad move
??
Blunder, equivalent to hanging a piece
+-
White is winning
+/-
White has a signif­icant edge
+/=
White has a small edge
=
Equality
Unclear advantage
=/+
Black has a small edge
-/+
Black has a signif­icant edge
-+
Black is winning
Only move available
From the excellent guide at http:/­/bi­t.l­y/1­iSkXch

Variants

Figurine Notation is used where notation needs to be indepe­ndent of language, and uses symbols instead of letters to represent pieces.
Long Notation explicitly defines the start square for the moving piece, as well as the target square.
Numeric Notation uses numbers instead of letters for pieces and for spaces.
 

Share This Cheat Sheet!

Favourited by 1 Member:

McCloud

Comments

germany germany, 07:40 10 May 14

S is "Springer" (jumper) and is a German notation only. It is not used in English

DaveChild DaveChild, 18:44 10 May 14

S is used in chess puzzles sometimes. No idea why the German letter was chosen ...

Add a Comment

Your Comment

Please enter your name.

    Please enter your email address

      Please enter your Comment.