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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

KnightN *
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:
 Qa3Queen moves to a3
 Kh6King moves to h6
 b4Pawn 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:
 Rba3Rook on b file moves to a3
 N4f2Knight on rank 4 moves to f2
 cxd5Pawn on c file takes d5

Algebraic Notation: Symbols

xPiece taken
e.p.Piece taken en passant
=Pawn promotion *
0-0Castle King-side
0-0-0Castle Queen-side
1-0White win
0-1Black 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
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


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.

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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 ...

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