Show Menu

Chess - Algebraic Notation Cheat Sheet by

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.
game     chess     games     markup     notation

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

N *
[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:
Queen moves to a3
King moves to h6
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:
Rook on b file moves to a3
Knight on rank 4 moves to f2
Pawn on c file takes d5

Algebraic Notation: Symbols

Piece taken
Piece taken en passant
Pawn promotion *
Castle King-side
Castle Queen-side
White win
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
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.

Download the Chess - Algebraic Notation Cheat Sheet

1 Page

PDF (recommended)

Alternative Downloads

Thank The Author!

You can use Flattr to thank the author of this cheat sheet!

Like this cheat sheet? Check out our sponsors! is a collection of tools to make your writing better. More readabile content means higher conversion rates and better reader engagement. Measure website and document readability, measure keyword density and more!

Click Here To Get Started!



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 ...

Brandt Boulden Brandt Boulden, 15:33 28 Sep 15

S is used in puzzles because N=Nightrider which is a fairy piece used in puzzles only.

Add a Comment

Your Comment

Please enter your name.

    Please enter your email address

      Please enter your Comment.

          Related Cheat Sheets

          Chess Cheat Sheet
            Chess For Dummies Cheat Sheet by For Dummies
            Chess Openings For Dummies Cheat Sheet by For Dummies

          More Cheat Sheets by DaveChild

          Regular Expressions Cheat Sheet
          Linux Command Line Cheat Sheet
          CSS2 Cheat Sheet