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  1. 07 Oct '04 16:10
    I would be extremely grateful if anyone would kindly enlighten my meagre understanding of chess terms.

    To whit, phrases like 'Nb8d7' or terms with an exclamation mark, like 'Qf3e3!' mean nothing to me. I understand that these are chess moves and relate to pieces moving to certain squares et cetera, but I have trouble following them.

    Having picked up the newspaper section on chess, thinking I would strengthen my game by following the exploits of the professionals, I find myself staring in confusion at what looks to me like a long list of algebra!

    Any help or guidance pertaining to these matters would be much appreciated.

    Kind regards,

    Tiger
  2. Standard member mateulose
    Look, it's a title!
    07 Oct '04 16:22 / 1 edit
    I suggest you take out a Pandolfini book, he will explain all the questions you have about such issues of chess terms.

    Basicly, chess annotation is like the game battleship (did you ever play that as a kid)? It uses a grid where you mark coordinates. So, for example, 1.Na3?, means on move 1, white moves his knight to the square a3.

    A rank and file system, the files are in letters, from left to right (in white's perspective) a,b,c,d,e,f,g,h, and the ranks, from bottom to top, go 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8. So the move Na3 means the knight moved on the A file, and on the 3rd rank, from white's point of view. This move receives a question mark (?), because it is a bad move. Good moves receive an exclamation mark (!), tricky or unique moves, that may be good, receive a (!?), and moves that lead to complications or il considered, that might be bad, receive a (?!). The (+) means check. (x) means a capture has been done.

    In many annotations, pawns do not get any symbol to represent them, they are simply marked down by the coordinates they move. Example: 1.d4, means white opens up a queen's pawn opening by moving his pawn to d4.

    N=knight
    R=rook
    Q=queen
    K=king
    B=bishop
  3. 07 Oct '04 16:23
    Originally posted by tiger2
    Having picked up the newspaper section on chess, thinking I would strengthen my game by following the exploits of the professionals, I find myself staring in confusion at what looks to me like a long list of algebra!
    Maybe that's why it's called algebraic notation?!
  4. 07 Oct '04 16:26 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by tiger2
    I would be extremely grateful if anyone would kindly enlighten my meagre understanding of chess terms.

    To whit, phrases like 'Nb8d7' or terms with an exclamation mark, like 'Qf3e3!' mean nothing to me. I understand that these are che ...[text shortened]... these matters would be much appreciated.

    Kind regards,

    Tiger
    these are part of what's called "algebraic chess notation".

    From White's perspective the columns or "files" are labeled from left to right as a, b, c,...,h. The kings are initially in the e file. The rows or "ranks" are numbered 1 to 8 with 1 being the rank closest to white and 8 being the rank with black's king at the start of the game.

    A move like "Bc4" means the bishop (B for bishop) moves to the square c4. "Kg8" means the king moves to g8. "N" is used for knights, "Q" for the queen. If a move has no letter before square indicated (e.g. "e4" or "d5" then we are talking about a pawn moving to that square)

    Sometimes there may be two pieces belonging to one player e.g. two knights, which can move to the same square...say both knights can move to d7 but it is the knight from the b-file that we mean...then we write Nbd7 where the 'b' means the knight in the b-file is the one we mean. Rarely we need to use a rank reference to distinguish between them if both pieces sit in the same file and we might write N8d7 to mean our knight in rank 8 is moving to d7.

    The "!" means a great move...and "?" means a blunder..."!?" means double edged but likely good and "?!" means double edged but probably dubious.

    O-O is castling on the king side and O-O-O is castling on the queenside
  5. 07 Oct '04 16:30
    Sirs,

    You are all scholars and gentlemen. I shall first aquaint myself with your explanations and then acquire said books if further help is needed.

    Thanks and regards,

    Tiger
  6. 07 Oct '04 16:34
    Why do they call it algabraic? It has nothing to do with algebra. They should call it alphanumeric? Right? Anyway I learned with the old system P-KR3 for h3, so I am now bilingual in chess nomenclature!
  7. 07 Oct '04 16:49
    Originally posted by buddy2
    Why do they call it algabraic? It has nothing to do with algebra. They should call it alphanumeric? Right? Anyway I learned with the old system P-KR3 for h3, so I am now bilingual in chess nomenclature!
    I think it's easier to play blindfold chess using algebraic notation rather than descriptive.
  8. Standard member SirLoseALot
    Shut Gorohoviy!
    07 Oct '04 16:54
    http://www.markalowery.net/Chess/Notation/notation.html

    That page explains all there is to know about various types of chessnotation.
  9. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    Gonzalo de Córdoba
    07 Oct '04 20:17
    P-KR3 requires more letters to write. In addition, it is unclear exaclty which square is KR3. You have to know whose KR3 it is. h3 is easier than "White's KR3."
  10. Standard member paultopia
    High Priest
    07 Oct '04 20:32
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    P-KR3 requires more letters to write. In addition, it is unclear exaclty which square is KR3. You have to know whose KR3 it is. h3 is easier than "White's KR3."
    Nonetheless, I still maintain that descriptive notation is more intuitive. It better describes the relationships between the pieces. I'm not moving an h pawn! I'm moving a king rook pawn! The second statement includes the implications (kingside pawn push, etc.) more than the first.
  11. Subscriber no1marauder
    Humble and Kind
    07 Oct '04 20:37 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by paultopia
    Nonetheless, I still maintain that descriptive notation is more intuitive. It better describes the relationships between the pieces. I'm not moving an h pawn! I'm moving a king rook pawn! The second statement includes the implications (kingside pawn push, etc.) more than the first.
    Glad to see there's some other "old timers" here who don't care for that darbrun, newfangled algebraic! And as most of my chess books are older than Dick Cheney, I'm still used to P-K4 and I'm sticking to it!!!
  12. 08 Oct '04 10:20 / 1 edit
    You all forgot to mention the en passant move in your notation (e.g. exd6ep or dxc3ep). Obviously the capturing pawn in this case can only possibly land on the 3rd (for black) or 6th (for white) rank.
  13. 11 Oct '04 13:06
    Originally posted by lausey
    You all forgot to mention the en passant move in your notation (e.g. exd6ep or dxc3ep). Obviously the capturing pawn in this case can only possibly land on the 3rd (for black) or 6th (for white) rank.
    didn't really forget it...you can write exd6 and if it's en passant then it is clear anyway...no info is lost by not writing "e.p."
  14. 12 Aug '08 04:37
    (For the sake of saving thread space I unburied this one.)

    Is there a term for "playing with the King non-castled?"

    Just wondering...
  15. 12 Aug '08 04:44
    someone up there forgot 0-0-0-0