Chess Notation

Algebraic and descriptive notations

[There is a more detailed explanation of notation and more of the symbols available.]

  Here is the board, labelled using both systems of notation (text-only browsers: see below for pre-formatted version!)

Algebraic
Descriptive (from Black's side)
Descriptive (from White's side)

 

a8
QR1
QR8
b8
QN1
QN8
c8
QB1
QB8
d8
Q1
Q8
e8
K1
K8
f8
KB1
KB8
g8
KN1
KN8
h8
KR1
KR8
a7
QR2
QR7
b7
QN2
QN7
c7
QB2
QB7
d7
Q2
Q7
e7
K2
K7
f7
KB2
KB7
g7
KN2
KN7
h7
KR2
KR7
a6
QR3
QR6
b6
QN3
QN6
c6
QB3
QB6
d6
Q3
Q6
e6
K3
K6
f6
KB3
KB6
g6
KN3
KN6
h6
KR3
KR6
a5
QR4
QR5
b5
QN4
QN5
c5
QB4
QB5
d5
Q4
Q5
e5
K4
K5
f5
KB4
KB5
g5
KN4
KN5
h5
KR4
KR5
a4
QR5
QR4
b4
QN5
QN4
c4
QB5
QB4
d4
Q5
Q4
e4
K5
K4
f4
KB5
KB4
g4
KN5
KN4
h4
KR5
KR4
a3
QR6
QR3
b3
QN6
QN3
c3
QB6
QB3
d3
Q6
Q3
e3
K6
K3
f3
KB6
KB3
g3
KN6
KN3
h3
KR6
KR3
a2
QR7
QR2
b2
QN7
QN2
c2
QB7
QB2
d2
Q7
Q2
e2
K7
K2
f2
KB7
KB2
g2
KN7
KN2
h2
KR7
KR2
a1
QR8
QR1
b1
QN8
QN1
c1
QB8
QB1
d1
Q8
Q1
e1
K8
K1
f1
KB8
KB1
g1
KN8
KN1
h1
KR8
KR1
Let's see that again in pre-formatted text:
  

 8   a8   b8   c8   d8   e8   f8   g8   h8
    QR8  QN8  QB8  Q8   K8   KB8  KN8  KR8 
    QR1  QN1  QB1  Q1   K1   KB1  KN1  KR1     
 7   a7   b7   c7   d7   e7   f7   g7   h7    
    QR7  QN7  QB7  Q7   K7   KB7  KN7  KR7
    QR2  QN2  QB2  Q2   K2   KB2  KN2  KR2  
 6   a6   b6   c6   d6   e6   f6   g6   h6           
    QR6  QN6  QB6  Q6   K6   KB6  KN6  KR6 
    QR3  QN3  QB3  Q3   K3   KB3  KN3  KR3              
 5   a5   b5   c5   d5   e5   f5   g5   h5 
    QR5  QN5  QB5  Q5   K5   KB5  KN5  KR5 
    QR4  QN4  QB4  Q4   K4   KB4  KN4  KR4 
 4   a4   b4   c4   d4   e4   f4   g4   h4 
    QR4  QN4  QB4  Q4   K4   KB4  KN4  KR4  
    QR5  QN5  QB5  Q5   K5   KB5  KN5  KR5 
 3   a3   b3   c3   d3   e3   f3   g3   h3  
    QR3  QN3  QB3  Q3   K3   KB3  KN3  KR3   
      QR6  QN6  QB6  Q6   K6   KB6  KN6  KR6 
 2   a2   b2   c2   d2   e2   f2   g2   h2  
    QR2  QN2  QB2  Q2   K2   KB2  KN2  KR2  
    QR7  QN7  QB7  Q7   K7   KB7  KN7  KR7 
 1   a1   b1   c1   d1   e1   f1   g1   h1 
    QR1  QN1  QB1  Q1   K1   KB1  KN1  KR1  
    QR8  QN8  QB8  Q8   K8   KB8  KN8  KR8 
 

These should all represent the same short game:

 

Short Algebraic
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nxe5 Nxe4 4. Qe2 Nf6?? 5. Nc6+! 1-0
Long Algebraic
1. e2-e4 e7-e5 2. Ng1-f3 Ng8-f6 3. Nf3xe5 Nf6xe4 4. Qd1-e2 Ng8-f6?? 5. Ne5-c6+! 1-0
Descriptive
1. P-K4 P-K4 2. N-KB3 N-KB3 3. NxP NxP 4. Q-K2 N-KB3?? 5. N-B6ch! 1-0

  The +/ch means "check"; the 1-0 means "resigns".

  You may find variations on these, for example, Kt for Knight, : for a capture, and so on. I use standard short algrabraic.

  [Further explanation of Notation]

Symbols: evaluation and comment codes

Evaluations are used very often, the comments usually only in `languageless' publications. Here are the most common:

Evaluations of moves:

  Nf3!! Excellent move
Nf3! Good move
Nf3!? Interesting or tricky move
Nf3? Bad move
Nf3?! Dubious move but not losing
Nf3?? Terrible move

Evaluations of positions:

  +- White has a winning advantage
+/- White has an advantage
+= White has a slight advantage
= Level position
=+ Black has a slight advantage
-/+ Black has an advantage
-+ Black has a winning advantage
& Unclear
&= With compensation for material

  [Further explanation of Symbols]

Chess Quotes

"The blunders are all there on the board, waiting to be made."
— -- TARTAKOVER