This website uses the Algebraic System of notation which is recommended by the
international chess organisation FIDE. A brief description of the most important
rules of Algebraic Notation is given below.
Each Piece is indicated by a capital letter: K for King, Q for Queen, R for Rook,
B for Bishop and N for Knight.
Pawns are not indicated by their first letter. To save time in recording games, they are implied by the
absence of any letter.
The 8 files on the Chessboard are indicated by the small letters: a, b, c, d, e, f, g and h.
File a is always on White's left-hand side and on Black's right-hand side.
The 8 ranks on the Chessboard are indicated by the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8.
The 1st rank is on White's side and the 8th rank is on Black's side.
Using this system each of the 64 squares on the Chessboard is described by a letter and a number.
e.g. at the start of each game White's King stands on square e1 and Black's Queen stands on d8.
Each move is indicated by the letter denoting the piece and its square of arrival. e.g. if White
starts by moving his Knight from square g1 to square f3 this is denoted as Nf3.
A Pawn move is just indicated by the square of arrival. e.g. if White starts by moving the Pawn
in front of his King forward two squares this is denoted by e4.
If a Piece makes a capture, an x is inserted between the letter denoting the piece and the square
of the captured piece. e.g. if a Rook captures an opponent's piece on square d7 this is denoted
Rxd7. The same notation is used irrespective of which piece is taken. It would also be the
same if an opponent's Pawn was captured.
If a Pawn makes a capture it is customary to note the file the Pawn came from. This avoids confusion
in the case where more than one Pawn could make the capture. e.g. dxe5 indicates that the Pawn on file
d captures an opposing Pawn or Piece on square e5.
En Passant. If a Pawn captures an opposing Pawn en passant, the square of arrival is
taken as the square the capturing Pawn finally reaches. To indicate an en passant capture
ep is added to the notation. e.g. if a Black Pawn on square h4 captures a White Pawn on
square g4 and ends up on square g3, this is denoted hxg3ep
If two identical Pieces can move to the same final square, the Piece which actually moves is indicated
by the file it came from. e.g. if two Rooks are on squares a1 and h4 and the rook
on h4 moves to square a4 this is denoted Rha4.
If two identical pieces are on the same file and can move to the same final square, the Piece which
actually moves is indicated by the rank it came from. e.g. if two Rooks are on squares a1
and a4 and the rook on a1 moves to square a2 this is denoted R1a2.
Promotion. If a Pawn reaches the far side of the Board and is promoted, the Pawn move is
indicated, followed immediately by the letter denoting the new Piece. e.g. if a White Pawn on
d7 moves forward one square and is promoted to become a new Queen this is denoted by d8Q.
Special Moves. Other moves are denoted as follows: OO denotes Castling on the King's side; OOO denotes Castling on the Queen's side; + added after a move indicates that the opponent's King is in check; = added after a move indicates an offer of a draw has been made; ++ or # added to a move indicates Checkmate; 1-0 indicates that Black has resigned; 0-1 indicates that White has resigned; ½-½ denotes a draw.
Crail harbour, Fife.
Photo by Douglas MacGregor, August 2004.