Game Notation

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Game Notation refers to the recording of moves of the chess game including players or programs names, date, name of event and site - in human competitive chess each side is required to fill and sign a score sheet. In official computer chess over the board tournaments, it was required for human operators as well, but was practically relaxed since programs keep their internal move list persistent and were able to restart for instance after a power failure [1]. In Chess GUIs, the game notation is presented inside a notation window, which may allow certain interactions, like scrolling the list, or replaying the game.

Chess Notation

While the move numeration is quite obvious, starting with move number one, there are various Chess notations with different move syntax defined. Most common in printed and electronic chess media, also in chess programs and databases, is the Algebraic Chess Notation, especially its short form called SAN. Descriptive chess notation was used in English and Spanish-language literature until the late 20th century, but is today somehow obsolete.

Algebraic figurine notation (FAN) uses graphical piece symbols rather than national language dependent letters for pieces, early promoted by Chess Informant. In an attempt of Computer vision, Henry S. Baird and Ken Thompson used optical character recognition along with various heuristics and applying the rules of chess, to "read" the games of Informant's Encyclopaedia of Chess Openings with high accuracy and a success rate of 99.995% on approximately one million characters (2850 games, 945 pages) [2]. FAN is supported by various chess GUIs, corresponding chess symbols are available in Unicode [3] [4].

Sample Score sheet


Game Notation of Bobby Fischer - Miguel Najdorf in Descriptive chess notation:

Fischer Score Card.jpg
Bobby Fischer - Miguel Najdorf, 19th Chess Olympiad, 1970, Siegen, West Germany [5] [6]


The above Game Notation in SAN as Portable Game Notation:

[Event "19th Chess Olympiad"]
[Site "Siegen, Germany"]
[Date "1970.??.??"]
[Round "3"]
[Result "1-0"]
[White "Robert James Fischer"]
[Black "Miguel Najdorf"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 a6 5. Bd3 Nf6 6. O-O d6
7. c4 Bd7 8. Nc3 Nc6 9. Be3 Be7 10. h3 Ne5 11. Be2 Rc8 12. Qb3
Qc7 13. Rac1 O-O 14. f4 Nc6 15. Nf3 Qb8 16. Qd1 Be8 17. Qd2
Na5 18. b3 b6 19. Bd3 Nc6 20. Qf2 b5 21. Rfd1 Nb4 22. Bf1 bxc4
23. bxc4 a5 24. Nd4 Qa8 25. Qf3 Na6 26. Ndb5 Nc5 27. e5 dxe5
28. Qxa8 Rxa8 29. fxe5 Nfe4 30. Nd6 Bc6 31. Ncxe4 Nxe4 32. c5
Ng3 33. Bc4 h5 34. Bf2 h4 35. Bxg3 hxg3 36. Bb5 Bxb5 37. Nxb5
f6 38. Rd7 Bd8 39. Rc3 fxe5 40. Rxg3 Rf7 41. Rxf7 Kxf7 42. c6
Bb6+ 43. Kf1 Kf8 44. c7 Rc8 45. a4 e4 46. Ke2 e5 47. Rg6 Bd4
48. h4 Bb2 1-0


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