Keeping Track of Chess Scores- The Chess "Notation" System

In a game of chess it is important to keep track of each player's moves in order to avoid confusion, help resolve disputes and to keep count of the players moves. In order of doing this, chess notation is used. It is important to have chess notation explained to you before you begin a game of chess, particularly if it is for a competition.

The most widely used method for keeping track of chess scores today is algebraic chess notation. In algebraic chess notation each chess move is given a letter and number to indicate how it has moved. Each vertical file on a chess board in given a letter, a-h, (from the White's left to right) and each horizontal rank is given a number 1 to 8 (from the White's home). In addition, each piece is labeled by a letter, for example K stands for King, Q stands for Queen, N stands for Knight, R stands for Rook etc. (Note that S is sometimes used for Knight due to its German name, Springer.) As each player moves, their move is recorded through this chess notation system. For example, if a player moves his knight to e5, a notation would be made: Ne5. If a pawn should move, the square that it moves to need only be recorded, for example if a black pawn moved to f5, it would be simply written as f5.

When a player's piece is captured, an X is noted on the chess notation score sheet to represent the capture. For example, Bxe5 would indicate that a bishop captured a piece on e5. (Sometimes in chess notation a colon (:) is used to represent a capture. This can be written as B: e5 or Be5. If two of the same type of piece can move to the same square, they are differentiated by original position. For example, if two knights, one on g1 and one on d2 can both move to f3, you would write Ngf3 or Ndf3.

Castling is noted as 0-0 for kingside castling and as 0-0-0 for queenside castling. Check is most commonly noted as + or ch, and check mate as ++ or #. The end of the game is noted by the score, with white being noted first e.g. 1-0 for a white win.

Figurine algebraic notation (FAN) is also used. In FAN a symbol is used to represent each piece, instead of a letter. The advantage of this system is that it is language independent. Descriptive chess notation used to be the most common method for chess notation; however it has mostly been replaced by algebraic chess notation.

The advantage of using chess notation is that you can replay your games in order to learn from them. You can make use of chess notation sheets – you can find an online chess notation sheet or a chess notation sheet download that you can then print out to use during your games. This will make it simpler to use chess notation if you are new to the concept. A chess notation interpreter is also useful in understanding the moves that have been made. It is also imperative for you to understand chess notation in order to participate in chess tournaments.