How to De-Code Chess Coordinates & Notation

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How to De-Code Chess Coordinates & Notation

It's like learning a new language. If that's fun for you then read on!

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Chess notation is truly for your inner chess nerd. It requires a proper setup, and some folks like to have a pen and paper handy. For practice, doodling, jotting down evil chess plans...

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First, you can save yourself a lot of trouble if you buy one of those durable, roll-out chess-mats found at some game stores. Get one with the coordinates all labeled for you. I no longer have mine :/

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The 8 Rows, or Ranks, are labeled 1 - 8, with 1 being closest to white. The 8 Columns, or Files, are labeled a - h, left to right, from white's perspective. A white square should be at white's h1.

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Now for some codes. Every type of piece has its own type of code.

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K = King. Q = Queen. R = Rook. B = Bishop. N for kNights (K is taken). Pawns have no letter, only coordinates. The pawn in front of the white queen is the "d2 pawn", in the example photo ->

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This pawn moved from d2 to d4. In notation you usually write only "d4" on your notepad.

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Each line of your game's record will have a pair of moves, written left-to-right for white & black. The log can read top-down or left-right but be sure to use labels! 1) e4 ... e5. 2) Nc3 ... Nf6. Etc

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When you make a move, you list the piece by its letter-code, then write the square it moved to. Re1 means your rook moved to e1. If there were 2 rooks, you might write Ra1e1 to be more specific.

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Captures are described with an "x". Rxe2 means your rook captured whatever piece that was on e2. Some notations you'll see in a few books have the identity of the captured piece. RxB, or whatever.

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Consider this setup.

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Nxc6 ("kNight takes c6"). Or, NxN, sure...

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"Checks" are indicated by including a + after all the other codes. Checkmate is ++

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Bxc6+ ("bishop takes c6, check!")

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If you "castle king-side", you write 0-0. Queenside is 0-0-0. (castling is a sneaky chess move where you move your king 2 squares to the corner and put your rook at its side. It's a legit defense!

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0-0.

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That's the gist of it... Thanks for reading!

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Supplies

1 Chessboard

1 Paper or journal

1 Pen

Ha-ha!

Cerulean Apple 11 months ago

It's ok, I guess 😏

(author) 11 months ago

You like chess, huh, Shannon?😄

Cerulean Apple 11 months ago

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