MATH 177: TWO NOTATIONS FOR WRITING CHESS GAMES
I.
Algebraic Notation (preferred by most players)
 RANKNAMES FILENAMES
 A. Files are named by lower case small letters, a through h.
 B. Ranks are named by only one number, as at the right.
 C. Each square is named by writing its file, followed by its rank. Examples (blue letters in figure): "A" is named f4; "C" is named d6.
 D. To record a move in Algebraic notation, write as follows:
 1 The symbol for the piece to be moved (p,B,N,R,Q,K); this is often omitted if step D2 below clearly describes the move. 2 (if capturing) write "x", followed by the symbol of the captured piece. Examples: pxp, NxQ. (if not capturing) write the name of the square moved to; the dash of descriptive notation is usually omitted in algebraic. 3 If 2 pieces could both be described by D1 or D2 above, write the location of the intended piece in parentheses. Examples: p(d4)xR, N(f3)e5 meaning "N at f3 moves to e5" 4 King's side castling is designated O-O 5 Queen's side castling is designated O-O-O 6 Capturing "en passant" or "in passing" is designated "ep"; if your are unaware of "ep", ask your prof to demonstrate. 7 A move resulting in a check of the king is followed by "ch". 8 "!" means "good move"; "?" means "bad move", written after the move. These optional symbols are used sparingly.
 E. As in descriptive notation, organize your game record in 2 columns, left for white, right for black; a standard 8½ by 11 sheet of paper should contain 2 sets of 2 columns (that is, 4 columns). Number the rows in each pair of columns consecutively. Write the names of competing players at the top of his/her column. When the game is ended, the two written records (one for each player) will be identical if both used Algebraic. A sample game record form is available.   Each player is expected to promptly write each move in his/her own handwriting. Good players usually write moves down before making them on the board.

II.
Descriptive Notation (an older American style)
 RANKNAMESFORBLACKMOVES RANKNAMESFORWHITEMOVES
 A. Each file is named for the pieces at it's top and bottom ends as the game begins (3 files are shown at the right).
 B. Each rank has 2 names, one for black's moves, the other for white's moves: see figure.
 C. A square is named by writing its file, followed by its rank. Examples (see figure at right): (for black moves) "A" is KB5 and "C" is Q3; (for white moves) "A" is KB4 and "C" is Q6. Thus, in DESCRIPTIVE NOTATION, squares have 2 names, depending on who is moving.
D.
 To record a move in Descriptive notation, write as follows: 1. The symbol for the piece to be moved (p,B,N,R,Q,K). 2. (if capturing) write "x", followed by the symbol of the captured piece. Examples: pxp, NxQ. (if not capturing) write a dash "-", followed by the name of the square moved to, from the perspective of whoever is moving, black or white (see C above). 3. If 2 pieces are both be described by D1 or D2 above, write the location of the intended piece in parentheses. Examples: p(Q4)xR, N(KB3)-K5 meaning "N at KB3 moves to K5" 4. King's side castling is designated O-O 5. Queen's side castling is designated O-O-O 6. Capturing "en passant" or "in passing" is designated "ep"; if your are unaware of "ep", ask your prof to demonstrate. 7. A move resulting in a check of the king is followed by "ch". 8. "!" means "good move"; "?" means "bad move", written after the move. These optional symbols are used sparingly.
 E. As in Algebraic notation, organize your game record in 2 columns, left for white, right for black; a standard 8½ by 11 sheet of paper should contain 2 sets of 2 columns (that is, 4 columns). Number the rows in each pair of columns consecutively. Write the names of competing players at the top of his/her column. When the game is ended, the two written records (one for each player) will be identical if both used Algebraic. A sample game record form is available.   Each player is expected to promptly write each move in his/her own handwriting. Good players usually write moves down before making them on the board.