Algebraic chess notation

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Algebraic chess notation is used to record and describe the moves in a game of chess. It is now standard among all chess organizations and most books, magazines, and newspapers. In English-speaking countries, it replaced the parallel system of descriptive chess notation, which became common in the 19th century, and which was sporadically used as recently as the 1980s or 1990s. European countries, except England, used algebraic notation before the period when descriptive notation was common.[1]

Algebraic notation is based on a system developed by Philipp Stamma. It exists in various forms and languages, as will be described below. Stamma's system used the modern names of the squares but he used "p" for all pawn moves and the original file ("a" through "h") of the piece instead of the initial letter of the piece.[2]


Naming squares on the board

Each square of the chessboard is identified with a unique pair of a letter and a number. The vertical files are labeled a through h, from White's left (i.e. the queenside) to his right. Similarly, the horizontal ranks are numbered from 1 to 8, starting from White's home rank. Each square of the board, then, is uniquely identified by its file letter and rank number. The white king, for example, starts the game on square e1. The black knight on b8 can move to a6 and c6. Chess notations are a way to determine any unique point on the board.

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