Chess notation is a method for recording a chess match using symbols. (See notation key below.) For all pieces except pawns, write a simple chess move by starting with the piece's letter symbol, followed by its destination, as in "Na4", which means "knight moves to a4". While the other pieces get their own letter (K,Q,R,N,B), the pawn gets no letter-symbol. A pawn move is recorded by writing its starting location, followed by its destination, as in "b4 c5", which means "pawn at b4 moves to c5".

Notation Key

notation key

Which Knight or Rook Is Moving or Capturing?

When both of a player's rooks or knights can move to the same location, you must identify which rook or knight is moving by following the letter-symbol of the moving piece with a foreslash "/" followed by its location, as in "R/a10 a8" which means the rook at a10 moves to a8. (See below for other examples.)

Noting a Pawn Promotion

To note a pawn promotion, simply write the letter-symbol of the piece it promotes to at the end of the notation. (See below.)

Recording a Match

To record a chess match, use a score sheet. Below is a record of the first five moves of a match between Majnun and Layla.

The illustration below shows the first five moves of the game recorded on the scoresheet above.

drawing showing of the first five moves of the match

1) The white pawn at b4 moves to c5; the black pawn at b7 moves to b6.
2) The white pawn at a4 moves to b5; the black pawn at c7 moves to c6.
3) The white knight moves to a4.