In this lesson you'll learn more about reading and writing chess moves.

Sorry, it's rather boring, I know, but you need to understand what's in this lesson before you go on to the rest of the course.

I'll be stopping to ask you questions during the lesson, so pay attention!

If you get them all right you'll get a certificate.

OK, you remember the names of the squares?

Use the keypad below to enter the name of the square where the White Queen stands.

That wasn't too hard, was it? Now tell me where to find the Black King.

If you're so smart, can you do it blindfold?

Where's the White King? No cheating by looking back at the previous page!

OK fine! How about the Black Queen?

Now we look at how to write your moves down.

There are two forms of NOTATION: LONG NOTATION, in which you write the starting square and the finishing square of your move, and SHORT NOTATION, in which you only write the finishing square.

In this part of the course we'll use LONG NOTATION in the lessons, so that's what we'll show you now.

Here's a position after both players have made their first moves. You might find it helpful to get out a board and play the moves yourself.

To write down a Pawn move in LONG NOTATION we write down the starting square for the pawn, then a DASH (or MINUS SIGN), then the finishing square for the move.

So White's move was e2-e4, and Black's reply was e7-e5.

If you move something other than a Pawn, you put the letter of the piece first. K for King, Q for Queen, R for Rook, B for Bishop and N for kNight.

In this position, both sides have moved a Knight. White's move is written Ng1-f3 and Black's move is Nb8-c6.

Play the moves on your board and see for yourself.

White's just played another move. Tell me, how do you write it down?

d2-d4 d4-d2 2d-4d e2-e4

Hey, watch out! Black's just taken something!

To write down a capture, we put a cross (a letter x or a times sign) instead of the dash.

So Black's move was e5xd4.


What do you know? White's taken back with his Knight. What's the right way to write that move?

N3fx4d Nf3+d4 Nf3xd4 Nf3xd5

Black moves his Bishop to play a CHECK on b4. We indicate a CHECK by a plus sign at the end of the move so it's Bf8-b4+. White gets out of CHECK by sticking his Knight in the way. That's Nb1-c3. Black CAPTURES the Knight with his Bishop - and it's CHECK again! How should we write it?

B4bxc3+ Bb4x3c+
Bb4+c3x Bb4xc3+

And White, of course, CAPTURES the Bishop with his Pawn. Tell me, how would you write that move?

b2xc3 B2xC3 B2xc3 b2xC3

A couple of other things. If you CASTLE on the KING SIDE you write down O-O.

And if you CASTLE on the QUEEN SIDE you write

The number of Os is the same as the number of squares the ROOK moves. (You hadn't forgotten how to castle, had you?)

Finally, play these moves on your board (see how we write down the move numbers.)

1. e2-e4 e7-e6 2. e4-e5 d7-d5, which should, with any luck, give you the position on the left.

Remember the en passant rule? In this position White can capture the Black Pawn on d5 en passant!

His Pawn will move from e5 to d6, CAPTURING the Black Pawn as it PASSES that square. So we write e5xd6ep (ep is short for en passant.) Get it? Fine!

When you go through the other lessons, we will sometimes ask you to choose one of four moves. When we do this we'll use the notation you've just learned.

But sometimes we will ask you to enter the move you think is best. You'll do this using SHORT NOTATION. The rest of this lesson will give you some practice in this.

All you do is use the MAGIC KEYPAD to click on the piece you want to move followed by the finishing square of the move. If you're moving a pawn you don't have to click on the pawn if you can't be bothered.

Here, White's just moved his Pawn from f2 to f3, so you enter "f3". Go ahead and do it now.

Hey, guess what? Black just moved his pawn from e7 to e5. Go ahead and make my day - enter the move in the box below, just like you did last time.

Oh no! White's just played another pawn move. What an idiot! OK, you'd better type it in the box for him!

Black's moved his Queen out along the diagonal! And just look at what's happened! It's CHECKMATE!! Quick, type in the move before he changes his mind!!

You have now completed the CHESS NOTATION assignment.