How to Understand Chess Symbols

Learn how to understand chess symbols from Chess NYC in this Howcast video.

Transcript

Hi, my names Rebecca Taxman with Chess NYC, and I'm gonna talk to you about the symbols used in chess during chess notation. It is extremely imperative that we understand chess notation in order to record games. If we hadn't learned chess notation, we would not be able to look at games such as Bobby Fisher's most famous game, or Capablanca's games, or any games that we have played to go over and understand our own moves.

So, each piece has it's own letter. Capital P equals pawn, capital N equals Knight, capital B equals bishop, capital R equals rook, capital Q equals queen and capital K equals king. Those are our pieces. now we need to understand the symbols used. So, check is designed by a plus sign. Check mate is designated with a pound sign or a number sign, castling king side or short side castle is 0-0. Castling queen side or long side castle is 0-0-0. Then we have capture, we use an X. A move that is not a good move at all is ?. A good move is an exclamation point. And then we also have, when you have a pawn promotion, that means you get a pawn to the end of the board and you're going to promote it into a queen or a rook or a knight, we use equal sign.

And those are the symbols that we use for chess notation.

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