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Algebraic Chess Notation

Tool to display / translate a chess game's moves in Standard Algebraic Notation (SAN). The SAN notation allows to describe successive chess moves.

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Algebraic Chess Notation -

Tag(s) : Notation System, Board Games

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Algebraic Chess Notation

SAN Reader



Answers to Questions (FAQ)

What is SAN chess notation? (Definition)

The algebraic notation SAN (for Standard Algebraic Notation) makes it possible to note each move with a letter symbolizing the piece played and the coordinates of the squares played: the starting square and the square of destination. The abbreviated notation uses only the piece letter and the destination square.

How does SAN notation work?

The 64 squares of the chessboard are marked via a 2D coordinate system: the digits of 1 to 8 (from left to right) for the columns and the lowercase letters from a to h (from below top) for the rows.

Example: The square at the bottom left is called a1, the square at the top right is called h8

Chess pieces are symbolized by a letter:

K (King)Q (Queen)
N (kNight)R (Rook)
B (Bishop)nothing or P (Pawn)

The notation of the letters varies according to the language used, it is advisable to prefer the English notation which is the one used internationally.

In addition to this notation, a cross x denotes a catch of a piece.

Example: a2-a3, abbreviated to a3, means: the pawn moves to a3

Example: a2xb3, abbreviated to xb3, means: the pawn takes the piece located in square b3 (NB: if several pawns can take in b3 then indicate the original column like axb3)

Noves are numbered in pairs (whites, blacks) and indicated one after the other.

Example: 1. e4 Cf6
2. d4 Cxe4
3. etc.

How to indicate castling?

Castling has a special notations:

0-0 (or sometimes O-O) for kingside castling

0-0-0 (or sometimes O-O-O) for queenside castling

What does SAN stand for?

SAN is the acronym for Standard Algebraic Notation, the standardized version of algebraic notation, because it is the one used in official competitions by the International Chess Federation.

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Algebraic Chess Notation on dCode.fr [online website], retrieved on 2022-12-09, https://www.dcode.fr/san-chess-notation

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