Algebraic notation and PGN format
About algebraic notationAlgebraic 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.
The official text describing this notation can be found in the FIDE Laws of Chess - Appendice E.
The principles of this notation is well explained in this Wikipedia article.
IECG rules require the usage of the English notation (in which the pieces are identified by : K for king, Q for queen, R for rook, B for bishop and N for knight).
About the PGN standard formatPortable Game Notation (PGN) is a computer-processible format for recording chess games (both the moves and related data); many chess programs recognize this extremely popular format due to its accessibility by ordinary ASCII editors, including word processors capable of importing and exporting plain ASCII. It is of course particularly well suited for e-mail chess.
PGN is based on the English algebraic notation, with additional header tags placed between brackets. Your can find here an very detailed article about this standard.
IECG requirements for PGN
Sample PGN record as required by IECGWhen a game has been completed, the winning player, or white in the case of a draw, must report the result -- including the PGN-format moves record. This should be sent to your Tournament Secretary (TS) in standard PGN format as follows:
(the correct tournament number is in the pairing chart)[Event "CA-2008-0-00195"]
(starting date of the tournament as indicated on the pairing chart)[Date "2008.08.15"]
(round number: 1 for single round robin, 1 or 2 for double round robin)[Round "1"]
(last and first names of white player)[White "Boni, Roberto"]
(last and first names of black player)[Black "McShane, Mike"]
(1-0, 0-1 or 1/2-1/2)[Result "0-1"]
1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nd2 c5 4. exd5 exd5 5. Ngf3 Nc6 6. Bb5 Bd6
7. O-O cxd4 8. Nb3 Nge7 9. Bxc6+ Nxc6 10. Nbxd4 O-O 11. Re1 Bg4
12. h3 Bxf3 13. Nxf3 Qf6 14. Qxd5 Qd8 15. Be3 Bh2+ 0-1
The above text is a sample PGN report using the exact notation required by IECG, it holds all you need to know. The use of these standard 7 tags is mandatory for the storage and processing of the games by our archivists. The PGN format is sentitive, please pay attention to the items below :
- DO NOT change the sequence of the 7 tags.
- DO NOT uppercase the tags. They should appear as shown with only the first letter capitalized.
- Other tags beside the mandatory 7 are not requested and should be preferably removed.
- No more than 1 space should appear between the tag and the first quotation mark (").
- DO NOT insert extra spaces within any tag or tag description. Extra spacing means extra work for the archivists !
Detailed explanations of the PGN tags for IECG tournaments
[Event "TT-YYYY-S-NNNNN"]Due to the multitude of events offered, the simplest way to avoid errors is to just look at the tag suggested by your TD on the pairing chart.
Explanations below are only for the enthusiasts wishing to catch the details
All IECG events should be designated with the format TT-YYYY-S-NNNNN where these 4 fields are :
- TT = Tournament Specification
- YYYY = Starting Year
- S = Tournament Stage
- NNNNN = Tournament Number
- Class tournaments : CM, CA, CB, CC, CD, CE, CF and CN
- Quad tournaments : QM, QA, QB, QC, QD, QE, QF and QN
- CUP tournaments : CP
- World Championship : WC
- Thematic events : TE
- Two-Game-Matches : TG
The starting year of the tournament, and for multi-stage tournaments :
- Cup and the Thematics, it is the year of starting the preliminaries of the tournament
- World Championship: it is the year of starting the final of the tournament
- 0 (the digit 0 and not the letter O !!) for all regular tournaments played in one stage
- a letter for multi-stage tournaments (CP, WC, TE) :
- F for final
- T for Three-Quarter Final between Final and Semi-final (if needed)
- S for semifinal
- Q for quarterfinal
- P for preliminaries
The number of a tournament, which define the tournament unambiguously within its category.
[Site "IECG"]The site is always IECG for games played by e-mail, and LSS for games played on the server.
[Date "yyyy.mm.dd"]The date tag is always in year, month, day format : it is the official starting date of the tournament as indicated in the pairing chart. The year always contain 4 digits, ie. 2008. The month and day are always two digits respectively, as shown in the example. Please do not leave out the century designation, leading zeros as needed in month or day, or rearrange the order.
[Round "1"]The round tag is mandatory even for single round robin tournaments, where it should always contain the number 1. For double round robin tournaments as TG, TE, Q, the round value may be 1 or 2. Leaving out this tag messes up the ability of automated pgn readers and databases to read the games.
[White "Smith, Bill"]The black and white tags are obvious. Pay attention to the format:
[Black "Brown, William"]
- The names are capitalized, DO NOT uppercase the whole name. The names SMITH and Smith are not the same to a computer.
- Always put the family name and then the given name second.
things straight, so please, show respect for other people's names by not mixing them up.
[Result "1-0"]The ONLY valid results are as follows :
- 1-0 (white wins)
- 0-1 (black wins)
- 1/2-1/2 (draw)
MovelistThe body of the game is always in the format shown. English Algebraic Notation is used. Please do not insert extra spaces between the moves or within the body of
a move pair. Extra spaces mean extra work and we receive hundreds of games to edit. PLEASE do not use extra spaces or any punctuation.
There is one exception to this rule. Some automated programs allow the move to immediately follow the period of a move number.
ie. 2.e2 e4 rather than 2. e2 e4
This is permitted.
It is not necessary to designate an en passant move with any extraneous text. If you do so for clarity when sending to your opponent, please remove the text when submitting your game report. THE BODY OF THE GAME REPORT SHOULD CONTAIN NO COMMENTS!
Finally, the game result at the end of the game body is NOT a move. It should not be given a move number. Only one space should precede the result and the last move.
ToolsThe games archivists check every game present in tournament reports. If a game is not submitted in the proper PGN format, it must be manually edited. If moves are ambiguous or illegal moves are submitted, you can imagine the extra work for its correction. Please remember, the accuracy of the archives is only as good as the PGN reports you submit, so take care with your submissions.
IECG highly recommends that you use an automated email chess program to keep track of your e-mail games. There are plenty of fine PGN readers or databases tools to check your notation before you submit it to the tournament secretary. Let's minimize the problem at the source.
Copyright © 2000-2009 by IECG. All rights reserved.
Last updated: 25 December 2008.
Last updated: 25 December 2008.