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How to Record a Chess Game

Now that you have learned algebraic notation you should have an easy time recording your own games. But there are a few more things you must learn.

First, turns in chess contain a move from both white and black. Thus, turn one would likely look something like 1. e4,e5. This is the most used opening in amateur chess. It is the two king pawns meeting in the middle of the chessboard. When a game is recorded, it can be done in a string. 1. e4,e5; 2. Nc3,Nf6; et cetera. However, it will be much more clear if it is done in two columns:

Turn # White Black
1. e4 e5
2. Nc3 Nf6
3. et cetera

As you play, you can make little notes in the margins. Some of the more standard notes that can follow a move are terse but meaningful. For example "!" following a move declares it quite an excellent move. While a "?" will question its soundness.

Another thing to note on your recorded game is the players. You will generally want to put this at the top of the sheet. By convention, the player with the white pieces is always listed first and the black player is always second. Also you will want to note who won the game. This is usually, but not always obvious by looking at the series of moves. However, one player or the other will often cede the game before check-mate is strictly inevitable. A "1" indicates the winner. A "0" indicates the loser. In case of a tie, both players are given "1/2". This is because generally in tournament play, this is the way that points are awarded. The note as to the outcome of the game can be either after the names of the contestants or at the end of the notation. "1-0" indicates a white victory, "0-1" a black victory, "1/2-1/2" indicates a draw.

Players should be encouraged to record their games as this will enable them to learn from their mistakes. Also, it can be fun looking back on a spectacular game just for the fun of it. An enjoyable evening can be spent going over a long past match by some master such as Kasparov or Fischer or even YOU!

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