Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The Chess Odyssey Begins

In chess, the game is effectively divided into 3 parts:

The opening, the middlegame and the endgame.

The opening is the initial stage where both players start moving their pieces, strategically and positionally trying to develop their pieces. In chess, the idea behind openings is to gain an advantage.

The middlegame is the stage where both sides usually have placed their pieces and manoeuvering their pieces to attack/defend/counter attack.

The endgame is the stage where the majority of pieces have left the board and the king noticeably starts to play an active role.

Today I will discuss a little about a chessboard layout and notations.

There are 2 chess notation styles:
1. Descriptive notation - the board moves are presented by representing relative squares to each side's bottom ranked pieces.
2. Algebraic notation - the board moves are presented by dividing the board into squares into horizontal row numbers 1 to 8 and vertical columns a to h (see inset diagram).

Chess moves are given by what is called chess notation.

The movement of the pieces are given by K=King, Q=Queen, B= Bishop, N=Knight, R=Rook and pawn moves are represented by grid notations (in algebraic notation) or relative positions to the major pieces initial squares (in descriptive notation). The numbers before the notation indicate the move number.

Some people loathe descriptive notation (older format) and would avoid reading any chess literature with such styles because it's hard to picture the board once they've become accustomed to the more modern algebraic notation.

Me? I'm fine in either notation.

eg. Starting a King's Pawn opening (see diagram) would be 1. e2-e4 ( or 1.e4 in algebraic) or 1. PK2-K4 (or 1. P-K4 in descriptive).

For more details on notation, see Descriptive notation and Algebraic notation.

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