Chess notation/topology

Technical questions regarding Openings, Middlegames, Endings etc.
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E Michael White
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Joined: Fri Jun 01, 2007 6:31 pm

Chess notation/topology

Post by E Michael White » Tue Feb 28, 2012 4:38 pm

Here's a question I dont know the answer to; some might be interested in working out.

Which chess position and move require the largest number of characters to represent the move in English Descriptive Notation ?

Let's have some rules:-
  1. position and move must be legal
  2. short descriptive eg P-K4 not KP-K4 where the short move is unambiguous
  3. break ambiguity by specifying rank/file not original piece description eg use N/B-Q2 for Nfd2 where there are knights on f3 and b1 not KN-Q2
  4. checks represented by +
  5. presence or absence of check does not make a move unambiguous
  6. checkmate by ++
  7. knight is represented by N
  8. promotion is represented this way eg. P-K8(Q)
This is my first effort for a paltry 10



BPxN/K(Q)+

My chessbase cant cope with this position in EDN

Brian Valentine
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Re: Chess notation/topology

Post by Brian Valentine » Tue Feb 28, 2012 5:11 pm

If you put the WK on a6 (sic) you get BPxN/K(Q)++

Reg Clucas
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Re: Chess notation/topology

Post by Reg Clucas » Fri Mar 02, 2012 2:30 pm

E Michael White wrote:
BPxN/K(Q)+
You don't need to specify "/K" because capturing the other knight would not be check! So BPxN(Q)+ is not ambiguous.

Richard Thursby
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Re: Chess notation/topology

Post by Richard Thursby » Fri Mar 02, 2012 10:55 pm

Recording the move as check is not mandatory and so the move must be unambiguous without the check sign. You shouldn't be asked to work out which one of possibly several moves is the correct one simply by the presence or absence of the sign. I came up with some other examples but they were all variations on the theme that Michael used, so I won't bore the forum with them.

E Michael White
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Re: Chess notation/topology

Post by E Michael White » Sat Mar 03, 2012 12:03 am



I managed to make this one work

Q/KN5xB/KB6++

which needs 13 characters just pippng Brians 11

I think it might be possible to improve on this with an en passant move which mates in the middle of the board but I cant make it work yet.
ep would have the same status as a check in appearing in the move but not breaking the ambiguity so the destination and/or source square might need to be specified.

Richard is correct about check. I was once penalised 1 day in a postal game in about 1965 when I played 6.B-N5 in a Najdorf Sicilian thinking it was clear as B-QN5 would have been check.
Last edited by E Michael White on Sat Mar 03, 2012 9:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

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IM Jack Rudd
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Re: Chess notation/topology

Post by IM Jack Rudd » Sat Mar 03, 2012 12:50 am

You don't need the Ks in there, do you? There's no white queen on QN5 or black bishop on QB6.

E Michael White
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Re: Chess notation/topology

Post by E Michael White » Sat Mar 03, 2012 9:36 am

Possibly not. I think there used to be at least two version of EDN one called extended and the other with minimal characters.

I did originally put a Q on QN6 and a N on F8 and other pieces but took them out, in an attempt to follow the unwritten problemists law of minimum material to illustrate a theme. However I have edited them back as I think its clearer.

Odd that this move only takes Qg5xBf6 in algebraic. Enough to put players off EDN ?
Last edited by E Michael White on Sat Mar 03, 2012 9:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

Paul Cooksey

Re: Chess notation/topology

Post by Paul Cooksey » Sat Mar 03, 2012 9:42 am

qg5xf6 even. I nearly said dxe8Q earlier.

I've nothing against people using EDN. But it does seem unnecessarily complicated.

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