January 2015 Summary


Morning chess sessions in January were devoted to pseudo-chess to help us develop skills in playing and recording our moves (in AN), and in reading/writing FEN.


Regarding AN, here are some important points:


1) All pieces are represented by uppercase letters. Pawns don't have a letter. A pawn move is just represented by the destination square. Each capture shows the file letter for the origin before the 'x'.


2) Squares are represented by a letter-number combination; the letter comes first and is always lowercase.


3) Disambiguation is often required, especially regarding knight and rook moves. Since two pieces cannot be on the same square, you can disambiguate two pieces by putting a rank number (if the pieces are on different ranks) or a file letter (if the pieces are in different files)after the capital letter for the piece that is moved (but disambiguate only when necessary).


Here's an interesting game, starting with 1.e4 f5 2.exf5 Nc6 3.f4 e5. At this point, White has pawns on f4 and f5 and can capture the e5 pawn with either pawn on File-f. How do you record White's move for the en passant capture? Mayura shows White's 'en passant' move as e6, which is incorrect. If you record en passant capture with Mayura and then try to replay the game with Arena, Arena doesn't know what to do with the Move 4 notation, so it just throws the move away.


The correct notation for the first 3-1/2 moves is: 1.e4 f5 2.exf5 Nc6 3.f4 e5 4.fxe6. What should White record next if she captures the f5 pawn with her f4 pawn?


Regarding FEN:


It is vital to differentiate between uppercase (White piece) RNBQKP and lowercase (Black piece) rnbkp letters. The biggest problems are with kings and pawns. Sloppy r's and n's make it difficult to re-set the board properly for game continuation. It helps to write the q's and p's so that their tails extend below the line. It also helps to write the lowercase k so that the vertical line extends higher than the diagonals of the letter. It also helps to make the uppercase K big. Letters for the squares must also be legible - a b c d e f g h


I have analyzed our work and conclude that the following students are moderately proficient with AN and FEN. These advanced students will use their personal chess books each morning to play continuing games against other advanced club members:


Alexis a, Alexis c, Kales, Michael, Obed, and Rosie.


Players who do not bring their personal chess books will play pseudo-chess.


All other club members will continue to play pseudo-chess until they demonstrate proficiency in writing and interpreting AN and FEN. Then they will be promoted to the advanced player group.


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