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Tip 4: Learn Descriptive

Tip 4: Learn Descriptive

Jun 21, 2013, 9:15 PM 2

Here's a little tip that will give you the potential to improve no end. Learn descriptive notation! It really isn't hard. Here are some reasons why:

  • It will enable you to read old chess books, on the cheap (or maybe from the library). Seriously, why would anybody need to "translate" a book into algebraic notation and/or "update" the language? No living chess author has written anything as classy as Staunton's classic: "...futher defence would be frivolous and vexatious, and the Frenchman with good grace resigns."
  • It is arguably fairer than algebraic, since black's moves are recorded from black's point of view rather than white's.

If you think your descriptive notation is already up to scratch, try this extract from a French book. Not only is the notation descriptive, but the pieces are named in French and even the chessmen in the diagrams look a little unusual.

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