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Descriptive Chess Notation

  • #61

     Poemander says: "The only other thing you may need for meteoric rise is a mind like Jose Capablanca (observed three games at four years of age, and sat down to win three games against Dad)"

    The only evidence that Capablanca learned in that way, and won his first game against his father is his own account of it.  Do we believe it?  If he was not deliberately making it up it could easily be a false memory.  Several things cast doubt on its truth.  First that it is so unlikely that a four year old, on the basis of watching a few games, could beat even the weakest of adult players.  Second, that we do not, in general, have accurate memories from early childhood. Third, there is no end of examples of famous people in all walks of life exaggerating their achievements and experiences, or just making them up.  And finally, when you read Capablanca's account, it just does not ring true. 

  • #62

    Many a truth does not ring true on the basis of common experience. Worse still is spin from vested interests and centuries of its effects. Every lie is a roadblock in the mind. What are we subject to? What of other "cultures", like the Jews, for instance, and their history, actively suppressed by academics since1900 and long before already contradicted. They exist and much more so. What then, is their history, if you would gainsay? I believe, as did Newton & Einstein (my idea of scientists), that the diversity of humanity is a result of reincarnation. I have met or know of people with strange stories, like memories in their childhood years of dying in the Civil War. What do we know for sure? Research in that direction is not tolerated. It would explain the recorded game by Capablanca at four years and ten months old, but nothing much else will. Neither are Edgar Cayce or Patience Worth (read "The Case of Patience Worth" by Walter Franklin Prince) to be accounted for by "mainstream" thought, if properly reasearched. "Sauron does not share power!"

       From "The Unknown Capablanca" - David Hooper, Dale Brandreth

    Game 158 Ramon Iglesias - JRC

    Havana, 17 September 1893

    (Remove White's queen)

    This is Capablanca's earliest recorded game; he was four years and ten months old and too good, even then, to receive odds of the queen. From moves 12-23 he exploits the weaknesses of White's pawn structure - is it possible that he already had a grasp of position play?

    1 P-K4 P-K4 2 N-KB3 N-KB3 3 NXP NXP 4 P-Q4 P-Q3 5 N-KB3 B-K2 6 B-Q3 N-KB3 7 P-B4 O-O 8 N-B3 N-B3 9 P-QR3 P-QR3 10 B-Q2 P-QN3 11 O-O-O B-Q2 12 K-N1 N-QR4 13 R-QB1 N-N6 14 R-B2 P-B4 15 P-Q5 R-K1 16 P-KR4 P-QN4! 17 P-N4 N-Q5 18 NxN PxN 19 N-K4 PxP 20 NxN+ BxN 21 BxBP BxNP 22 B-Q3 B-B6 23 R-R3 BxQP 24 P-R5 B-K3 25 R-N3 P-N3 26 P-B4 B-R5 27 R-N1 K-R1 28 P-B5 BxP 29 BxB PxB 30 B-R6 R-KN1 31 R2-N2 RxR 32 RxR Q-B3 33 B-N7+ QxB 34 RxQ KxR 35 K-B2 K-B3 36 K-Q3 K-K4 37 P-R6 P-B5 38 K-K2 K-K5 0-1

    Here's the same game in algebraic, if you would like to throw it through a viewer:

    [Event "Odds Game"]
    [Site "Havana"]
    [Date "1893.09.17"]
    [Round "1"]
    [White "Ramon Iglesias"]
    [Black "Jose Raul Capablanca"]
    [Result "0-1"]
    [ECO "A00"]
    [FEN "rnbqkbnr/pppppppp/8/8/8/8/PPPPPPPP/RNB1KBNR w KQkq - 0 1"]

    1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nxe5 Nxe4 4. d4 d6 5. Nf3 Be7 6. Bd3 Nf6 7. c4 O-O
    8. Nc3 Nc6 9. a3 a6 10. Bd2 b6 11. O-O-O Bd7 12. Kb1 Na5 13. Rc1 Nb3 14. Rc2 c5
    15. d5 Re8 16. h4 b5! 17. g4 Nd4 18. Nxd4 cxd4 19. Ne4 bxc4 20. Nxf6+ Bxf6
    21. Bxc4 Bxg4 22. Bd3 Bf3 23. Rh3 Bxd5 24. h5 Be6 25. Rg3 g6 26. f4 Bh4
    27. Rg1 Kh8 28. f5 Bxf5 29. Bxf5 gxf5 30. Bh6 Rg8 31. Rcg2 Rxg2 32. Rxg2 Qf6
    33. Bg7+ Qxg7 34. Rxg7 Kxg7 35. Kc2 Kf6 36. Kd3 Ke5 37. h6 f4 38. Ke2 Ke4 0-1

       To assess the playing strength of Ramon Iglesias we have the following
    record, in another treasure, using descriptive notation, lost to posterity without the Latin of the Past Masters. Note that this time Ramon Iglesias is the one given "Odds", in the form of playing a blindfolded opponent.

       From "Pillsbury's Chess Career" - P.W.Sergeant and W.H.Watts
                  GAME No. 195.
              HAVANA, 17TH March, 1900.
                     Ruy Lopez.
        WHITE     BLACK       WHITE     BLACK  
     1 P-K4     P-K4      13 K-R1     Kt-R4
     2 Kt-KB3   Kt-QB3    14 P-Q4     B-Kt3
     3 B-Kt5    Kt-B3     15 Kt-B4    B-Kt5
     4 P-Q3     B-B4      16 Kt-K1    Q-Kt4
     5 P-B3     Q-K2      17 KtxB     RPxKt
     6 Castles  Castles   18 B-Kt3    R-Kt2
     7 B-Kt5    P-KR3     19 B-B4     QR-KKt1
     8 B-KR4(1) P-Q3      20 Q-B1(3)  Kt-B5
     9 QKt-Q2   K-R1      21 Q-K3     B-R6
    10 Q-B2     P-Kt4     22 R-KKt1   BxP ch
    11 BxN      KKtPxB(2) 23 KtxB     P-R6
    12 B-R4     R-KKt1       White resigns
     (1) B-K3 is commended in preference to this, which invites a King side
     (2) Pillsbury does not hesitate to break up his Pawns, in view of the open
    file which he gets. But then he was not meeting a master in a tournament game on this occasion.
     (3) This is useless. P-B3 seems playable. Now Black finishes with a few
    powerful moves.
     (4) 24 Q-Kt3, PxKt ch; 25 RxP, Q-B3, etc.
       You will notice that the syntax and symbols of descriptive here varies too greatly for early computers to interpret. The solution was algebraic - vastly simplified. Here again is the above for the viewers.

    [Event "Blindfold"]
    [Site "Havana"]
    [Date "1900.03.17"]
    [Round "1"]
    [White "Ramon Iglesias"]
    [Black "Harry Nelson Pillsbury"]
    [Result "0-1"]
    [ECO "C65"]

    {Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defence}
    1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. d3 Bc5 5. c3 Qe7 6. O-O O-O 7. Bg5 h6 8. Bh4
    {B-K3 is commended in preference to this, which invites a King side attack.}
    8... d6 9. Nbd2 Kh8 10. Qc2 g5 11. Bxc6 gxh4 {Pillsbury does not hesitate to
    break up his Pawns, in view of the open file which he gets. But then he was not
    meeting a master in a tournament game on this occasion.} 12. Ba4 Rg8
    13. Kh1 Nh5 14. d4 Bb6 15. Nc4 Bg4 16. Ne1 Qg5 17. Nxb6 axb6 18. Bb3 Rg7
    19. Bc4 Rag8 20. Qc1 {This is useless. P-B3 seems playable. Now Black finishes
    with a few powerful moves.} 20... Nf4 21. Qe3 Bh3 22. Rg1 Bxg2+ 23. Nxg2 h3
    24. Qg3 hxg2+ 25. Rxg2 Qf6 0-1

       The third generation language Pascal has made translation to and from
    descriptive feasible, but with a well defined syntax required.

    [Event "Blindfold"]
    [Site "Havana"]
    [Date "1900.03.17"]
    [Round "1"]
    [White "Ramon Iglesias"]
    [Black "Harry Nelson Pillsbury"]
    [Result "0-1"]
    [ECO "C65"]

    {Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defence}
    1 P-K4, P-K4; 2 N-KB3, N-QB3; 3 B-N5, N-B3; 4 P-Q3, B-B4; 5 P-B3, Q-K2;
    6 Castles, Castles; 7 B-N5, P-KR3; 8 B-KR4, {B-K3 is commended in preference to
    this, which invites a King side attack.} 8 ..., P-Q3; 9 QN-Q2, K-R1;
    10 Q-B2, P-N4; 11 BxN, PxQB; {Pillsbury does not hesitate to break up his
    Pawns, in view of the open file which he gets. But then he was not meeting a
    master in a tournament game on this occasion.} 12 B-R4, R-KN1; 13 K-R1, N-R4;
    14 P-Q4, B-N3; 15 N-B4, B-N5; 16 N-K1, Q-N4; 17 NxB, RPxN; 18 B-N3, R-N2;
    19 B-B4, QR-KN1; 20 Q-B1, {This is useless. P-B3 seems playable. Now Black
    finishes with a few powerful moves.} 20 ..., N-B5; 21 Q-K3, B-R6;
    22 R-KN1, BxP ch; 23 NxB, P-R6; 24 Q-N3, PxN ch; 25 RxP, Q-B3; 0-1

       These two games of Ramon Iglesias are evidence of the great diversity of talents found throughout humanity (see MAT 25:14-46 KJV for the origin of the current interpreation of the word "talent"). In Chess, proportions of points won between any two players is possible, and ratings based on these measure playing strength. "On the chessboard lies and hypocrisy do not survive long. The creative combination lays bare the presumption of lies; the merciless fact, culmination in checkmate, contradicts the hypocrites." Emanuel Lasker.


  • #63

       "Chess Translator, PGN Manager & Calculator", as it now identifies itself on the title page, is set to expire as a trial version. This encourages the user to update, as it evolves or debugs, from:


       The current version will soon be updated. Among improvements, the calculator is currently displaying the draw, which should be represented in highlighted colours as "1/2 (1/2-1/2)", as a win "1(1-0)" instead. Draws, however, are being processed properly. The program is large, complicated and error prone, and testing takes a while. Ignore this erroneous display if you use the calculator meanwhile. Thanks for your interest  and patience.

  • #64

                                  RATING UPDATE LOG
                # ?-?   Ao  Ao% Inc    A   A%   Bo  Bo%    B   B%   A-B A-B%
    1901.11.17 Scotch Game, Schmidt Variation
          GAME  1 0-1 1500  50% -50 1450  41% 1500  50% 1550  59% -0100  33%
    1901.11.19 Evans Gambit Accepted, Waller Attack
          GAME  2 0-1 1450  41% -29 1421  37% 1550  59% 1579  63% -0158  25%
    1901.11.21 Dutch Defence
          GAME  3 ½-½ 1421  37% +18 1439  40% 1579  63% 1561  60% -0122  30%
    1901.11.23 Four Knights Game, Symmetrical, Pillsbury Variation
          GAME  4 1-0 1439  40% +50 1489  48% 1561  60% 1511  52% -0022  46%
    1901.11.27 Queen's Pawn Game, Stonewall Attack
          GAME  5 ½-½ 1489  48% +03 1492  49% 1511  52% 1508  51% -0016  47%
    1901.11.29 Vienna Game, Hamppe-Allgaier Gambit
          GAME  6 ½-½ 1492  49% +03 1495  49% 1508  51% 1505  51% -0010  48%
    1901.12.03 Dutch Defence, Staunton Gambit, Chigorin Variation
          GAME  7 ½-½ 1495  49% +02 1497  49% 1505  51% 1503  51% -0006  49%
    1901.12.06 Vienna Game, Hamppe-Allgaier Gambit
          GAME  8 1-0 1497  49% +50 1547  58% 1503  51% 1453  42% +0094  66%
    1901.12.11 Dutch Defence, Staunton Gambit, Chigorin Variation
          GAME  9 1-0 1547  58% +30 1577  63% 1453  42% 1423  37% +0154  74%
    1901.12.13 Petrov's Defence, Classical Attack, Marshall Variation
          GAME 10 ½-½ 1577  63% -18 1559  60% 1423  37% 1441  40% +0118  69%
    1901.12.15 Queen's Pawn Game, Krause Variation
          GAME 11 1-0 1559  60% +26 1585  64% 1441  40% 1415  36% +0170  76%
    1901.12.17 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defence, Open Variation
          GAME 12 ½-½ 1585  64% -19 1566  61% 1415  36% 1434  39% +0132  71%
    1901.12.18 Dutch Defence
          GAME 13 0-1 1566  61% -50 1516  53% 1434  39% 1484  47% +0032  56%
    #     Board or Game number
    ?-?   Game result (WRT Player A)
    Ao    Player A initial rating
    Ao%   Player A initial absolute odds (wrt mean)
    Inc   Player A increment (points + won or - lost)
    A     Player A final rating
    A%    Player A final absolute odds (wrt mean)
    Bo    Player B initial rating
    Bo%   Player B initial absolute odds (wrt mean)
    B     Player B final rating
    B%    Player B final absolute odds (wrt mean)
    A-B   Player A vs Player B rating difference
    A-B%  Player A relative odds wrt Player B = A% & (100% - B%)

          where p & q = p * q / [ p * q + (1 - p) * (1 - q) ], 0 < p, q < 1
          or x WPL & y WPL = x * y WPL
    13 SESSION 21/NOV/2016 13:00:12 rating updates logged.

                           USE COURIER NEW FONT regular 10

    This text is created by "Chess Translator, PGN Manager & Calculator". The calculator was a last minute addition, and has been significantly refined with club ratings & tournaments in mind. To this end, work on the INPUT TEXT EDITOR is receiving attention, and will allow COPY or CUT & PASTE operations from a local text file ".\ClipBoard.txt" by default. This was used to label the games of the Capablanca-Corzo Match above. Capablanca  played the White pieces for odd numbered games (1-0 here means that Player A won, not necessarily WHITE). You may find it interesting to note the probabilities of Player A (Jose Capablanca) winning against Player B (Juan Corzo), as the match of 13 games continues. Are the calculated probabilities justifiable, do you think? Copy and paste this post into NotePad, and apply the suggested font for easier reading.

  • #65

    To all interested in my universal CHESS APP, work on the INPUT TEXT EDITOR is full speed ahead. That has become essential with the capacity for cutting and pasting into or from the editor in bulk, using an arbitrary text file. I am hoping to complete this project before the current version expires after this year. The APP should become, to the aspiring CHESS CHAMPION, what a calculator is to an engineer. Meanwhile, I will share my PGN DATABASE details with you as a suggestion. The list below comprises 33800 games, somewhat refined using CT&PM facilities. As far as possible without intervention, CT&PM will identify and merge details of identical games, even with slightly variant player names. The suggested DATABASE should represent CHESS HISTORY & DEVELOPMENT. Therefore significant opponents of champions, or opening system pioneers (like Duncan Suttles), are also represented. It should comprise opening, middle game (how to proceed after the opening), and endgame samples to satisfy the most enquiring minds. To this end, an array of filters is provided with some serious sophistication. Please share my suggested list to get the most from CT&PM efficiently and manageably. Please also try my ODDS RATINGS if you run a club. It should surprise anyone who does that such  a mathematics actually exists undiscovered for so long. One might be tempted to think that there's no money in it, or that some sorry status quo is being unreasonably defended due vested interests! Maybe? Does that sort of thing really happen? Only according to "conspiracy theorists", they say!

    1550 - 1610 Polerio, Giulio Cesare
    1600 - 1634 Greco, Gioachino
    1698 - 1769 Lolli, Giambattista
    1719 - 1796 Ponziani, Domenico Lorenzo
    1726 - 1795 Philidor, Francois Andre
    1795 - 1840 de la Bourdonnais, Louis Charles Mahe
    1798 - 1835 McDonnell, Alexander
    1818 - 1879 Anderssen, Karl Ernst Adolf
    1830 - 1908 Bird, Henry Edward
    1836 - 1900 Steinitz, Wilhelm
    1837 - 1884 Morphy, Paul Charles
    1841 - 1924 Blackburne, Joseph Henry
    1850 - 1908 Chigorin, Mikhail Ivanovich
    1868 - 1925 Teichmann, Richard
    1868 - 1941 Lasker, Emanuel
    1872 - 1906 Pillsbury, Harry Nelson
    1874 - 1918 Schlechter, Carl
    1877 - 1944 Marshall, Franklin James
    1880 - 1961 Rubinstein, Akiba Kiwelowicz
    1883 - 1942 Spielmann, Rudolf
    1886 - 1935 Nimzowitsch, Aron Isayevich
    1888 - 1942 Capablanca y Graupera, Jose Raul
    1889 - 1929 Reti, Richard
    1892 - 1946 Alekhine, Alexander
    1893 - 1921 Breyer, Gyula
    1896 - 1975 Saemisch, Friedrich (Fritz)
    1901 - 1981 Euwe, Machgielis (Max)
    1904 - 1978 Torre Repetto, Carlos Jesus
    1905 - 1966 Khan, Sultan Malik Mir
    1911 - 1995 Botvinnik, Mikhail Moiseyevich
    1914 - 1993 Fine, Reuben
    1921 - 2010 Smyslov, Vasily
    1929 - 1984 Petrosian, Tigran
    1929 - 2000 Robatsch, Karl
    1933 - 2008 Gurgenidze, Bukhuti Ivanovich
    1936 - 1992 Tal, Mikhail
    1937 - 2937 Spassky, Boris Vasilievich
    1943 - 2008 Fischer, Robert James (Bobby)
    1945 - 2045 Suttles, Duncan
    1951 - 2051 Karpov, Anatoly Yevgenyevich
    1963 - 2063 Kasparov, Garry Kimovich
    1966 - 2066 Khalifman, Alexander
    1969 - 2069 Anand, Viswanathan
    1975 - 2075 Kramnik, Vladimir
    1975 - 2075 Topalov, Veselin
    1979 - 2079 Kasimdzhanov, Rustam
    1983 - 2083 Ponomariov, Ruslan
    1990 - 2090 Carlsen, Sven Magnus
    1996 - 2015 Computers

  • #66

    Just downloaded the latest update of CT&PM from


    to check the site, and was offered WinZip rather than Extract All... by my new laptop. So I uninstalled WinZip and the Right Click worked as expected with Extract All... as usual. This may be of help to someone with the same problem. You will find the database suggested in my previous post readily available to be compiled by CT&PM, so that chess research will be at your fingertips. The PGN file supplied is in descriptive notation with diagrams, and contains 33813 games. After compilation, you can create the algebraic version without diagrams as required by viewers, or Crafty GUI. These games were compiled while developing and testing the CT&PM APP (Keyboard only), which is now complete. Any bugs I discover over time will be removed from update to update.

  • #67

    "Chess Translator & PGN Manager" is a wish of mine become a reality, and I use it frequently for many of its features. So...it hasn't taken long to realize that the refined text editor utility used throughout was incompatible with Roster Filtering. Very unfortunate. For those who have compiled the descriptive notation PGN plus diagrams (opening definition position & final position), it should have been possible to produce a PGN file (algebraic or descriptive + options) of any of the pioneers who have proved their mettle for recorded history. They have consolidated our knowledge of the game (and their opponents, of course).

       Presently the APP crashes if you try defining Roster Filters (without harm to your database). Apologies for this temporary inconvenience. Other filters will work. You will find that endgames or openings will partition the entire database (without duplication) in labeled folders, when the entire defined set is selected. The set of opening variations is extremely useful, and will produce the chronological development of each system from the provided PGN. The Cartesian product of all defined endings will likewise reward the student or the researcher planning a publication. Only the most reduced "endgame" (pieces not pawns) define the partitions for each game. Endgames with no pieces at all will produce every game that terminated in a pawn ending. Games with 3 or more identical pieces form their own partition. Games ending with few pieces removed will reveal quick debacles, like winning combinations or mating attacks, for the study of tactics. Of extreme utility for prospective champions will be rook endings. These constitute the most difficult and the most common of endings. Even the endgame virtuoso Jose Capablanca found the need to study a thousand to get a grip. Thereafter he commended Akiba Rubinstein for his virtuosity in this department. Rubinstein learned the game at 22, and after recognizing their importance, studied major piece endgames to return a real contender for the title. When the next version, bug removed, appears (I will give notice here, the Most High willing) you will be able to extract all of Rubinstein's games, compile the database in another folder, and then extract the Cartesian product of major piece endgames of interest. The process can be achieved using both filters simultaneously, but much more slowly.  The process requires many passes of the database being scanned. Meanwhile, I hope your chess is much improved by these facilities. Endgame play elevates the power of the champion, but is sadly being neglected by real and virtual (increments which grossly multiply play rates) guillotine conditions. A maximum of doubling the rate after 40 moves should be mandatory, in my opinion. This corrects the situation (3 seconds minimum per 2 minutes clock). My studies have revealed that half of the piece strength occurs on average at 40 moves (80 half moves). This was the traditional clock time addition cutoff before Fischer clocks appeared. Unless I'm sadly mistaken, Bobby Fischer would have blown up over the mismanagement of his invention! Inequity was a major cause of his protestations, however misguided his extreme specialization may have made him in the end. Only a "Jack of All Trades" is particularly well rounded, I feel.

       I will continue testing until the expiry date before reissuing. Regards to all, JC.

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