Chess Terms
Score Sheet

Score Sheet

Have you ever wondered how people can analyze games that happened years ago and offline? Reconstructing those games is only possible because of tools like the chess score sheet.

Here is what you need to know about the score sheet:


What Is A Chess Score Sheet?

A score sheet is a tool used to record the moves played by both players during an over-the-board (OTB) chess game. It is usually a sheet of paper that contains multiple fields for a player to add relevant information about the game being played.

Among other information, score sheets register the names of the players, the moves that they played, and the game's outcome. The name of the event, its date, and other details are found on score sheets as well.

A chess score sheet.
GM Magnus Carlsen's score sheet from one of the games of the World Chess Championship of 2018. Photo: Pablo Martínez Rodriguez, CC.

Why Is The Score Sheet Important?

Score sheets are important because they are the official record of a chess game and its outcome. When a game ends, both players sign each other's score sheet—demonstrating that they agree with the moves recorded.

Besides minimizing off-the-board disputes, score sheets also facilitate an analysis of the game. It is no secret that studying the games of the masters is a great way to improve. The score sheet allows anyone to reconstruct these games easily.

Fischer vs. Najdorf score sheet.
A score sheet of a game played in the 1970 Chess Olympiad between GM Bobby Fischer and GM Miguel Najdorf. Photo: Michael L. Kaufman, CC.

Do you know there is an even simpler way on Chess.com of analyzing the games of the masters? All you have to do is head over our Master Games section, and you can find a collection of millions of games played by the world's strongest players!

Master chess games database.
You can learn from the masters by analyzing their games.

Recording Moves On The Score Sheet

During tournaments, each player is responsible for recording their moves and those of their opponent. Those moves must be logged in algebraic notation, and each move must be recorded before the player makes the next move. The only exception to this rule is when a player has fewer than five minutes left on their clock, and there is no increment of at least 30 seconds after each move.

Eisenberg vs. Capablanca score sheet.
The score sheet of a game played between Louis Eisenberg and Jose Raul Capablanca in 1909. Photo: Wikimedia, CC.

Other details must be kept in mind by players who are using a score sheet during official FIDE tournaments. You can find these rules in FIDE's handbook. Fortunately, if you are playing a game in Chess.com, you do not need to worry about recording your moves at all. Every game you play is automatically recorded and can be accessed later.

You do not need score sheets on Chess.com.
Every game you play on Chess.com is automatically recorded.

Download Our Free Chess Score Sheet Template

If you want to use a score sheet to record your OTB games, you can use Chess.com's official score sheet! Remember to print the PDF at actual size (100 percent scale) for the best results.

Download our free chess score sheet.
Chess.com's official score sheet.

It is a great idea to record your offline games and then use our Analysis board to find where you went wrong and improve your play.

Conclusion

You now know what a chess score sheet is and its importance to the world of chess. Now go to our Master Games section to study the games of the best players in chess history!