Q-side vs. K-side Descriptive Notation (R2)

As mentioned before, not knowing which piece is which can led to confusion when trying to play a move like


See  this comment noting such an error in an actual game:
Blackburne – Golmayo (1891), Havana CUB, rd 3, Feb-18 (kibitz #4)
and the explanation in kibitz#6 just below.

Here’s a screenshot from Steinitz’s International Chess Magazine, v7, Feb 1891 p48, showing the ambiguous descriptive notation at White’s move 28 (well, ambiguous if the piece’s don’t denote QR vs KR and the reader wasn’t careful tracking each piece during play).

(Click to enlarge)

The replay window is my new program, with the Q-side vs. K-side pieces differentiated. The rook on f7, highlight-ready to move, has the little black dot on its base, denoting it as the QR. Easy to spot when needed. Which is probably why Steinitz, playing on such a set, never realized the difficulties his notation might cause some hundred+ years later.

I’ve got a fully functioning version of the program now, which allows the entire game to be input, fully and correctly (i.e. castling, e.p., promotion all handled properly). The mousewheel can be used to scroll move-by-move forwards/backwards in the game. The pieces get moved via the click-click method, as I haven’t done drag-and-down (yet(?)).

One essential feature is to produce a record of the game to put into a real chess database program, like SCID. Here’s the PGN, after inputting the entire game (printed out with just a right-click):

[Event "Blackburne--Golmayo Havana Match (1891)"]
[Site "Havana CUB"]
[Date  "1891.02.18"]
[Round "3"]
[White "Golmayo, C."]
[Black "Blackburne, J.H."]
[Result "1-0"]
[EventDate "1891.02.18"]
[Source "ICM v7 N2 (Feb 1891) p48 G-558"]

  1. e2e4   e7e5
  2. g1f3   b8c6
  3. d2d4   e5d4
  4. f3d4   g8f6
  5. b1c3   f8b4
  6. d4c6   b7c6
  7. d1d4   d8e7
  8. f2f3   b4c5
  9. d4d3   h7h6
 10. c1e3   c5e3
 11. d3e3   e8g8
 12. e1c1   f8e8
 13. g2g4   f6h7
 14. h2h4   d7d6
 15. e3d4   e7e5
 16. d4d2   a8b8
 17. f3f4   e5a5
 18. g4g5   h6h5
 19. f4f5   g7g6
 20. f1c4   h7f8
 21. d1f1   e8e7
 22. f5g6   f8g6
 23. f1f6   c8e6
 24. c4e6   e7e6
 25. h1f1   e6e7
 26. d2f2   a5b6
 27. f6f7   b6f2
 28. f7f2   b8f8
 29. f2f8   g6f8
 30. f1f6   e7f7
 31. f6h6   f7h7
 32. h6f6   h7f7
 33. e4e5   f7f6
 34. e5f6   f8g6
 35. c3e2   g8f7
 36. c1d2   g6h4
 37. d2e3   h4g6
 38. e2f4   g6e5
 39. e3e4   e5c4
 40. f4h5   d6d5
 41. e4f5   c4e3
 42. f5f4   e3g2
 43. f4e5   g2h4
 44. e5f4   h4g6
 45. f4f5   g6h4
 46. f5g4   h4g2
 47. c2c3   a7a5
 48. a2a4   g2e3
 49. g4f4   e3g2
 50. f4e5   g2h4
 51. b2b4   h4f3
 52. e5f5   f3h4
 53. f5g4   d5d4
 54. c3d4   a5b4
 55. h5f4   h4g2
 56. f4d3   g2e3
 57. g4f3   e3c2
 58. f3e4   b4b3
 59. e4e5   c2e1
 60. e5e4   e1c2
 61. d3e5   f7e6
 62. f6f7   e6e7
 63. g5g6

I’ve edited the PGN tags and result to match the game, as the program just prints out defaults (yes, it’s not too smart, or rather, user-friendly). Still, one can just cut-and-paste the above into SCID, or Chessbase, and have a correct version of the game (and with normal PGN transcribed).

Don’t believe me? Well, here’s CB Light’s version of the game, inputting the above:(Click to enlarge)

It shows the game at White’s 28th move. Using Steinitz, it’s not clear which rook is which for the 28.QRxQ move. With the new program we can not only immediately see which rook moves, but also see that it’s only K+Q knights standing in the final position:(Click to enlarge)

At this point the program is pretty serviceable, though quite rough around the edges. Let’s see it I work on it more (maybe- as a tactical trainer/opening book trainer). I would have preferred modifying SCID, but assuming the K-side/Q-side pieces are the same is a very fundamental design decision, baked in quite early I assume.



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