Notation Original Text

This notation is an attempt to provide a precise unambiguous formulaic representation of the move of a chess or fairy chess piece. The initial presentation assumes a 2-dimensional board composed of square cells,

The step

This is the basic building block and describes the position of the destination square in terms of the number of vertical and horizontal squares separating it from the starting square.

Thus a single orthogonal step is written as {1,0} (the order of the figures is immaterial but I shall adopt the convention of writing the larger number first)
A single diagonal step is written as {1,1}., while {2,1} is an hippogonal step (the knight's leap).


Where direction is important we add

  • ^ forward
  • v backward
  • > right
  • < left

and these can be grouped, thus [^v] indicates forward OR backward while {^>} means forward AND right..
Priority is indicated by a !. So [^!<>!v] indicates forward moves must be made if possible, else sideways, and backwards only if no other direction is possible.

Above by Graeme Neatham; following by Joe Joyce:

In this particular case - that of an attempt at a "universal" chesspiece encyclopedia, I believe that a strong element of redundancy and overlap is needed to adequately describe the myriad of pieces we will include here. We will have pieces for different boards, different dimensions, different concepts of "piece". One size cannot fit all here. If this is to be useful and not merely a large picture dictionary, we have to have the ability to easily understand what's available and how it moves/captures/whatever.

I propose we use multiple classification systems and explain how each works on a page like this one. The systems I propose we use include [but are not limited to]:

  • Betza's funny notation - this is the gold standard; we'd use it exclusively, except it's aging
  • Joe's strange notation - an extension of Betza to new pieces/piece types, with iconology
  • Neatham's notation - see above
  • simple verbal description
  • designer and game[s] appearing [first]


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