If they had felt a little more mischievous when they titled the article Excerpts from Fischer-Spassky games


In response to the recent passing of chess celebrity Bobby Fischer, the Associated Press published an article titled Excerpts from Fischer-Spassky Games. The article consists of excerpts from the organization's coverage of the so-called Match of the Century in 1972.

But given the title, I wondered whether the article had merely gone like this:

Game 3: 27. Qd2 Rbe8 28. Re3 h5 29. R3e2 Kh7 30. Re3 Kg8

Game 6: 17. Be2 Nd7 18. Nd4 Qf8 19. Nxe6 fxe6

There you go, excerpts from Fischer-Spassky games.

Comments (12)
  1. schwiet says:

    fxe6?  wtfpwnd! roflsause.

  2. Worf says:

    True enough… fxe6 is invalid for English. Could be French and Raymond typo’d the case (F – fou – bishop), but we have Be2 earlier that line.

    I think, anyhow. Never was able to get the hang of chess.

    Though, half that notation looks like x86 assembly…

    [Pawn on f file takes pawn on e6. -Raymond]
  3. Anonymous says:

    Typo: Pawn on f file takes knight on e6 (to pre-empt the pedants)

  4. Cody says:

    The implication that fxe6 on that line is illegal is because the previous move is Nxe6 and most people would normally notate that fxN.

    However, it is still valid notation to write fxe6 and would be required if there is ambiguity over which knight is being captured.

  5. fxN is rare.  fxe6 is a little pedantic… the "more usual" (if the Informant can be taken as a guide of what is "usual") would be the terse fe.

    Worf’s point is a fair one, which is that the initialisms for the piece names are subject to localization issues… (e.g., in German, "Knight" is "Springer").

    So the last excerpted move would be more usually written as:

    1. ♘xe6 fe

    Just in case, the character before the x is U+2658 (http://www.fileformat.info/info/unicode/char/2658/index.htm)

  6. Anonymous says:

    Maurits: but then you obscure (slightly) that there was a capture.

  7. Neil says:

    fe could also be ambiguous, in the case where there were two (or more) pawns on the f file.

    Anyway, fxe6 is correct per http://www.fide.com/official/handbook.asp?level=EE102 (section E9).

  8. Jonathan Rascher says:

    Indeed. Raymond’s notation seems to match the form of algebraic notation that I usually see.

  9. mikeb says:

    Hmm…  it looks as though Billy Wheeler might have been correct: "All chess players are quite insane."

  10. fe could also be ambiguous

    Very true… as I remember, though, in that particular game the capture was unambiguous.

    fxe6 is the more "formal" notation… fe is comparatively new notation.

    The late Bobby Fischer used Descriptive Notation (ugh) when recording his early games (I’ve seen a scanned image of his scorecard for the Game of the Century vs. Byrne) but I wouldn’t advocate that system to new chess players. :-)

  11. Stephen Jones says:

    fxe6 is standard short algebraic notation. You could also right f5xe6 but it would hardly be necessary.

    The rule is that you use the initial for all the pieces (and put the square afterwards if there is the possibility of ambiguity) but for pawns you just use the name of the square.

    Descriptive notation was common in the UK until the seventies at least. I used to use German algebraic notation but one of the reasons was to confuse people trying to read it!

  12. Stephen Jones says:

    Sorry, f7xe6; I hadn’t checked and thought it was white’s move.

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