These notation systems for positions are all right as far as they go. But they won't be much help unless you have a chessboard and set to display the position. That is, unless you can easily visualize the position from the description. Not many people can do that readily.

So printed diagrams have come into use. These diagrams are simply a small picture of a chessboard with the pieces and pawns shown on their correct squares. You have already been making use of diagrams throughout this book, and will continue doing so.

Making diagrams was simply a matter of squishing a three-dimensional board with pieces and pawns into two dimensions. It was accomplished by picturing the board flat as seen from above and picturing the pieces as two-dimensional symbols of the actual pieces.

Representing a Game

Diagrams can be used in place of chess notation. The only problem is that they take up a lot of room, so printing costs and book or magazine weight and size are prohibitive. Here is the game we have been looking at so far in various notations, with a representation of each move shown with a new diagram:

Position after 1. e4.

Position after 1…. e5.

Position after 2…. Nf3.

Position after 2…. d6.

Position after 3…. d4.

Position after 3…. Bg4.

Position after 4…. dxe5.

Position after 4…. Bxf3.

Position after 5…. Qxf3.

Position after 5…. dxe5.

Position after 6…. Bc4.

Position after 6…. Nf3.

Position after 7…. Qb3.

Position after 7…. Qe7.

Position after 8…. Nc3.

Position after 8…. c6.

Position after 9…. Bg5.

Position after 9…. b5.

Position after 10…. Nxb5.

Position after 10…. cxb5.

Position after 11…. Bxb5+.

Position after 11…. Nbd7.

Position after 12. 0-0-0.

Position after 12…. Rd8.

Position after 13…. Rxd7.

Position after 13…. Rxd7.

Position after 14…. Rd1.

Position after 14. Qe6.

Position after 15…. Bxd7.

Position after 15. Nxd7.

Position after 16. Qb8+.

Position after 16…. Nxb8.

Position after 17. Rd8 mate


Diagrams are also useful for positions for the student or interested reader to solve. These include positions from games where a combination will bring about a dramatic change in the position. They also include composed problems where the solver is asked to find a checkmate in a specified number of moves. Other composed problems will ask the solver to find a winning series of moves.

For the following diagrams, you are asked to find checkmate in one move. Answers are given after the problems.

White to move and checkmate. Answer: 1. Na6 checkmate.

Black to move and checkmate. Answer: 1. …Qb2 checkmate.

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