This is just a personal stylistic preference, but I think it would make sense if this was the standard way to style chess moves on the site.

  1. Make chess moves bold -- this makes the moves stick out from the surrounding text, and follows the styling in chess books and some chess databases (that include annotations). In a sea of text, 6...d5 sticks out better than 6...d5.
  2. Use figurine algebraic notation -- Instead of having moves like Nf3, replace with ♘f3. This is because in many non-English speaking countries, they refer to the pieces with different letters and this makes it more global. Also, it probably helps out beginners -- I've seen one example where someone thought the letter for the knight should be K instead of N.
  • 2
    It could be just my font, but the figurine ♘ renders awfully thin. I certainly prefer N.
    – user24703
    Feb 22, 2021 at 12:23

2 Answers 2


Make chess moves bold

This is a personal preference. Other users can, if they wish, follow this guidance of yours. Using bold requires extra effort so in a world where many posts have typos I wouldn't expect this to have much traction.

Of course one option would be to introduce software changes to do this automatically. Frankly I don't see the business case that would justify the effort required but if you do then feel free to make the case to SE management.

Use figurine algebraic notation

This is also FIDE's recommendation but only in certain limited circumstances. From appendix C:

C.3 For the abbreviation of the name of the pieces, each player is free to use the name which is commonly used in his country. Examples: F = fou (French for bishop), L = loper (Dutch for bishop). In printed periodicals, the use of figurines is recommended.

However Chess StackExchange is not printed. It is online and editable by its users. It makes use of software like the game replayer. While you are, of course, free to use figurine notation in your own posts imposing this universally is impractical.

Currently it is possible to copy & paste games from external sources and with minimal effort post them here using the replayer. Your suggestion, were it to be made compulsory, would break this and rob forum users of an important resource. As a compulsory move therefore it makes no sense.

  • 1
    The idea is to have special markdown that handles this, like they have in the Mathematics site. So people would just put the moves like $Nc4 Bf6$ etc. Easy enough to edit for new users as there's currently a low volume of new questions.
    – pkr
    Feb 14, 2021 at 14:11

I don't think these ideas will work, in my view. Here's why.

  1. Algebraic notation on its own is distinguishable enough from regular text. Furthermore, while anyone is certainly allowed to do it on their own, it would moot to enforce such a massive change now. Almost the entire site, in essence, doesn't use and hasn't used to move boldening. Making it a sudden standard wouldn't really do much.

  2. This is basically impossible. Incorporating so many figurines into any post would be far more tedious than simply typing a letter. Furthermore, where would we obtain them, and whose would we use? This is another reason why we have a replayer to play out moves. Lastly, on a lesser note, Stack Exchange, minus some of the sites, is built to be an English site.

  • 2
    The Mathematics site does this for math figures. For chess, you would just need to put the moves in a special markdown. Like $Nc4 Bg7$ etc and the markdown would handle the styling.
    – pkr
    Feb 14, 2021 at 14:09
  • At least it would help me if I again wrote (as a German) S for N. Or B for P. Considering bolding, of course you want to bold only real moves and not analysis. More problems ;-) Mar 12, 2021 at 14:45

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