In descriptive chess notation each square has two names, depending on black's or white's viewpoint. Each file is given a name corresponding with the piece that occupies the first rank at the start of the game. Thus the queen's file is named 'Q' and the king's file is named 'K'. Since there are two each of the remaining pieces on the first rank, it is necessary to distinguish between them. The pieces on the queen's side of the board (left for white, right for black) are named with respect to the queen i.e. 'queen's rook', 'queen's knight' and 'queen's bishop' and have the shortened names 'QR', 'QN' and 'QB' respectively. Similarly, the pieces on the king's side (right for white, left for black) are named with respect to the king i.e. 'king's rook', 'king's knight' and 'king's bishop' and have the shortened names 'KR', 'KN' and 'KB' respectively. The rank is given a number, ranging from 1 to 8, with rank 1 being closest to the player. This method of naming the squares means that each square has one name from white's point of view and another from black's. For instance, the bottom left square ('a1' in algebraic chess notation) is called "queen's rook 1" (QR1) by white and "queen's rook 8" (QR8) by black.
Typically, the move will record only enough information to make the move unambiguous. For example, after 1. P-K4 P-K4, the move 2. B-QB4 would be written 2. B-B4, since White cannot legally move either bishop to KB4. A pawn capturing a pawn may be shown as PxP if it is the only one possible, or as BPxP if only one of the player's Bishop's Pawns can capture another pawn, or as QBPxP, or PxQBP, or other such variations.
Disambiguation of pieces using notations like QBP and KR becomes awkward once they have moved away from their starting positions (or starting files, for pawns) and is impossible for pieces created by promotion (such as a second queen). So as an alternative, moves may also be disambiguated by giving the starting position or the location of a capture, delimited with parentheses or a slash, as BxN/QB6, or R(QR3)-Q3. Sometimes only the rank or file is indicated, as R(6)xN.
When listing the moves of a game, first the move number is written, then the move by White followed by the move by Black. If there's no appropriate White move to use (e.g., if the moves are interrupted by commentary) then an ellipsis ... is used in its place.
In Spanish descriptive notation the hyphen is not needed, as the rank serves as separator. So the Sicilian opening (1. P-K4 P-QB4 in English) would be written 1. P4R P4AD.
The maxim that "a pawn on the seventh is worth two on the fifth" makes sense from both Black's perspective as well as White's perspective.
English descriptive notation is also particular to chess, not to any other game.
White: G. A. Anderssen Black: J. Dufresne Opening: Evans Gambit Location: Berlin, 1854Other examples occur in Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking-Glass.White Black------- -------1. P-K4 P-K42. Kt-KB3 Kt-QB33. B-B4 B-B44. P-QKt4 BxKtP5. P-B3 B-R46. P-Q4 PxP7. O-O P-Q68. Q-Kt3 Q-B39. P-K5 Q-Kt310. R-K1 KKt-K2 11. B-R3 P-Kt4 12. QxP R-QKt1 13. Q-R4 B-Kt3 14. QKt-Q2 B-Kt2? 15. Kt-K4 Q-B4? 16. BxQP Q-R4 17. Kt-B6 ch! PxKt 18. PxP R-Kt1 19. QR-Q1! QxKt 20. RxKt ch KtxR 21. QxP ch! KxQ 22. B-B5 dbl ch K-K1 23. B-Q7 ch K-Q1 24. BxKt mate