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Old September 29th 10, 01:11 AM posted to,alt.chess
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First recorded activity by ChessBanter: Dec 2009
Posts: 1,146
Default I have arrived at the World Chess Olympiad in Khanty-Mansiysk,Siberia, Russia

On Sep 28, 6:20*pm, sd wrote:

No FEN also tells you more in less space. In the ASCII version, you
have no idea (unless the kings have moved) if castling rights are
preserved, whose move it is, what move it is, and so on.

This assumes that the person recording the position left all that
out! When I used to write down a position in what you appear to
be calling 'ASCII,' I of course would indicate when castling was no
longer possible (though it appeared to be) and obviously, whose
turn it was to move (i.e. 'white to move').

On the other hand, for certain types of analysis it may be
necessary to know *everything* about a given position, including
every possible repetition of position and a count for the fifty moves
draw rule. Naturally, this would have been addressed by simply
using a complete record of the game's moves before FEN was
devised. In this case, FEN does save considerable space -- but
at the same time it surrenders knowledge of the moves of a game
that led up to the recorded position. And if I'm not mistaken, it
also leaves out the clock times, draw offers, and who knows what

* Another quibble I have with FEN is that one color is represented
with small letters and the other side's men with capital letters.
But which is which? *Well, you have to *remember* which is which, and
the choice was completely arbitrary, not something you could easily
figure out (like whose turn it is to move when one side is in check).
I detest arbitrary things (which is why I always move first
regardless of color). *

I would think to most chessplayers assigning capital letters to the
white pieces makes sense. But you seem to have an innovative view of

And I would think that starting at the top-left, as if reading a
is ridiculous. The logical thing to do would be to start at a1 and
work your way to h8, as any rational human being would do. As Julie
Andrews put it in the song, start at the very beginning (i.e. 1, not
8) --
a very good place to start. Even the Chinese know better than to
start at the top-left and work your way backwards from high to low.
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