The notation used in this book for writing down moves was described fully on MOVE ONE. In case you haven't read that book, we'll repeat it very briefly here.
Each square has a name consisting of a small letter followed by a number, as shown on Diagram 1, where the White King is on e1 and the Black King on e8. Each piece, apart from the Pawn, is represented by a capital letter: K is King, Q is Queen, B is Bishop, N is Knight and R is Rook. We write down a move using:
first, the letter of the piece (unless it's a Pawn),
then, the name of the square from which it starts its move,
then, a minus sign (-), meaning 'moves to', or a times sign (x), meaning 'captures',
finally, a plus sign (+) at the end of a move for a check, or, for checkmate, either this sign: # or the word 'mate'..
For Castles King-side we write 0-0, for Castles Queen-side, 0-0-0, for a pawn promotion, d7-d8=Q, for instance, indicating that the Pawn promotes to a Queen, and for an en passant capture, e5xd6 ep, indicating that the White Pawn on e5 captured the Black Pawn which had just moved from d7 to d5.
If you're not used to this notation, play through these moves:
1. e2-e4 e7-e5
2. Ng1-f3 Nb8-c6
3. Nb1-c3 Ng8-f6
4. d2-d4 e5xd4
5. Nf3xd4 Bf8-b4
6. Nd4xc6 b7xc6
7. Bf1-d3 Bb4xc3+
8. b2xc3 0–0
You should now have reached the position in Diagram 2. If not, go back and try again until you fully understand the notation.
Some more symbols for this volume:
! means 'Good move'
!! means 'Brilliant move'
? means 'Bad move'
?? means 'Terrible move'
!? means 'Interesting move'
?! means 'Risky move'.
These are placed after the moves to which they apply (Qg6!!, Nxd5?!).
Finally, you'll notice that many of the games in this book do not end in checkmate because one player resigns. On the whole we don't encourage you to resign your games if you think you're losing. For two reasons. One, your opponent might make a mistake, for instance allowing stalemate. Two, even if he doesn't you may learn something from seeing how he beats you. You should only resign if you are certain that, if you had your opponent's position against the World Champion, you'd win every time.