The Chess Variant Pages

8x6 Soccer-football Game Notation

To date, there is no specific notation for recording soccer-football games. In fact, after a match of football, we have no idea how to review the whole game step by step as we do with the algebraic chess notation for chess games. Of course, it is always possible to videotape the game, and see the replay on a TV screen.

But this process is mostly used by the journalists and trainers, and not by the ordinary fan. For this reason, I will develop and devise the following algebraic soccer-football notation similar to the known algebraic chess notation for recording soccer games and replaying and analyzing them.

Algebraic-Soccer-Football Notation

I will divide the soccer-football field into eight rows and six columns. This gives rise to an 8x6 soccer-football chessfield which comprises 48 quadrangles; each one identified by the coordinate (x,y) where x=a,b,c,d,e,f and y=1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 see diagram below. Two teams each of 11 players (white, resp black) oppose each other on the 8x6 soccer chessfield. The initial arrangement of the players is according to the strategy adopted by each team (there are the 2-4-2, 3-4-3, 4-2-4 etc systems. Each player occupies a specific quadrangle on the soccer chessfield. For our case, we will simply consider the initial piece arrangement on the chessfield (see diagram at right).

Now, in order to devise an algebraic soccer notation, we need the following players identification: the goalkeeper (K) is as the King, the left and right defenders (D) as the Bishop, the central defender as the Queen (C), the left and right midfields (M) as the Knights, the two left and right insiders (I) as the Rooks, the left and right strikers and the central strikers as the Pawns. In other words, in both sides of the soccer-football field there are one K, two C, two D, two M, and five S. Another interpretation of the players is: K for the King, D for the Rook, C for the Queen, M for the Bishop, the left and right insiders as the Knights and the left, right and central strikers as the pawns. The reason why I consider the strikers as the pawns is because they act like the pawn of the chess game, except that in our case, they move forwards, backwards, left or right. In the chess games, we simply have 8 pawns on both sides of the chessboard.

Rules of the Soccer-Football game

The move is when a player on a specific quadrangle of the field passes the ball to one player of his team located on another quadrangle. The ball pass can be by foot, or by head, etc., except with the hands.

The capture is when a player takes a ball from an opponent player on a specific quadrangle of the chessfield, or when a ball pass is intercepted by an opponent player.

Example: Lets say that a white M on the quadrangle a3 passes the ball to his left striker located at the quadrangle e5, then we write

   Ma3 - Se5 

If a white defender D on b2 takes the ball from a black striker S on c4, we simply write

   Db2 x Sc4 

Similarly, if a black midfield M on f6 intercepts the ball from a white striker located on c4, we write

   Mf6 x Sc4

We will also adopt the following sign abbreviations for the other particular aspects of the soccer game: ! is a good ball pass (good move), !! is an excellent ball pass (excellent move), the interrogation sign (?) for a bad ball pass, a double interrogation sign (??) for a blunder ball pass, + is when there is free kick ball or a penalty in the neighborhood of the Goalkeeper. 1:0 is win, 0:1 is a loss of the game, 1:2 1:2 is a draw. When a team scores more goals against the opponent team, we say that it checkmated that team. Now, for the other aspects we will simply put them as comments under the following abbreviation Penalty pn, Hand ball hd, free kick fk, dribbling db, keeping the ball and running with it along the field is ru, head ball is he, etc... This will be left to interpretation by the specialists of the soccer games.

Now, like the chess game, the soccer game has its tactic, strategy openings, middle games and endgames. The openings are when a team (let's say white) adopts specific ball passes from the strikers to the other players of their team at the start of the soccer game.

Example: Se4 - Sd4 - Md3 - Sd5 means that at the start of the game: white striker on e4 passes the ball to his striker on d4, the latter passes the ball to his midfield on d3, and then he later passes the ball to his striker on d5 (as long as the ball stays on the feet of the players of the same team).

Remark: In the chess game, the moves are in term of respective moves of white and black pieces: example: 1.d2-d4 e7-e5 In the soccer game, the moves are in terms of passing the ball from one player to another player without considering the respective moves as in chess games. For example, if during the whole half of the soccer game the ball still remains in the feet of one team, then we write the moves accordingly without using the 1,2,3,4,5,6,etc. When the ball is on the feet on black side, then we simply write B before.

Example: W: Se4-Sd4-Md3-Sd5-Cc2-Sd6 B: Md7-Me6-Sd3-Sa1 means that white ball passes are S e3 to Sd4 then to Md3 then to Sd5 then to c2 then to Sd6, and after, the ball is switched to black, with Md7 to Me6 to Sd3 to Sa1, etc. In other words, the respective moves of white and black are in terms of keeping the ball by one team, until the other team captures or intercepts the ball and starts passing the ball, etc.

The tactic of each team is in terms of the dribbling, and the way of running and passing the ball.

The strategy of each team is the adoption of the 4-2-4, or 2-4-2, etc. systems. Finally, the position of each team during the game is in terms of the domination inside the opponent field.


With this new algebraic soccer-football chess notation, the soccer fans may in the future follow, replay and analyze soccer games -- contrary to the present and past moments, when we simply can forget many sequences of the games and have no idea how to replay the whole game, unless we have record it by a video camera during the game. Also, this new approach shows the similarity between the chess game and the soccer-football game. We can also apply this notation for the other sports games, like the basketball, Volleyball, Hockey on ice, handball, football, tennis.

Written by A. Missoum. Edited by David Howe.
WWW page created: November 6, 1997.