Portable Game Notation File
4.1 | 79 Votes
What is a PGN file?
In 1993, Steven J. Edwards created the PGN format for recording chess games. The beginning of each PGN file uses tag pairs to specify game metadata, which may include:
- The event at which the game was played
- The specific tournament round in which the game was played
- The platform or program on which the game was played
- The date the game was played
- Players' colors and Elo ratings
- The game's outcome
The remainder of the file specifies the moves played in the game, using a turn-based list of moves recorded using Standard Algebraic Notation (SAN). For example, the text 2.Nf3 Nc3 notes that on the second turn of the game, the white player moved a knight to space F3, and the black player moved a knight to space C3.
Chess players and analysts use PGN files to share game recordings with each other, for historical and review purposes. Many chess programs allow players to visually play back the game a PGN file contains, so they can analyze the moves that players made.