How to Download PGN Chess Games from Chess.com and Other Popular Platforms
How to Download PGN Chess Games
If you are a chess enthusiast, you probably want to keep track of your games and learn from them. One of the best ways to do that is to download them in PGN format, which stands for Portable Game Notation. PGN is a standard format for recording chess games in a text file that can be easily read and processed by humans and computers. In this article, you will learn what PGN is, why it is useful, how to download PGN chess games from various sources, and how to use them for learning and improvement.
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What is PGN and why is it useful?
PGN was created by Steven J. Edwards in 1994, and it has since become the most widely used format for representing chess games in a human-readable text format. PGN has several features and benefits, including the following:
PGN stands for Portable Game Notation
PGN is a simple and straightforward format that uses only ASCII characters, which means it can be easily transmitted, stored, and shared electronically. You can send a PGN file via email, upload it to a website, or share it on social media platforms.
PGN records the sequence of moves and other information in a chess game
PGN contains two main sections: the tag pairs and the movetext. The tag pairs record miscellaneous information about the game, such as the event, site, date, round, players, result, ratings, etc. The movetext records the sequence of moves played in algebraic notation, along with comments, variations, annotations, and symbols. For example, here is a sample PGN file of a famous game between Bobby Fischer and Boris Spassky in 1972:
[Event "World Chess Championship"] [Site "Reykjavik ISL"] [Date "1972.07.11"] [Round "1"] [White "Fischer, Robert James"] [Black "Spassky, Boris Vasilievich"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "B97"] [WhiteElo "2785"] [BlackElo "2660"] [PlyCount "82"] 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 The Sicilian Defense Najdorf Variation 6.Bg5 The Poisoned Pawn Variation e6 7.f4 Qb6 The most aggressive move 8.Qd2 Qxb2 Black accepts the pawn sacrifice 9.Rb1 Qa3 10.e5 dxe5 11.fxe5 Nfd7 12.Ne4 h6 13.Bh4 Qxa2 14.Rd1 Qd5 15.Qe3 Qxe5 16.Be2 Bc5 17.Bg3 Bxd4 18.Rxd4 Qa5+ 19.Rd2 O-O 20.Bd6 Re8 21.Qg3 Nc6 22.c3 f5 A brilliant move that opens up the position for Black's pieces 23.Rf1 Kh7 24.Bh5 Rg8 25.Bg6+ Kh8 26.Qh4 fxe4 Another brilliant move that sacrifices a piece for a decisive attack 27.Bf7 Nf6 The only move that saves Black from mate 28.Bxg8 Kxg8 29.Rxf6 gxf6 30.Qxf6 Qg5 The final move that forces White to resign, as he has no defense against the threats of Qe3+ and Qg1+ 31.Qf2 e3 Not necessary, but elegant 32.Qf8+ Kh7 33.Qf7+ Qg7 34.Qxg7+ Kxg7 35.Rd3 e5 36.Rxe3 Kf6 37.Rf3+ Ke6 38.Ba3 b5 39.Rf8 Bb7 40.Rh8 Rxh8 White resigns 0-1
PGN allows players to easily replicate, analyze, and share chess games
PGN files can be loaded into various chess software and websites, such as ChessBase, Fritz, Stockfish, Chess.com, Lichess.org, etc. These tools allow players to replay the moves on a virtual board, study the annotations and comments, and compare their moves with the best moves suggested by the engine. PGN files can also be shared with other players and coaches, who can provide feedback and advice. PGN files can also be used to create databases and collections of games for specific openings, players, themes, etc.
How to download PGN chess games from various sources?
There are many sources where you can find and download PGN chess games, such as online chess platforms, databases, websites, books, magazines, etc. Here are some of the most popular and easy ways to download PGN chess games from three of the most popular online chess platforms: Chess.com, Lichess.org, and Chessgames.com.
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Click the download button under any game
Whether you are playing a live or a daily game, or watching a game from the archive or the explorer, you can always find a download button under the board. It looks like a downward arrow with a line under it.
Choose whether to include analysis or timestamps
A pop-up window will appear where you can choose whether to include analysis or timestamps in your PGN file. Analysis will show the engine evaluation and best moves for each position. Timestamps will show the time spent by each player on each move. You can also choose whether to download all the games in a match or just the current one.
Download the PGN file to your device
After you make your choices, click on Download PGN and save the file to your device. You can then open it with any chess software or website that supports PGN format.
Go to the game page and click on Analysis Board
You can access any game on Lichess by clicking on its link or searching for it in the archive or the explorer. Once you are on the game page, click on Analysis Board on the right side of the screen. It looks like a magnifying glass over a chess board.
Click on Download annotated under the FEN & PGN tab
On the analysis board, you will see a tab called FEN & PGN at the bottom of the screen. Click on it and then click on Download annotated. This will download the PGN file with analysis and comments to your device.