Noting down a game GIPF is more complex than e.g. taking notes in chess. The main reason is the hexagonal shape of the board, which makes it possible to move pieces in six directions. On top of that, there are many cases in which (1) more than one piece changes position in a single move, (2) pieces of both colors are to be removed from the board and (3) players must decide whether or not a GIPF-piece will be taken from the board.

Below you'll find two methods of taking notes: a short way and a complete way. The short way is meant to make quick notes, e.g. during a tournament; the complete way will contain information about the moving and capturing of every single piece, including the pieces left in reserve. This is to make it easier to keep track with the notes when re-playing a game.

The board must be placed between the players in such a way that the dot marked with "E1" points at the player with the white pieces. The vertical lines on the board (i.e. the lines crossing the board from the one player to the other) are used to determine the coordinates. From the white player's point of view, they are characterized from the left to the right by the letters a, b, c, d, e, f, g, h and i.
No difference between spots (the intersections) and dots (surrounding the board) is made to determine the coordinates. Both are to be counted from White towards Black. E.g. the central e-line has 9 coordinates and the lines at the left- and right-hand side of the board have 5 coordinates. The central spot is e5.

Note sheet


The sheet shows two columns. The numbers in between these columns serve to count the moves. White starts and as a result of this, the "white moves" are to be noted down in the first column, the "black moves" in the second column.
When you don't use a printed note sheet, we advise you to write each move on a new line or to use a slash (/) to separate the moves.

A move
There's no difference between noting down a move the short way and the complete way.

1. You push a piece onto an empty spot. In this case you only note down the coordinate of the spot you occupy (= the end of the move). Since you didn't move any other piece, it is of no importance from which dot the piece was coming and therefore the coordinate of the dot must not be mentioned.

diagram 1Diagram 1
White pushed a piece onto spot e2. It makes no difference whether the pieces came from on d1, e1 or f1.

Short: e2
Complete: e2

2. You push a piece onto an occupied spot. Now you must first note down the coordinate of the dot on which you place your piece before you push it into play (= the beginning of the move), and next the coordinate of the spot occupied by the furthest piece in the row after having made the move. (= the end of the move).
(When you take short notes, it is even easier to just note down the move of the piece you introduce: note down on which dot you put the piece and next the spot you push it onto. You may prefer this manner when noting down your first games.)

diagram 2Diagram 2
White pushed a new piece on e2 and, by doing so, pushed a black and a white piece one spot further. The GIPF- pieces didn't move, thus must not be taken into the notation.

Short: e1-e4 (or e1-e2)
Complete: e1-e4

Remark: note that so far the short and complete notes are about the same. The coordinates for short notes are just a bit more easy to see than for complete notes. In fact, you can use both systems when taking short notes, but only the second system when taking complete notes. "e1-e2" may be quicker, "e1-e4" is unquestionable more clear!

Tournament rules
When playing the tournament version, players may decide for themselves how many GIPF-pieces they shall bring into play, so this also must be noted down. It's easy: each time you bring a GIPF-piece into play, you first write a "G" and next the coordinates of the move. As soon as you start playing with single pieces, you just drop the "G".
Example of notes of the beginning of a game: White starts with three GIPF-pieces, Black with five.

  White Black
1. Ge2 Gd1-f2
2. Gd2 Ge8
3. Gd1-g2 Gg1-e3
4. c1-f3 Ge1-e4
5. f7 Gf1-f4
6. c1-g3 h2
7. etc.  

Capturing basic pieces
The taking of pieces must be marked with an "x". When you have to take pieces from the board because of a move made by your opponent, you must remove them before you make your move. This means that you must note down the "x" before the notation of your move. When you create a capturing situation yourself, then you remove the pieces after having made a move and, thus, you note down the "x" after your move. The data of the capturing and the move must be separated by a semicolon.
For complete notes, you note down the coordinates of the removed pieces after the "x" and mark the opponent's pieces with a star (*).

diagram 3Diagram 3
Black just played and created a white row, so White must remove the 4 pieces on the b1-i4 line before making a move.

Short: x; next white move
Complete: c2,d3,e4,f4x; next white move

diagram 4Diagram 4

White played g1-c3 and captures…

Short: g1-c3;x (or g1-f2;x)
Complete: g1-c3;xc2,d3,e4,f4,g4*

Capturing GIPF-pieces
A GIPF-piece is always assumed to be left on the board, unless it is shown in the notation. If you decide to remove one or more GIPF-pieces (your owns or your opponent's) this must be shown in the notes. When taking short notes, you may just note down an x followed by the coordinates of the removed GIPF-pieces. When taking complete notes, you start the notation of each removed GIPF-piece with a "G" (and mark your opponent's also with a star).

diagram 5Diagram 5
White played a3-f2 and caused a capturing situation in which GIPF-pieces are involved. Let's assume that White will remove the Black GIPF-piece on g4 and his own white GIPF-piece on f4, and leave the GIPF-pieces on d3 and e4 on the board.

Short: a3-f2;xg4,f4 (or a3-b3;xg4,f4)
Complete: a3-f2;xc1,Gf4,Gg4*

Note: for more clearness you can also note down the "G" when taking short notes: a3-f2;xGf4,Gg4

Special cases
1. When taking short notes and you have to choose between two intersecting rows, you must also note down the "dots" of the line you take pieces from. Put them between brackets.

Diagram 6
White played f1-f5 and created 2 rows of 4. Let's assume that he will chose the row with the black pieces on c2 and d3.

Short: f1-f5;x(b1-i4)
(or f1-f2;x(b1-i4))

Remark: if the player would take the other row and decide to remove a GIPF-piece, then the coordinate of the GIPF-piece would be sufficient to know which of the two lines is taken, in which case there's no need to specify a line.

2. If you capture two rows, then both must be shown in the notes, separated by a semicolon.

diagram 7Diagram 7
White played f1-f7 and created 2 rows of 4, which do not intersect each other.

Short: f1-f7;x;x (or f1-f2;x;x), assuming that the GIPF-pieces are left on the board.

The reserve
When taking complete notes, you may want to add the number of pieces left in reserve at the end of each move between brackets. This is very useful when re-playing a game of GIPF.

When writing about a game of GIPF, then use a slash (/) to separate the white from the black moves. Example: 1.Ge2/Gd1-f2 2.Gd2/Ge8 3.Gd1-g2/Gg1-e3 4.c1-f3/Ge1-e4 5.f7/Gf1-f4 6.c1-g3/g1-g4 etc.
It is also possible to use the number of pieces left in the reserve (between brackets) to separate the moves. Example: 1.Ge2 (16) Gd1-f2 (16) 2.Gd2 (14) Ge8 (14) 3.Gd1-g2 (12) Gg1-e3 (12) 4.c1-f3 (11) Ge1-e4 (10) 5.f7(10) Gf1-f4 (8) 6.c1-g3 (9) g1-g4 (7) etc.

The end
When a player has no more GIPF-pieces on the board or no more basic pieces in his reserve, you note down a capital "X" in his column, at the end of the notations. Meaning: "game over" or "resignation".
When using the text format to take notes, then end with 1-0 or 0-1, depending on a win for white or for black.

This is about what you need to know about taking notes. It won't be easy to note down your first game, but maybe it will help if you keep that one cliché in mind: you only learn by doing.

The same game 3 times:
Short notes
Complete notes
Text format

You'll find plenty of games to take a look at in the GIPF-archives.

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