Proposal to add standardized variation sequences for chess notation

Asmus Freytag asmusf at
Wed Apr 5 05:05:16 CDT 2017

On 4/5/2017 1:10 AM, Richard Wordingham wrote:
> On Mon, 3 Apr 2017 20:33:55 +0100
> Richard Wordingham <richard.wordingham at> wrote:
>> On Sun, 2 Apr 2017 10:43:39 -0700
>> Asmus Freytag <asmusf at> wrote:
>> The basic text elements in the scheme other than boundary markers will
>> be:
>> empty white square
>> empty black square
>> white square with specific piece on it
>> black square with specific piece on it.
>> If the variation selectors are ignored, these simplify to:
>> white square
>> hatched square
>> specific piece
>> This preserves all the information; the pattern of squares is known in
>> advance and therefore redundant.
> Now, Asmus's VS scheme is:
> empty white square
> empty black square
> piece with matching spacing
> piece with dark back ground and matching spacing.
Actually, I'm now leaning towards a preference for any scheme that does 
not use VS, but relies on ligatures. Such a scheme would need
a) no matching spacing for the bare pieces (the ligature with the empty 
square would result in the correct spacing)
b) no pieces with built-in dark background (pieces simply ligate with 
the empty "black" square).
> Now, what happens to the two scheme if rendered with yellow text
> ('foreground') on a blue background?

According to Michael, the effect should be that of lead typography.

This would mean that the entire ligature has the same ink color, and all 
parts that are not "ink" are the background color (paper color).

Unlike lead typography, the ink can be perfectly opaque, allowing a 
lighter color to show on a dark background. Or the opacity of the 
foreground can be selected to an intermediate level, allowing the ink to 
look greenish in your example.
> I believe the 'empty black square' will have yellow hatching on a blue
> back ground.
> Will the empty white square be white or blue?
> Will the 'piece with matching spacing' have a white background around
> the depiction of the piece, or a blue background?  What of a 'white
> square with a specific piece on it'?
> A piece with a *white* background is different to a piece that is
> merely an outline, whether filled or not.
Unless you select an 'emoji_presentation' you do not get two-toned 
glyphs, therefore "white" is always the same as "transparent". This is 
true for anything in plain text, not just game pieces.

If you want to have the dark squares have a blue background, but not the 
white squares, then you need to use markup to set the alternate 
background colors.

(The results with a VS based system are not really different, because I 
imagine, the actual glyph repertoire is identical in all alternatives 
discussed so far - relying solely on ligatures has the benefit of not 
involving the UTC at all, therefore it could be implemented today 
without delay).

> Richard.

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