Proposal to add standardized variation sequences for chess notation

Garth Wallace via Unicode unicode at
Tue Apr 11 22:14:51 CDT 2017

On Tue, Apr 11, 2017 at 6:04 AM, Kent Karlsson via Unicode <
unicode at> wrote:

> Den 2017-04-10 12:19, skrev "Michael Everson" <everson at>:
> > I donšt want to get mixed up in using the box-drawing
> > characters. The characters which I have chosen work fine and to my mind
> suit
> > the application better.
> They "work" (of course), no font renderer or font editor is "smart" enough
> to "see" that you are going quite a bit (in my judgement) outside of the
> acceptable glyph variability for the characters you (so far) opted for
> for chess box drawing. (Other relevant, and non-glyph, properties being
> the same between the box drawing and block chars.)
> That the "block characters" are pure crap (which they are), does not
> mean that you can co-opt them for (slightly) "variant" box drawing.
> > I also donšt want to complicate chess fonts by having to have multiple
> choices
> > within a font for bordering. For one thing, single-rule and double-rule
> > bordering is by no means the gamut of possibility.
> You are not wanting "emoji" style borders, I'm sure. But some slight
> "ornate" style would be fine for the "box drawing" chars (even without
> variation selectors). The "single" should still be single, though,
> and the "double" be double. So triple (etc.) is out.

One salient feature the Block Elements have that the Box Drawing characters
do not: distinct LEFT and RIGHT verticals, and LOWER and UPPER horizontals.
The double frame typically consists of a thin line and a thicker line, with
one on the inside and one on the outside, so left and right verticals are
not interchangeable. Even when a single frame is used, it is important for
spacing, since the frame should be flush against the board.

I think single/double line border should be a decision by the "author"/
> "editor", and not the font maker. Imagine accompanying text saying
> "the double bordered one is <something>".

I'm not aware of any usage like this, and while it's not impossible it
doesn't seem likely since there are more common (and reliable) ways of
referring to specific diagrams, such as numbering. In my experience the
choice of single or double lined frames is a matter of style.

The presence or lack of frame elements, however, can be semantic. It is
common for "vertical cylinder" boards in fairy chess, for example, to lack
the left and right frame elements to show that there is no barrier there
(the first and last files are treated as adjacent). Likewise, the (less
common) "horizontal cylinder" lacks top and bottom frame elements, and the
"anchor ring" (torus) lacks any frame at all.

B.t.w., I see you don't have 1-8, a-h labels on the boards... It might be
> worth mentioning that FULLWIDTH a-h should work fine as labels (them being
> em-wide).

That would work. I'm not sure it's necessary to mention. A great many
diagrams are not labeled at all.
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