In chess, algebraic notation is the standard for recording games and Portable Game Notation (PGN) is a format for importing games (notation plus metadata) into chess software or even forums.

The Go books I read never use notation, only diagrams where moves are numbered. I played a few games against the Go software Cosumi. After a game, it allows me to replay (using a slider) and generates notation like this:

(;GM[1]FF[4]PB[COSUMI]PW[You]SZ[19]KM[6.5]RE[B+92.5] ;B[pd];W[dd];B[qq];W[dp];B[fc];W[ec];B[fd];W[ee];B[gf];W[fe] ;B[ge];W[ff];B[gh];W[fg];B[fq];W[gg];B[hg];W[ej];B[cf];W[dg] ;B[bd];W[ce];B[be];W[df];B[cd];W[de];B[iq];W[cg];B[db];W[dc] ;B[cc];W[eb];B[lq];W[bf];B[cb];W[em];B[ie];W[hh];B[hi];W[ih] ;B[gj];W[fh];B[gi];W[ii];B[ig];W[ij];B[gl];W[hk];B[gk];W[hn] ;B[fb];W[ea];B[fa];W[gm];B[mf];W[fm];B[mn];W[jl];B[pm];W[kn] ;B[oi];W[lh];B[kg];W[jh];B[nh];W[jg];B[jf];W[kh];B[ok];W[ml] ;B[dq];W[ep];B[cq];W[eq];B[er];W[cp];B[bq];W[bp];B[lg];W[mi] ;B[ap];W[ao];B[aq];W[bo];B[fp];W[fo];B[go];W[ho];B[gp];W[fn] ;B[nm];W[hp];B[hq];W[kp];B[kq];W[jp];B[mk];W[mj];B[lk];W[ll] ;B[nl];W[jq];B[jr];W[kk];B[lj];W[nj];B[oj];W[nk];B[mh];W[li] ;B[lp];W[lo];B[mo];W[mm];B[ln];W[ko];B[lm];W[kj];B[km];W[jm] ;B[ip];W[io];B[af];W[ag];B[ae];W[bg];B[da];W[jn];B[bb];W[ac] ;B[ni];W[kl];B[ga];W[gn];B[gr];W[ed];B[];W[])

Is this a Go standard similar to PGN? What websites and software can I import this into to generate diagrams for the whole game? I am hoping to analyse the games afterwards and post them on Go forums for stronger players to give advice.

2 Answers 2


That format is called SGF (Smart Game Format). Pretty much all Go software can read it. Eidogo lets you work with it in your browser.


In addition to TimK answer:

A good software to get diagrams out of it is Drago :

  • It has good editing capabilities (you can easily "cut" a variation branch, or move it around, etc) and is able to handle several formats in addition to SGF
  • It also has very good Diagram printing (& exporting) capabilities
  • It is also great (and fast) to record a game without depending on an Internet connection [I sometimes do that, and I am first recording in Drago, and then I report the moves when the pace slows down on KGS/other online servers, so that I can follow the pace and also I can rely on the Drago version if I get disconnected].
  • And I'm sure it has other qualities as well (I just use the above myself)

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