PDN Tags

This section gives an overview of predefined PDN tags. Tags are key-value pairs between brackets, in which the value is surrounded by double quotes. More extensive documentation about most of the tags given here can be found in [PGN]. The number of predefined tags has been kept limited. It is allowed to add user defined tags. Note that a key must start with a capital.

We adopt the rule that a tag is omitted if it has no value. This deviates from [PGN], that defines an explicit no value for some tags in the form of a minus sign "-". To denote that a tag has an unknown value, in most cases a "?" value can be used. For example [Event "?"] denotes that the event of the game was unknown. Some tags have a more specific unknown value. Instead of a "?" value, it is also allowed to use the empty string "".

This section gives an overview of the predefined tags, followed by some examples and additional details about the tags.

‘Mandatory’ tags

Tag Description Unknown value
Event Name of the tournament or match event, see [Nemesis] ”?”
Site Location of the event, see [Nemesis] ”?”
Date Starting date of the game, see [Nemesis] ”????.??.??”
Round Playing round ordinal of the game, see [Nemesis] ”?”
White Player of the White pieces, see [Nemesis] ”?”
Black Player of the Black pieces, see [Nemesis] ”?”
Result Result of the game, see [Nemesis] “*”

N.B. The name mandatory tags is misleading, since these tags are not mandatory for an arbitrary PDN file. It is however recommended to include all of the mandatory tags in tournament games.

Result tag

The Result tag is used to specify whether a game ended in a win, draw or a loss. Each game type has a specific set of allowed values for the Result tag.

ResultType Allowed result values
Default 1-0, 0-1, 1/2-1/2, 0-0, *
International 2-0, 0-2, 1-1, 0-0, *

In the section GameType tag it is specified which result values belong to which game type.

The value * denotes that the game was unfinished, or there is no result available. The value 0-0 denotes that the game was declared lost for both players.

When reading a PDN document, it is recommended to accept arbitrary strings as results. Note that when the ResultFormat tag is set, the set of allowed values for the Result tag is overruled.


[Result "1/2-1/2"]

Sometimes tournaments are being played with different result values. To this end the ResultFormat tag is defined. Below a table is given for some common result formats:

ResultFormat Allowed result values
Plus draw 2-0, 0-2, 1-1, 0-0, 1+ - 1-, 1- - 1+, *
Delfts 2-0, 0-2, 1 1/2 - 1/2, 1/2 - 1 1/2, 1-1, 0-0, *
Goes 2-0, 0-2, ..., -0.98-1.02, -0.99-1.01, 1-1, 1.01-0.99, 1.02-0.98, ..., 0-0, *

When the ResultFormat tag is set, the Result tag must have a corresponding allowed value.


[ResultFormat "Plus draw"]
[Result "1+ - 1-"]

Time and date tags

Tag Description
Time Time-of-day value in “HH:MM:SS” format
UTCTime Time-of-day in Universal Coordinated Time format
UTCDate Date in Universal Coordinated Time format

Miscellaneous tags

Tag Description
Annotator Identifies the annotator or annotators of the game