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Move Entry and Options

Scid uses the arrow keys and wheelmouse to move forward and back through a game. And at any time, moves can be entered using the mouse or keyboard.

Use the mouse to click on a piece, then the destination square. Alternatively one may drag the piece.

Keyboard moves are made using standard San or UCI notations. Castling is done with OO, or OK and OQ for King and Queenside respectively. For more info, see below.

Pressing Escape cancels keyboard and mouse move entry.

Replacing Moves

When you enter a move where a move already exists, Scid will ask if you want to replace the move (when the old move and all after it will be lost), or add the new move as a variation or new mainline. If one finds this annoying, it is possible to skip this dialog by unchecking the Options--> Moves--> Ask Before Replacing Moves menu option

If the same move already exists, Scid will merely move into this move. This behaviour is different when it is end-of-game. Now, Scid will automatically create a new variation. This allows one to easily add end-of-game variations.


Scid vs. PC has Undo and Redo features which store up to 20 Move, Variation, Comment or Game Information changes. The Undo and Redo commands are bound to Control-z and Control-y (when the mouse is over the main board), but they should be used carefully as these shortcuts are also the defaults for editing text windows such as the Comment Editor.

Trial Mode

Trial Mode allows one to make temporary moves and changes to a game. Pressing the Trial Mode button a second time ends Trial Mode, and reverts the game to it's original form.

Right-clicking enters Trial Mode, and automatically adds a null move. This is handy to see immediate threats with chess engines.

Game Saves, Undo and Redo are disabled in Trial Mode. When switching databases - Trial Mode automatically exits.

Correcting Mistakes

If you are entering a game and suddenly see an incorrect move several moves earlier, it is possible to correct it without losing the extra moves you have added. This is done by editing the PGN representation of the game. Open the Import window, select "Paste Current Game", correct the incorrect move, then select "Import".

Keyboard Move Entry

To enter moves from the keyboard, simply press letter and digit keys - in long or short algbraic notation - and without the capture "x" or promotion "=" symbols. Moves are matched case-insensitively, so you can type nf3 instead of Nf3, for example.

As you enter a move, the status bar will show the list of matching moves.

The notation for castling is [O][O], but Kingside and Queenside castling can also be stipulated explicitly with [O][K] and [O][Q].

Lower-case letter matches to a pawn first, so a [b] can match to a pawn or Bishop. If there is a conflict you must use a capital [B] for the Bishop move.

Coordinate Move Entry

This move option allows one to input moves in UCI notation (such as a2a4 and g1f3). This feature is enabled default, but it interferes with the Auto-Completion feature (which is off by default).


Is enabled via Options--> Moves--> Keyboard Completion. and it makes a move as soon as you have typed enough to distinguish it from any other legal move. For example, you would only need to type [n][f] instead of [n][f][3] in the starting position. This feature only works with pawn moves if Coordinate Move Entry is disabled.

Suggested Moves

The Suggested Move feature, if enabled, highlights all squares to which there is a legal move. This can be confusing at times, as is disabled by default in Scid vs. PC.

Entering Null Moves

Null Moves (or empty moves) can be useful in variations where you want to skip a move for one side. You can enter a null move with the mouse by capturing one king with the other king, or with the keyboard by typing "--" (that is, pressing the minus key twice).

Common Annotation Symbols

One may add annotation symbols (or NAGs) using the keyboard (and without the comment editor). Below are the relevant shortcuts.

Scid also uses some of these symbols for Automatic Annotations. To this end, the symbols are associated with a certain pawn value which can be set via Options-> Configure Informant Values.