Fairy chess piece

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A fairy chess piece, variant chess piece, unorthodox chess piece, or heterodox chess piece is a chess piece not used in conventional chess but incorporated into certain chess variants and some chess problems. Fairy pieces vary in the way they move. Because of the distributed and uncoordinated nature of unorthodox chess development, the same piece can have different names, and different pieces the same name in various contexts. Almost all are usually symbolised as inverted or rotated icons of the standard pieces in diagrams, and the meanings of these "wildcards" must be defined in each context separately. Pieces invented for use in chess variants rather than problems sometimes instead have special icons designed for them, but with some exceptions (the princess, empress, and occasionally amazon), many of these are not used beyond the individual games they were invented for.[1]

Background[edit]

Fragment of a chessboard and chess pieces from the 17th century. This may once have been a "standard" form of chess in a particular area.

Today's chess exists because of variations someone made to the rules of an earlier version of the game. The queen we use today was once able to move only a single square in a diagonal direction, a ferz. Today, this piece still starts next to the king, but has gained new movement and became today's queen. Thus, the ferz is now considered a non-standard chess piece. Chess enthusiasts still often like to try variations of the rules and in the way pieces move. Pieces which move differently from today's standard rules are called "variant" or "fairy" chess pieces.[2]

Classification[edit]

Fairy chess pieces usually fall into one of three classes, although some are hybrids. Compound pieces combine the movement powers of two or more different pieces.

Movement type[edit]

All orthodox chessmen except the pawn are either leapers or riders, although the rook does 'hop' over its own king when it castles.

Leapers[edit]

(m,n)-leapers
m
n
0 1 2 3
3 Threeleaper
(H)
Camel
(L)
Zebra
(J)
Tripper
(G)
2 Dabbaba
(D)
Knight
(N)
Alfil
(A)
Zebra
(J)
1 Wazir
(W)
Ferz
(F)
Knight
(N)
Camel
(L)
0 Zero
(O)
Wazir
(W)
Dabbaba
(D)
Threeleaper
(H)
(Piece names in this table are not universally recognized for all games).

An (m,n)-leaper is a piece that moves by a fixed type of vector between its starting and destination squares. One of the coordinates of the vector 'start square – arrival square' must have an absolute value m and the other one an absolute value n. A leaper captures by occupying the square on which an enemy piece sits. For instance, the knight is the (1,2)-leaper.[3] It is convenient to classify all fixed-distance moves as leaps, including moves to adjacent squares, because this allows all normal moves to be placed in two categories (leapers and riders) without the need to create a third category for the king and pawn.

The leaper's move cannot be blocked; it "leaps" over any intervening pieces. Leapers are not able to create pins, but are effective forking pieces. The check of a leaper cannot be parried by interposing.

In shatranj, a Persian forerunner to chess, the predecessors of the bishop and queen were leapers: the alfil is a (2,2)-leaper (moving two squares diagonally in any direction), and the ferz a (1,1)-leaper (moving one square diagonally in any direction).[4] The wazir is a (1,0)-leaper (an "orthogonal" one-square leaper). The king of standard chess combines the ferz and wazir. The dabbaba is a (2,0)-leaper. The alibaba combines the dabbaba and alfil, while the squirrel can move to any square 2 units away (combining the knight and alibaba).

The 'level-3' leapers are the threeleaper (0,3), camel (1,3), zebra (2,3), and tripper (3,3). The giraffe is a level-4 leaper (1,4). An amphibian is a combined leaper with a larger range than any of its components, such as the frog, a (1,1)-(0,3)-leaper.[citation needed]

Riders[edit]

A rider is a piece that moves an unlimited distance in one direction, provided there are no pieces in the way. There are three riders in orthodox chess: the rook is a (1,0)-rider; the bishop is a (1,1)-rider; and the queen combines both patterns. Sliders are a special case of riders which can only move between geometrically contiguous cells. All of the riders in orthodox chess are examples of sliders. Riders and sliders can create both pins and skewers. One popular fairy chess rider is the nightrider, which can make an unlimited number of knight moves in any direction (like other riders, it cannot change direction partway through its move). The names of riders are often obtained by taking the name of its base leaper and adding the suffix "rider". For example, the zebrarider is a (2,3)-rider.

Hoppers[edit]

A hopper is a piece that moves by jumping over another piece (called a hurdle). The hurdle can be any piece of any color. Unless it can jump over a piece, a hopper cannot move. Note that hoppers generally capture by taking the piece on the destination square, not by taking the hurdle (as is the case in checkers). The exceptions are locusts which are pieces that capture by hopping over its victim. They are sometimes considered a type of hopper. There are no hoppers in Western chess. In xiangqi, the cannon captures as a hopper (when not capturing, it is a (1,0)-rider which cannot jump). The most popular hopper in fairy chess is the grasshopper, which moves along the same lines as a queen, hopping over another piece and landing on the square immediately beyond it.

Compound pieces[edit]

Compound pieces combine the powers of two or more pieces. The archbishop, chancellor, and amazon are three popular compound pieces, combining the powers of minor orthodox chess pieces.

When one of the combined pieces is a knight, the compound may be called a knighted piece. The archbishop, chancellor, and amazon are the knighted bishop, knighted rook, and knighted queen respectively. When one of the combined pieces is a king, the compound may be called a crowned piece. The crowned knight combines the knight with the king's moves. The dragon king of shogi is a crowned rook (rook + king).

Marine pieces are a compound pieces consisting of a rider (for ordinary moves) and a locust (for captures) in the same directions. Marine pieces have names alluding to the sea and its myths, e.g., nereide (marine bishop), mermaid (marine queen), or poseidon (marine king).

Games[edit]

Red/black elephants
Red/black cannons
Xiangqi game piece disks
Keima
(the knight)
Hisha
(the rook)
Shogi game pieces

Some classes of pieces come from a certain game, and will have common characteristics. Examples are the pieces from xiangqi, a Chinese game similar to chess. The most common are the leo, pao and vao (derived from the Chinese cannon) and the mao (derived from the horse). Those derived from the cannon are distinguished by moving as a hopper when capturing, but otherwise moving as a rider.

Pieces from xiangqi are usually circular disks, labeled or engraved with a Chinese character identifying the piece. Pieces from shogi (Japanese chess) are usually wedge-shaped chips, with kanji characters identifying the piece.

Special attributes[edit]

Fairy pieces vary in the way they move, but some may also have other special characteristics or powers. The joker (in one of its definitions) mimics the last move made by the opponent. So for example, if white moves a bishop, black can follow by moving the joker as a bishop.

A royal piece is one which must not be allowed to be captured. If a royal piece is threatened with capture and cannot avoid capture the next move, then the game is lost (a generalization of checkmate). In orthodox chess, the kings are royal. In fairy chess any other piece may instead be royal, and there may be more than one, or none at all (in which case the winning condition must be some other goal, such as capturing all of the opponent's pieces). With multiple royal pieces the game can be won by capturing one of them (absolute royalty), or capturing all of them (extinction royalty). The rules can also impose a limit to the number of royals that are allowed to be left in check. In Spartan chess black has two kings, and they both cannot be left in check even though they both cannot be captured in one turn.

Notable examples[edit]

The following table shows game pieces of unorthodox chess, from fairy chess problems and chess variants (including historical and regional ones), and the six orthodox chess pieces. The columns "Parlett" and "Betza" contain the notation describing how each piece moves. The notation systems are explained in the last sections of this article.


ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWX, Y, Z

Name Parlett Betza Found in Notes
A
Aanca t[FR] Grant Acedrex (Alfonso X, 1283) See "Gryphon". Spanish Gryphon or Elephant Bird
Advisor 1X F Xiangqi (Chinese chess) Chinese Queen. Ferz that can't leave the palace (3×3 zone at the center of South and North sides). Originally 士 shì (Black Advisor) and 仕 shì (Red Advisor) in Chinese. Also known as Counsellor, Mandarin, Guard, Officer and, ambiguously, Minister.
Alfil ~ 2X A = (2,2) Chaturanga (Indian chess), Shatranj (Persian chess) Elephant in Shatranj. A (2,2)-leaper. Originally Fil in Persian. Also called Gaja, Hasty, and Pil (Shatranj). Alternate notation: ~ 2/2
Alfilrider n(~ 2X) (in same direction) AA Fairy Chess Problems A rider which moves any number of (2,2) cells (i.e., alfil moves) in the same direction in a straight line.
Alibaba ~ 2* AD Fairy Chess Problems Combines the powers of alfil and dabbaba
Amazon n*, ~ 1/2 QN Knightmare Chess, Musketeerchess, Waterloo, Wolf Chess[5] Combines the powers of queen and knight. Also called Dragon (Musketeerchess), Elephant (Wolf Chess), Queen (Waterloo), and Superqueen.
Andernach grasshopper Andernach chess A Grasshopper that changes the colour of the hurdle it leaps over.
Antelope ~ 3/4 (3,4) Fairy Chess Problems Jumps three squares diagonally followed by one square orthogonally outwards.
Anti-King 1* (captures friendly, not enemy pieces) K (captures friendly, not enemy pieces) This piece is in check when not attacked. If a player's anti-king is in check and unable to move to a square attacked by the opponent, the player is checkmated. A king may not attack the opponent's anti-king. The anti-king may not check its own king.
Archbishop nX, ~ 1/2 BN Amsterdam Medieval Chess, Capablanca chess, Janus chess, Quintessential Chess[6] Combines the powers of bishop and knight. Also called Princess, Cardinal, or Janus (Janus Chess).
Archbishop (Fox-Dawson) nX (bounce one edge) B (bounce one edge) Fairy Chess Problems Reflecting Bishop limited to a single bounce.
Archchancellor n+, ~ 1/2, 1X RNF Teutonic Knight's Chess (J. Knappen, 2009)[7] Crowned Chancellor: Combination of empress and ferz. Originally Erzkanzler in German.
Arrow Pawn (Persson) o2+, c1X mR2cF Arrow Pawn Chess (R. Persson variant, 1938) Moves orthogonally one or two squares and captures diagonally one square. (compare with Fusilier).
Assassin Stealth chess
B
B4nD 1-4X, 2+ B4nD Chess with different armies (R. Betza, 1979)
Barc ~ 2/1> (wide), ~ 1/2< (narrow) fsNbbN Wide/Narrow-Hunter: moves forward as a wide knight, and backward as a narrow knight
Basilisk (Dragonchess) o1*>, c1*> mfFfbWcfK Dragonchess (3D, 1985) Bound to lower board. 3D movement: Can freeze any opposing piece on the cell directly above it automatically until the basilisk moves away or is captured.
Bede nX, ~ 2+ BD Chess with different armies (R. Betza, 1979) Combination of bishop and dabbaba.
Berolina Pawn o1X>, c1>, io2X> mfFcfWimfF2 Berolina chess Moves one square diagonally forward (except on its first move, when it may move two), but captures by moving one square straight forward. Compare with pawn.
Berolina Plus Pawn o1X>, c1>=, io2X> mfFcsfWimfF2 Berolina Plus chess Berolina pawn which can also capture one step orthogonally to the side.
Bion pB Fairy Chess Problems Lion confined to bishop lines. Also known as Bishlion and Bishop-lion-hopper.
Bishight nX>, ~ 1/2< fBbN Chess with different armies (R. Betza, 1979) Bishop/Knight-hunter: moves forward as a bishop, and backward as a knight.
Bishop nX B = FF Grande Acedrex (Alfonso X, 1283), Orthodox chess Moves any number of free squares diagonally. Also called Cocatriz (grande acedrex, Spanish: Cockatrice), or Ferz-rider.
Bishopper ^nX gB Fairy Chess Problems Grasshopper confined to bishop lines. Also known as Bishop-hopper.
Bison ~ 1/3, ~ 2/3 LJ Fairy Chess Problems Combination of camel and zebra.
Blind Dog 1<=, 1X> sbWfF Wa shogi and Taikyoku shogi variants Combination of flying cock and backslider. Also known as Yen.
Blind Monkey 1=, 1X FsW Dai dai shogi and other large Shōgi variants Combination of drunk and ferz. Also known as Drunken Ferz and Diabolo.
Blind Tiger 1X, 1<= FsbW Chu shogi and other large Shōgi variants Combination of ferz and drunken backslider, or drunk and old monkey. Moves one square in any direction except orthogonally forward.
Boat ~ 2X A = (2,2) Chaturaji (4 player Indian chess, 11th century) See "Alfil". (And in India, Russia and southeast Asia the rook is sometimes called "boat".)
Boyscout zB Fairy Chess Problems Moves like a bishop, but takes 90 degree turns after each step. Invented by J. de A. Almay in the first half of the 20th century. Also called Crooked Bishop (Ralph Betza).
C
Caliph nX, ~ 1/3 BL Ecumenical Chess (Charles Gilman, 2003) Combination of bishop and camel.
Camel ~ 1/3 C = L = (1,3) Tamerlane Chess (1336–1405), Wildebeest Chess Old historic piece. Jumps 2 squares orthogonally followed by one square diagonally outwards. Also called Jamal (Persian Camel).
Cannon mRcpR Xiangqi, Shako (1990), Metamachy (2012) See "Pao" (Chinese Cannon). Compare with "Korean Cannon", Originally 砲 pào (Black Catapult) and 炮 pào (Red Cannon)
Canvasser n+, ~ 1/3 RL Ecumenical Chess (Charles Gilman, 2003) Combination of rook and camel.
Capricorn 2000 A.D. (chess variant) Captures by charging (moving to a vacant square orthogonally or diagonally adjacent to) an enemy piece.
Cavalier t[WB]t[BW] Mideast Chess (California, 1971) Combination of aanca and gryphon
Centaur ~ 1/2, 1* NK Fairy Chess Problems Combination of knight and mann. Also known as Crowned Knight.
Centurion ~ 0/2, ~ 1/2, ~ 2/2 NAD Archchess (Francesco Piacenza, 1683), Quintessential Chess (J. Knappen, 2002)[6] See "Squirrel"
Champion 1+, ~ 2* WAD Omega Chess Combines the powers of the wazir and the alibaba.
Chancellor n+, ~ 1/2 RN Chancellor Chess (Ben Foster, 1887), Capablanca chess (1920), Chess on an Infinite Plane[8] (2017), Etchessera (2017)[9] Combines the powers of the rook and knight. Also called Empress, Marshall, or Marshal.
Charging Knight (~ 1/2)>, 1*< fhNsbK Chess with different armies (R. Betza, 1979) Moves forward as a knight, or backwards as a king. Also known as forfnibakking (from Betza notation fhNrlbK)
Charging Rook n>=, 1*< fsRsbK Chess with different armies (R. Betza, 1979) Moves as a rook forwards and sideways, or as a king backwards. Also known as furlrurlbakking (from Betza notation frlRrlbK)
Chariot n+ R = WW Chaturanga (Indian chess), Xiangqi (Chinese chess) Moves as rook. In Xiangqi originally 車 jū (Black Chariot) and 俥 jū (Red Chariot).
Checker cn(^2X>), o1X> Checkers (Draughts) Moves forward one diagonal square without capturing, or captures by jumping diagonally over an opponent's piece. Promotes to checker king after it reaches the far rank. Also called Draughts Man.
Checker King cn(^2X), o1X Checkers (Draughts) Promoted checker that can move diagonally backward. Also called Draughts King.
Chinese Pawn Xiangqi (Chinese chess) See "Soldier", or "Drunken Soldier" (after crossing the river, center line of the board). Originally (Black Private) and Bīng (Red Soldier) in Chinese.
Cleric Dragonchess (3D, 1985) See "King". 3D movement: Can move or capture to the square directly above or below it.
Cloud Eagle n<>, 1*, 3X> fbRKfB3 Wa shogi and other large Shōgi variants Combination of flying stag and a forward bishop limited to 3 squares
Colonel n>, n=, 2/1>, 1* KfsRfhN Chess with different armies (R. Betza, 1979) Combination of charging knight and charging rook: moves forward as knight or rook, sideways as rook, or backwards as king.
Commoner 1* WF Chess with different armies (R. Betza, 1979) See "Guard" or "Mann"
Congo Pawn 1*>, o1< (past the river), o2< (past the river) fWfF (fWfFmbR2 past the river) Congo Iron general that can also move (but not capture) one or two steps straight backward without jumping when past the river. It promotes to congo superpawn (on last rank).
Congo Superpawn 1*>=, o1<, o2<, o1X<, o2X< sfWfFmbQ2 Congo Congo pawn that can move and capture one step straight sideways, and move (but not capture) one or two steps straight or diagonally backward without jumping.
Coordinator Ultima Captures any opposing piece that is on either of the two squares found at a) the intersection of its own file and the king's rank, and b) the intersection of the king's file and its own rank.
Copper General 1*>, 1< fFfbW Chu shogi, Taikyoku shogi, Wa shogi, and other large Shōgi variants Combination of iron general and backslider: moves one square in any direction forward or one square straight backward. Also known as Climbing Monkey, Flying Goose, or Yale.
Counsellor Xiangqi (Chinese chess) See "Advisor" ("Ferz"). Also spelled Councellor.
Courier Courier Chess (12th century) See "Bishop"
Crab ~ 1/2> (narrow), ~ 2/1< (wide) ffNbsN Chess with different armies (R. Betza, 1979) Narrow/Wide Knight-Hunter: Moves forward as a narrow knight, and backward as a wide knight.
Crocodile 1*, n>; n=; n< (see notes) Congo (1982) It's a mann (anywhere), a file-restricted rook towards the river (outside the river), or a rank-restricted rook (inside the river)
Crown Princess nX, ~ 1/2, 1+ BNW Teutonic Knight's Chess (J. Knappen, 2009)[7] Combination of princess and wazir. Originally Kronprinzessin in German.
D
Dabbaba ~ 2+ D = (0,2) Chaturanga (Indian chess) (al-Adli, c. 840), Tamerlane Chess (1336–1405) Old historic piece, also known as War machine. The Arabic word dabbāba formerly meant a type of medieval siege engine, and nowadays means "army tank". Alternate notation: ~ 0/2
Dabbabarider n(~ 2+) (in same direction) DD Fairy Chess Problems A rider which moves any number of (0,2) squares (i.e., dabbaba moves) in the same direction.
Debtor vDsN Knavish Chess (Charles Gilman, 2011)[10] A six-directional piece, moving sidewards as a knight and forwards and backwards as a dabbaba. Also see Knave.
Dog 1>, 1X< fWbF Taikyoku shogi, Tenjiku shogi, Wa shogi and other large Shōgi variants Moves one square directly forward (as wazir), or diagonally backward (as a ferz). Also called Strutting Crow (Taikyoku shogi and Wa shogi), Swooping Owl, or Wazir/Ferz-Hunter.
Donkey 1=, ~ 2<> sWfbD Maka dai dai shogi and other large Shōgi variants Jumps 1 square sideways, or 2 squares forwards and backwards.
Dragon o1>, c1X>, io2>, ~ 1/2 NmfWcfFimfW2 Fairy Chess Problems Combination of knight and pawn.
Dragon (Dragonchess) Dragonchess (3D, 1985) See "Dragon Horse" (bound to upper board). 3D movement: Can capture remotely (without leaving level) one cell below it or like a wazir pattern.
Dragon Horse nX, 1+ BW Shōgi, Quintessential Chess (J. Knappen, 2002)[6] Combination of bishop and wazir. Also known as Crowned Bishop.
Dragon King n+, 1X RF The Duke of Rutland's Chess (J. Manners, 1747),[11] Shōgi Combination of rook and ferz. Also called Crowned Rook.
Drunk Elephant 1X, 1>= FsfW Sho shogi, Tori shogi, Wa shogi, and other large Shōgi variants Moves one square in any adjacent direction except orthogonally backward. Called Falcon in Tori Shogi, or Roaming Boar in Wa shogi.
Drunken Soldier 1>= sfW Janggi (Korean chess), Xiangqi (Chinese chess) Moves 1 square forward or sideways. Same as Korean Pawn in Janggi.
Dummy A piece with no moves at all. It may gain temporarily moving ability by relay, or pushed or pulled by other specific pieces.
Dwarf o1>= c1X> msfW cfF Dragonchess (3D, 1985) Pawn that can move without capture one cell laterally (no initial double step), 3D movement: Can capture to the cell directly above it.
E
Eagle nX>, n<, 1*, 2X< fBbRWbB2 Tori shogi and other large Shōgi variants Combination of bishop/rook-hunter (falcon), king (or japanese falcon, or wazir), and a backward bishop restricted to 2 squares
Edgehog n* (edges) Q (edges) Edgehog Chess I (John Driver, 1966) & III (P. Aronson, 2001)[12] A queen that can move only to or from the edge of the board.
Edgehog (Limited) n* (see notes) Q (see notes) Edgehog Chess II (John Driver, 1966) & III (P. Aronson, 2001)[12] Moves as a queen, but if on an edge, must move to non-edge, and if on non-edge must move to edge.
Elemental Dragonchess (3D, 1985) Moves like non-leaping king+dabbaba, captures like non-leaping wazir+dabbaba; on lower board. 3D movement: Can move or capture on any non-leaping wazir pattern above or below.
Elephant (Chinese) 2X nA Dai shogi, Shōgi, Xiangqi Chinese Alfil. A (2,2)-leaper but cannot jump over an intervening piece. In xianqi the elephant is restricted to its half of the board. Originally 象 xiàng (Black Elephant) and 相 xiàng (Red Minister). Called Flying Dragon in dai shogi and shogi.
Elephant (Indian) 1X, 1> FfW Chaturanga (Indian chess) (Biruni, c. 1030) See "Khon".
Elephant (Korean) 2/3 nJ Janggi (Korean chess) Non-leaping zebra.
Elephant (Modern)[citation needed] 1X, ~ 2X FA Shako (1990), Metamachy (2012) Combination of ferz and alfil (Persian Elephant). Also called Falafel (R. Betza), Ferfil (G.P. Jelliss), or Ferz Alfil.
Elephant (Wilpert) QNN Wolf Chess (1943)[13] Originally Elefant(en) in German.
Empress n+, ~ 1/2 RN Carrera's Chess (Carrera, 1617), Tutti-Frutti Chess (Betza & Cohen), Wolf Chess (1943)[13] Combines the powers of the rook and knight. Also called Champion (Carrera's Chess), Chancellor, Concubine (The Duke of Rutland's Chess, J. Manners, 1747),[11] Marshall, Marshal, or Wolf (Wolf Chess).
Evil Wolf 1>=, 1X> sfK Dai shogi and other large Shōgi variants, Jetan (Burroughs' Martian chess)

Moves as a king but without any backwards movement. Also known as Jetan Pawn (Jetan), Pikeman, or Drunken Pawn.

F
FAD 1X, ~ 2* FAD Chess with different armies (R. Betza, 1979) Combines the powers of the ferz and the alibaba.
Falcon nX>, n< fBbR Falcon-Hunter Chess Moves forward as a bishop, and backward as a rook. Also known as Bishop/Rook-Hunter, and Free tile in Maka dai dai shogi and Tai shogi.
Ferocious Leopard 1X, 1<> FfbW Chu shogi and other large Shōgi variants Moves one square in any adjacent direction except orthogonally sideways. Also known as Crane (Tori shogi) and Horrible Panther.
Ferz 1X F = (1,1) Archchess (Francesco Piacenza, 1683), Chaturanga, Martian chess, Shatranj, Tamerlane Chess (1336–1405) Moves one square diagonally in any direction. Usually spelled Fers by problemists, and Ferz in chess variants. Also called Cat Sword (Dai shogi), Decurion (Archchess), Martian Pawn (Martian Chess), Minister, and Persian Queen.
Fibnif ~ 1/2 (narrow), 1X fbNF Chess with different armies (R. Betza, 1979) Combination of narrow knight and ferz
Flamingo ~ 1/6 (1,6) Fairy Chess Problems Makes a long (1,6) jump.
Flying Cock 1=, 1X> sWfF Wa shogi and Taikyoku shogi Moves 1 square diagonally forward, or 1 square sideways. Also known as Sidewinder.
Flying Falcon nX, 1> BfW Wa shogi and Taikyoku shogi Bishop that can step one square forward.
Flying Horse 1+, 2X> WnfA Dai dai shogi and other large Shōgi variants Combination of wazir and wood general.
Flying Ox nX, n<> fbRB Chu shogi and other large Shōgi variants Combination of bishop and reverse chariot
Flying Stag n<>, 1* fbRK Chu shogi and other large Shōgi variants Combination of reverse chariot and mann
Fool 1+ W = (0,1) Courier Chess (12th century) Moves one square orthogonally in any direction (see Wazir). Also called Schleich, Jester, Joker, Spy, Smuggler, or Sneak.
Forequeen n*>=, ~ 1/2<, 1*< fsQbhNbK Chess with different armies (R. Betza, 1979) Moves as queen forward or sideways, or as king or knight backwards.
Forfer 1X, 1-4+ FR4 Chess with different armies (R. Betza, 1979) Combination of ferz and short rook; or dragon king (ferz+rook) limited up to 4 squares.
Free Bear nX, n= ~ 2X> sRBfA Dai dai shogi and other large Shōgi variants Combination of free boar and forward-restricted alfil.
Free Boar nX, n= sRB Chu shogi and other large Shōgi variants Combination of bishop and rook restricted to sideways directions.
Friend Fairy Chess Problems Moves like any friendly piece that is guarding it. Compare with orphan.
G
General 1+, "flying general": cn> (against enemy general) kW, "flying general": cfR (against enemy general) Xiangqi (Chinese chess) Chinese King. Royal Wazir that can't leave the palace (3×3 zone at the center of South and North sides), except for executing the flying general move: a capturing forward rook against the enemy general that is used to force checkmate. Originally 將 jiàng (Black General) and 帥 shuài (Red General) in Chinese. Also called Governor in Xiangqi.
Giraffe ~ 1/4 (1,4) Grant Acedrex (Alfonso X, 1283) (H.J.R. Murray, 1913), Tamerlane Chess (1336–1405) Old historic piece. Originally Zaraffa (giraffe) in ancient Spanish.
Giraffe (Congo) ~ 2*, o1* ADmK Congo (1982) Alibaba that moves but does not capture as a king. Compare with Pasha
Gnu ~ 1/2, ~ 1/3 NL Wildebeest Chess (R.W. Schmittberger, 1987) Combination of knight and camel. Called Wildebeest in Wildebeest Chess.
Go-Between 1<> fbW Dai shogi and other large Shōgi variants Combination of soldier and backslider: moves one square forward or backward. Also known as Adjutant.
Golden Bird fbRlrW2F3 Taikyoku shogi and other large Shōgi variants In taikyoku shogi it slides and jumps the first 3 squares along the forward diagonals.
Gold General 1+, 1X> WfF Shōgi, Taikyoku shogi, Wa shogi Moves one square orthogonally, or one square diagonally forward. Also called Golden Bird, Gold General, or Violent Wolf (Taikyoku shogi and Wa shogi).
Goose ~ 2X>, ~ 2< fAbD Tori shogi Alfil/Dabbaba-Hunter (moves forward as alfil, backward as dabbaba).
Grasshopper ^n* gQ Fairy Chess Problems A hopper which moves along the same lines as queen and lands on the square immediately beyond the hurdle. One of the most popular fairy pieces. Also known as Queen-hopper.
Griffin (Dragonchess) Dragonchess (3D, 1985) See "Zebra" (on upper board). 3D movement: Can move or capture one jump triagonally (ferz pattern) below or above.
Gryphon t[FR] Grande Acedrex (Alfonso X, 1283), Metamachy (Jean-Louis Cazaux, 2012) Originally Aanca in ancient Spanish. Moves one square diagonally followed by moving any number of spaces like a rook outwards (moving away from where it started). Also known as Elephant Bird or Eagle (Metamachy).
Guard 1* WF (=K) Amsterdam Medieval Chess, Chess on an Infinite Plane,[14] Pacific Chess, Waterloo Chess Moves as king but is not royal. Also called Mann, Commoner, Prince, or Spy (Waterloo Chess).
Guard (Etchessera) Etchessera[9] When the King moves, the Guard follows the King by moving to its last occupied square. The Guard otherwise cannot move.
H
Half-Duck 1X, ~ 2+, ~ 3+ HFD Chess with different armies (R. Betza, 1979) Combination of kirin and threeleaper.
Hawk ~ 2/2, ~ 3/3, ~ 0/2, ~ 0/3 (2,2)(3,3)(0,2)(0,3) = AGDH Chess on an Infinite Plane,[14] Musketeer Chess Jumps two or three squares in any orthogonal or diagonal direction.
Heavenly Horse ffbbN Wa shogi Occurs in Taikyoku shogi with a different move.
Hero (Dragonchess) Dragonchess (3D, 1985) See "Modern Elephant" (on middle board). 3D movement: Can move or capture one cell triagonally (ferz pattern) below or above.
Hia 2* (hia power) Q2 (hia power) Hiashatar (Mongolian decimal chess) Mongolian Bodyguard. Moves like a queen but only one or two squares. Special power: any sliding piece must stop if it moves within a king's move from the hia.
Hiashatar Pawn o1>, c1X>, io3> mfWcfFimfW3 Hiashatar (Mongolian decimal chess) Mongolian Pawn. Orthodox pawn with a triple step on first move.
Horned Falcon nX, n<=, 1>, ~ 2+> BsbRfWfD or BrlbRdhfWfD Chu shogi and other large Shōgi variants Moves as a bishop, as a rook (except forward), or as a lion up to 2 squares orthogonally forward.
Horse Xiangqi (Chinese chess) See "Mao". Originally 馬 mǎ (Black Horse) and 傌 mà (Red Horse) in Chinese.
Howling Dog n>, 1< fRbW Dai dai shogi and other large Shōgi variants Combination of lance and backslider.
Hunter n>, nX< fRbB Falcon-Hunter Chess Moves forward as rook, and backward as bishop. Also known as Rook/Bishop-Hunter, and Multi General in Tenjiku shogi and Taikyoku shogi.
Huygens[15] ~ (prime number)+ (0,3)(0,5)(0,7)(0,prime number)... Chess on an Infinite Plane[15] Jumps in a rook's direction any prime number of squares (causing pursuing jumpers to make an innefficient maneuver when chasing it).
I
Imitator Ultima Colorless piece; cannot capture; moves only in dependence of other pieces – its move being simultaneous to every piece’s move, parallel and of same length and direction. If a line piece’s move is imitated, the imitator’s path MUST NOT be blocked. Neither can the imitator be moved outside the board. If complete imitation is not possible, the respective move is illegal. This is even true for checks.
Immobilizer on* (Immo1*) mQ (Immo-K) Ultima Moves as queen; any enemy piece that is adjacent to the immobilizer is frozen and cannot move until the immobilizer moves away or is captured. If two immobilizers are next to each other, they are both frozen until the end of the game or one is captured. An immobilized piece may commit suicide, e.g., to open a line of attack. Also known as Freezer.
Iron General 1*> fK Dai shogi, Tenjiku shogi, other Shōgi variants, and checkers chess Moves one square in any direction forward. Also called Forward King (checkers chess). Compare with Graz Pawn.
J
Joker (Waterloo) 1*, ~ 2*, ~ 1/2 (0,1)(0,2)(1,1)(1,2)(2,2) = WDFNA Waterloo Chess, Amsterdam Medieval Chess
K
Kangaroo ~ 1/2, ~ 2X NA Combination of knight and alfil
Khohn 1X, 1> FfW Chaturanga (Biruni, c. 1030), Makruk (Thai chess), Shōgi, Sittuyin (Burmese chess), Taikyoku shogi, Wa shogi Combination of ferz and soldier: moves one square in any direction diagonally or one square straight forward. Thai Nobleman. Also called Burmese Elephant "sin" in sittuyin, Indian Elephant in chaturanga, silver general in shogi, and Violent Stag in taikyoku shogi and wa shogi.
King 1* K = WF Orthodox chess, Chaturanga, Shatranj, Shōgi, Tamerlane Chess, Tori shogi Moves one square in any direction. (Combination of wazir and ferz). Royal in orthodox chess. A non-royal piece which moves in this way is sometimes called a Commoner , Mann, or Guard.[16] Also called Raja (chaturanga), Shah (shatranj), Jeweled General (shōgi), or Phoenix (tori shōgi).
King (Dragonchess) Dragonchess (3D, 1985) See "King" (on middle board). 3D movement: Can move or capture to the cell directly above or below it.
Kirin 1X, ~ 2+ FD Dai shogi and other Shōgi variants, Pacific Chess (Hawaii, 1971) Combination of ferz and dabbaba. Also called Ferz Dabbaba, or Fortress (Pacific Chess).
Knave sDffbbN Knavish Chess (Charles Gilman, 2011)[10] A six-directional piece, moving sidewards as a dabbaba and forwards and backwards as a knight. Also see Debtor.
Knight ~ 1/2 N = (1,2) Chaturanga, Orthodox chess, Shatranj, Tamerlane Chess Jumps one square orthogonally followed by another square diagonally. Called Ashwa (horse) in Chaturanga, Faras (horse) in Shatranj, or Zebra in Congo.
Knight (Japanese) (~ 1/2)> (narrow) ffN Shōgi (Japanese chess) Narrow Knight restricted to forward movements.
Knishop ~ 1/2>, nX< fNbB Chess with different armies (R. Betza, 1979) Knight/Bishop-hunter: moves forward as a knight, and backward as a bishop.
Korean Cannon pR Janggi (Korean chess) Moves and captures along orthogonal lines by jumping exactly one piece. There can be any number of free squares before and after the hurdle. Also called Rook-line-hopper, Rook Lion, or Rion.
L
Lance n> fR Shōgi, Taikyoku shogi, Wa shogi Moves any number of squares directly forward. Also called Forward Rook (checkers chess), and Oxcart (Taikyoku shogi, Wa shogi).
Leeloo Quintessential Chess (J. Knappen, 2002)[6] Combines the powers of quintessence and rook
Left General 1X, 1<>, 1= (only right) FfbrW Dai dai shogi and other large Shōgi variants Asymmetrical combination of ferocious leopard and right wazir.
Left Quail n>, nX< (right diagonal), 1X fRbrBblF Tori shogi and other large Shōgi variants Combination of lance, ferz and a backward bishop restricted to right side.
Leo on*, c^& mQcpQ Akenhead's Chess (1947) Combines the powers of pao and vao. Moves like a queen when not capturing, but captures by leaping over an intervening piece and taking the piece on the leo's destination square (the captured piece can be any number of squares beyond the hurdle).
Leon ~ 1/3, ~ 3+ LH Grande Acedrex (Alfonso X, 1283) Spanish Lion. Combination of camel and threeleaper.
Liberated Horse n>, 2< fRbR2 Wa shogi Moves forward as a rook or one or two squares orthogonally backward.
Lion pQ Fairy Chess Problems A hopper which moves along the same lines as a queen and which can land on a square any distance beyond the hurdle. Also known as queen-line-hopper.
Lion (Congo) 1*, c(n*) (against enemy congo lion) Congo (1982) King that may not leave its 3×3 castle except to capture another lion on the same vertical or diagonal line.
Lion (Japanese) 1*, ~ 2*, ~ (1/2) KNADcaKmabK Dai shogi and other large Shōgi variants Move 2 steps or jumps per turn in any adjacent direction. It can capture up to two pieces per turn, capture an adjacent piece without moving (stationary feeding), or move and return (effectively passing a turn).
Lion Dog 3* Q3 Dai dai shogi and other large Shōgi variants A queen that cannot move more than three squares. Can jump and locust-capture in Japanese rule interpretation.
M
Mage Dragonchess (3D, 1985) Queen (on middle board), Wazir (on upper or lower boards). 3D movement: Can move or capture one or two cells above or below it.
Maharaja n*, ~ 1/2 QN Maharajah and the Sepoys A royal amazon, the only piece for white.
Mann 1* WF = K Courier Chess (12th century) Moves as king but is not royal. German: Man or Commoner. Also called Commoner, Guard, or Man[16].
Mao 1/2 nN Xiangqi (Chinese chess), Akenhead's Chess (1947). Chinese Horse. Moves like a knight except that it does not leap. It steps one square orthogonally in any direction, then continues one square diagonally in the same general direction. The square stepped to orthogonally must be vacant.
Marshall n+, ~ 1/2 RN The Sultan's Game (L. Tressan, 1840) See "Empress". Also spelled Marshal, or called Chancellor.
Minister 1X F = (1,1) Chaturanga, Shatranj, Tamerlane Chess (1336–1405) See "Ferz". Also known as Counsellor.
Moa 1/2 nN Chinese As the Mao, but the first step is diagonal and the second orthogonal, not the other way round.
Monkey (Congo) o1*, cn(^2*) Congo (1982) Checker King allowed to play orthogonally too.
Murray Lion ~ 2*, c1* ADcK Fairy Chess Problems Can move and capture as an alfil or dabbaba, and capture only as a king. This piece stems from a misinterpretation of the lion of chu shogi. It is named after the chess historian H. J. R. Murray who brought it up.
N
N2R4 2(~ 1/2), 1−4+ N2R4 Chess with different armies (R. Betza, 1979)
Nao mNNcpNN Chinese A Chinese nightrider. Moves as a nightrider when not capturing, captures by leaping over a piece and capturing the piece on its destination
Nightrider n(1/2) (in same direction) NN Wolf Chess (1943),[13] Edgehog Chess II (John Driver, 1966) & III (P. Aronson),[12] Cavalier Chess (Fergus Duniho, 1998) A rider which moves any number the knight's moves in the same direction. A piece in its path of the opposing color could be captured, but the nightrider could not move any further. Also played in fairy chess problems (T.R. Dawson). (See diagram below.)
Nightrider-hopper[citation needed] Fairy Chess Problems Move to next square beyond any piece in lines of knight moves. Also known as Knight-line-hopper
O
Old Monkey 1X, 1< FbW Maka dai dai shogi and other large Shōgi variants Combination of fers and backslider. Also known as Inverted Silver and Backward Elephant.
Orphan Fairy Chess Problems Moves like any enemy piece that is attacking it. Compare with Friend.
P
Paladin (Dragonchess) Dragonchess (3D, 1985) Centaur (on middle board) or King (on upper or lower boards). 3D movement: Makes knight-like jumps
Pancake pNNK Chess with different armies (R. Betza, 1979) Combination of man and cannon-style nightrider
Pao mRcpR Akenhead's Chess (1947), Xiangqi (Chinese chess) Chinese Cannon. Moves like a rook when not capturing, but captures by leaping over an intervening piece and taking the piece on the Pao's destination square. Compare with Korean Cannon.
Pasha 1*, ~ 2* KAD Paulovits's Game (1890) Combination of king and alibaba. Also known as Mastodon.
Pawn o1>, c1X>, io2> mfWcfFimfW2 Chadarangam (Telugu chess), Orthodox chess Moves one square straight forward (except on its first move, when it may move two squares), but captures one square diagonally forward. Compare with Berolina pawn.
Pawn of "Piece(s)" Tamerlane Chess (1336–1405), Full Tamerlane Chess (al-Âmulî & Arabshâh, 14th–15th centuries)[17] A Pawn that promotes to "Piece". Examples: Pawn of Dabbabas, Pawn of Elephants, Pawn of Minister (Ferz), Pawn of Shah (King), Pawn of Vizir (Wazir), Pawn of Vanguards (Bishops), Pawn of Knights, Pawn of Rukhs (Rooks). A Pawn of Pawn promotes to Pawn of King.
Pheasant ~ 2>, 1X< fDbF Tori shogi and other large Shōgi variants Dabbaba/Ferz-Hunter (moves forward as dabbaba, and backward as ferz).
Phoenix 1+, ~ 2X WA Chess with different armies, Dai shogi, and other Shōgi variants Combination of wazir and alfil. Also known as Waffle.
Prince 1* WF = K Tamerlane chess A non-royal king, promoted from a Pawn of King. Originally Shâhzâda in Persian. Also known as Adventice King (Shâh masnû‘a) when promoting from Pawn of Pawns.
Princess nX, ~ 1/2 BN The Emperor's Game (L. Tressan, 1840), Grand Chess (1984), Tutti-Frutti Chess (Betza & Cohen), Wolf Chess (1943)[13] Combines the powers of bishop and knight. Also called Archbishop, Cardinal, Janus, Paladin, or Centaur (Carrera's Chess, Pietro Carrera, 1617). Called Adjutant in The Emperor's Game, and Fox in Wolf Chess (Originally Fuchs in German).
Q
Quang Trung Rook Quang Trung Chess Moves as rook but when capturing must move on square away from captured piece in the same direction.
Queen n* Q = RB Orthodox chess Combines the powers of the bishop and rook. In Pacific Chess (Hawaii, 1971) a piece with queen-like moves is called the Nobleman.
Quintessence Quintessential Chess (J. Knappen, 2002)[6] A Nightrider who takes 90-degree turns in a zigzag manner on each step. First described in 2002 by Jörg Knappen.
R
Raiding Falcon n<>, 1+, 1X> fbRWfF Wa shogi Combination of vertical mover and stone general (reverse chariot and flying cock). Occurs in Taikyoku shogi with a different move.
Ravager m/n (except ~ 0/0; not against King) U (not against king) "Restrictions on Being Captured" (Ralph Betza, 1996) Universal leaper not allowed to capture the enemy king.
Reflecting Bishop nX (bounce edges) B (bounce edges) Billiards Chess (M. Jacques Berthoumeau, 1950s), Edgehog Chess II (John Driver, 1966) & III (P. Aronson)[12] Bishop allowed to "bounce" off any number of edges of the board, similar to a hockey puck or billiard ball. It bounces from the center of each edge square and continues on a diagonal.[18]
Revealer (Tamerlane) Full Tamerlane Chess (al-Âmulî & Arabshâh, 14th–15th centuries)[17] See "Tripper", or "Queen" (Forbes, 1860). Also known as Sentinel.
Reverse Chariot n<> fbR Chu shogi and other large Shōgi variants Rook restricted to forward and backward directions.
Rhinoceros (Grant Acedrex) t[NfB] Grant Acedrex (Alfonso X, 1283) (Jean-Louis Cazaux) For Murray interpretation, see "Unicorn". Moves as a knight followed by moving any number of spaces diagonally forwards. Originally Unicornio in ancient Spanish.
Rhubarb RB3 Chess with different armies (R. Betza, 1979)
Right General 1X, 1<>, 1= (only left) FfblW Dai dai shogi and other large Shōgi variants Asymmetrical combination of ferocious leopard and left wazir.
Right Quail n>, nX< (left diagonal), 1X fRblBbrF Tori shogi and other large Shōgi variants Combination of lance, ferz and a backward bishop restricted to left side.
Rook n+ R = WW Chaturanga, Orthodox chess, Shatranj, Taikyoku shogi, Tamerlane chess, Wa shogi Moves any number of free squares orthogonally. Also called Gliding Swallow in taikyoku shogi and wa shogi, Ratha (chariot) in chaturanga, Rukh in shatranj and tamerlane chess, Wazir-rider, or Castle (colloquial).
Rookhopper ^n+ gR Fairy Chess Problems Grasshopper confined to rook lines. Also spelled Rook-hopper.
Root-25-leaper ~ 5+, ~ 3/4 (0,5)(3,4) Fairy Chess Problems Leaper making moves of length units (i.e. a (0,5)-leaper or a (3,4)-leaper). Also called Fiveleaper.[19]
Root-50-leaper ~ 5X, ~ 1/7 (5,5)(1,7) Fairy Chess Problems Leaper making moves of length units (i.e. a (5,5)-leaper or a (1,7)-leaper). Also spelled Root-fifty-leaper.
Rose qN Chess on a Really Big Board Moves as a nightrider except rather than moving in a straight line, it moves in a pseudo-circular shape. A piece on any of these squares can be captured but prevents the rose from progressing any further. See diagram at end of section.
Rutabaga R2B Chess with different armies (R. Betza, 1979)
Running Rabbit n>, 1X fRFbW Taikyoku shogi, Wa shogi Combination of Lance and Old Monkey.
S
Scorpion 1*, ^n* KgQ Fairy Chess Problems Combination of king and grasshopper
Sergeant 1*>, io2> fKimfW2 Wolf Chess (A. von Wilpert, 1943)[13] Graz Pawn without the initial diagonal double-step from Berolina Pawn. Originally Vogt (Sergeant, Inspector) in German.
Shatranj Pawn o1>, c1X> mfWcfF Chaturanga (Indian chess), Makruk (Thai chess), Shatar (Mongolian chess), Shatranj (Persian chess) Baidaq (Persian Pawn). Orthodox pawn without double step on first move. It's the same pawn from Chaturaji (4 player Indian chess), Ouk Chatrang (Cambodian chess), and Senterej (Ethiopian chess). Also called Padah (pawn or soldier) in chaturanga, Sainik (Indian: Warrior), or Warrior.
Short Rook 1-4+ R4 = W4 Chess with different armies (R. Betza, 1979) Rook limited up to 4 squares. Also spelled Short-Rook.
Side Mover n=, 1+ WsR Chu shogi, Wa shogi, and other large Shōgi variants Combination of a rook restricted to sideways and wazir (or Soldier). Called Swallow's Wings in Wa shogi.
Soaring Eagle n+, nX<, 1X>, ~ 2X> RbBfFfA or RbBdhfFfA Chu shogi and other large Shōgi variants Moves as a rook, backwards as a bishop, or as a lion (Japanese) up to 2 squares diagonally forward.
Soldier 1> fW Out-Khmer (Hills' Cambodian chess), Shōgi, Tori shogi, Wa shogi Moves one square orthogonally forward. It's the same pawn from Xiangqi (Chinese chess), before crossing the river. Also called Japanese Pawn, Fish (Out-Khmer), Sparrow Pawn (Wa shogi), or Swallow (Tori shogi).
Spy 1+ or
2>, 2=, (1/1)> or
1*
W = (0,1) or
fsDfF or
WF (=K)
Courier Chess (12th century), Chess Empire (2002), Waterloo (2014), Amsterdam Medieval Chess (2017) In Courier Chess see "Fool". In Chess Empire the spy can move two spaces forwards or sideways, or can move like a knight one forward and then one horizontally or vice versa. In Waterloo and Amsterdam Medieval Chess the spy moves as a non-royal king (see "Guard").
Squirrel ~ 0/2, ~ 1/2, ~ 2/2 NAD Fairy Chess Problems (N. Kovacs, 1937), Mideast Chess (California, 1971), Pacific Chess (Hawaii, 1971) Jumps to any square a distance of 2. Also called Centurion, or Castle (Mideast chess, Pacific chess).
Stone General 1X> fF Dai shogi and other large Shōgi variants, Fox and Geese Moves one square diagonally forward. Also called Goose in Fox and Geese. Compare with Berolina Pawn.
Superpawn on>, cnX> mfRcfB Fairy Chess Problems Moves without capture any number of fields forward, captures diagonally forwards like a bishop. Promotes on the 8th rank. May be placed in the first rank. By Werner Speckmann (1967).[19]
Sylph Dragonchess (3D) See "Berolina Pawn" (on upper board). 3D movement: Can capture to the cell below it and return without capturing.
T
Teutonic Knight 1+, ~ 1/2, ~ 1/3 WNL Teutonic Knight's Chess (J. Knappen, 2009)[7] Combination of knight, wazir and camel. Originally Ordensritter in German.
Thief Dragonchess (3D, 1985) See "Bishop" (bound to middle board). No 3D movement.
Threeleaper ~ 3+ H = (0,3) Full Tamerlane Chess (al-Âmulî & Arabshâh, 14th–15th centuries)[17] Called Lion in Full Tamerlane Chess.
Threerider n(3+) HH Fairy Chess Problems
Treacherous Fox 1X, 1<>, ~ 2*<> FfbWAfbD Wa shogi Ferocious Leopard that can move forward or backward as alibaba. Occurs in Taikyoku shogi with a different move.
Tripper ~ 3X G = (3,3) Jumps three squares diagonally, leaping over any intermediate piece.
U
Ubi-Ubi n(1/2) (any direction) NN (any direction) Ubi-Ubi Chess (Versmissen, Borst & Bodlaender, 1998) A Nightrider without direction restrictions.
Unicorn (Raumschach) Raumschach (1907) A triagonal rider: moves through the vertices of the cubes (see diagram below). Unicorn is also sometimes used for a banshee.
Unicorn (DC) Dragonchess (3D, 1985) See "Knight" (bound to middle board). No 3D movement.
Unicorn (Grande Acedrex) BimN Grande Acedrex (Alfonso X, 1283) (H.J.R. Murray, 1913) For Cazaux interpretation, see "Rhinoceros". Bishop with a first movement of a knight that can't capture. Originally Unicornio in ancient Spanish.
V
Vanguard nX (except 1X) B (except F) Tamerlane Chess (1336–1405) Bishop that can't move as a ferz (adjacent diagonal squares must be free and skipped). Originally known as Talî'a in Persian. Also known as Scout.
Vao onX, c^& mBcpB Akenhead's Chess (1947) Moves like a bishop when not capturing, but captures by leaping over an intervening piece and taking the piece on the vao's destination square (the captured piece can be any number of squares beyond the hurdle).
Vertical Mover n<>, 1+ WfbR Chu shogi and other large Shōgi variants Combination of reverse chariot and wazir (or drunk).
Violent Bear 1=, 2X> sWnfA Dai dai shogi and other large Shōgi variants Moves 1 square sideways or 2 squares diagonally forward.
Violent Ox 2+ nD Dai shogi and other large Shōgi variants A non-jumping dabbaba.
W
Wallaby c(^2*), o1*, ^2* (over friendly pieces) KgQ2 (over friendly pieces), KcjQ2 Edgehog Chess III (P. Aronson)[12] Combination of omni-directional checker and grasshopper restricted to 2 squares over friendly pieces.
Waran RNN Fairy Chess Problems Also spelled Varan. Also known as Raven.
Warrior (DC) Dragonchess (3D, 1985) See "Shatranj Pawn" (bound to middle board). No 3D movement.
Wazir 1+ W = (0,1) Tamerlane Chess (al-Âmulî & Arabshâh, 14th–15th centuries)[17] Moves one square orthogonally in any direction. Persian Vizir. Also known as Angry Boar (Dai shogi) or Crocodile (Tamerlane Chess, originally Luxm, "sea monster" in Persian).
Whale n<>, nX< fbRbB Chu shogi and other large Shōgi variants Combination of hunter and reverse chariot.
White Horse n<>, nX> fbRfB Chu shogi and other large Shōgi variants Combination of falcon and reverse chariot.
Withdrawer Ultima Also known as Retreater
Wizard 1X, ~ 1/3 FL Omega Chess Combines the movement of fers and camel.
Wood General 2X> nfA Dai dai shogi and other large Shōgi variants Flying Dragon restricted to forward moves.
Woody Rook ~ 1−2+ = 1+, ~ 2+ WD Chess with different armies (Betza, 1979) Combination of wazir and dabbaba. Also called Wazaba.
X, Y, Z
Zebra ~ 2/3 Z = J = (2,3) Full Tamerlane Chess (al-Âmulî & Arabshâh, 14th–15th centuries),[17] Grande Acedrex (Alfonso X, 1283) Old historic piece. Jumps one square orthogonally followed by two squares diagonally outwards. Also called Bull (Full Tamerline Chess), or Zaraffa (Grande Acedrex).
Zebrarider n(2/3) (in same direction) JJ Fairy Chess Problems A rider which moves any number of (3,2) cells (i.e., zebra moves) in the same direction in a straight line.
Zurafa ~ 1/4.n+(outwards) Tamerlane Chess (1336–1405) Starts with a (1,4) leap (like the modern Giraffe) and may continue moving outwards as a rook.
Name Parlett Betza Found in Notes
a b c d e f g h
8
Chessboard480.svg
e8 black cross
d6 black cross
h5 black cross
a4 black cross
c4 black cross
f4 black cross
d3 black cross
b2 white upside-down knight
d1 black cross
8
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1
a b c d e f g h
Nightrider. Makes any number of knight moves in the same direction.
a b c d e f g h i j
10 a10 b10 c10 d10 e10 f10 g10 h10 i10 j10 10
9 a9 b9 c9 d9 e9 f9 four g9 h9 i9 j9 9
8 a8 b8 c8 d8 three e8 f8 g8 h8 five i8 j8 8
7 a7 b7 c7 d7 e7 f7 g7 h7 i7 j7 7
6 a6 b6 c6 two d6 e6 f6 g6 h6 i6 six j6 6
5 a5 b5 c5 d5 e5 f5 g5 h5 i5 j5 5
4 a4 b4 c4 d4 one e4 f4 g4 h4 seven i4 j4 4
3 a3 b3 two c3 d3 e3 f3 white knight g3 h3 i3 j3 3
2 a2 b2 c2 d2 e2 f2 g2 h2 i2 j2 2
1 a1 three b1 c1 d1 e1 f1 g1 seven h1 i1 j1 1
a b c d e f g h i j
Rose. Moves as Nightrider, but along pseudo-circular lines. (two possible paths depicted.) It may move clockwise or counterclockwise.
Ea5 Eb5 Ec5 Ed5 Ee5
Ea4 Eb4 Ec4 Ed4 Ee4
Ea3 Eb3 Ec3 Ed3 Ee3
Ea2 Eb2 black circle Ec2 Ed2 Ee2
Ea1 Eb1 Ec1 Ed1 Ee1
E
Da5 Db5 Dc5 black circle Dd5 De5 black circle
Da4 Db4 Dc4 Dd4 De4
Da3 Db3 Dc3 black circle Dd3 De3 black circle
Da2 Db2 Dc2 Dd2 De2
Da1 Db1 Dc1 Dd1 De1
D
Ca5 Cb5 Cc5 Cd5 Ce5
Ca4 Cb4 Cc4 Cd4 white unicorn Ce4
Ca3 Cb3 Cc3 Cd3 Ce3
Ca2 Cb2 Cc2 Cd2 Ce2
Ca1 Cb1 Cc1 Cd1 Ce1
C
Ba5 Bb5 Bc5 black circle Bd5 Be5 black circle
Ba4 Bb4 Bc4 Bd4 Be4
Ba3 Bb3 Bc3 black circle Bd3 Be3 black circle
Ba2 Bb2 Bc2 Bd2 Be2
Ba1 Bb1 Bc1 Bd1 Be1
B
Aa5 Ab5 Ac5 Ad5 Ae5
Aa4 Ab4 Ac4 Ad4 Ae4
Aa3 Ab3 Ac3 Ad3 Ae3
Aa2 Ab2 black circle Ac2 Ad2 Ae2
Aa1 Ab1 Ac1 Ad1 Ae1
A
In Raumschach the Unicorn moves through the vertices of cubes (triagonally). The unicorn jumps to squares with black dots. The boards are stacked, with board E on top.

Relative value of pieces[edit]

While a large amount of information can be found concerning the relative value of variant chess pieces, there are few resources where it is in a concise format for more than just a few piece types. One challenge of producing such a summary is that piece values are dependent upon the size of boards they are played on, and the combination of other pieces on the board.

On an 8×8 board, the standard chess pieces (pawn, knight, bishop, rook, and queen) are usually given values of 1, 3, 3, 5, and 9 respectively. When the basic pieces wazir (W), ferz (F), and mann (WF = K), are played with a similar mix of pieces, they are typically valued at around 1.2, 1.5, and 3.2 points respectively. Three popular compound pieces, the archbishop (BN), chancellor (RN), and amazon (QN) have been estimated to have point values around 8, 9, and 11.5 respectively. (Due to the powerful ability of the three later pieces, it is uncommon for more than one to be played on a standard 8x8 board).[20]

Apart from these, reliable estimates are not be well established for many other pieces. Even when the same game format is assumed (board size and combination of other pieces), there is often little agreement on the specific value of many other pieces. Compound pieces are sometimes approximated as the sum of their component pieces, or estimated to be slightly higher due to synergistic effects (such as it is for the archbishop and chancellor).

Notations[edit]

Parlett's movement notation[edit]

In his book The Oxford History of Board Games[21] David Parlett used a notation to describe fairy piece movements. The move is specified in the form m={expression}, where m stands for "move", and the expression is composed from the following elements:

  • Distance (numbers, n)
    • 1 – a distance of one (i.e. to adjacent square)
    • 2 – a distance of two
    • n – any distance in the given direction
  • Direction (punctuation, X)
    • * – orthogonally or diagonally (all eight possible directions)
    • + – orthogonally (four possible directions)
    • > – orthogonally forwards
    • < – orthogonally backwards
    • <> – orthogonally forwards and backwards
    • = – orthogonally sideways (used here instead of Parlett's divide symbol.)
    • >= – orthogonally forwards or sideways
    • <= – orthogonally backwards or sideways
    • X – diagonally (four possible directions)
    • X> – diagonally forwards
    • X< – diagonally backwards
  • Grouping
    • / – two orthogonal moves separated by a slash denote a hippogonal move (i.e. jumps like a knight)
    • & – repeated movement in the same direction, such as for hippogonal riders (i.e. the nightrider)
    • . – then, (i.e. an aanca is 1+.nX)

Additions to Parlett's[edit]

The following can be added to Parlett's to make it more complete:[citation needed]

  • Conditions under which the move may occur (lowercase alphanumeric, except n)
    • (default) – May occur at any point in the game
    • i – May only be made on the initial move (e.g. pawn's 2 moves forward)
    • c – May only be made on a capture (e.g. pawn's diagonal capture)
    • o – May not be used for a capture (e.g. pawn's forward move)
  • Move type
    • (default) – Captures by landing on the piece; blocked by intermediate pieces
    • ~ – Leaper (leaps)
    • ^ – Locust (captures by leaping; implies leaper)
  • Grouping (punctuation)
    • / – two orthogonal moves separated by a slash denote a hippogonal move (i.e. jumping like knights); this is in Parlett's, but is repeated here for completeness
    • , (comma) – separates move options; only one of the comma-delimited options may be chosen per move
    • () – grouping operator; see nightrider
    • - – range operator

The format (not including grouping) is: <conditions> <move type> <distance> <direction> <other>

On this basis, the traditional chess moves (excluding castling and en passant capture) are:

  • King: 1*
  • Queen: n*
  • Bishop: nX
  • Rook: n+
  • Pawn: o1>, c1X>, oi2>
  • Knight: ~1/2

Ralph Betza's "funny notation"[edit]

Betza's notation for the fundamental leapers
m
n
−3 −2 −1 0 1 2 3
3 G J L H L J G
2 J A N D N A J
1 L N F W F N L
0 H D W 0 W D H
−1 L N F W F N L
−2 J A N D N A J
−3 G J L H L J G

Ralph Betza created a classification scheme for fairy chess pieces (including standard chess pieces) in terms of the moves of basic pieces with modifiers.[22]

Capital letters stand for basic leap movements, ranging from single-square orthogonal moves to 3×3 diagonal leaps: Wazir, Ferz, Dabbaba, KNight, Alfil, THreeleaper, Camel, Zebra, and G (3,3)-leaper. C and Z are equivalent to obsolete letters L (Long Knight) and J (Jump) which are no longer commonly used.

A leap is converted into a rider by doubling its letter. For example, WW describes a rook, FF describes a bishop, and NN describes a nightrider. The second letter can instead be a number, which is a limitation on how many times the leap motion can be repeated; for example, W4 describes a rook limited to 4 spaces of movement.

Combining multiple movement letters into a string means the piece can use any of the available options. For example, WF describes a king, capable of moving one space orthogonally or diagonally.

Standard chess pieces except pawns (which are particularly complex) and knights (which are a basic leap movement) have their own letters available; K = WF, Q = WWFF, B = FF, R = WW.

All mentioned capitals refer to a maximally symmetric set of moves that can be used for both moving and capturing. Lowercase letters in front of the capital letters modify the component, usually restricting the moves to a subset. They can be distinguished in directional, modal and other modifiers. Basic directional modifiers are: forward, backward, right, left. On non-orthogonal moves these indicate pairs of moves, and a second modifier of the perpendicular type is needed to fully specify a single direction. Otherwise, when multiple directions are mentioned, it means that moves in all these directions are possible. sideways and vertical are shorthands for lr and fb, respectively. Modal modifiers are move only, capture only. Other modifiers are jumping (basic distant leap must jump, cannot move without a hurdle), non-jumping like the Chinese elephant, grasshopper (rider that must land immediately after first piece it encounters, instead of on or before it), pao (rider that can only land behind the first piece it encounters, instead of on or before it), o cylindrical (moving off one side of the board wraps to the other), z crooked (moving in a zigzag line like the boyscout), q circular movement (like the rose), and then (for pieces that start moving in one direction and then continue in another, like the gryphon).

In addition, Betza has also suggested adding brackets to his notation: q[WF]q[FW] would be a circular king, which can move from e4 to f5 (first the ferz move) then g5, h4, h3, g2, f2, e3, and back to e4, effectively passing a turn, and could also start from e4 to f4 (first the wazir move) then g5, g6, f7, e7, d6, d5, and back to e4.

Example: The standard chess pawn can be described as mfWcfF (ignoring the initial double move).

There is no standard order of the components and modifiers. In fact, Betza often plays with the order to create somehow pronounceable piece names and artistic word play.

Addition to Betza's notation ('XBetza'[23])[edit]

Betza does not use the small letter i. It is used here for initial in the description of the different types of pawns. The letter a is used here to describe again, indicating the piece can make the move on which it is prefixed multiple times, possibly with new modifiers mentioned behind the a, which then apply to the second 'leg' of the move. Directional specifications for such a continuation step should be interpreted relative to the first step (e.g. aW is a two-step orthogonal move that can change direction; afW is a two-step orthogonal move that must continue the same direction).

To handle some frequently encountered special moves, e can be used next to m and c to indicate en-passant capture, i.e. capture of the piece that just made an move with i & n modifier, by moving to the square where the n implies it could have been blocked. (This makes the full description of the FIDE pawn fmWfceFifmnD.) An O with a range specifier is used to indicate castling with the furthest piece in that direction in the initial setup, the range indicating the number of squares the king moves (orthodox castling: ismO2). XBetza overloads some modifiers, by giving them an alternative meaning where the original meaning makes no sense. E.g. i in a continuation leg ('iso') indicates the length must be the same as the previous riding leg, useful for indicating rifle captures (caibR).

Non-final legs of a multi-leg move also have the option to end on an occupied square without disturbing its contents. To indicate this the modifier p is used, and thus has a slightly different meaning than on final legs; the traditional meaning can then be seen as shorthand for paf. To make the a notation more versatile, it can also be used when the moves of the two legs are not exactly congruent: g is an alternative to indicates a non-final leg to an occupied square, but in contrast to p it specifies a 'range toggle', converting a mentioned rider move into the corresponding leaper move (e.g. R <-> W) for the next leg, and vice versa (making the traditional g shorthand for gaf). A similar range toggle on reaching an empty square can be indicated by y, to indicate a slider spontaneously turns a corner after starting with a leap. Continuation directions will allways be encoded in the 8-fold (K) system, even when the initial leg only had 4-fold symmetry. Mention of an intermediate direction on a 4-fold-symmetrical move would then swap orthogonal moves to the corresponding diagonal moves, (e.g. W <-> F) and vice versa. (So mafsW is the Xiangqi horse, move to an empty W-square, and continue one F-step at 45 degree, and yafsW is the gryphon.)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Unicode proposal for heterodox chess pieces. Quotes: "Most fairy pieces are conventionally represented by rotating the standard chess piece symbols." (p. 1); "Unlike the standard upright symbols, which always correspond to the orthodox pieces, there is no strict one-to-one correspondence between rotated symbols and particular piece types: the number of fairy pieces in use is uncountable, and the number of possible pieces is infinite. Instead, rotated symbols are assigned to pieces as needed, and the composer has wide latitude in choosing which ones they feel are appropriate, with only a few very common ones fixed by convention..." (p. 2); "The use of distinct symbols for these pieces is more common among players of the aforementioned variants than among problem enthusiasts" (p. 6).
  2. ^ Velimirović, M.; Valtonen, K. (2012), Encyclopedia of Chess Problems, Šahovski informator, p. 168 
  3. ^ Poisson, "Catégories de pièces – Types of pieces", § "Bondisseur(m,n) – (m,n)Leaper"
  4. ^ Poisson, "Pièces féeriques – Fairy pieces", §§ "Alfil" & "Fers"
  5. ^ Pritchard, 1994
  6. ^ a b c d e Knappen, Jörg (2002). "Quintessential Chess", CVP
  7. ^ a b c Knappen, Jörg (2009). "Teutonic Knight's Chess". CVP.
  8. ^ Chess on an Infinite Plane game instructions at the Chess Variant Pages
  9. ^ a b "Etchessera". www.etchessera.com. Retrieved 2017-07-20. 
  10. ^ a b Knavish Chess on chessvariants.org
  11. ^ a b https://books.google.com/books?id=NlECAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA218&lpg=PA218&dq=duke+of+rutland's+chess&source=bl&ots=dy-sO3_JpJ&sig=_fRauUsz1UJW2KPAwgxe-sdWcp8&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjMw46P1cHVAhXJu48KHaXqCx4Q6AEINDAD#v=onepage&q=duke%20of%20rutland's%20chess&f=false
  12. ^ a b c d e Aronson, Peter (2001). "EdgehogChess". CVP.
  13. ^ a b c d e von Wilpert, Arno (1943). Wolf-Schach.
  14. ^ a b Chess on an Infinite Plane game instructions
  15. ^ a b http://www.chessvariants.com Trappist-1.
  16. ^ a b "A Critical Analysis of the Guard in Chess"
  17. ^ a b c d e Cazaux, Jean-Louis (2012). "Full Tamerlane Chess". History of Chess: chesspage of JL Cazaux.
  18. ^ Aronson, Peter (2001). "The Piececlopedia: Reflecting Bishop". CVP.
  19. ^ a b Speckmann, Werner (2000). "Märchenfiguren und ihre Grundtypen" [PDF] (in German). Werner Speckmann: elektronische Schachbücher.
  20. ^ Comparison of Material Power in Variant Chess Games
  21. ^ Parlett, 1999
  22. ^ Overby, Glenn, II (2003). "Betza Notation". CVP.
  23. ^ "XBetza". GNU XBoard.

Bibliography

Web pages

External links[edit]