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. Compared to conventional pieces, fairy pieces vary mostly in the way they move, but they may also follow special rules for capturing, promotions, etc. 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 for which they were invented.[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 adjustments made to the rules of an earlier version of the game. For example, the queen was once able to move only a single square diagonally, and the piece was referred to as a ferz. Today, this piece still starts next to the king, but has gained new movement abilities and become today's queen. Thus, the ferz is now considered a non-standard chess piece. Chess enthusiasts still often create their own variations of the rules and the way the pieces move. Pieces which move differently from today's standard rules are called "variant" or "fairy" chess pieces.[2]

The names of fairy pieces are not standardised, and most do not have standard symbols associated with them. Most are typically represented in diagrams by rotated versions of the icons for normal pieces. This article uses common names for the pieces described whenever possible, but these names sometimes differ between circles associated with chess problems and circles associated with chess variants.

Classification[edit]

Many of the simplest fairy chess pieces do not appear in the orthodox game, but they usually fall into one of three classes.[3] There are also compound pieces that combine the movement powers of two or more different pieces.

Simple pieces[edit]

Leapers[edit]

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

A leaper is a piece that moves directly to a square a fixed distance away. A leaper captures by occupying the square on which an enemy piece sits. The leaper's move cannot be blocked (unlike elephant and horse in Xiangqi and Janggi) – it "leaps" over any intervening pieces – so the check of a leaper cannot be parried by interposing. Leapers are not able to create pins, but are effective forking pieces.

Moves by a leaper may be described using the distance to their landing square – the number of squares orthogonally in one direction and the number of squares orthogonally at right angles. For instance, the orthodox knight is described as a (1,2)-leaper or a (2,1)-leaper.[4] The table to the right shows common (but by no means standard) names for the leapers reaching up to 3 squares, together with the letter used to represent them in Betza notation, a common notation for describing fairy pieces.

Although moves to adjacent squares are not strictly "leaps" by the normal use of the word, they are included for generality. Leapers that move only to adjacent squares are sometimes called step movers in the context of shogi variants.[5]

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).[6] The wazir is a (1,0)-leaper (an "orthogonal" one-square leaper). The dabbaba is a (2,0)-leaper. The 'level-3' leapers are the threeleaper (0,3), camel (1,3), zebra (2,3), and tripper (3,3). The giraffe, stag, and antelope are level-4 leapers (1,4), (2,4), and (3,4). Many of these basic leapers appear in Tamerlane chess.

a5b5c5d5e5
a4b4 black circlec4d4 black circlee4
a3b3c3 white upside-down bishopd3e3
a2b2 black circlec2d2 black circlee2
a1b1c1d1e1
Ferz (notation F).
a5 black circleb5c5d5e5 black circle
a4b4c4d4e4
a3b3c3 white upside-down bishopd3e3
a2b2c2d2e2
a1 black circleb1c1d1e1 black circle
Alfil (notation A), can jump.
a5b5c5d5e5
a4b4c4 black circled4e4
a3b3 black circlec3 white upside-down rookd3 black circlee3
a2b2c2 black circled2e2
a1b1c1d1e1
Wazir (notation W).
a5b5c5 black circled5e5
a4b4c4d4e4
a3 black circleb3c3 white upside-down rookd3e3 black circle
a2b2c2d2e2
a1b1c1 black circled1e1
Dabbaba (notation D), can jump.

Riders[edit]

A rider, or ranging piece, is a piece that moves an unlimited distance in one direction, provided there are no pieces in the way. Each basic rider corresponds to a basic leaper, and can be thought of as repeating that leaper's move in one direction until an obstacle is reached. If the obstacle is a friendly piece, it blocks further movement; if the obstacle is an enemy piece, it may be captured, but it cannot be jumped over.

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.

abcdefgh
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
77
66
55
44
33
22
11
abcdefgh
Nightrider (represented by an inverted knight) makes any number of knight moves in the same direction.
abcdefgh
8
Chessboard480.svg
a8 black upside-down knight
c7 white queen
e6 white rook
g4 black king
b3 white pawn
e3 black pawn
a2 white pawn
b2 white pawn
c2 black cross
a1 white upside-down knight
b1 black bishop
g1 white king
8
77
66
55
44
33
22
11
abcdefgh
The white nightrider on a1 is blocked from reaching c5 by its pawn on b3. It may travel to c2 independent of the pieces on a2, b2, and b1. It may capture the enemy pawn on e3, but may not continue on to g4, so the black king is not in check. The black e-pawn is pinned, as moving it exposes its king to check. The white queen and rook are skewered by the black nightrider on a8.

Riders 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. A nightrider can be blocked only on a square one of its component knight moves falls on: if a nightrider starts on a1, it can be blocked on b3 or c2, but not on a2, b2, or b1. It can only travel from a1 to c5 if the intervening square b3 is unoccupied.

Some generalised riders do not follow a straight path. The gryphon from the historical game of Grant Acedrex is such a "bent rider": it takes its first step like a ferz and continues outward from that destination like a rook. The unicorn, from the same game, takes its first step like a knight and continues outward from that destination like a bishop. The rose from Chess on a Really Big Board traces out a regular octagonal path of knight moves: from e1, it can go to g2, h4, g6, e7, c6, b4, c2, and back to e1. The crooked bishop or boyscout follows a zigzag: starting from f1, its path could take it to e2, f3, e4, f5, e6, f7, and e8 (or g2, f3, g4, f5, g6, f7, and g8).

A limited ranging piece moves like a rider, but only up to a specific number of steps. An example is the short rook from Chess with different armies: it moves like a rook, but only up to a distance of 4 squares. From a1, it can travel in one move to b1, c1, d1, or e1, but not f1. A rider's corresponding leaper can be thought of as a limited ranging piece with a range of 1: a wazir is a rook restricted to moving only one square at a time. The violent ox and flying dragon from dai shogi (an ancient form of Japanese chess) are a range-2 rook and a range-2 bishop respectively.

There are other possible generalisations as well; the picket from Tamerlane chess moves like a bishop, but at least two squares (thus it cannot stop on the square next to it, but it can be blocked there.) These are in general called ski-pieces: the picket is a ski-bishop. A skip-rider skips over the first and then every odd cell in its path: it cannot be blocked on the squares it skips. Thus a skip-rook would be a dabbabarider, and a skip-bishop would be an alfilrider. A slip-rider is similar, but skips over the second and then every even cell in its path.[7]

In some shogi variants (variants of Japanese chess), there are also area moves. These are similar to limited ranging pieces in that the pieces with such moves repeat one kind of basic step up to a fixed number of times, and must stop when they capture. However, unlike other riders, they may change direction during their move, and do not have a fixed path shape like riders or bent riders do.

Hoppers[edit]

The long-range threat of a cannon ()

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 (Chinese chess), the cannon captures as a hopper along rook lines (when not capturing, it is a (1,0)-rider which cannot jump, the same as a rook); in janggi (Korean chess), the cannon is a hopper along rook lines when moving or capturing. The grasshopper moves along the same lines as a queen, hopping over another piece and landing on the square immediately beyond it. Yang Qi includes the diagonal counterpart of the cannon, the vao, which moves as a bishop and captures as a hopper along bishop lines.

Compound pieces[edit]

Compound pieces combine the powers of two or more pieces. The queen may be considered the compound of a rook and a bishop. The king of standard chess combines the ferz and wazir (ignoring restrictions on check and checkmate). The alibaba combines the dabbaba and alfil, while the squirrel can move to any square 2 units away (combining the knight and alibaba). The phoenix combines the wazir and alfil, while the kirin combines the ferz and dabbaba: both appear in chu shogi, an old Japanese chess variant that is still sometimes played today.

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. Although the (1,1)-leaper is confined to one half of the board, and the (0,3)-leaper to one ninth, their combination can reach any square on the board.[8]

When one of the combined pieces is a knight, the compound may be called a knighted piece. The princess, empress, and amazon are three popular compound pieces, combining the powers of minor orthodox chess pieces. They 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), while the dragon horse is a crowned bishop (bishop + king). The knighted compounds show that a compound piece may not fall into any of the three basic categories from above: a princess slides for its bishop moves (and can be blocked by obstacles in those directions), but leaps for its knight moves (and cannot be blocked in those directions). (The names princess and empress are common in the problemist tradition: in chess variants involving these pieces they are often called by other names, such as archbishop and chancellor in Capablanca chess, or cardinal and marshal in Grand Chess, respectively.) Combinations of known pieces with the falcon from falcon chess are named winged pieces, in Complete Permutation Chess not only winged knight, bishop, rook, and queen are featured, but also winged marshal, winged cardinal, and winged amazon.[9]

Marine pieces are 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), triton (marine rook), mermaid (marine queen), or poseidon (marine king).

Restricted pieces[edit]

In addition to combining the powers of pieces, pieces can also be modified by restricting them in certain ways: for example, their power might only be used for moving, only for capturing, only forwards, only backwards, only sideways, only on their first move, only on a specific square, only against a specific piece, and so on. The horse in xiangqi (Chinese chess) is a knight that cannot leap: it can be blocked on the square orthogonally adjacent to it. The stone general from dai shogi is a ferz that can only move forwards (and therefore is trapped when it reaches the end of the board).

Such restrictions may themselves be combined. The gold general from shogi (Japanese chess) is the combination of a wazir and a forward-only ferz; the silver general from shogi is the combination of a ferz and a forward-only wazir. The pawn has the power of a wazir, but only forward and for movement; the power of a ferz, but only forward and for capturing; the power of a rook with a limited range of 2 squares, but only forward and on its first move; the power of promotion to a more powerful piece, but only on its last rank; and the power to capture an enemy pawn en passant, but only immediately after it has moved two squares past it on an adjacent file. A piece that moves and captures differently, like the pawn, is called divergent.[10]

There are some powerful notation systems, described below, that can more succinctly represent arbitrary combinations of the basic restrictions of basic pieces.

Capturing[edit]

All of the above pieces move once per turn and capture by replacement (i.e., moving to their victim's square and replacing it). A shooting piece (as in Rifle Chess) does not capture by replacement (it stays in place when making a capture). Such a shooting capture is termed igui 居喰い "stationary feeding" in the old Japanese variants where it is common. Baroque chess has many examples of pieces that do not capture by replacement, such as the withdrawer, a piece which captures an adjacent piece by moving directly away from it.

Moving multiple times per turn[edit]

The lion in chu shogi, as do the pieces in Marseillais chess, can move twice per turn: such pieces are common in the old Japanese variants of chess, termed shogi variants, where they are called lion moves after the simplest example. The lion is a king with the power to move twice per turn: thus it can capture a piece and then move on, possibly capturing another, or returning to its original square. When a double-moving piece captures and then returns to its original square, it acts like a shooting piece.

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 or promoting a pawn). 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 may not both be left in check even though they can not both be captured in one turn. In Rex Multiplex, a fairy chess condition, pawns can promote to king: a move that checks multiple kings at once is illegal unless all the checks can be resolved on the next move; checkmate happens when a move checkmates all kings of the opposite colour. (A player may not expose any of their kings to check or checkmate, even if it is to resolve checks or checkmates on other attacked kings.)[11]

Pieces, when moving, can also create effects (temporary or permanent) on themselves or on other pieces. In knight relay chess, a knight grants any friendly piece it protects the ability to move like a knight. This ability is temporary and expires when the piece is no longer protected by a knight. In Andernach chess, a piece that moves or captures changes its colour; in volage, a genre of fairy chess problems, a piece changes colour the first time it moves from a light square to a dark square (vice versa), after which its colour is fixed. In Madrasi chess, two pieces of the same kind but different colour attacking each other temporarily paralyse each other: neither may move until the mutual attack is broken by an outside piece. The basilisk from Ralph Betza's Nemoroth inflicts a permanent form of this paralysis (but paralysed pieces may be pushed by the go away, another piece in the game, so they are only prevented from moving of their own accord); the ghast from the same game restricts friendly pieces within two squares of it to moves that take them geometrically further from it, and compels enemy pieces to do so (similar to the compulsion of resolving check in orthodox chess). The immobiliser from Baroque chess immobilises any piece next to it; the fire demon from tenjiku shogi and poison flame from ko shogi capture any enemy pieces that end the turn next to them. The teaching king and Buddhist spirit from maka dai dai shogi are "contagious"; any piece that captures a teaching king or a Buddhist spirit becomes one. (This can be considered as a kind of forced promotion.)

Pieces may promote to other pieces, as the pawn automatically does in orthodox chess on the last rank: the pawn has a choice of what it promotes to. In xiangqi, pawns automatically promote as soon as they cross the river in the middle of the board, but this promotion is fixed and only gives them the power to move sideways as well as forward. In shogi, the pawn is not the only piece that can promote; promotion can occur if a move takes place partly or wholly in the last three ranks from the player's viewpoint, and is optional unless the piece could not move further, but a piece's promotion is fixed. In dai dai shogi, promotion (again fixed depending on the piece) happens when a piece that can promote makes a capture, and may not be refused.

Pieces may also have restrictions on where they can go. In xiangqi, the general and advisors may not leave their palaces (a 3×3 section of the board for each player). The topology of the board can also be changed, and some pieces may respect it while others ignore it. In Tamerlane chess, only a king, prince, or adventitious king may enter the opponent's citadel, and only the adventitious king may enter its own citadel. In cylindrical chess, the left and right edges are joined to each other so a rook can continue to the right from h1 and end up on a1. It would be possible to have both cylindrical pieces and normal pieces on the same board.

Pieces may also have restriction on how they can be captured. An iron piece may not be captured at all.[12] There are other possibilities, like a piece that can be captured by some pieces but not others, which is common in ko shogi (e.g. a shield unit is invulnerable to bows and guns). In Ralph Betza's Jupiter army, the Jovian bishop is a Nemesis ferz: it cannot capture, it cannot increase its distance from the enemy king, and it may not be captured (except possibly by the enemy king itself; Betza vacillated on this point).[13]

Such special characteristics of pieces are normally not included in the notations describing the movement of fairy pieces, and are usually explained separately.

Higher dimensions[edit]

Some three-dimensional chess variants also exist, such as Raumschach, along with pieces that take advantage of the extra dimension on the board.

Ea5Eb5Ec5Ed5Ee5
Ea4Eb4Ec4Ed4Ee4
Ea3Eb3Ec3Ed3Ee3
Ea2Eb2 black circleEc2Ed2Ee2
Ea1Eb1Ec1Ed1Ee1
E
Da5Db5Dc5 black circleDd5De5 black circle
Da4Db4Dc4Dd4De4
Da3Db3Dc3 black circleDd3De3 black circle
Da2Db2Dc2Dd2De2
Da1Db1Dc1Dd1De1
D
Ca5Cb5Cc5Cd5Ce5
Ca4Cb4Cc4Cd4 white unicornCe4
Ca3Cb3Cc3Cd3Ce3
Ca2Cb2Cc2Cd2Ce2
Ca1Cb1Cc1Cd1Ce1
C
Ba5Bb5Bc5 black circleBd5Be5 black circle
Ba4Bb4Bc4Bd4Be4
Ba3Bb3Bc3 black circleBd3Be3 black circle
Ba2Bb2Bc2Bd2Be2
Ba1Bb1Bc1Bd1Be1
B
Aa5Ab5Ac5Ad5Ae5
Aa4Ab4Ac4Ad4Ae4
Aa3Ab3Ac3Ad3Ae3
Aa2Ab2 black circleAc2Ad2Ae2
Aa1Ab1Ac1Ad1Ae1
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.

Notations[edit]

Parlett's movement notation[edit]

In his book The Oxford History of Board Games[14] 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 (e.g., the nightrider)
    • . – then, (e.g., an aanca is 1X.n+; one step diagonally and then any distance orthogonally outwards)

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 hopping; implies hopper)
  • Grouping (punctuation)
    • , (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.[15]

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. Longer leaps are specified here by a vector, such as (1,4) for the giraffe.

A leaper 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. R4 and W4 are synonyms.[16]

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. Betza often plays with the order to create somehow pronounceable piece names and artistic word play.

Addition to Betza's notation ('XBetza'[17])[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 a 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 mfWcefFimfnD.) 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. RW) 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 always 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. WF) and vice versa. (So mafsW is the xiangqi horse, move to an empty W-square, and continue one F-step at 45 degree, and FyafsF is the gryphon.)

Bex notation also adds many extensions for indicating different modes of capture: where a simple c describes replacement capture as in chess, the notations [ca], [cw], [cl] describe capture by approach, withdrawal, leaping over, etc. [crM] describes rifle capture (i.e. annihilating enemy pieces without moving), and specifies with the atom M it contains what can be captured that way. Bex notation also introduces a way to describe exotic effects as a step in a longer move. E.g. [xo] as final move step indicates returning to the square of origin, [xiK] means immobilize all pieces a K step away from the current square, while [x!iK] would similarly mobilize such neighbors. [xwN] would denote a position swap with a piece an N leap away. None of these things can be specified in the original Betza notation, but the downside is that the notations are completely ad-hoc, and do not follow from an underlying principle.

Notation used by problemists[edit]

The British Chess Problem Society (BCPS) provides notations for many fairy chess pieces,[18] extending the standard algebraic notation for chess. The notation consists of one or two capital letters or of one capital letter followed by a digit. It is noteworthy that the notation of the standard Knight is the letter S (from German Springer) and the single letter N denotes the Nightrider. The notation for the Wazir is WE (from German Wesir) while the notation WA denotes the Waran (Rook + Nightrider).

Relative value of pieces[edit]

As with piece values in traditional chess, fairy pieces have values assigned for use in scoring & strategising. 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: 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.

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, 1.5, and 3 points respectively. Three popular compound pieces, the archbishop (BN), chancellor (RN), and amazon (QN) have been estimated to have point values around 8, 8.5, and 12 respectively. The values of other pieces are not well established; 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).[citation needed]

Musketeer Chess,[19] a modern chess variant has tried to give relatively accurate values of 10 fairy pieces: Hawk, Elephant, Unicorn, Fortress, Dragon, Spider, Leopard, Cannon, Archbishop, Chancellor. The method that lead to these calculations has been based on computation, using a dedicated engine developed. Thousands of games were generated, which helped refine the values that served as a starting point (Musketeer Chess Pieces Relative Value[20]). Other independent approaches have given Musketeer Chess a trial.[21] For example, Sbiis Sabian, in a 24-page article, reviewed many existing methods and came-up with his own methodology, inspired from previous trials. He created a program that generates random chess positions, then calculated average mobility in thousands of positions approximating the relative piece val.[21] Another progress has been the use of powerful engines. A remarkable approach presented by Grand Master Larry Kaufman in his article: Evaluation of material imbalances[22] has allowed to perfect the relative piece values in many situations (Bishops pairing, etc.).

List of fairy chess pieces[edit]

The following table shows some 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 above.


ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWX, Y, Z

Name Notation Parlett Betza Found in Notes
A
Aanca 1X.n+ t[WB] Grant Acedrex (Alfonso X, 1283) A word borrowed in medieval Spanish from Persian/Arabic legendary anka, an elephant bird (a giant eagle preying elephants) erroneously applied to this piece, see Gryphon. Also called Manticore.
Abbot 4X,~1/2 F4N Typhoon chess, Scirocco chess Moves as Knight or Bishop up to 4 squares
Acropolis ~1/2, ~1/3, n+ RNC = RNL Overkill Ecumenical Chess Combination of Gnu and Rook.
Actor ~1/2, ~1/3,nX BNC = BNL Overkill Ecumenical Chess Combination of Gnu and Bishop.
Actress ~1/2, ~1/3,n* QNC = QNL Overkill Ecumenical Chess Combination of Gnu and Queen.
Admiral n+, 1X RF Large Chess Variants by Cazaux 2020, e.g., Terachess II Combination of Rook and Ferz. Also known as Dragon King in Shogi, or Crowned Rook,or SuperRook in Pocket Mutation chess.
Advisor FE 1X F Xiangqi (Chinese chess) 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, Scholar and, ambiguously, Minister.
Alfil AL ~ 2X. Alternate notation: ~ 2/2 A = (2,2) Chaturanga (Indian chess), Shatranj (Persian chess), Courier Chess, European Chess (before 1475) Elephant in Shatranj. A (2,2)-leaper. Originally Fil in Persian. Also called Gaja, Hasty, Pil (Shatranj), Archer (Schütze) (Courier). Simply the move of the European Bishop before 1475. (The word alfil is the regular Bishop in Spanish.)
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.
Alibabarider n(~2*)in same direction AADD Fairy Chess problems Combination of Dabbabarider and Alfilrider. Sometimes named Dayrider by problemists. Compare Nightrider.
Amazon AM n*, ~ 1/2 QN Russian chess around 1770,[23] Gustav III Chess (end of 18th c.), Tressau's games (1840), Pacific Chess (1971), Renn Chess (1980), Knightmare Chess, Musketeer Chess, Sac Chess (Pacey, 2014) Combines the powers of Queen and Knight. Also called Angel (Autremont, 1918), Commander (Tressau, 1840, Trouillon, 1953), Wyvern (Parton, 1970s), Queen (Pacific Chess), Prince (Renn Chess), Superqueen, Dragon (Musketeer Chess).
Amazonrider ET n*, n(~1/2) QNN Pocket Mutation Chess Combination of Queen and Nightrider. See Elephant (von Wilpert)
Anchorite 1+.nx t[WB] Conclave Ecumenical chess see Manticore.
Ancress n+, 1+.nX Rt[WB] Conclave Ecumenical chess Combination of Manticore and Rook.
Andernach Grasshopper Andernach chess A Grasshopper that changes the colour of the hurdle it leaps over.
Angry Boar 1-2X>,1>= fF2fsW Chu shogi, Dai shogi and other large shogi variant Moves forward and sideward as a Wazir and can make upto 2 Ferz moves forward.
Antelope AN ~ 3/4 (3,4) Fairy Chess problems Jumps three squares diagonally followed by one square orthogonally outwards.
Atlantosaur c1* cWcF Fairy Chess problems (J. de A. Almay, 1940) Captures like a Mann (non-royal King) but never moves from his position unless to capture.
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 PR nX, ~ 1/2 BN Carrera'chess (1617), Tressau's games (1840), Bird Chess (1874), Capablanca Chess, Janus Chess, Modern Chess (Maura), Grand Chess (Freeling), Cavalier Chess (Duniho, 1999), Quintessential Chess (Knappen), Seirawan Chess, Musketeer Chess (Haddad), Sac Chess (Pacey, 2014) Combines the powers of Bishop and Knight. First named Centaur (Carrera), also called Princess (fairy chess), Adjudant (Tressau), Equerry (Bird), Cardinal, Minister (Maura), Janus (Janus Chess), Paladin (Duniho), Hawk (Seirawan Chess).
Archbishop (Fox-Dawson) AR nX (bounce one edge) B (bounce one edge) Fairy Chess problems Reflecting Bishop limited to a single bounce.
Archchancellor n+, ~ 1/2, 1X RNF Once more, with Deans (C. Gilman, 2009), Teutonic Knight's Chess (J. Knappen, 2009)[24] Heroine, Superchancellor (Pocket Mutation Chess), Octopus (original German term Krake[25] by German problemists) or Crowned Chancellor: Combination of Empress/Chancellor and Ferz. Originally Erzkanzler in German.
Archer 2X FA Reformed Courierspiel Chess variant see Elephant(modern).
Arrow Pawn (Persson) o2+, c1X mW2cF Arrow Pawn Chess (R. Persson variant, 1938) Moves orthogonally one or two squares and captures diagonally one square.
Assassin 1*,c2* Stealth chess
Auroch ~ 1/2, ~ 1/4 N,(1,4) Fairy Chess problems Combination of Knight and Giraffe (Pierre Monréal, 1975).
B
B4nD 1-4X, 2+ B4nD Chess with different armies (R. Betza, 1979) slides up to 4 squares as a Bishop or moves exactly 2 squares orthogonally (cannot leap the intermediate square)
Banshee BNN 21st Century Chess (G. Jellis, 1991), Unicorn Chess (D. Paulowich 2000), Fearful Fairies (J. Knappen 2012) Combines the powers of Bishop and Nightrider. Named Unicorn in Unicorn Chess, Cardinalrider (Pocket Mutation Chess, M. Nelson 2003) or Cardirider.[26]
Barc ~ 2/1> (wide), ~ 1/2< (narrow) fsNbbN ? Wide/Narrow-Hunter: moves forward as a wide Knight, and backward as a narrow Knight. The name is Crab spelled backwards.
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.
Bear SQ ~ 0/2, ~ 1/2, ~ 2/2 NAD Fairy Chess problems (N. Kovacs, 1937), Bear Chess (Mikhail Sosnovsky, 1985) Jumps to any square a distance of 2. Also called Squirrel.
Bede nX, ~ 2+ BD Chess with different armies (R. Betza, 1979) Combination of Bishop and Dabbaba.
Berolina Pawn BP o1X>, c1>, io2X> mfFcefWimfnA Berolina chess (Nebermann,1926) Moves one square diagonally forward (except on its first move, when it may move two), but captures by moving one square straight forward. Also known as Berlin Pawn or Anti-Pawn. 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.
Biok onX,cn+ mBcR Enlarged & Improved Chess, Parton's Chess Moves like a Bishop and captures like a Rook. First proposed in Holland in 1696 as an Ensign (or Fähnrich in German), then by V.R. Parton in Chess Curiouser & Curiouser (1961). See also Roshop.
Bion BL pB Fairy Chess problems Fairy chess Lion confined to diagonal 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 B nX B = FF Grant Acedrex (Alfonso X, 1283), Courier Chess (12th c.), Orthodox chess Moves any number of free squares diagonally. Also called Cocatriz (Grant Acedrex, medieval Spanish for cockatrice, representing a crocodile), Courier (Kurrier) (Courier chess), Kakugyo (angle-mover) in shogi, or Ferzrider.
Bishop's dog 3X F3 Typhoon (A.King, 2009) Moves and captures like a Bishop but limited to a maximum of 3 squares distance.[27]
Bishopper BH gB Fairy Chess problems Grasshopper confined to diagonal lines. Also known as Bishop-hopper.
Bison BI ~ 1/3, ~ 2/3 CZ = LJ Fairy Chess problems, Herd (S. Sirotkin, 2000) Combination of Camel and Zebra. Compare Falcon (Falcon Chess).
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 Elephant and Ferz. Also known as Drunken Ferz and Diabolo. The Blind Bear in Taikyoku shogi has the same moves.
Blind Tiger 1X, 1<= FsbW Chu shogi and other large Shōgi variants Combination of Ferz and Drunken backslider, or Drunk Elephant and Old Monkey. Moves one square in any direction except orthogonally forward.
Boa zNN Fairy Chess problems[25] A Nightrider making an obtuse turn after every Knight's move. Discussed as Crooked Nightrider by Ralph Betza, but not used in a game [9]. Its first two steps form a nice 8-pointed star on the chess board.
Boat AL ~ 2X A = (2,2) Chaturaji (4 player Indian chess, 11th century) See Alfil. Note that in Russia the Rook is called Ladya, a boat. The Rook is also a boat in traditional old Bengali and Javanese chess.
Bodygard 2* (Hia power) Q2 (Hia power) Hiashatar (Mongolian decimal chess) 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 Bodygard. Called Hia in Mongolian.
Boyscout BT zB Fairy Chess problems Moves like a bishop, but takes 90 degree turns after each step. Invented by J. de Almay in the years 1940s. Also called Crooked Bishop (Ralph Betza). Compare Girlscout.
Brontosaur cnX cB Fairy Chess problems (J. de A. Almay, 1940), Megasaur Chess (Parton's Enduring Spirit of Dasapada) Captures like a Bishop but never moves from his position unless to capture.
Buffalo ~ 1/2, ~ 1/3, ~ 2/3 NCZ = NLJ Cavalry Chess (Frank Maus, 1921), Gigachess-Terachess (Cazaux, 2001) Triple compound of Knight, Camel and Zebra.
C
Caliph nX, ~ 1/3 BC = BL Ecumenical Chess (Charles Gilman, 2003) Combination of Bishop and Camel. Named Flying Dragon in Ganymede Chess by Mark Hedden (1999)[28]
Caliph (Fairy)[8] 1+,~ 2X WA Fairy Chess problems Problemist's name for the piece known as Phoenix in Shogi variants or Waffle in Chess with Different Armies
Camel CA ~ 1/3 C = L = (1,3) Tamerlane Chess (1336–1405), Wildebeest Chess, Mideast Chess, Renn Chess, Metamachy, Gigachess-Terachess Old historic piece. Jumps 2 squares orthogonally followed by one square diagonally outwards. Also called Jamal (Persian for camel). Called Chevalier (Mideast Chess), General (Renn Chess), or Giraffe in Giraffe Chess.
Camelrider CR n(1/3) (in same direction) CC = LL Fairy Chess problems A rider which moves any number the Camel's moves in the same direction. A piece in its path of the opposing color could be captured, but the Camelrider could not move any further. Also known as Mehari by French problemists.
Cannon PA mRcpR Xiangqi, Shako (Chess) (1990), Metamachy (2012) Compare with Korean Cannon, Originally 砲 Pào (Black Catapult) and 炮 Pào (Red Cannon)
Cannon (Korean) RL pR Janggi (Korean chess), Fairy Chess problems 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 by problemists.
Cannon (Musketeer) 1*, ~2+, ~1/2 (narrow) DWFsN Musketeer Chess (Haddad, 2012) Moves like a Mann, Dabbaba and limited Knight sideways.
Canvasser n+, ~ 1/3 RC = RL Ecumenical Chess (Charles Gilman, 2003) Combination of Rook and Camel.
Capricorn 2000 A.D. (V. R. Parton 1970s) Captures by charging (moving to a vacant square orthogonally or diagonally adjacent to) an enemy piece.
Cardinal PR nX, ~ 1/2 BN Grand Chess (Freeling) Combines the powers of Bishop and Knight. Also called Princess or Archbishop.
Castle SQ ~ 0/2, ~ 1/2, ~ 2/2 NAD Mideast Chess (California, 1971), Pacific Chess (Hawaii, 1971), Renn Chess (Greenwood, 1980) Jumps to any square a distance of two. Also called Squirrel (Fairy Chess problems). Compare with the Centurion in Arch-Chess.
Cavalier 1X.n+, n+.1X t[RF]t[FR] Mideast Chess (California, 1971), Renn Chess (Greenwood, 1980) Either one square diagonal followed by an orthogonal slide outwards or an orthogonal slide followed by one square diagonal outwards. More powerful than the Gryphon. (Note that a Cavalier is a Knight in French).
Centaur ~ 1/2, 1* KN Fairy Chess problems, Courier-Spiel (Albers, 1820), Renn Chess (Greenwood, 1980), Reformed Courier-Spiel (Begnis, 2011), Sac Chess (Pacey, 2014) Combination of Knight and Mann. Also known as Crowned Knight, Counselor (Albers), Page (Greenwood), Paladin (Clément Begnis), Judge (Kevin Pacey).
Centaur (Carrera) PR nX, ~ 1/2 BN Carrera'chess (1617) Combines the powers of Bishop and Knight. Later on better known as Princess, Archbishop, Cardinal, and many other names.
Centurion ~ 0/2, ~ 1/2, ~ 2/2 NnAnD Arciscacchiere (Archchess, Francesco Piacenza, 1683) Despite an error often reported in English modern references, the Centurion cannot jump over an intermediate piece when jumping like Alfil or Dabbaba in Arciscacchiere.[23] Compare with Squirrel.
Chameleon Fairy Chess problems Changes its powers, but not its color, on each move. Starts as a Knight on its first move, then plays as Bishop, then as Rook, then as Queen, then reverts as Knight and again always in this order. [29]
Champion (Omega) 1+, ~ 2* WAD Omega Chess Combines the powers of the Wazir and the Alibaba.
Champion (Begnis) 1*, ~ 2+ WFD Reformed Courier chess Combines the powers of the Mann and the Dabbaba.
Champion (Carrera) EM n+, ~ 1/2 RN Carrera's Chess (1617) Combines the powers of the Rook and Knight. Also called Empress (fairy chess), Chancellor, Marshal (Freeling), or many other names.
Chancellor EM n+, ~ 1/2 RN Carrera's Chess (1617), Tressau's games (1840), Bird Chess (1874), Chancellor Chess (Ben Foster, 1887), Capablanca Chess (1920), Grand Chess (Freeling), Renn Chess (Greenwood, 1980), Seirawan Chess (2007), Musketeer Chess (Haddad, 2012), Chess on an Infinite Plane(2017), Etchessera (2017),[30] Sac Chess (Pacey, 2014) Combines the powers of the Rook and Knight. First named Champion (Carrera), later also called Empress (fairy chess), Guard (Bird), Marshal (Tressau, Freeling), Nobleman (Greenwood), or Elephant (Seirawan Chess).
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*< fsRbK 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 R 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.
Chicken General 1-4>, 1X< fW4bF Taikyoku shogi Can move up to four steps forward or one step diagonally backward. The Pup General in Taikyoku shogi has the same moves.
Cleric (Dragonchess) 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
Cockatrice B nX B Grant Acedrex (Alfonso X, 1283) Moves any number of free squares diagonally. Cocatriz in medieval Spanish for cockatrice but representing a Crocodile, moving like the orthodox Bishop.
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 EK 1* WF Chess with different armies (R. Betza, 1979) See Guard or Mann
Commuter[8] ~4X (4,4) Fairy Chess problems Leaps four steps diagonally (Jelliss, Simple Chess Variants).
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.
Corporal 1*>, io2> mfKcfFimfW2 Improved Pawn that can also move without capture diagonally forward. Compare with Pawn and Sergeant.
Counsellor FE 1X F Xiangqi (Chinese chess) See Advisor, Ferz. Also spelled Councellor.
Courier B nX B Courier Chess (12th century), Courier-Spiel (1821), Reformed Courier-Spiel (Begnis, 2011) Predecessor of the 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. Compare with Barc.
Crocodile (Congo) 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)
Crocodile (Medieval) B nX B Grant Acedrex (Alfonso X, 1283) See Cockatrice. Predecessor of the Bishop.
Crocodile (Modern) VA mBcpB Zanzibar Chess, Terachess Moves like a Bishop when not capturing, but captures by leaping over an intervening piece and taking the piece on its destination square (the captured piece can be any number of squares beyond the hurdle). See Vao.
Crowned Bishop nX, 1+ BW Shōgi, Sac Chess (Pacey, 2014) Combination of Bishop and Wazir. Also known as Dragon Horse in Shogi.
Crowned Rook n+, 1X RF Shōgi, The Duke of Rutland's Chess (J. Manners, 1747),[31][23] Sac Chess (Pacey, 2014) Combination of Rook and Ferz. Also known as Dragon King in Shogi.
Crown Princess nX, ~ 1/2, 1+ BNW Teutonic Knight's Chess (J. Knappen, 2009)[24] Also known as Supercardinal (Pocket Mutation Chess). Combination of Princess/Archbishop and Wazir. Originally Kronprinzessin in German.
D
Dabbaba DA ~ 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
Dabbabante ~ 0/2n (0,2n) Dabbabante Chess (V.R. Parton 1971) A piece that can jump directly to any square a Dabbabarider can reach.
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)[32] A six-directional piece, moving sidewards as a Knight and forwards and backwards as a Dabbaba. Also see Knave.
Diplomat Fairy Chess problems Does not capture, cannot be captured, cannot move, but it saves from capture any adjacent piece to it. Other pieces can be granted diplomatic power.[33]
Dinosaur cn* cQ Fairy Chess problems (J. de A. Almay, 1940), Megasaur Chess (Parton's Enduring Spirit of Dasapada) Captures like a Queen but never moves from his position unless to capture.
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.
Dolphin 3+,o~ 2+,o~ 3+ R3mDmH Falconry (Russia,1982) Moves and captures 1, 2 or 3 squares like a limited Rook. It may leap over occupied squares but only when non capturing.
Donkey 1=, ~ 2<> sWfbD Maka dai dai shogi and other large Shōgi variants Jumps 1 square sideways, or 2 squares forwards and backwards.
Dragon DR 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 (5D) 5D Chess with Multiverse Time Travel (Thunkspace, 2020) Generalization of a Bishop to higher dimensions. Quadragonal movement: Any moves must incorporate all of the game's four axes equally, resulting diagonal spacial dimension movements paired with "diagonal" temporal and multiversal movements. Compare with Unicorn (5D).
Dragon Horse nX, 1+ BW Shōgi, Quintessential Chess (Knappen, 2002), Sac Chess (Pacey, 2014) Combination of Bishop and Wazir. Also known as Crowned Bishop or a Missionary (Kevin Pacey, Cazaux).
Dragon King n+, 1X RF Shōgi, The Duke of Rutland's Chess (J. Manners, 1747),[31][23] Sac Chess (Pacey, 2014) Combination of Rook and Ferz. Also called Crowned Rook, Sailor (Kevin Pacey) or Admiral (Cazaux 2020).
Drunk Elephant 1X, 1>= FsfW Sho shogi, Chu 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 and promoted Pawn in Xiangqi (after crossing the river).
Duke 1+.nX, nX.1+ t[BW]t[WB] Renn Chess (Greenwood, 1980) Either one square horizontal or vertical followed by a diagonal slide outwards or a diagonal slide followed by one square horizontal or vertical outwards. Compare with Manticore.
Duke (Jelliss) 1X, ~ 2+ FD Fairy chess Combination of Ferz and Dabbaba. Better known as Kirin (large shogis).
Duke (Musketeer chess) 1-2+, ~1/2 WDN Musketeer chess: Castellum armies Combination of War Machine and Knight. See Minister.
Dullahan 1X,~ 1/2 FN Fearful Fairies[34] Combination of Ferz and Knight. Known as Prince among problemists and named Priest in Scirocco. The name Dullahan was chosen as a male couterpart to Banshee.
Dummy DU A piece with no moves at all. It may gain temporarily moving ability by relay, or pushed or pulled by other specific pieces. It can be captured. Compare with Pyramid and Zero.
Dwarf (Dragonchess) 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), Mann, and a backward Bishop restricted to 2 squares.
Eagle 1X.n+ t[FR] Grant Acedrex (Alfonso X, 1283), Metamachy, Terachess Moves one square diagonally followed by moving any number of spaces like a Rook outwards (moving away from where it started). See Gryphon.
Edgehog EH n* (edges) Q (edges) Edgehog Chess I (John Driver, 1966) & III (P. Aronson, 2001)[35] 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)[35] 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) 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 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).
Elephant (Indian) 1X, 1> FfW Indian chess (al Biruni, c. 1030) See Silver General.
Elephant (Korean) 2/3 t[WnA] Janggi (Korean chess) Sang in Korean. Non-leaping Zebra.
Elephant (Ciccolini) ~ 2/3 Z = J = (2,3) Ciccolini's Chess (1820) Named Giraffe (Grant Acedrex, 1283) or also Zebra by problemists.
Elephant (Modern) 1X, ~ 2X FA Alber's Courier-Spiel (1821), Shako (Chess) (1990), Reformed Courier Chess, Metamachy (2012) Combination of Ferz (medieval Queen) and Alfil (medieval Bishop, shatranj Elephant). Also called Falafel (R. Betza), Ferfil (G.P. Jelliss), or Ferz Alfil. It is the Archer in Begnis's Reformed Courier Chess.
Elephant (Musketeer) 1*, ~2+, ~2X KAD = WFAD Musketeer Chess (Haddad, 2012) Moves like a Mann (Wazir + Ferz) or Dabbaba or Alfil. Also known as Mammoth, Mastodon, Squire, Pasha.
Elephant (Persian) AL ~ 2X A = (2,2) Chaturanga (Indian chess), Shatranj (Persian chess), European Chess (before 1475) (2,2)-leaper. See Alfil.
Elephant (von Wilpert) ET QNN Wolf Chess (1943),[36] Fairy Chess problems (Jean Oudot, 1975) Combination of Queen and Nightrider, also called Amazonrider. Originally Elefant(en) in German.
Empress EM n+, ~ 1/2 RN Carrera's Chess (Carrera, 1617), Tutti-Frutti Chess (Betza & Cohen), Wolf Chess (1943)[36] 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),[31] Elephant (Seirawan Chess), Marshal, or Wolf (Wolf Chess).
Ensign onX,cn+ mBcR Enlarged & Improved Chess (1696) Moves like a Bishop but captures like a Rook. Also named Biok.
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, Maka dai dai shogi, Tai shogi 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.
Falcon (Falcon Chess) nCnZ = nLnJ Falcon Chess patent (George Duke, 1996) A non-jumping Bison with multiple paths consisting of three straight or diagonal steps towards its endpoints. It can be blocked by two pieces and it can create a double pin.
Falcon (Falconry) 3X,~ 1/3 CB3 Falconry (Russia, 1982) Moves like a Camel (3,1) or 1,2,3 squares diagonally like a limited Bishop without jumping over occupied squares. It's a colorbound piece.
Faro FA cRmpR Fairy Chess problems (M. Rittirsch, 2016) Argentinian Rook, captures as a Rook but needs to jump over a hurdle for non-capturing moves,[18] compare Cannon
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 FE 1X F = (1,1) Chaturanga, Shatranj, Tamerlane Chess (1336–1405), European Chess (before 1475), Archchess (Francesco Piacenza, 1683), Martian chess, 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, Persian Queen. Simply the move of the Queen in Europe before 1475. (The word ferz, Ферзь, is the regular Queen in Russian.)
Fibnif ~ 1/2 (narrow), 1X fbNF Chess with different armies (R. Betza, 1979) Combination of narrow Knight and Ferz
Fiveleaper[8] BU ~5+, ~3/4 (0,5)(3,4) Fairy Chess problems Leaper making moves of length 5 units, due to the Theorem of Pythagoras it has twelve possible directions. Also named Root-25-Leaper
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 Dragon 2X B2 Dai shogi and other large Shōgi variants A Bishop restricted to a distance of two squares.
Flying Dragon (Ganymede) nX, ~ 1/3 BC = BL Ganymede Chess[28] Combination of Bishop and Camel
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 Kingfisher n(2*) in same direction,1* KAADD = WFAADD Chess with different armies (R. Betza, 1979) Combination of Alibabarider and Mann.
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 WE 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 Mann 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.
Fortress 1X, ~ 2+ FD Pacific Chess (Hawaii, 1971) Combination of Ferz and Dabbaba. Also known as Duke (Jelliss, Simple Chess Variants). Better known as Kirin (large shogis).
Fortress (Musketeer) ~2+, 1/2 (wide), 3X F3DfbN Musketeer Chess (Haddad, 2012) Moves like a Bishop limited to 3 squares or narrow Knight or Dabbaba.
Fourleaper ~ 4+ (0,4) Fairy Chess problems Jumps four squares orthogonally, leaping over any intermediate piece (Jelliss, Simple Chess Variants).
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.
Free King Q n* Q = RB Chu shogi, large shogis Combines the powers of the Bishop and Rook. Called Honno in Chu shogi and other large shogis.
Friend F Fairy Chess problems Moves like any friendly piece that is guarding it. Compare with Orphan.
Frog [8] 1X, ~3+ FH Fairy Chess problems Combination of Ferz and Threeleaper. The simplest amphibian.
Fusilier o1+, c1X mWcF Jeu de la Guerre (Prague, 1770), Centennial Chess (J.W.Brown, 1999) Extended Pawn, moves one square orthogonally in all four directions, and captures diagonally in all four directions; also called a Quadrapawn, a Steward (Brown) or a Hobbit.
G
General (Chinese) 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.
General (Ciccolini) nX,n(~ 2+) BDD Ciccolini's Chess (1820) Combine Bishop and Dabbabarider, a colorbound piece.
Giraffe (Modern) GI ~ 1/4 (1,4) Grant Acedrex (Alfonso X, 1283) according to H.J.R. Murray (1913) Wrong historical interpretation but now a popular fairy piece. Compare with Giraffe (Zaraffa)
Giraffe (Zaraffa) Z ~ 2/3 Z = J = (2,3) Grant Acedrex (Alfonso X, 1283), Zanzibar, Terachess Old historic piece. Jumps one square orthogonally followed by two squares diagonally outwards. Also called Zebra as fairy piece.
Giraffe (Tamerlane, Zurafa) ~ 1/4.n+(outwards) t[(1,4)R] Tamerlane Chess (1336–1405) Old historic piece. Starts with a (1,4) leap (like the modern Giraffe) and may continue moving outwards as a Rook.
Giraffe (Congo) ~ 2*, o1* ADmK Congo (1982) Alibaba that moves but does not capture as a Mann. Compare with Pasha
Girlscout GT zR Fairy Chess problems, Jupiter (A. King 1999) Moves like a Rook but takes a 90 degree bent after each step in a zig-zag manner. Also named Crooked Rook (R. Betza). Compare Boyscout.
Gnu GN ~ 1/2, ~ 1/3 NC = NL Wildebeest Chess (R.W. Schmittberger, 1987) Combination of Knight and Camel. Called Wildebeest in Wildebeest Chess. Called Unicorn in Musketeer Chess. Invented by Walter Jacobs (Fairy Chess Review, 1934/8).
Gnurider GR n(~ 1/2), n(~ 1/3) NNCC = NNLL Fairy Chess problems Combination of Nightrider and Camelrider[18]
Go-Between 1<> fbW Chu shogi, Dai shogi and other large Shōgi variants Combination of Pawn (Japanese) and Backslider: moves one square forward or backward. Also known as Adjutant.
Golden Bird fbRlrW2F3 Taikyoku shogi and other large Shōgi variants 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 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 G gQ Fairy Chess problems A hopper which moves along the same lines as Queen and lands on the square immediately beyond the hurdle, which can be of either color. It captures on its destination square. One of the most popular fairy pieces. Also known as Queen-hopper.
Graz Pawn[25] 1*>, io2*> fWfFifmW2ifmF2 Fairy Chess problems Combines the powers of the Berolina Pawn and the standard Pawn. It occurs (without the initial double move) as Iron General in large shogi variants from the 15th century, e.g., in Tenjiku shogi. Compare with Sergeant.
Great Horse n<>, 2=, nX> fBvRsF2 Taikyoku shogi Moves as a forward Bishop, vertical Rook, or up to 2 squares sidewards. The Horseman in Taikyoku Shogi has the same moves.
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 1X.n+ t[FR] Grant Acedrex (Alfonso X, 1283), Metamachy Originally Aanca in the ancient Castillan codex, a giant eagle mistaken for a Gryphon by Murray (1913). Moves one square diagonally followed by moving any number of spaces like a rook outwards (moving away from where it started). Also known as Eagle.
Guard EK 1* WF (=K) Courier Chess, Chess on an Infinite Plane, Pacific Chess, Renn Chess, Waterloo Chess Moves as King but is not royal. Also called Mann, Commoner, Prince, or Spy (Waterloo Chess).
Guard on+,cnX mRcB Enlarged & Improved Chess (1696) Moves like a Rook but captures like a Bishop. German name Trabant(en), also named Roshop.
Guard (Etchessera) Etchessera[30] 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.
Harvester nX,1+.nX Bt[WB] Tripunch Chess (Betza, 2002) Combination of Bishop and Manticore. Compare with Reaper.
Hawk ~ 2/2, ~ 3/3, ~ 0/2, ~ 0/3 (2,2)(0,2)(3,3)(0,3) = ADGH Chess on an Infinite Plane, Musketeer Chess[21][19][37] Jumps two or three squares in any orthogonal or diagonal direction.
Heavenly Horse ffbbN Wa shogi Occurs in Taikyoku shogi with a different move.
Heavenly Tetrarch 4* Q4 Taikyoku shogi Move as Queen limited to 4 steps
Hero (Dragonchess) Dragonchess (3D, 1985) See Elephant (Modern) (on middle board). 3D movement: Can move or capture one cell triagonally (Ferz pattern) below or above.
Heroine n+, ~ 1/2, 1X RNF K. Pacey 2019 Combination of Empress/Chancellor and Ferz. Also known as Archchancellor.
Hia 2* (Hia power) Q2 (Hia power) Hiashatar (Mongolian decimal chess) Mongolian Bodyguard (see).
High Priestess[38] 1X, ~ 2X, ~ 1/2 FAN Two large Shatranj variants (J.Joyce 2005) Combines the powers of Ferz, Alfil, and Knight
Hippopotamus c~ 1/2 cN Fairy Chess problems (J. de A. Almay, 1940), Megasaur Chess (Parton's Enduring Spirit of Dasapada) Captures like a Knight but never moves from his position unless to capture. Also called Hipposaur (Parton).
Hobbit o1+, c1X mWcF Jeu de la Guerre (Prague, 1770), Hobbit Chess (2002) Moves one square orthogonally in all four directions, and captures diagonally in all four directions; originally called a Fusilier (1770).
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 (Japanese) up to 2 squares orthogonally forward.
Horse MA 1/2 t[WF] Xiangqi (Chinese chess) See Mao. Originally 馬 Mǎ (Black Horse) and 傌 Mà (Red Horse) in Chinese.
Hospitaller[39] ~ 1/2, ~ 2X NA Fairy Chess problems Combination of Knight and Alfil. Also known as Kangaroo
Howling Dog n>, 1< fRbW Dai dai shogi and other large Shōgi variants Combination of Lance and Backslider.
Hunter n>, nX< fRbB Spanish Chess (1739), Falcon-Hunter Chess Moves forward as Rook, and backward as Bishop. First proposed in Spanish Chess (Germany,1739),[23] as Archer. Also known as Rook/Bishop-Hunter, and Multi General in Tenjiku shogi and Taikyoku shogi.
Huygens[40] ~ (prime number)+ (0,2), (0,3), (0,5), (0,7), (0,prime number)... Chess on an Infinite Plane[40] Jumps in a rook's direction any prime number of squares (causing pursuing jumpers to make an inefficient maneuver when chasing it).
I
Ibis[8] ~ 1/5 (1,5) Fairy Chess problems Jumps 4 squares orthogonally followed by one square diagonally outwards.
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.
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. Also known as Freezer.
Impala ~ 1/2, ~ 3/4 N,(3,4) Fairy Chess problems Combination of Knight and Antelope.
Iron General 1*> fK Dai shogi, Tenjiku shogi, other Shōgi variants. Moves one square in any direction forward. Also called Forward King.
J
Joker 1*, ~ 2*, ~ 1/2 KAND = WFAND Waterloo Chess, Amsterdam Medieval Chess Identical to the KAND Lion
K
Kangaroo ~ 1/2, ~ 2X NA Outback Chess (T. Newton 2002) Combination of Knight and Alfil. Also known as Hospitaller
Khon 1X, 1> FfW Indian chess (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. Also called Burmese Elephant, Hsin in sittuyin (Burmese chess), Elephant in some versions of Indian chess, Silver General in shogi, and Violent Stag in taikyoku shogi and wa shogi.
King K 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. Also called Raja (chaturanga), Shah (shatranj), Jeweled General (shōgi), or Phoenix (tori shōgi). For a non-royal piece which moves like the King, see Mann, Commoner or Guard.
King (Dragonchess) Dragonchess (3D, 1985) King (on middle board) with a 3D movement: can move or capture to the cell directly above or below it.
Kirin 1X, ~ 2+ FD Chu shogi, Dai shogi and other Shōgi variants, Pacific Chess (Hawaii, 1971) Combination of Ferz and Dabbaba. Also called Diamond (for its pattern), Fortress (Pacific Chess), Duke (Jelliss, Simple Chess Variants).
Knave sDffbbN Knavish Chess (Charles Gilman, 2011)[32] A six-directional piece, moving sidewards as a Dabbaba and forwards and backwards as a Knight. Also see Debtor.
Kneen o~ 1/2, cn* mNcQ Parton's Chess Moves like a Knight and captures like a Queen. First proposed by V.R. Parton in Chess Curiouser & Curiouser (1961). See also Quight.
Knight S ~ 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.
L
Lama o1>, c1X>, io2>, ~ 1/3 CmfWcfFimfW2 Fairy Chess problems Combination of Camel and Pawn. Invented by Pierre Monréal and Jean-Pierre Boyer (1965).
Lance n> fR Shōgi, Chu shogi, Taikyoku shogi, Wa shogi Moves any number of squares directly forward. Also called Forward Rook (checkers chess), and Oxcart (Taikyoku shogi, Wa shogi).
Lancer ~ 2/4 (2,4) Fairy Chess problems Jumps two squares diagonally followed by two squares orthogonally outwards. Also known as Stag or Hare (original German name Hase) by problemists.
Leeloo Quintessential Chess (J. Knappen, 2002)[41] 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 LE on*, c^& mQcpQ Akenhead's Chess (1947) Combines the powers of Pao (Cannon) and Vao (Crocodile). 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). Also called Sorceress.
Leon ~ 1/3, ~ 3+ CH = LH Grant Acedrex (Alfonso X, 1283) Spanish Lion. Combination of Camel and Threeleaper.
Leopard (Musketeer) ~ 1/2, n2 NB2 Musketeer Chess (Haddad, 2012) Moves like a Knight or a Bishop limited to a maximum of 2 squares
Liberated Horse n>, 2< fRbR2 Wa shogi Moves forward as a Rook or one or two squares orthogonally backward.
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 (Fairy) LI 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 (Japanese) 1*, ~ 2*, ~ (1/2) KANDcaKmabK Chu shogi, 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 (Modern) 1*, ~ 2*, ~ 1/2 KAND = WFAND Metamachy, Terachess, Scirocco A KAND Lion is moving and capturing anywhere one or two squares around, i.e. one or two squares in any direction or like a Knight. Also known as Lioness (Scirocco), Joker.
Lion (Murray) ~ 2*, c1* ADcK chess variants 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,1913 who brought it up.
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.
Loco LO cBmpB Fairy Chess problems Fairy Chess problems (M. Rittirsch, 2016) Argentinian Bishop, captures as a Bishop and needs a hurdle to move without capturing, compare Faro[18]
Locust L ^* mQ[cl]Q Fairy Chess problems Moves as a Queen but must hop over an adverse piece to the square next beyond that piece to capture that piece in the move.
M
Machine ~ 1−2+ = 1+, ~ 2+ WD Terachess, Zanzibar Chess Combination of Wazir and Dabbaba. See War Machine.
Mage (Dragonchess) 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 side.
Mammoth cn+ cR Fairy Chess problems (J. de A. Almay, 1940) Captures like a Rook but never moves from his position unless to capture.
Mann EK 1* WF = K Courier Chess (12th century), Courier-Spiel (1820) Moves as King but is not royal. From German Mann or Ratgeber. Also called Sage, Fool, Commoner, Guard, Erlking, or spelled as Man.[42]
Manticore 1+.nX t[WB] Grant Acedrex (Alfonso X, 1283) Moves as a Wazir and continues as a bishop outwards. Also called Aanca (R. Betza), Acromantula (H. G. Muller), Anchorite (C. Gilman), Rhinoceros (Cazaux), Spider (A. King), or Unicorn. Compare with Gryphon and Duke.[43]
Mao MA 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.
Marquis 1+,~ 1/2 WN Scirocco Combination of Wazir and Knight. Also called Emperor (Jelliss, Simple Chess Variants).
Marshal EM n+, ~ 1/2 RN Grand Chess (Freeling) Also spelled Marshall, or called Chancellor or Empress.
Mastodon 1*, ~ 2* KAD = WFAD Mastodon Chess and Mammoth Chess (M.Winther, 2006) Combination of Mann (non-royal King), Alfil and Dabbaba. Also known as Pasha(Paulovits), Mammoth or Squire (Renn Chess).
Megasaur cn*, c~ 1/2 cQcN Fairy Chess problems, Megasaur Chess (Parton's Enduring Spirit of Dasapada) Combine the Dinosaur and the Hipposaur, i.e. captures like an Amazon but never moves from his position unless to capture.
Metropolitan nX, 1X.n+ Bt[FR] Conclave Ecumenical chess Combination of Gryphon and Bishop.
Minister[38] 1+,~ 2+, ~ 1/2 WDN Two large Shatranj variants (J. Joyce 2005) Combines the powers of Wazir, Dabbaba, and Knight
Minister (Shatranj) FE 1X F = (1,1) Chaturanga, Shatranj, Tamerlane Chess (1336–1405) See Ferz. Also known as Counsellor.
Minister (Maura) PR nX, ~ 1/2 BN Modern chess (Maura) Combines the powers of Bishop and Knight. Also called Princess or Archbishop.
Missionary nX, 1+ BW Sac Chess (Pacey, 2014) Combination of Bishop and Wazir. Also known as Dragon Horse in Shogi, or Crowned Bishop.
Moa MO 1/2 nN Chinese Similar to 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.
N
N2R4 2(~ 1/2), 1−4+ N2R4 Chess with different armies (R. Betza, 1979)
Nao NA 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.
Newt [39] ~2X, ~3+ AH Fairy Chess problems Combination of Alfil and Threeleaper. A simple amphibian.
Nightrider N n(1/2) (in same direction) NN Wolf Chess (1943),[36] Edgehog Chess II (John Driver, 1966) & III (P. Aronson),[35] 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).
Nightriderhopper NH gNN Fairy Chess problems[18] Move to next square beyond any piece in lines of knight moves. Also known as Knight-line-hopper
O
Okapi OK ~ 1/2, ~ 2/3 NZ = NJ Fairy Chess problems Combination of Knight and Zebra. Invented by Pierre Monréal (1965).
Old Monkey 1X, 1< FbW Maka dai dai shogi and other large Shōgi variants Combination of Ferz and Backslider. Also known as Inverted Silver and Backward Elephant.
Osprey 2+.nX t[DB] Expanded Chess (D.Zacharias, 2017) Leaps to the second square on the same rank or file, and then slides outward as a Bishop. Compare with Manticore.
Orphan O 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
Paladin ~ 1/2, 1* KN Reformed Courier-Spiel (Begnis, 2011) Combination of Knight and Mann. Better known as Centaur.
Paladin PR nX, ~ 1/2 BN Cavalier Chess (Fergus Duniho, 1999),[44] Combines the powers of Bishop and Knight. Better known as Princess (fairy chess), Archbishop or Cardinal. Proposed name by several chessvariant fans as it reflects the nature of this piece (Duniho).
Pancake pNNK Chess with different armies (R. Betza, 1979) Combination of Mann and cannon-style Nightrider
Pao PA 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 Cannon (Korean).
Pasha 1*, ~ 2* KAD = WFAD Paulovits's Game (1890), Renniassance Chess (1980), Mastodon Chess (2006) Combination of non-royal King or Mann (Wazir+Ferz) and Alibaba (Alfil+Dabbaba). Also known as Mastodon, Mammoth, Squire (Renn Chess).
Pawn P o1>, c1X>, io2> mfWcefFimfnD 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 and Torpedo Pawn.
Pawn (Chinese) CP 1>; 1>, 1+= (after crossing the river) fW; fsW (after crossing the river) Xiangqi (Chinese chess) Originally (Black Private (Mercenary)) and Bīng (Red Soldier) in Chinese. Moves one square orthogonally forward (like Japanese Pawn) before crossing the river, and one square orthogonally forward or sideward (like Korean Pawn) after crossing the river.
Pawn (Japanese) 1> fW Shōgi, Chu shogi, Tori shogi, Wa shogi, Out-Khmer (Hills' Cambodian chess), Xiangqi (Chinese chess) Moves one square orthogonally forward. It's the Pawn from Xiangqi (Chinese chess), before crossing the river and the Pawn in Shōgi (Japanese chess). Also called Soldier, Fish (Shattrong), Sparrow Pawn (Wa shogi), or Swallow (Tori shogi).
Pawn (Jetan) 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 Evil Wolf, Pikeman, or Drunken Pawn.
Pawn (Korean) 1>= sfW Janggi (Korean chess), Xiangqi (Chinese chess) Moves one square orthogonally forward or sideward. It's the Pawn from Xiangqi (Chinese chess), after crossing the river and the Pawn from Janggi (Korean chess). Also called Soldier.
Pawn (Shatranj) 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.
Pawn of piece(s) Tamerlane Chess (1336–1405), Full Tamerlane Chess (al-Âmulî & Arabshâh, 14th–15th centuries)[45] A Pawn that promotes to a certain 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.
Pawn (Hiashatar) o1>, c1X>, io3> mfWcfFimfW3 Hiashatar (Mongolian decimal chess) Orthodox Pawn with a triple step on first move. Mongolian Küü.
Pawn (Torpedo) o1>, o2>, c1X> mfW2cefF Torpedo Chess,[46] Metamachy, Gigachess, Terachess Moves two square straight forward, but captures one square diagonally forward. Can capture a Torpedo Pawn en passant if the other Torpedo Pawn moves two squares forwards to the immediate square left or right of the Torpedo Pawn. Simply called Pawn in many chess variants.
Pegasus NNgQ Fairy Chess problems Combines the powers of the Grasshopper and of the Nighrider.[47]
Pegasus (Beastmaster) ~ 1/4 ~ 2/3 Z(1,4) = J(1,4) Beastmaster Chess (G. Overby, 2002) Combination of Giraffe and Zebra
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, Chu shogi, Dai shogi, and other Shōgi variants Combination of Wazir and Alfil. Also known as Waffle.
Priest 1X,~ 1/2 FN Scirocco Combination of Ferz and Knight. Known as Prince among problemists and named Dullahan in Fearful Fairies by J. Knappen[34]
Prince 1* WF = K Tamerlane chess, Chu shogi, large shogis A non-royal King or Mann, promoted from a Pawn of King. Originally Shâhzâda in Persian. Also known as Adventice King (Shâh masnû‘a) when promoting from Pawn of Pawns. Called Taishi, promoted Drunk Elephant in Chu shogi.
Prince (Fairy) 1X,~ 1/2 FN Fairy Chess problems (Jelliss, Simple Chess Variants) Combination of Ferz and Knight. Known in chess variants as Priest (Scirocco) or Dullahan (Fearful Fairies).
Prince (Modern) 1*, o2> WFmfW2 Metamachy Moves as a Mann (non-royal King) or as a Pawn, can be promoted like a Pawn.
Princess PR nX, ~ 1/2 BN The Emperor's Game (L. Tressan, 1840), Grand Chess (1984), Tutti-Frutti Chess (Betza & Cohen), Wolf Chess (1943)[36] 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, Fox in Wolf Chess (Originally Fuchs in German), and Minister in Modern Chess (Gabriel Maura's, 1968).
Princess (5D) 5D Chess with Multiverse Time Travel (Thunkspace, 2020) Moves like a Queen but is restricted to using only a maximum of two of the game's four playable axes, whereas a Queen may use as many of the axes as desired.
Pterodactyl[8] ~3/3, ~5/5, ~0/15 (3,3)(5,5)(0,15) Chess mathematics The simplest triple range amphibian. George Jelliss demonstrated a pterodactyl's knight's tour on a 16×16 board in 1985.
Pyramid Fairy Chess problems Rediscovered by Joseph Boyer (Les Jeux d'échecs non orthodoxes,1951), never moves, cannot be taken. It blocks its square. Compare with Dummy and Zero.
Q
Quadrapawn o1+,c1X mWcF Jeu de la Guerre (Prague, 1770), Centennial Chess (J.W.Brown, 2001) It moves as a Pawn in all four directions. Optionally, may moves two squares forward without capture like a Pawn. Originally called a Fusilier (1770). Also called Steward, Hobbit.
Queen Q 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. Called Honno or Free King in Chu shogi
Queen of the Night[39] ET n*, n(1/2) (in same direction) QNN Twenty-first Century Chess (J. P. Jeliss, 1991) Combines the powers of the Queen and Nightrider.
Querquisite[48] Fairy Chess problems (J. E. H. Creed 1947), Lumberjack Chess (Bruce Zimove 1983), Morph Chess (Karl Scherer 2000), Zelig Chess (Stan Druben 2001) A piece that changes its move according to the file where it is standing, moves as a Rook from files a and h, as a Knight from files b and g, as a Bishop from files c and f, as a Queen from file d, and as a King from file e. Also known as Odysseus (H. Schmidt 1988), Lumberjack, or Zelig.
Quight on*,c~ 1/2 mQcN Parton's Chess Moves like a Queen and captures like a Knight. First proposed by V.R. Parton in Chess Curiouser & Curiouser (1961). See also Kneen.
Quintessence QN Quintessential Chess (J. Knappen, 2002)[41] 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.
Raven[39] WA RNN Fairy Chess problems Combination of Rook and Nightrider. Also known as Waran.
Reaper n+,1X.n+ Rt[FR] Tripunch Chess (Betza, 2002) Combination of Rook and Gryphon. Compare with Harvester.
Reflecting Bishop RB nX (bounce edges) B (bounce edges) Billiards Chess (M. Jacques Berthoumeau, 1950s), Edgehog Chess II (John Driver, 1966) & III (P. Aronson)[35] 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.[49]
Revealer (Tamerlane) ~ 3X G = (3,3) Full Tamerlane Chess (al-Âmulî & Arabshâh, 14th–15th centuries)[45] See Tripper. Also known as Sentinel.
Reverse Chariot n<> fbR Chu shogi and other large Shōgi variants Rook restricted to forward and backward directions.
Rhinoceros 1+.nX t[WB] Modern (e.g. Zanzibar Chess, Gigachess, Terachess) Moves as a Wazir (1-step as a Rook) followed by moving any number of spaces diagonally outwards. Inspired by medieval Unicornio. Now known as Manticore.
Rhubarb n+,1-3X RF3 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.
Roc ~ 2/2 ~ 1/3 AC = AL Beastmaster Chess (G. Overby, 2002) Combination of Alfil and Camel
Rook R n+ R = WW Chaturanga, Orthodox chess, Shatranj, Xiangqi, Janggi, Shogi, Taikyoku shogi, Wa shogi, Tamerlane chess 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, Wazirrider, or Castle (colloquial).
Rook (Quang Trung) TR on+,c^+ mR[cl]R Quang Trung Chess (V. Q. Vo, 1999) Moves as Rook but when capturing must move on square away from captured piece in the same direction. It can be described as a Marine Rook or Triton (see Compound pieces)
Rookhopper RH gR Fairy Chess problems Grasshopper confined to horizontal and vertical lines. Also spelled Rook-hopper.
Root-25-leaper BU ~ 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.[50] and Bucephalus (Fairy Chess problems)
Root-50-leaper RF ~ 1/7, ~ 5X (1,7)(5,5) 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 RO n(1/2) (turn at each jump) 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 (e.g. e1-g2-h4-g6-e7-c6-b4-c2-e1). A piece on any of these squares can be captured but prevents the rose from progressing any further. It may return to its starting point if its path is unblocked, effectively passing a turn.
Roshop on+, cnX mRcB Enlarged & Improved Chess, Parton's Chess moves like a Rook and captures like a Bishop. First proposed in Holland (1696) as a Guard, then by V.R. Parton in Chess Curiouser & Curiouser (1961). See also Biok.
Rotating Spearman Centennial Chess (J.W.Brown, 2001) piece marked with a direction. It slides any number of squares in its direction or in its reverse direction (forward and backward, never sideward). Captures forward only, never backward. In addition, may rotate after a move or rotate without moving. It cannot rotate and then move.
Rutabaga 1-2+,nX W2B Chess with different armies (R. Betza, 1979)
Running Rabbit n>, 1X fRFbW Taikyoku shogi, Wa shogi Combination of Lance and Old Monkey.
S
Saltador SA cnNmpN Fairy Chess problems (M. Rittirsch, 2016) Argentinian Knight, captures like a Knight when one of the intermediate squares is unoccupied, and moves without capturing as a Knight when one of the intermediate squares is occupied[18]
Scorpion KgQ Fairy Chess problems Combination of Mann (non-royal King) and Grasshopper
Señora SE cQmpQ Fairy Chess problems (M. Rittirsch, 2016) Argentinian Queen, captures like a Queen but needs a hurdle for non-capturing moves, combination of Faro and Loco[18]
Sergeant 1*>, io2> fKimfW2 Wolf Chess (A. von Wilpert, 1943)[36] Extended Pawn, combining the regular Pawn and the Berolina Pawn that is, it can move to, or capture on, any of the three squares immediately in front. Generally, it cannot make the initial diagonal double-step from Berolina Pawn, only that straight double-step of the regular Pawn. Originally Vogt (Sergeant, Inspector) in German.
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. Called Swallow's Wings in Wa shogi.
Silver General 1X, 1> FfW Shōgi, Indian chess (Biruni, c. 1030), Makruk (Thai chess), Sittuyin (Burmese chess), Taikyoku shogi, Wa shogi Combination of Ferz and Soldier: moves one square in any direction diagonally or one square straight forward. Also called Burmese Elephant Hsin in sittuyin (Burmese chess), Elephant in some versions of Indian chess, Khon in makruk (Thai chess), and Violent Stag in taikyoku shogi and wa shogi.
Sissa n+.nX, nX.n+ Coherent Chess, Sissa Chess Moves as a certain number of squares as a Rook followed by exactly the same number of squares as a Bishop. Or the opposite. The Sissa does not leap. This piece (invented by Carlos Cetina in the 1980s) has been named after the mythical inventor of chess in Persian legends.
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 (Silberschmidt) o1>=, c1X> mfWmsWcfF Silberschmidt's Game (1827) Extended Pawn, moves one square orthogonally forward, left or right, and captures diagonally forward.
Spider (Musketeer) ~ 1/2, n2, ~ 2+ NDF2 Musketeer Chess 5 (Zied Haddad, 2012) Moves like a Knight or a limited Bishop to 2 squares or a Dabbaba
Sorceress LE on*, c^& mQcpQ Akenhead's Chess (1947), Terachess (Cazaux, 2008) Moves like a Queen when not capturing, but captures by leaping over an intervening piece and taking the piece on the Sorceress's destination square (the captured piece can be any number of squares beyond the hurdle). Also called Star, or Leo by problemists.
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 Mann).
Squire 1*, ~ 2* KAD = WFAD Fairy Chess Problems, Renn Chess (Greenwood, 1980) Combination of non-royal King or Mann (Wazir+Ferz) and Alibaba (Alfil+Dabbaba). Also known as Mastodon and Mammoth (Winther), Squire (Renn Chess) and Pasha (Paulovits).
Squirrel SQ ~ 0/2, ~ 1/2, ~ 2/2 NAD Fairy Chess problems (N. Kovacs, 1937), Mideast Chess (California, 1971), Pacific Chess (Hawaii, 1971), Renn Chess (1980), Quintessential Chess (J. Knappen, 2002)[41] Jumps to any square a distance of 2. Also called Castle (Mideast chess, Pacific chess, Renn chess), Bear (Sosnovsky, 1985) or Centurion (Quintessential Chess). Compare with the historical Centurion in Arch-Chess.
Stag ~ 2/4 (2,4) Cazaux's chess Jumps two squares diagonally followed by two squares orthogonally outwards. Also known as Lancer or Hare (original German name Hase) by problemists.
Steward o1+,c1X mWcF Jeu de la Guerre (Prague, 1770), Centennial Chess (J.W.Brown, 2001) A Quadra-Pawn. It moves as a Pawn in all four directions. Optionally, may moves two squares forward without capture like a Pawn. Originally called a Fusilier (1770).
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 SP 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).[50]
Sylph (Dragonchess) Dragonchess (3D) See Berolina Pawn (on upper board). 3D movement: Can capture to the cell below it and return without capturing.
T
Templar[39] ~ 2+, ~ 1/2 ND Fairy Chess problems Combination of Knight and Dabbaba. Also known as Doughnut (Betza) or Scribe (Joyce and Bagley-Jones)
Teutonic Knight 1+, ~ 1/2, ~ 1/3 WNC = WNL Teutonic Knight's Chess (J. Knappen, 2009)[24] Combination of Knight, Wazir and Camel. Originally Ordensritter in German.
Thief (Dragonchess) 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)[45] Jumps three squares orthogonally, leaping over any intermediate piece. Also called Trébuchet. Possibly the Lion in Full Tamerlane Chess.
Threerider n(3+) HH Fairy Chess problems
Toad [39] ~2+, ~3+ DH Fairy Chess problems Combination of Dabbaba and Threeleaper. A simple amphibian.
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.
Troll ~ 3+, ~ 3X, o1>, c1X> HGmfWcfF Gigachess-Terachess (Cazaux, 2020) Jumps three squares orthogonally or diagonally, leaping over any intermediate piece, or moves and captures as a Pawn, allowing to go everywhere on the board. But no initial double step, no e.p.
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 (Unicorn Chess) BNN Unicorn Chess (D. Paulowich 2000) Combines the powers of Bishop and Nightrider, see Banshee
Unicorn (Dragon Chess) Dragonchess (3D, 1985) See Knight (bound to middle board). No 3D movement.
Unicorn (Grant Acedrex) BimN Grant Acedrex (Alfonso X, 1283, interpreted by H.J.R. Murray, 1913) Bishop with a first movement of a Knight that can't capture. For Cazaux interpretation, see Unicornio
Unicorn (Musketeer) ~1/2, ~1/3 NC = NL Musketeer Chess (Zied Haddad, 2012) See Gnu or Wildebeest.
Unicorn (5D) 5D Chess with Multiverse Time Travel (Thunkspace, 2020) Generalization of a Bishop to higher dimensions. Triagonal movement: Any moves must incorporate three of the game's four axes equally, resulting in either diagonal spacial dimension movements paired with orthogonal temporal and multiversal movements, or vice versa. Compare with Dragon (5D).
Unicornio (Grant Acedrex) 1/2.nX t[NB] (or t[NfB]) Grant Acedrex (Alfonso X, 1283) Moves as a Knight followed by moving any number of spaces diagonally outwards (most probably, or forwards?). Originally Unicornio in ancient Spanish, obviously designating a Rhinoceros. For Murray's interpretation, see Unicorn.
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 VA 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). Also called Crocodile (Zanzibar Chess, Gigachess, Terachess).
Vertical Mover n<>, 1+ WfbR Chu shogi and other large Shōgi variants Combination of Reverse Chariot and Wazir (or Drunk Elephant).
Violent Bear 1=, 2X> sWnfB2 Dai dai shogi and other large Shōgi variants Moves 1 square sideways or 1 or 2 squares diagonally forward.
Violent Ox 2+ R2 Dai shogi and other large Shōgi variants A Rook restricted to a distance of two squares.
W
Waffle 1+, ~ 2X WA Chess with different armies, Chu shogi, and other Shōgi variants Combination of Wazir and Alfil. Known as Phoenix in large shogis and as Caliph (Jelliss, Simple Chess Variants).
Wallaby KgQ2 (over friendly pieces), KcjQ2 Edgehog Chess III (P. Aronson)[35] Combination of omni-directional Checker and Grasshopper restricted to 2 squares over friendly pieces.
Waran WA RNN Fairy Chess problems Combination of Rook and Nightrider. Also spelled Varan. Also known as Raven.
War Machine ~ 1−2+ = 1+, ~ 2+ WD Chess with different armies, Terachess, Zanzibar Chess Combination of Wazir and Dabbaba. Also called Wazaba, Woody Rock (Betza, 1979) or simply Machine.
Warrior (Dragonchess) Dragonchess (3D, 1985) See Pawn (Shatranj) (bound to middle board). No 3D movement.
Wazir WE 1+ W = (0,1) Tamerlane Chess (al-Âmulî & Arabshâh, 14th–15th centuries), Courier chess, Renn Chess (1980) Moves one square orthogonally in any direction. Persian Vizir. Also known as Angry Boar (Dai shogi), Crocodile (Tamerlane Chess, originally Luxm, "sea monster" in Persian) or Fool, Jester (German: Schleich for Courier chess), Fox (Renn Chess).
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.
Wildebeest GN ~ 1/2, ~ 1/3 NC = NL Wildebeest Chess (R.W. Schmittberger, 1987) Combination of Knight and Camel, see Gnu.
Withdrawer [cw]Q Ultima Also known as Retreater
Wizard 1X, ~ 1/3 FC = FL Omega Chess Combines the movement of Ferz and Camel.
Wood General 2X> fB2 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) See War Machine.
Wyvern ~ 3X ~ 2/4 ~ 1/5 G(2,4)(1,5) = (3,3)(2,4)(1,5) Beastmaster Chess (G. Overby, 2002) Combination of Tripper, Stag, and Ibis.
X, Y, Z
Yaksha 3=, 1X>, 1+< fFbWsW3 Taikyoku shogi Move as forward Ferz, backward Wazir, and up to 3 squares horizontally
Zabel Pawn[25] o1>, c1X>, final o2> mfWcfF final mfW2 Fairy Chess problems Moves and captures like a chess pawn, but instead of an initial double step it has a final double step move from the 6th to the 8th rank. Named after the cycling sprinter Erik Zabel
Zebra Z ~ 2/3 Z = J = (2,3) Full Tamerlane Chess (al-Âmulî & Arabshâh, 14th–15th centuries),[45] Grant Acedrex (Alfonso X, 1283) , Ciccolini's Chess (1820), Mideast Chess (1971) Old historic piece. Jumps one square orthogonally followed by two squares diagonally outwards. Also called Zaraffa (Grant Acedrex), Elephant (Ciccolini's Chess), Courtier (Mideast Chess).
Zebrarider ZR n(2/3) (in same direction) ZZ = 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.
Zebu ZE ~ 1/3, ~ 1/4 C(1,4) = L(1,4) Fairy Chess problems Combination of Camel and Giraffe.
Zero ~ 0/0 (0,0) Fairy Chess problems (0,0) leaper. Jumps and lands on the square where it stands! It allows to pass a turn. It can be captured. Invented by A.S.M. Dickins [29]

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. ^ Dickins, Anthony S. M. (1969) [1967]. A Guide to Fairy Chess (1971 Dover repub. of 2nd ed.). Richmond, England; New York: Q Press; Dover. ISBN 0-486-22687-5; pp. 9, 30.
  4. ^ Poisson, "Catégories de pièces – Types of pieces", § "Bondisseur(m,n) – (m,n)Leaper"
  5. ^ http://www.shogi.net/rjhare/chu-shogi/chu-intro.html
  6. ^ Poisson, "Pièces féeriques – Fairy pieces", §§ "Alfil" & "Fers"
  7. ^ J. P. Jelliss, All the King's Men, [1]
  8. ^ a b c d e f g J. P. Jelliss, Theory of Moves and Pieces, [2]
  9. ^ P. Aronson and G. W. Duke, Complete Permutation Chess
  10. ^ https://www.chessvariants.com/piececlopedia.dir/pawn.html
  11. ^ https://www.janko.at/Retros/Glossary/RexMultiplex.htm
  12. ^ https://www.chessvariants.com/d.betza/chessvar/iron.html
  13. ^ https://www.chessvariants.com/d.betza/chessvar/cvda/wow-jup.html
  14. ^ Parlett, 1999
  15. ^ Overby, Glenn, II (2003). "Betza Notation". CVP.
  16. ^ https://www.chessvariants.com/d.betza/chessvar/pieces/notation.html
  17. ^ "XBetza". GNU XBoard.
  18. ^ a b c d e f g S. Emmerson, A Glossary of Fairy Chess Definitions
  19. ^ a b "homepage". www.musketeerchess.net. Retrieved 2019-11-04.
  20. ^ Haddad, Zied (2017-12-12). "Musketeer Chess, Relative Piece Value". Musketeer Chess Games, modern Chess Variants. Retrieved 2019-11-04.
  21. ^ a b c Sabian, Sbiis. "muskeetervalues - Recreomathematica". sites.google.com. Retrieved 2019-11-04.
  22. ^ Kaufman, Larry. "The Evaluation of Material Imbalances (by IM Larry Kaufman)". Chess.com. Retrieved 2019-11-04.
  23. ^ a b c d e Cazaux, Jean-Louis; Knowlton, Rick (2017). A World Of Chess. Mc Farland. ISBN 978-0-7864-9427-9.
  24. ^ a b c Knappen, Jörg (2009). "Teutonic Knight's Chess". CVP.
  25. ^ a b c d Hans Gruber, Märchenschachlexikon, Die Schwalbe [3]
  26. ^ https://www.chessvariants.com/page/MSunicorn-2
  27. ^ https://www.chessvariants.com/rules/typhoon-revised
  28. ^ a b [4]
  29. ^ a b Dickins, Anthony (1969). A Guide To Fairy Chess. Dover.
  30. ^ a b "Etchessera". www.etchessera.com. Retrieved 2017-07-20.
  31. ^ a b c "An Easy Introduction to the Game of Chess: Containing One Hundred Examples of Games, and a Great Variety of Critical Situations and Conclusions, Including the Whole of Philidor's Analysis, with Selections from Stamma, the Calabrois, &c, to which are Added, Caissa, a Poem, by Sir William Jones, the Morals of Chess, by Dr. Franklin, &c". 1817.
  32. ^ a b Knavish Chess on chessvariants.org
  33. ^ Dickins, Anthony (1969). A Guide To Fairy Chess. Dover.
  34. ^ a b J. Knappen, The Fearful Fairies, an experimental army for CwdA, [5]
  35. ^ a b c d e Aronson, Peter (2001). "EdgehogChess". CVP.
  36. ^ a b c d e von Wilpert, Arno (1943). Wolf-Schach.
  37. ^ Inventor, The Game's; Haddad, Zied. "The Chess Variant Pages: Musketeer Chess". The Chess Variant Pages. Retrieved 2019-11-04.
  38. ^ a b J. Good, Complementary Part 1, [6]
  39. ^ a b c d e f J.P. Jelliss, Simple Chess Variants, [7]
  40. ^ a b http://www.chessvariants.com Trappist-1.
  41. ^ a b c Knappen, Jörg (2002). "Quintessential Chess", CVP
  42. ^ "A Critical Analysis of the Guard in Chess"
  43. ^ "Piecoclopedia: Manticore"
  44. ^ chessvariants.com
  45. ^ a b c d Cazaux, Jean-Louis (2012). "Full Tamerlane Chess". History of Chess: chesspage of JL Cazaux.
  46. ^ Nenad Tomašev, Ulrich Paquet, Demis Hassabis, Vladimir Kramnik (2020), Assessing Game Balance with AlphaZero: Exploring Alternative Rule Sets in Chess, arXiv:2009.04374CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  47. ^ Giffard, Nicolas; Biénabe, Alain (1993). Le Guide des échecs. Traité complet.
  48. ^ Querquisite in the Piecoclopedia [8]
  49. ^ Aronson, Peter (2001). "The Piececlopedia: Reflecting Bishop". CVP.
  50. ^ a b Speckmann, Werner (2000). "Märchenfiguren und ihre Grundtypen" [PDF] (in German). Werner Speckmann: elektronische Schachbücher.

Bibliography

Web pages

External links[edit]