Fairy chess piece

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Some fairy pieces
Chess ald45.svg Chess adl45.svg Princess (knight+bishop compound)
Chess cld45.svg Chess cdl45.svg Empress (knight+rook compound)
Chess gld45.svg Chess gdl45.svg Grasshopper (shown as an inverted queen)
Chess sld45.svg Chess sdl45.svg Nightrider, knightmare, or unicorn (shown as an inverted knight)
Chess hld45.svg Chess hdl45.svg Berolina pawn or sergeant (shown as an inverted pawn)
Chess eld45.svg Chess edl45.svg Ferz (shown as an inverted bishop)
Chess mld45.svg Chess mdl45.svg Wazir (shown as an inverted rook)
Chess fld45.svg Chess fdl45.svg Mann (shown as an inverted king)

A fairy chess piece, variant chess piece, or unorthodox chess piece is a chess piece not used in conventional chess but incorporated into certain chess variants and some chess problems. Fairy pieces vary in the way they move. Because of the distributed and uncoordinated nature of unorthodox chess development, the same piece can have different names, and different pieces the same name in various contexts.

Background[edit]

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

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

Classification[edit]

Fairy chess pieces usually fall into one of three classes, although some are hybrids. Compound pieces combine the movement powers of two or more different pieces. Some chess-problem solving programs, such as WinChloe, recognize hundreds of different fairy pieces.

Movement type[edit]

Leapers[edit]

(m,n)-leapers
m
n
0 1 2 3
3 Threeleaper
(H)
Camel
(L)
Zebra
(J)
Tripper
(G)
2 Dabbaba
(D)
Knight
(N)
Alfil
(A)
Zebra
(J)
1 Wazir
(W)
Ferz
(F)
Knight
(N)
Camel
(L)
0 Zero
(O)
Wazir
(W)
Dabbaba
(D)
Threeleaper
(H)

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

The leaper's move cannot be blocked; it "leaps" over any intervening pieces. Leapers are not able to create pins, but are effective forking pieces. The check of a leaper cannot be parried by interposing. All orthodox chessmen except the pawn are either leapers or riders, although the rook does 'hop' over its own king when it castles.

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).[2] The wazir is a (1,0)-leaper (an "orthogonal" one-square leaper). The king of standard chess combines the ferz and wazir. The dabbaba is a (2,0)-leaper. The alibaba combines the dabbaba and alfil, while the squirrel can move to any square 2 units away (combining the knight and alibaba).

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

Riders[edit]

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

Hoppers[edit]

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

Compound pieces[edit]

Compound pieces combine the powers of two or more pieces. The archbishop, chancellor, and amazon are three popular compound pieces, combining the powers of minor orthodox chess pieces. The icon of a compound piece often shows elements of its component pieces.

Archbishop (also called Princess). (bishop + knight)
Chancellor (also called Empress).
(rook + knight)
Amazon
(also called Superqueen). (queen + knight)
Crowned Knight
(also called Centaur). (king + knight)

When one of the combined pieces is a king or a knight, the compound may be called a crowned piece, or a knighted piece. The dragon king and dragon horse of shogi are the crowned rook and crowned bishop respectively. The archbishop, chancellor, and amazon are the knighted bishop, knighted rook, and knighted queen respectively.

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

Games[edit]

Disks representing the advisor of xiangqi (red and black pieces, front and back).
Keima
(the knight)
Hisha
(the rook)
Game pieces of shogi.

Some classes of pieces come from a certain game, and will have common characteristics. Examples are the Chinese pieces from xiangqi, a Chinese game similar to chess. The most common Chinese pieces 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 and taikyoku shogi (Japanese games similar to chess) are usually wedge-shaped chips, with Japanese characters identifying the piece.

Special attributes[edit]

The bulldog moves as a pawn but is transparent to pieces in its army.

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. Another piece with a special characteristic is the bulldog. It moves exactly as a pawn, and starts on the pawn's squares, but it is transparent to pieces of its own color. This means, for example, a rook can immediately move into play on its first move of a game.

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

Notable examples[edit]

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


ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWX, Y, Z

Name Parlett Betza Found in Notes
A
Aanca t[FR] Grant Acedrex (Alfonso X, 1283) See "Gryphon". Spanish Gryphon or Elephant Bird
Advisor 1X F Xiangqi (Chinese chess) Chinese Queen. Ferz that can't leave the palace (3×3 zone at the center of South and North sides). Originally 士 shì (Black Advisor) and 仕 shì (Red Advisor) in Chinese. Also known as Counsellor, Mandarin, Guard, Officer and, ambiguously, Minister.
Alfil ~2X A = (2,2) Chaturanga (Indian chess), Shatranj (Persian chess) Elephant in Shatranj. A (2,2)-leaper. Originally Fil in Persian. Also called Gaja, Hasty, and Pil (Shatranj). Alternate notation: ~2/2
Alfilrider n(~2X) (in same direction) AA Fairy Chess Problems A rider which moves any number of (2,2) cells (i.e., alfil moves) in the same direction in a straight line.
Alibaba ~2* AD Fairy Chess Problems Combines the powers of alfil and dabbaba
Amazon n*, ~1/2 QN Knightmare Chess, Musketeerchess, Waterloo, Wolf Chess[3] Combines the powers of queen and knight. Also called Dragon (Musketeerchess), Elephant (Wolf Chess), Queen (Waterloo), and Superqueen. A typical icon of the amazon:The Amazon.
Andernach grasshopper Andernach chess A Grasshopper that changes the colour of the hurdle it leaps over.
Angel n*o,~0/2o,~1/2o,~2/2o mQmDmNmA Bulldog Chess Does not capture, protects adjacent friendly pieces from capture.
Antelope ~3/4 (3,4) Fairy Chess Problems Jumps three squares diagonally followed by one square orthogonally outwards.
Anti-King 1* (captures friendly, not enemy pieces) K (captures friendly, not enemy pieces) This piece is in check when not attacked. If a player's anti-king is in check and unable to move to a square attacked by the opponent, the player is checkmated. A king may not attack the opponent's anti-king. The anti-king may not check its own king.
Archbishop nX, ~1/2 BN Amsterdam Medieval Chess, Capablanca chess, Janus chess, Quintessential Chess [4] Combines the powers of bishop and knight. Also called Princess, Cardinal, or Janus (Janus Chess). A typical icon of the archbishop:The Archbishop.
Archbishop (Fox-Dawson) nX (bounce one edge) B (bounce one edge) Fairy Chess Problems Reflecting Bishop limited to a single bounce.
Archchancellor n+, ~1/2, 1X RNF Teutonic Knight's Chess (J. Knappen, 2009)[5] Crowned Chancellor: Combination of empress and ferz. Originally Erzkanzler in German.
Arrow Pawn (Persson) o2+, c1X mR2cF Arrow Pawn Chess (R. Persson variant, 1938) Moves orthogonally one or two squares and captures diagonally one square. (compare with Fusilier).
Assassin Stealth chess
Auroch ~1/2, ~1/4 (1,2)(1,4) = N(1,4) Fairy Chess Problems Combination of knight and giraffe.
B
B4nD 1-4X, 2+ B4nD Chess with different armies (R. Betza, 1979)
Balloon Four Dimensional Chess A bishop-like piece used in four-dimensional chess, i.e. it changes all coordinates simultaneously while moving.
Banshee nX, n(1/2) BNN Combination of bishop and nightrider. Also known as Unicorn.
Barc ~2/1> (wide), ~1/2< (narrow) fsNbbN Wide/Narrow-Hunter: moves forward as a wide knight, and backward as a narrow knight
Basilisk on* (Immo~1/2) mQ (Immo-N) Nova Chess A piece that moves as a queen but immobilizes any piece within a knight's move of itself, that is, it prevents it from moving or taking.
Basilisk (Dragonchess) o1*>, c1*> mfFfbWcfK Dragonchess (3D, 1985) Bound to lower board. 3D movement: Can freeze any opposing piece on the cell directly above it automatically until the basilisk moves away or is captured.
Bede nX, ~2+ BD Chess with different armies (R. Betza, 1979) Combination of bishop and dabbaba.
Berolina Pawn o1X>, c1>, io2X> mfFcfWimfF2 Berolina chess Moves one square diagonally forward (except on its first move, when it may move two), but captures by moving one square straight forward. Compare with pawn.
Berolina Plus Pawn o1X>, c1>=, io2X> mfFcsfWimfF2 Berolina Plus chess Berolina pawn which can also capture one step orthogonally to the side.
Bion pB Fairy Chess Problems Lion confined to bishop lines. Also known as Bishlion and Bishop-lion-hopper.
Bishight nX>, ~1/2< fBbN Chess with different armies (R. Betza, 1979) Bishop/Knight-hunter: moves forward as a bishop, and backward as a knight.
Bishop nX B = FF Grande Acedrex (Alfonso X, 1283), Orthodox chess Moves any number of free squares diagonally. Also called Cocatriz (grande acedrex, Spanish: Cockatrice), or Ferz-rider.
Bishopper ^nX gB Fairy Chess Problems Grasshopper confined to bishop lines. Also known as Bishop-hopper.
Bison ~1/3, ~2/3 LJ Fairy Chess Problems Combination of camel and zebra.
Blind Dog 1<=, 1X> sbWfF Wa shogi and Taikyoku shogi variants Combination of flying cock and backslider. Also known as Yen.
Blind Monkey 1=, 1X FsW Dai dai shogi and other large Shōgi variants Combination of drunk and ferz. Also known as Drunken Ferz and Diabolo.
Blind Tiger 1X, 1<= FsbW Chu shogi and other large Shōgi variants Combination of ferz and drunken backslider, or drunk and old monkey. Moves one square in any direction except orthogonally forward.
Boat ~2X A = (2,2) Chaturaji (4 player Indian chess, 11th century) See "Alfil". (And in India, Russia and southeast Asia the rook is sometimes called "boat".) A typical icon of the boat: The Boat.
Boyscout zB Fairy Chess Problems Moves like a bishop, but takes 90 degree turns after each step. Invented by J. de A. Almay in the first half of the 20th century. Also called Crooked Bishop (Ralph Betza).
Bug-Eyed Monster Fairy Chess Problems Can jump to any square which would not be reachable by any orthodox chess piece. Since the amazon is the sum of all orthodox chess pieces, the bug-eyed monster is the complement of the amazon.
Bulldog o1>,c1X>,io2> mfWcfFimfW2 Bulldog Chess,
Bulldog Legacy Chess
Same as pawn, but "transparent" to pieces in its own army. A typical icon of the bulldog: The Bulldog.
C
Caliph nX, ~1/3 BL Ecumenical Chess (Charles Gilman, 2003) Combination of bishop and camel.
Camel ~1/3 C = L = (1,3) Tamerlane Chess (1336–1405), Wildebeest Chess Old historic piece. Jumps 2 squares orthogonally followed by one square diagonally outwards. Also called Jamal (Persian Camel).
Camelrider n(1/3) (in same direction) LL Fairy Chess Problems A rider which moves any number of (3,1) squares (i.e., camel moves) in the same direction in a straight line.
Cannon mRcpR Xiangqi, Shako (1990), Metamachy (2012) See "Pao" (Chinese Cannon). Compare with "Korean Cannon", Originally 砲 pào (Black Catapult) and 炮 pào (Red Cannon)
Canvasser n+, ~1/3 RL Ecumenical Chess (Charles Gilman, 2003) Combination of rook and camel.
Cao mNcpN Chinese Moves like a knight when not capturing, but captures by leaping over an intervening piece and taking the piece on the cao's destination square.
Capricorn 2000 A.D. (chess variant) Captures by charging (moving to a vacant square orthogonally or diagonally adjacent to) an enemy piece.
Cavalier t[WB]t[BW] Mideast Chess (California, 1971) Combination of aanca and gryphon
Centaur ~1/2, 1* NK Fairy Chess Problems Combination of knight and mann. Also known as Crowned Knight. Shown as a crowned knight: The Centaur.
Centurion ~0/2, ~1/2, ~2/2 NAD Archchess (Francesco Piacenza, 1683), Quintessential Chess (J. Knappen, 2002)[4] See "Squirrel"
Champion 1+, ~2* WAD Omega Chess Combines the powers of the wazir and the alibaba.
Chancellor n+, ~1/2 RN Chancellor Chess (Ben Foster, 1887), Capablanca chess (1920), Chess on an Infinite Plane (2017)[6] Combines the powers of the rook and knight. Also called Empress, Marshall, or Marshal. A typical icon of the chancellor:The Chancellor.
Charging Knight (~1/2)>, 1*< fhNsbK Chess with different armies (R. Betza, 1979) Moves forward as a knight, or backwards as a king. Also known as forfnibakking (from Betza notation fhNrlbK)
Charging Rook n>=, 1*< fsRsbK Chess with different armies (R. Betza, 1979) Moves as a rook forwards and sideways, or as a king backwards. Also known as furlrurlbakking (from Betza notation frlRrlbK)
Chariot n+ R = WW Chaturanga (Indian chess), Xiangqi (Chinese chess) Moves as rook. In Xiangqi originally 車 jū (Black Chariot) and 俥 jū (Red Chariot).
Checker cn(^2X>), o1X> Checkers (Draughts) Moves forward one diagonal square without capturing, or captures by jumping diagonally over an opponent's piece. Promotes to checker king after it reaches the far rank. Also called Draughts Man. A checker: A checker.
Checker King cn(^2X), o1X Checkers (Draughts) Promoted checker that can move diagonally backward. Also called Draughts King. A checker king: A checker.
Chinese Pawn Xiangqi (Chinese chess) See "Soldier", or "Drunken Soldier" (after crossing the river, center line of the board). Originally (Black Private) and Bīng (Red Soldier) in Chinese.
Cleric Dragonchess (3D, 1985) See "King". 3D movement: Can move or capture to the square directly above or below it.
Cloud Eagle n<>, 1*, 3X> fbRKfB3 Wa shogi and other large Shōgi variants Combination of flying stag and a forward bishop limited to 3 squares
Colonel n>, n=, 2/1>, 1* KfsRfhN Chess with different armies (R. Betza, 1979) Combination of charging knight and charging rook: moves forward as knight or rook, sideways as rook, or backwards as king.
Commoner 1* WF Chess with different armies (R. Betza, 1979) See "Guard" or "Mann"
Commuter ~4X (4,4) (Piece considered by G.P. Jelliss).
Congo Pawn 1*>, o1< (past the river), o2< (past the river) fWfF (fWfFmbR2 past the river) Congo Iron general that can also move (but not capture) one or two steps straight backward without jumping when past the river. It promotes to congo superpawn (on last rank).
Congo Superpawn 1*>=, o1<, o2<, o1X<, o2X< sfWfFmbQ2 Congo Congo pawn that can move and capture one step straight sideways, and move (but not capture) one or two steps straight or diagonally backward without jumping.
Coordinator Ultima Captures any opposing piece that is on either of the two squares found at a) the intersection of its own file and the king's rank, and b) the intersection of the king's file and its own rank.
Copper General 1*>, 1< fFfbW Chu shogi, Taikyoku shogi, Wa shogi, and other large Shōgi variants Combination of iron general and backslider: moves one square in any direction forward or one square straight backward. Also known as Climbing Monkey, Flying Goose, or Yale.
Counsellor Xiangqi (Chinese chess) See "Advisor" ("Ferz"). Also spelled Councellor.
Courier Courier Chess (12th century) See "Bishop"
Crab ~1/2> (narrow), ~2/1< (wide) ffNbsN Chess with different armies (R. Betza, 1979) Narrow/Wide Knight-Hunter: Moves forward as a narrow knight, and backward as a wide knight.
Crocodile 1*, n>; n=; n< (see notes) Congo Chess (1982) It's a mann (anywhere), a file-restricted rook towards the river (outside the river), or a rank-restricted rook (inside the river)
Crown Princess nX, ~1/2, 1+ BNW Teutonic Knight's Chess (J. Knappen, 2009)[5] Combination of princess and wazir. Originally Kronprinzessin in German.
D
Dabbaba ~2+ D = (0,2) Chaturanga (Indian chess) (al-Adli, c. 840), Tamerlane Chess (1336–1405) Old historic piece, also known as War machine. The Arabic word dabbāba formerly meant a type of medieval siege engine, and nowadays means "army tank". Alternate notation: ~0/2
Dabbabarider n(~2+) (in same direction) DD Fairy Chess Problems A rider which moves any number of (0,2) squares (i.e., dabbaba moves) in the same direction.
Debtor vDsN Knavish Chess (Charles Gilman, 2011)[7] A six-directional piece, moving sidewards as a knight and forwards and backwards as a dabbaba. Also see Knave.
Deserter 1<, 1X< bK Also known as Backward Pawn.
Dog 1>, 1X< fWbF Taikyoku shogi, Tenjiku shogi, Wa shogi and other large Shōgi variants Moves one square directly forward (as wazir), or diagonally backward (as a ferz). Also called Strutting Crow (Taikyoku shogi and Wa shogi), Swooping Owl, or Wazir/Ferz-Hunter.
Donkey 1=, ~2<> sWfbD Maka dai dai shogi and other large Shōgi variants Jumps 1 square sideways, or 2 squares forwards and backwards.
Dragon o1>, c1X>, io2>, ~1/2 NmfWcfFimfW2 Fairy Chess Problems Combination of knight and pawn.
Dragon (Dragonchess) Dragonchess (3D, 1985) See "Dragon Horse" (bound to upper board). 3D movement: Can capture remotely (without leaving level) one cell below it or like a wazir pattern.
Dragon Horse nX, 1+ BW Shōgi, Quintessential Chess (J. Knappen, 2002)[4] Combination of bishop and wazir. Also known as Crowned Bishop.
Dragon King n+, 1X RF The Duke of Rutland's Chess (J. Manners, 1747), Shōgi Combination of rook and ferz. Also called Crowned Rook.
Drunk Elephant 1X, 1>= FsfW Sho shogi, Tori shogi, Wa shogi, and other large Shōgi variants Moves one square in any adjacent direction except orthogonally backward. Called Falcon in Tori Shogi, or Roaming Boar in Wa shogi.
Drunken Soldier 1>= sfW Janggi (Korean chess), Xiangqi (Chinese chess) Moves 1 square forward or sideways. Same as Korean Pawn in Janggi.
Dummy A piece with no moves at all. It may gain temporarily moving ability by relay, or pushed or pulled by other specific pieces.
Dwarf Dragonchess (3D, 1985) Moves like drunken soldier, captures like stone general: pawn without initial move that can move without capture one cell laterally. 3D movement: Can capture to the cell directly above it.
E
Eagle nX>, n<, 1*, 2X< fBbRWbB2 Tori shogi and other large Shōgi variants Combination of bishop/rook-hunter (falcon), king (or japanese falcon, or wazir), and a backward bishop restricted to 2 squares
Edgehog n* (edges) Q (edges) Edgehog Chess I (John Driver, 1966) & III (P. Aronson, 2001)[8] 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)[8] Moves as a queen, but if on an edge, must move to non-edge, and if on non-edge must move to edge.
Elemental Dragonchess (3D, 1985) Moves like non-leaping king+dabbaba, captures like non-leaping wazir+dabbaba; on lower board. 3D movement: Can move or capture on any non-leaping wazir pattern above or below.
Elephant (Chinese) 2X nA Dai shogi, Shōgi, Xiangqi Chinese Alfil. A (2,2)-leaper but cannot jump over an intervening piece. In xianqi the elephant is restricted to its half of the board. Originally 象 xiàng (Black Elephant) and 相 xiàng (Red Minister). Called Flying Dragon in dai shogi and shogi.
Elephant (chess 2) o3+, c(1+&1+&1+) (same direction) (can attack friendly pieces) mR3mcafmcafW (can attack friendly pieces) Chess 2: The Sequel Moves up to 3 spaces orthogonally. Attacking is always 3 spaces and captures all pieces along the way, including friendly pieces. A piece can only capture an elephant if it began its move within 2 spaces of the elephant.
Elephant (Indian) 1X, 1> FfW Chaturanga (Indian chess) (Biruni, c. 1030) See "Khon". A typical icon of the elephant: The Elephant.
Elephant (Korean) 2/3 nJ Janggi (Korean chess) Non-leaping zebra.
Elephant (Modern) 1X, ~2X FA Shako (1990), Metamachy (2012) Combination of ferz and alfil (Persian Elephant). Also called Falafel (R. Betza), Ferfil (G.P. Jelliss), or Ferz Alfil.
Elephant (Wilpert) QNN Wolf Chess (1943)[9] Originally Elefant(en) in German.
Empowered Bishop nX, ~1/2; n+ (see notes) B/BN/BR/BNR Chess 2: The Sequel Bishop which gains the movement of a knight while orthogonally adjacent to an empowered knight, or the movement of a rook while adjacent to an empowered rook.
Empowered Knight ~1/2, n+; nX (see notes) N/BN/NR/BNR Chess 2: The Sequel Knight which gains the movement of a rook while orthogonally adjacent to an empowered rook, or the movement of a bishop while adjacent to an empowered bishop.
Empowered Rook n+, ~1/2; nX (see notes) R/BR/NR/BNR Chess 2: The Sequel Rook which gains the movement of a knight while orthogonally adjacent to an empowered knight, or the movement of a bishop while adjacent to an empowered bishop.
Empress n+, ~1/2 RN Carrera's Chess (Carrera, 1617), Chess 2: The Sequel, Tutti-Frutti Chess (Betza & Cohen), Wolf Chess (1943)[9] 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), Jungle Queen (Chess 2: The Sequel), Marshall, Marshal, or Wolf (Wolf Chess).
Evil Wolf 1>=, 1X> sfK Dai shogi and other large Shōgi variants, Jetan (Burroughs' Martian chess)

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

F
FAD 1X, ~2* FAD Chess with different armies (R. Betza, 1979) Combines the powers of the ferz and the alibaba.
Falcon nX>, n< fBbR Falcon-Hunter Chess Moves forward as a bishop, and backward as a rook. Also known as Bishop/Rook-Hunter, and Free tile in Maka dai dai shogi and Tai shogi.
Ferocious Leopard 1X, 1<> FfbW Chu shogi and other large Shōgi variants Moves one square in any adjacent direction except orthogonally sideways. Also known as Crane (Tori shogi) and Horrible Panther.
Ferz 1X F = (1,1) Archchess (Francesco Piacenza, 1683), Chaturanga, Martian chess, Shatranj, Tamerlane Chess (1336–1405) Moves one square diagonally in any direction. Usually spelled Fers by problemists, and Ferz in chess variants. Also called Cat Sword (Dai shogi), Decurion (Archchess), Martian Pawn (Martian Chess), Minister, and Persian Queen.
Fibnif ~1/2 (narrow), 1X fbNF Chess with different armies (R. Betza, 1979) Combination of narrow knight and ferz
Flamingo ~1/6 (1,6) Fairy Chess Problems Makes a long (1,6) jump.
Flying Cock 1=, 1X> sWfF Wa shogi and Taikyoku shogi Moves 1 square diagonally forward, or 1 square sideways. Also known as Sidewinder.
Flying Falcon nX, 1> BfW Wa shogi and Taikyoku shogi Bishop that can step one square forward.
Flying Horse 1+, 2X> WnfA Dai dai shogi and other large Shōgi variants Combination of wazir and wood general.
Flying Ox nX, n<> fbRB Chu shogi and other large Shōgi variants Combination of bishop and reverse chariot
Flying Stag n<>, 1* fbRK Chu shogi and other large Shōgi variants Combination of reverse chariot and mann
Fool 1+ W = (0,1) Courier Chess (12th century) Moves one square orthogonally in any direction (see Wazir). Also called Schleich, Jester, Joker, Spy, Smuggler, or Sneak. A typical icon of the fool: The Fool.
Forequeen n*>=, ~1/2<, 1*< fsQbhNbK Chess with different armies (R. Betza, 1979) Moves as queen forward or sideways, or as king or knight backwards.
Forfer 1X, 1-4+ FR4 Chess with different armies (R. Betza, 1979) Combination of ferz and short rook; or dragon king (ferz+rook) limited up to 4 squares.
Forward Bishop nX> fB Checkers chess (1974) Bishop restricted to forward movements.
Forward Knight (~1/2)> fhN Checkers chess (1974) Knight restricted to forward movements.
Forward Queen n*> fQ Checkers chess (1974) Queen restricted to forward movements.
Fox (Fox&Geese) Fox and Geese See "Ferz". Also "King", Can capture by jumping like a checker. Some variations prevent the fox from moving but not capturing diagonally.
Free Bear nX, n= ~2X> sRBfA Dai dai shogi and other large Shōgi variants Combination of free boar and forward-restricted alfil.
Free Boar nX, n= sRB Chu shogi and other large Shōgi variants Combination of bishop and rook restricted to sideways directions.
Friend Fairy Chess Problems Moves like any friendly piece that is guarding it. Compare with orphan.
Frog 1X, ~3+ FH Combination of ferz and threeleaper
Fusilier o1+, c1X mWcF Arrow Pawn Chess, Centennial Chess Moves orthogonally and captures diagonally. Invented by F. Marinelli in 1770. Also known as Steward, Quadrapawn, or Arrow pawn.
G
General 1+, "flying general": cn> (against enemy general) kW, "flying general": cfR (against enemy general) Xiangqi (Chinese chess) Chinese King. Royal Wazir that can't leave the palace (3×3 zone at the center of South and North sides), except for executing the flying general move: a capturing forward rook against the enemy general that is used to force checkmate. Originally 將 jiàng (Black General) and 帥 shuài (Red General) in Chinese. Also called Governor in Xiangqi.
Ghost o~m/n Chess 2: The Sequel Teleports to any open square. Cannot capture or be captured.
Giraffe ~1/4 (1,4) Grant Acedrex (Alfonso X, 1283) (H.J.R. Murray, 1913), Tamerlane Chess (1336–1405) Old historic piece. Originally Zaraffa (giraffe) in ancient Spanish. A typical icon of the giraffe: The giraffe.
Giraffe (Congo) ~2*, o1* ADmK Congo Chess (1982) Alibaba that moves but does not capture as a king. Compare with Pasha
Girlscout zR Moves like a rook, but takes 90 degree turns after each step. Compare with Boyscout.
Gnu ~1/2, ~1/3 NL Wildebeest Chess (R.W. Schmittberger, 1987) Combination of knight and camel. Called Wildebeest in Wildebeest Chess.
Go-Between 1<> fbW Dai shogi and other large Shōgi variants Combination of soldier and backslider: moves one square forward or backward. Also known as Adjutant.
Golden Bird fbRlrW2F3 Taikyoku shogi and other large Shōgi variants In taikyoku shogi it slides and jumps the first 3 squares along the forward diagonals.
Gold General 1+, 1X> WfF Shōgi, Taikyoku shogi, Wa shogi Moves one square in all four orthogonal directions, or one square diagonally forward. Also called Golden Bird, Gold General, or Violent Wolf (Taikyoku shogi and Wa shogi).
Goose ~2X>, ~2< fAbD Tori shogi Alfil/Dabbaba-Hunter (moves forward as alfil, backward as dabbaba).
Grasshopper ^n* gQ Fairy Chess Problems A hopper which moves along the same lines as queen and lands on the square immediately beyond the hurdle. One of the most popular fairy pieces. Also known as Queen-hopper.
Graz Pawn 1*>, io2*> fWfFifmW2ifmF2 Fairy Chess Problems Combines the powers of the Berolina pawn and the standard pawn. Compare with Iron General and Sergeant.
Griffin (Dragonchess) Dragonchess (3D, 1985) See "Zebra" (on upper board). 3D movement: Can move or capture one jump triagonally (ferz pattern) below or above.
Gryphon t[FR] Grande Acedrex (Alfonso X, 1283), Metamachy (Jean-Louis Cazaux, 2012) Originally Aanca in ancient Spanish. Moves one square diagonally followed by moving any number of spaces like a rook outwards (moving away from where it started). Also known as Elephant Bird or Eagle (Metamachy).
Guard[10] 1* WF (=K) Amsterdam Medieval Chess, Bulldog Chess, Chess on an Infinite Plane,[11] Pacific Chess, Waterloo Chess Moves as king but is not royal. Also called Mann, Commoner, Prince, or Spy (Waterloo Chess).
Typical icons of the prince and guard:The Prince.The Guard.
H
Half-Duck 1X, ~2+, ~3+ HFD Chess with different armies (R. Betza, 1979) Combination of kirin and threeleaper.
Hawk ~2/2, ~3/3, ~0/2, ~0/3 (2,2)(3,3)(0,2)(0,3) = AGDH Chess on an Infinite Plane,[11] Musketeer Chess Jumps two or three squares in any orthogonal or diagonal direction. Typical icons of the hawk:The Hawk (classical). The Hawk (fairy).
Heavenly Horse ffbbN Wa shogi Occurs in Taikyoku shogi with a different move.
Hero (Dragonchess) Dragonchess (3D, 1985) See "Modern Elephant" (on middle board). 3D movement: Can move or capture one cell triagonally (ferz pattern) below or above.
Hia 2* (hia power) Q2 (hia power) Hiashatar (Mongolian decimal chess) Mongolian Bodyguard. Moves like a queen but only one or two squares. Special power: any sliding piece must stop if it moves within a king's move from the hia.
Hiashatar Pawn o1>, c1X>, io3> mfWcfFimfW3 Hiashatar (Mongolian decimal chess) Mongolian Pawn. Orthodox pawn with a triple step on first move.
Horned Falcon nX, n<=, 1>, ~2+> BsbRfWfD or BrlbRdhfWfD Chu shogi and other large Shōgi variants Moves as a bishop, as a rook (except forward), or as a lion up to 2 squares orthogonally forward.
Horse Xiangqi (Chinese chess) See "Mao". Originally 馬 mǎ (Black Horse) and 傌 mà (Red Horse) in Chinese.
Howling Dog n>, 1< fRbW Dai dai shogi and other large Shōgi variants Combination of lance and backslider.
Hunter n>, nX< fRbB Falcon-Hunter Chess Moves forward as rook, and backward as bishop. Also known as Rook/Bishop-Hunter, and Multi General in Tenjiku shogi and Taikyoku shogi. Compare with Superpawn.
Huygens ~(prime number)+ (0,3)(0,5)(0,7)(0,prime number)... Chess on an Infinite Plane[12] Jumps in a rook's direction any prime number of squares (causing pursuing jumpers to make an innefficient maneuver when chasing it). Typical icons of the huygens:The Huygens (classical).The Huygens (abstract).
I
Ibis ~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. This is even true for checks.
Immobilizer on* (Immo1*) mQ (Immo-K) Ultima Moves as queen; any enemy piece that is adjacent to the immobilizer is frozen and cannot move until the immobilizer moves away or is captured. If two immobilizers are next to each other, they are both frozen until the end of the game or one is captured. An immobilized piece may commit suicide, e.g., to open a line of attack. Also known as Freezer.
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, and checkers chess Moves one square in any direction forward. Also called Forward King (checkers chess). Compare with Graz Pawn.
J
Joker (Waterloo) 1*, ~2*, ~1/2 (0,1)(0,2)(1,1)(1,2)(2,2) = WDFNA Waterloo Chess, Amsterdam Medieval Chess
Joker (chess problems) Fairy Chess Problems, Bulldog Chess Moves as the last piece moved by the opponent. Also known as Jester. One icon of the joker: The Joker.
K
Kangaroo ~1/2, ~2X NA Combination of knight and alfil
Khohn 1X, 1> FfW Chaturanga (Biruni, c. 1030), Makruk (Thai chess), Shōgi, Sittuyin (Burmese chess), Taikyoku shogi, Wa shogi Combination of ferz and soldier: moves one square in any direction diagonally or one square straight forward. Thai Nobleman. Also called Burmese Elephant "sin" in sittuyin, Indian Elephant in chaturanga, silver general in shogi, and Violent Stag in taikyoku shogi and wa shogi.
King 1* K = WF Orthodox chess, Chaturanga, Shatranj, Shōgi, Tamerlane Chess, Tori shogi Moves one square in any direction. (Combination of wazir and ferz). Royal in orthodox chess. A non-royal piece which moves in this way is sometimes called a Commoner , Mann, or Guard.[10] Also called Raja (chaturanga), Shah (shatranj), Jeweled General (shōgi), or Phoenix (tori shōgi).
King (Dragonchess) Dragonchess (3D, 1985) See "King" (on middle board). 3D movement: Can move or capture to the cell directly above or below it.
Kirin 1X, ~2+ FD Dai shogi and other Shōgi variants, Pacific Chess (Hawaii, 1971) Combination of ferz and dabbaba. Also called Ferz Dabbaba, or Fortress (Pacific Chess).
Knave sDffbbN Knavish Chess (Charles Gilman, 2011)[7] A six-directional piece, moving sidewards as a dabbaba and forwards and backwards as a knight. Also see Debtor.
Knight ~1/2 N = (1,2) Chaturanga, Orthodox chess, Shatranj, Tamerlane Chess Jumps one square orthogonally followed by another square diagonally. Called Ashwa (horse) in Chaturanga, Faras (horse) in Shatranj, or Zebra in Congo Chess.
Knight (Japanese) (~1/2)> (narrow) ffN Shōgi (Japanese chess) Narrow Knight restricted to forward movements.
Knishop ~1/2>, nX< fNbB Chess with different armies (R. Betza, 1979) Knight/Bishop-hunter: moves forward as a knight, and backward as a bishop.
Korean Cannon pR Janggi (Korean chess) Moves and captures along orthogonal lines by jumping exactly one piece. There can be any number of free squares before and after the hurdle. Also called Rook-line-hopper, Rook Lion, or Rion.
L
Lance n> fR Checkers chess (1974), Shōgi, 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
Leeloo Quintessential Chess (J. Knappen, 2002)[4] Combines the powers of quintessence and rook
Left General 1X, 1<>, 1= (only right) FfbrW Dai dai shogi and other large Shōgi variants Asymmetrical combination of ferocious leopard and right wazir.
Left Quail n>, nX< (right diagonal), 1X fRbrBblF Tori shogi and other large Shōgi variants Combination of lance, ferz and a backward bishop restricted to right side.
Leo on*, c^& mQcpQ Akenhead's Chess (1947) Combines the powers of pao and vao. Moves like a queen when not capturing, but captures by leaping over an intervening piece and taking the piece on the leo's destination square (the captured piece can be any number of squares beyond the hurdle).
Leon ~1/3, ~3+ LH Grande Acedrex (Alfonso X, 1283) Spanish Lion. Combination of camel and threeleaper.
Lias' Pawn o1>, o1=, c1X>, io2> mfsWcfFimfW2 Lias' proposal An extended pawn which can also step one square sidewards. Proposed in the 1920s by A. G. Lias to improve standard chess
Liberated Horse n>, 2< fRbR2 Wa shogi Moves forward as a rook or one or two squares orthogonally backward.
Lion pQ Fairy Chess Problems A hopper which moves along the same lines as a queen and which can land on a square any distance beyond the hurdle. Also known as queen-line-hopper.
Lion (Cazaux) 1*, ~2*, ~(1/2) KNAD Metamachy (Jean-Louis Cazaux, 2012) Simplified japanese lion (same range but no special powers)
Lion (Congo) 1*, c(n*) (against enemy congo lion) Congo Chess (1982) King that may not leave its 3×3 castle except to capture another lion on the same vertical or diagonal line.
Lion (Japanese) 1*, ~2*, ~(1/2) KNADcaKmabK Dai shogi and other large Shōgi variants Move 2 steps or jumps per turn in any adjacent direction. It can capture up to two pieces per turn, capture an adjacent piece without moving (stationary feeding), or move and return (effectively passing a turn).
Lion Dog 3* Q3 Dai dai shogi and other large Shōgi variants A queen that cannot move more than three squares. Can jump and locust-capture in Japanese rule interpretation.
Locust c(^n*) cgQ Edgehog Chess II (John Driver, 1966)[8] A grasshopper that cannot move without capturing (can't jump over a friendly piece). Compare with Checker King.
M
Mage Dragonchess (3D, 1985) Queen (on middle board), Wazir (on upper or lower boards). 3D movement: Can move or capture one or two cells above or below it.
Maharaja n*, ~1/2 QN Maharajah and the Sepoys A royal amazon, the only piece for white.
Mann 1* WF = K Chess 2: The Sequel, Courier Chess (12th century) Moves as king but is not royal. German: Man or Commoner. Also called Commoner, Elegant Queen (Chess 2: The Sequel), Guard, or Man[10]. Shown as a crown-less king:The Mann.
Mao 1/2 nN Xiangqi (Chinese chess), Akenhead's Chess (1947). Chinese Horse. Moves like a knight except that it does not leap. It steps one square orthogonally in any direction, then continues one square diagonally in the same general direction. The square stepped to orthogonally must be vacant.
Marshall n+, ~1/2 RN The Sultan's Game (L. Tressan, 1840) See "Empress". Also spelled Marshal, or called Chancellor.
Minister 1X F = (1,1) Chaturanga, Shatranj, Tamerlane Chess (1336–1405) See "Ferz". Also known as Counsellor.
Moa 1/2 nN Chinese As the Mao, but the first step is diagonal and the second orthogonal, not the other way round.
Monkey (Congo) o1*, cn(^2*) Congo Chess (1982) Checker King allowed to play orthogonally too.
Murray Lion ~2*, c1* ADcK Fairy Chess Problems Can move and capture as an alfil or dabbaba, and capture only as a king. This piece stems from a misinterpretation of the lion of chu shogi. It is named after the chess historian H. J. R. Murray who brought it up.
N
N2R4 2(~1/2), 1-4+ N2R4 Chess with different armies (R. Betza, 1979)
Nao mNNcpNN Chinese A Chinese nightrider. Moves as a nightrider when not capturing, but captures by leaping over an intervening piece and taking the piece on the nao's destination square.
Nemesis n* Q Chess 2: The Sequel Queen that can only capture or be captured by an enemy king.
Nemesis Pawn o1>, o1 (towards king), cX> fmW*mKfcF Chess 2: The Sequel Pawn which can't move 2 spaces as its first action. It can also move (but not capture) as a king, but only towards the enemy king (cannot move the pawn away from the enemy king horizontally or vertically).
Nightrider n(1/2) (in same direction) NN Wolf Chess (1943),[9] Edgehog Chess II (John Driver, 1966) & III (P. Aronson),[8] Cavalier Chess (Fergus Duniho, 1998) A rider which moves any number the knight's moves in the same direction. A piece in its path of the opposing color could be captured, but the nightrider could not move any further. Also played in fairy chess problems (T.R. Dawson). (See diagram below.)
Nightrider-hopper Fairy Chess Problems Move to next square beyond any piece in lines of knight moves. Also known as Knight-line-hopper
O
Odysseus Fairy Chess Problems Moves as rook on files a and h, as knight on files b and g, as bishop on files c and f, as queen on file d, and as king on file e. Also known as Querquisite.
Okapi ~1/2, ~2/3 NJ Fairy Chess Problems Combination of knight and zebra.
Old Monkey 1X, 1< FbW Maka dai dai shogi and other large Shōgi variants Combination of fers and backslider. Also known as Inverted Silver and Backward Elephant.
Orphan Fairy Chess Problems Moves like any enemy piece that is attacking it. Compare with Friend.
P
Paladin (Dragonchess) Dragonchess (3D, 1985) Centaur (on middle board) or King (on upper or lower boards). 3D movement: Makes knight-like jumps
Pancake pNNK Chess with different armies (R. Betza, 1979) Combination of man and cannon-style nightrider
Pao mRcpR Akenhead's Chess (1947), Xiangqi (Chinese chess) Chinese Cannon. Moves like a rook when not capturing, but captures by leaping over an intervening piece and taking the piece on the Pao's destination square (the captured piece can be any number of squares beyond the hurdle). Compare with Korean Cannon.
Pasha 1*, ~2* KAD Paulovits's Game (1890) Combination of king and alibaba. Also known as Mastodon.
Pawn o1>, c1X>, io2> mfWcfFimfW2 Chadarangam (Telugu chess), Orthodox chess Moves one square straight forward (except on its first move, when it may move two squares), but captures one square diagonally forward. Compare with Berolina pawn.
Pawn of "Piece(s)" Tamerlane Chess (1336–1405), Full Tamerlane Chess (al-Âmulî & Arabshâh, 14th–15th centuries)[13] A Pawn that promotes to "Piece". Examples: Pawn of Dabbabas, Pawn of Elephants, Pawn of Minister (Ferz), Pawn of Shah (King), Pawn of Vizir (Wazir), Pawn of Vanguards (Bishops), Pawn of Knights, Pawn of Rukhs (Rooks). A Pawn of Pawn promotes to Pawn of King.
Pentere Quinquereme Chess Combines the powers of queen and quintessence.
Pheasant ~2>, 1X< fDbF Tori shogi and other large Shōgi variants Dabbaba/Ferz-Hunter (moves forward as dabbaba, and backward as ferz).
Phoenix 1+, ~2X WA Chess with different armies, Dai shogi, and other Shōgi variants Combination of wazir and alfil. Also known as Waffle.
Prince 1* WF = K Tamerlane chess A non-royal king, promoted from a Pawn of King. Originally Shâhzâda in Persian. Also known as Adventice King (Shâh masnû‘a) when promoting from Pawn of Pawns.
Princess nX, ~1/2 BN The Emperor's Game (L. Tressan, 1840), Grand Chess (1984),Tutti-Frutti Chess (Betza & Cohen), Wolf Chess (1943)[9] Combines the powers of bishop and knight. Also called Archbishop, Cardinal, Janus, Paladin, or Centaur (Carrera's Chess, Pietro Carrera, 1617). Called Adjutant in The Emperor's Game, and Fox in Wolf Chess (Originally Fuchs in German).
Pterodactyl ~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[14]
Q
Quang Trung Rook Quang Trung Chess Moves as rook but when capturing must move on square away from captured piece in the same direction.
Queen n* Q = RB Orthodox chess Combines the powers of the bishop and rook. In Pacific Chess (Hawaii, 1971) a piece with queen-like moves is called the Nobleman.
Quintessence Quintessential Chess (J. Knappen, 2002)[4] 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.
Rao mqNcpqN Chinese A Chinese rose. Moves as a rose when not capturing, but captures by leaping over an intervening piece and taking the piece on the rao's destination square. The captured piece can be any distance beyond the hurdle.
Ravager ~m/n (except ~0/0; not against King) U (not against king) "Restrictions on Being Captured" (Ralph Betza, 1996) Universal leaper not allowed to capture the enemy king.
Reflecting Bishop nX (bounce edges) B (bounce edges) Billiards Chess (M. Jacques Berthoumeau, 1950s), Edgehog Chess II (John Driver, 1966) & III (P. Aronson)[8] 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.[15]
RennCavalier t[FR]t[RF] Renniassance Chess Moves in the same move one square diagonally and any number of squares orthogonally or any number of squares orthogonally and one diagonally. It has two paths to the same target square and must make at least a blockable knight's move.
RennDuke t[WB]t[BW] Renniassance Chess Moves in the same move one square orthogonally and then any number of squares diagonally or any number of squares diagonally and then one straight. It has two paths to the same target square and must make at least a blockable knight's move.
Revealer (Tamerlane) Full Tamerlane Chess (al-Âmulî & Arabshâh, 14th–15th centuries)[13] See "Tripper", or "Queen" (Forbes, 1860). Also known as Sentinel.
Reverse Chariot n<> fbR Chu shogi and other large Shōgi variants Rook restricted to forward and backward directions.
Rhinoceros (Grant Acedrex) t[NfB] Grant Acedrex (Alfonso X, 1283) (Jean-Louis Cazaux) For Murray interpretation, see "Unicorn". Moves as a knight followed by moving any number of spaces diagonally outwards like a forward bishop. Originally Unicornio in ancient Spanish.
Rhubarb RB3 Chess with different armies (R. Betza, 1979)
Right General 1X, 1<>, 1= (only left) FfblW Dai dai shogi and other large Shōgi variants Asymmetrical combination of ferocious leopard and left wazir.
Right Quail n>, nX< (left diagonal), 1X fRblBbrF Tori shogi and other large Shōgi variants Combination of lance, ferz and a backward bishop restricted to left side.
Rook n+ R = WW Chaturanga, Orthodox chess, Shatranj, Taikyoku shogi, Tamerlane chess, Wa shogi Moves any number of free squares orthogonally. Also called Gliding Swallow in taikyoku shogi and wa shogi, Ratha (chariot) in chaturanga, Rukh in shatranj and tamerlane chess, Wazir-rider, or Castle (colloquial).
Rookhopper ^n+ gR Fairy Chess Problems Grasshopper confined to rook lines. Also spelled Rook-hopper.
Root-25-leaper ~5+, ~3/4 (0,5)(3,4) Fairy Chess Problems Leaper making moves of length units (i.e. a (0,5)-leaper or a (3,4)-leaper). Also called Fiveleaper.
Root-50-leaper ~5X, ~1/7 (5,5)(1,7) Fairy Chess Problems Leaper making moves of length units (i.e. a (5,5)-leaper or a (1,7)-leaper). Also spelled Root-fifty-leaper.
Rose qN Chess on a Really Big Board Moves as a nightrider except rather than moving in a straight line, it moves in a pseudo-circular shape. A piece on any of these squares can be captured but prevents the rose from progressing any further. See diagram at end of section.
Rutabaga R2B Chess with different armies (R. Betza, 1979)
Running Rabbit n>, 1X fRFbW Taikyoku shogi, Wa shogi Combination of Lance and Old Monkey.
S
Scorpion 1*, ^n* KgQ Fairy Chess Problems Combination of king and grasshopper
Sergeant 1*>, io2> fKimfW2 Wolf Chess (A. von Wilpert, 1943)[9] Graz Pawn without the initial diagonal double-step from Berolina Pawn. Originally Vogt (Sergeant, Inspector) in German.
Shatranj Pawn o1>, c1X> mfWcfF Chaturanga (Indian chess), Makruk (Thai chess), Shatar (Mongolian chess), Shatranj (Persian chess) Baidaq (Persian Pawn). Orthodox pawn without double step on first move. It's the same pawn from Chaturaji (4 player Indian chess), Ouk Chatrang (Cambodian chess), and Senterej (Ethiopian chess). Also called Padah (pawn or soldier) in chaturanga, Sainik (Indian: Warrior), or Warrior.
Ship t[FfbR] Tamerlane 2000 (Jean-Louis Cazaux, 1978–2000) Gryphon restricted to vertical movements
Short Rook 1-4+ R4 = W4 Chess with different armies (R. Betza, 1979) Rook limited up to 4 squares. Also spelled Short-Rook.
Side Mover n=, 1+ WsR Chu shogi, Wa shogi, and other large Shōgi variants Combination of a rook restricted to sideways and wazir (or Soldier). Called Swallow's Wings in Wa shogi.
Soaring Eagle n+, nX<, 1X>, ~2X> RbBfFfA or RbBdhfFfA Chu shogi and other large Shōgi variants Moves as a rook, backwards as a bishop, or as a lion (Japanese) up to 2 squares diagonally forward.
Soldier 1> fW Out-Khmer (Hills' Cambodian chess), Shōgi, Tori shogi, Wa shogi Moves one square orthogonally forward. It's the same pawn from Xiangqi (Chinese chess), before crossing the river. Also called Japanese Pawn, Fish (Out-Khmer), Sparrow Pawn (Wa shogi), or Swallow (Tori shogi).
Spy 1+ or
2>, 2=, (1/1)> or
1*
W = (0,1) or
fsDfF or
WF (=K)
Courier Chess (12th century), Chess Empire (2002), Waterloo (2014), Amsterdam Medieval Chess (2017) In Courier Chess see "Fool". In Chess Empire the spy can move two spaces forwards or sideways, or can move like a knight one forward and then one horizontally or vice versa. In Waterloo and Amsterdam Medieval Chess the spy moves as a non-royal king (see "Guard").
Squirrel ~0/2, ~1/2, ~2/2 NAD Fairy Chess Problems (N. Kovacs, 1937), Mideast Chess (California, 1971), Pacific Chess (Hawaii, 1971) Jumps to any square a distance of 2. Also called Centurion, or Castle (Mideast chess, Pacific chess).
Stone General 1X> fF Dai shogi and other large Shōgi variants, Fox and Geese Moves one square diagonally forward. Also called Goose in Fox and Geese. Compare with Berolina Pawn.
Superpawn on>, cnX> mfRcfB Fairy Chess Problems Moves without capture any number of fields forward, captures diagonally forwards like a bishop. Promotes on the 8th rank. May be placed in the first rank. By Werner Speckmann (1967).[16]
Sylph Dragonchess (3D) See "Berolina Pawn" (on upper board). 3D movement: Can capture to the cell below it and return without capturing.
T
Taxi o1<>, c1X>, io3> mfbWcfFimfW3 Fairy Chess Problems Similar to pawn but can also move one step backwards, and move up to 3 squares for its 1st move. Can promote on the 8th rank or continue as a taxi. Can capture en passant pawns and taxis.
Teutonic Knight 1+, ~1/2, ~1/3 WNL Teutonic Knight's Chess (J. Knappen, 2009)[5] Combination of knight, wazir and camel. Originally Ordensritter in German.
Thief Dragonchess (3D, 1985) See "Bishop" (bound to middle board). No 3D movement.
Threeleaper ~3+ H = (0,3) Full Tamerlane Chess (al-Âmulî & Arabshâh, 14th–15th centuries)[13] Called Lion in Full Tamerlane Chess.
Threerider n(3+) HH Fairy Chess Problems
Tiger o2X, c2X&2X (back to original square) mF2cabFcabA Chess 2: The Sequel Moves up to 2 squares diagonally, but moves back to original square if it captures something.
Treacherous Fox 1X, 1<>, ~2*<> FfbWAfbD Wa shogi Ferocious Leopard that can move forward or backward as alibaba. Occurs in Taikyoku shogi with a different move.
Tripper ~3X G = (3,3) Jumps three squares diagonally, leaping over any intermediate piece.
U
Ubi-Ubi n(1/2) (any direction) NN (any direction) Ubi-Ubi Chess (Versmissen, Borst & Bodlaender, 1998) A Nightrider without direction restrictions.
Unicorn (Raumschach) Raumschach (1907) A triagonal rider: moves through the vertices of the cubes (see diagram below). Unicorn is also sometimes used for a banshee.
Unicorn (DC) Dragonchess (3D, 1985) See "Knight" (bound to middle board). No 3D movement.
Unicorn (Grande Acedrex) BimN Grande Acedrex (Alfonso X, 1283) (H.J.R. Murray, 1913) For Cazaux interpretation, see "Rhinoceros". Bishop with a first movement of a knight that can't capture. Originally Unicornio in ancient Spanish. A typical icon of the unicorn: The 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 onX, c^& mBcpB Akenhead's Chess (1947) Moves like a bishop when not capturing, but captures by leaping over an intervening piece and taking the piece on the vao's destination square (the captured piece can be any number of squares beyond the hurdle).
Vertical Mover n<>, 1+ WfbR Chu shogi and other large Shōgi variants Combination of reverse chariot and wazir (or drunk).
Violent Bear 1=, 2X> sWnfA Dai dai shogi and other large Shōgi variants Moves 1 square sideways or 2 squares diagonally forward.
Violent Ox 2+ nD Dai shogi and other large Shōgi variants A non-jumping dabbaba.
W
Wallaby c(^2*), o1*, ^2* (over friendly pieces) KgQ2 (over friendly pieces), KcjQ2 Edgehog Chess III (P. Aronson)[8] Combination of omni-directional checker and grasshopper restricted to 2 squares over friendly pieces.
Waran RNN Fairy Chess Problems Also spelled Varan. Also known as Monitor Lizard.
Warrior (DC) Dragonchess (3D, 1985) See "Shatranj Pawn" (bound to middle board). No 3D movement.
Warrior King 1*.1* (see notes) K*mcabK Chess 2: The Sequel King which can also capture all pieces (including friendly) around it, and then may follow with another king move.
Wazir 1+ W = (0,1) Tamerlane Chess (al-Âmulî & Arabshâh, 14th–15th centuries)[13] 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), Drunken Adjutant, or Fool.
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.
Wild Horse ~1/2 (can attack friendly pieces) N (can attack friendly pieces) Chess 2: The Sequel Knight that can attack friendly pieces.
Witch n*o, ~0/2o, ~1/2o, ~2/2o mQmDmNmA Bulldog Chess Does not capture. Makes adjacent pieces transparent to friendly pieces.
Withdrawer Ultima Also known as Retreater
Wizard 1X, ~1/3 FL Omega Chess Combines the movement of fers and camel. A typical icon of the wizard: The Wizard.
Wood General 2X> nfA Dai dai shogi and other large Shōgi variants Flying Dragon restricted to forward moves.
Woody Rook ~1-2+ = 1+, ~2+ WD Chess with different armies (Betza, 1979) Combination of wazir and dabbaba. Also called Wazaba.
X, Y, Z
X/Y-Hunter Moves forward as piece X, and backward as piece Y. Compare with Hunter.
Zabel Pawn Fairy Chess Problems Original German name Zabel-Bauer. Moves and captures like a pawn, but instead of an initial double step it has a final double step from the 6th to the 8th rank. Named after the cycling sprinter Erik Zabel.
Zebra ~2/3 Z = J = (2,3) Full Tamerlane Chess (al-Âmulî & Arabshâh, 14th–15th centuries),[13] Grande Acedrex (Alfonso X, 1283) Old historic piece. Jumps one square orthogonally followed by two squares diagonally outwards. Also called Bull (Full Tamerline Chess), or Zaraffa (Grande Acedrex). A typical icon of the zebra: The zebra.
Zebrarider n(2/3) (in same direction) JJ Fairy Chess Problems A rider which moves any number of (3,2) cells (i.e., zebra moves) in the same direction in a straight line.
Zero ~0/0 O = (0,0) Fairy Chess Problems Makes a null move, i.e., jumps and lands on its own square, essentially passing a move. Compare with dummy.
Zurafa ~1/4.n+(outwards) Tamerlane Chess (1336–1405) Starts with a (1,4) leap (like the modern Giraffe) and may continue moving outwards as a rook.
Name Parlett Betza Found in Notes
a b c d e f g h
8
Chessboard480.svg
e8 black cross
d6 black cross
h5 black cross
a4 black cross
c4 black cross
f4 black cross
d3 black cross
b2 white upside-down knight
d1 black cross
8
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1
a b c d e f g h
Nightrider. Makes any number of knight moves in the same direction.
a b c d e f g h i j
10 a10 b10 c10 d10 e10 f10 g10 h10 i10 j10 10
9 a9 b9 c9 d9 e9 f9 four g9 h9 i9 j9 9
8 a8 b8 c8 d8 three e8 f8 g8 h8 five i8 j8 8
7 a7 b7 c7 d7 e7 f7 g7 h7 i7 j7 7
6 a6 b6 c6 two d6 e6 f6 g6 h6 i6 six j6 6
5 a5 b5 c5 d5 e5 f5 g5 h5 i5 j5 5
4 a4 b4 c4 d4 one e4 f4 g4 h4 seven i4 j4 4
3 a3 b3 two c3 d3 e3 f3 white knight g3 h3 i3 j3 3
2 a2 b2 c2 d2 e2 f2 g2 h2 i2 j2 2
1 a1 three b1 c1 d1 e1 f1 g1 seven h1 i1 j1 1
a b c d e f g h i j
Rose. Moves as Nightrider, but along pseudo-circular lines. (two possible paths depicted.) It may move clockwise or counterclockwise.
Ea5 Eb5 Ec5 Ed5 Ee5
Ea4 Eb4 Ec4 Ed4 Ee4
Ea3 Eb3 Ec3 Ed3 Ee3
Ea2 Eb2 black circle Ec2 Ed2 Ee2
Ea1 Eb1 Ec1 Ed1 Ee1
E
Da5 Db5 Dc5 black circle Dd5 De5 black circle
Da4 Db4 Dc4 Dd4 De4
Da3 Db3 Dc3 black circle Dd3 De3 black circle
Da2 Db2 Dc2 Dd2 De2
Da1 Db1 Dc1 Dd1 De1
D
Ca5 Cb5 Cc5 Cd5 Ce5
Ca4 Cb4 Cc4 Cd4 white unicorn Ce4
Ca3 Cb3 Cc3 Cd3 Ce3
Ca2 Cb2 Cc2 Cd2 Ce2
Ca1 Cb1 Cc1 Cd1 Ce1
C
Ba5 Bb5 Bc5 black circle Bd5 Be5 black circle
Ba4 Bb4 Bc4 Bd4 Be4
Ba3 Bb3 Bc3 black circle Bd3 Be3 black circle
Ba2 Bb2 Bc2 Bd2 Be2
Ba1 Bb1 Bc1 Bd1 Be1
B
Aa5 Ab5 Ac5 Ad5 Ae5
Aa4 Ab4 Ac4 Ad4 Ae4
Aa3 Ab3 Ac3 Ad3 Ae3
Aa2 Ab2 black circle Ac2 Ad2 Ae2
Aa1 Ab1 Ac1 Ad1 Ae1
A
In Raumschach the Unicorn moves through the vertices of cubes (triagonally). The unicorn jumps to squares with black dots. The boards are stacked, with board E on top.

Relative value of pieces[edit]

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

On an 8×8 board, the standard chess pieces (pawn, knight, bishop, rook, and queen) are usually given values of 1, 3, 3, 5, and 9 respectively. When the basic pieces wazir (W), ferz (F), and mann (WF = K), are played with a similar mix of pieces, they are typically valued at around 1.2, 1.5, and 3.2 points respectively. Three popular compound pieces, the archbishop (BN), chancellor (RN), and amazon (QN) have been estimated to have point values around 8, 9, and 11.5 respectively. (Due to the powerful ability of the three later pieces, it is uncommon for more than one to be played on a standard 8x8 board).[17]

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

For purely jumping pieces (including moves of a single square), one formula has been developed, sometimes good-naturedly called "Muller's Short Range Leaper Law"[18] which estimates a piece's value as:

, centipawns
where:
= factor based on scale for other pieces (1.0: classical, i.e. knight = 300; 1.1: Kaufman, i.e. knight = 325)
= squares attacked

Although regarded as reliable, this formula is limited in that it only applies to leapers jumping not more than two squares. Furthermore, it doesn't take into account some factors which may influence a piece's value, such as the distance of jumps (shorter jumps are usually worth more), and direction (pieces favoring forward captures are typically worth more than symmetrically capturing pieces).

For sliding pieces, and sliding-leaping compounds, there seems to be no corresponding formula to estimate piece values. It is generally presumed that with bigger boards, sliding pieces (i.e. bishop and rook) generally become more valuable relative to short-range jumpers, if for no other reason that they can travel about the board more quickly.

Notations[edit]

Parlett's movement notation[edit]

In his book The Oxford History of Board Games[19] David Parlett used a notation to describe fairy piece movements. The move is specified in the form m={expression}, where m stands for "move", and the expression is composed from the following elements:

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

Additions to Parlett's[edit]

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

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

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

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

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

Ralph Betza's "funny notation"[edit]

Betza's notation for the fundamental leapers
m
n
−3 −2 −1 0 1 2 3
3 G J L H C Z 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.[20]

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

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

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

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

Lowercase letters in front of the capital letters modify the component. Often used modifiers are: forward, backward, right, left, sideways, vertical, move only, capture only, z crooked (moving in a zigzag line like the boyscout), grasshopper, jumping (i.e., it must jump, cannot move without a hurdle), non-jumping like the Chinese elephant, o cylindrical (moving off one side of the board loops to the other), pao (travels through captured piece), then (for pieces that start moving in one direction and then continue in another, like the gryphon), and q circular movement (like the rose).

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

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

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

Addition to Betza's[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 for again, indicating the piece can make the move on which it is prefixed multiple times, possibly with new modifiers mentioned behind the a. 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).

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Poisson, "Catégories de pièces – Types of pieces", § "Bondisseur(m,n) – (m,n)Leaper"
  2. ^ Poisson, "Pièces féeriques – Fairy pieces", §§ "Alfil" & "Fers"
  3. ^ Pritchard, 1994
  4. ^ a b c d e Knappen, Jörg (2002). "Quintessential Chess", CVP
  5. ^ a b c Knappen, Jörg (2009). "Teutonic Knight's Chess". CVP.
  6. ^ Chess on an Infinite Plane game instructions at the Chess Variant Pages
  7. ^ a b Knavish Chess on chessvariants.org
  8. ^ a b c d e f Aronson, Peter (2001). "EdgehogChess". CVP.
  9. ^ a b c d e von Wilpert, Arno (1943). Wolf-Schach.
  10. ^ a b c "A Critical Analysis of the Guard in Chess"
  11. ^ a b Chess on an Infinite Plane game instructions at chess.com
  12. ^ Chess on an Infinite Plane with Huygens Option game instructions at chess.com
  13. ^ a b c d e Cazaux, Jean-Louis (2012). "Full Tamerlane Chess". History of Chess: chesspage of JL Cazaux.
  14. ^ Jelliss, George P. (2001). "Theory of Moves". Knight's Tour Notes. Retrieved on 2009-07-18.
  15. ^ Aronson, Peter (2001). "The Piececlopedia: Reflecting Bishop". CVP.
  16. ^ Speckmann, Werner (2000). "Märchenfiguren und ihre Grundtypen" [PDF] (in German). Werner Speckmann: elektronische Schachbücher.
  17. ^ Comparison of Material Power in Variant Chess Games
  18. ^ Formula to Estimate a Leaping Piece's Value
  19. ^ Parlett, 1999
  20. ^ Overby, Glenn, II (2003). "Betza Notation". CVP.

Bibliography

Web pages

External links[edit]