The Chess Variant Pages

The Piececlopedia is intended as a scholarly reference concerning the history and naming conventions of pieces used in Chess variants. But it is not a set of standards concerning what you must call pieces in newly invented games.

Piececlopedia: Equihopper

Historical notes

The Equihopper is a fairy chess piece that is regularly used in fairy chess problems. For instance, in 1999, a tournament to design fairy chess problems was held in Probleemblad, the magazine of the Dutch organization of chess problem composers.

The equihopper was invented in the first half of the 20th century, by G. Leathem.


The equihopper moves along lines in any direction, but must jump, and the distance before the hurdle (the piece that is jumped across) must be equal to the distance after the hurdle.

When the equihopper moves along orthogonal or diagonal lines, then the squares before or after the hurdle that are passed by must be empty. This is not necessary for other directions.

Movement diagram


The equihopper on a1 can move to the squares marked with a black circle, and can take the pawn on a3. Note that the equihopper can also move in directions that are not orthogonal or diagonal: e.g., in the diagram, it can jump across the king on b3 to c5. Note that it cannot jump to a5 or h7. A related piece without this specific restraint is the related Non-stop equihopper.

This is an item in the Piececlopedia: an overview of different (fairy) chess pieces.
Written by Hans Bodlaender.
WWW page created: June 25, 2000.