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: Mao-hopper

Historical notes

The Mao-hopper is a variant of the Mao, a piece known as the knight from Xiangqi and Korean Chess. The Mao is a popular piece in fairy chess problems; the mao-hopper is less known, but also in use in some problems. Where the Mao must pass an empty square, the mao-hopper must hop across an occupied square.


The mao-hopper is similar to the chess knight - it ends up the same distance away, but the difference is that it must jump over a piece. The mao-hopper is considered to move first one square orthogonally, and then one square diagonally (away from the starting square) to its destination square. The intermediate square must be occupied by a piece.

Movement diagram

In the diagram below, the White mao-hopper on d5 can move to all the squares marked with a black circle. It can also capture the Black mao-hopper, even though the Black mao-hopper can not capture the White one. Also note that the Black king is not in check.

This is an item in the Piececlopedia: an overview of different (fairy) chess pieces.
Written by Hans Bodlaender.
WWW page created: September 18, 2000. Last modified: September 25, 2000.