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DISCLAIMER: The ideas expressed on this page are the creative work of its author, Charles Gilman, and they might not be shared by others responsible for this website. They do not represent any convention, consensus, or standard regarding piece names.

Man and Beast 21: Lords High Everything-Else


This article covers pieces covers pieces either too complex to easily fit any other Man and Beast article or relating to other pieces in ways other than merely capturing/leaping/hopping them. I include a few at the end that are not always thought of as "pieces" in the conventional sense. Many names in this article are used much as the Coordinator and Immobiliser of MAB 16: Diverging Further. That is, they qualify any number of more conventional piece types, but if unspecified default to Queen on a square-cell board and Rook on a hex one. These are termed "the usual defaults" below. 3d defaults have yet to be established.

The acknowledgments, overview, and glossary to the series can be found here. Established pieces have a link to their Piececlopedia page. The images used in this series, and indeed in most of my pages, can be found here.


First there are remaining offshoots of pieces on previous pages. MAB 18: Complex Pieces with Simple Ratio inspires compounds of Crooked pieces. Those with Acrobat and Airiness EMDs are Quagga+Aggauq=TUMBLER, Aggauq+Qualpaca=AETHER. Those with Tophat, Loftiness, Coloftiness, Cotophat, Sunhat, Tautness, Playfulness, Redress, Fastness, and Twombat EMDs combine component names to give Okapi+Jouster=JOIST, Okapi+Ipako=OILRIG, Jouster+Okalpaca=COOILRIG, Okalpaca+Ipako=COJOIST, Underline+Maintainer=SUNSHADE, Nutcracker+Maintainer=KNOT, Extender+Expander=ENLARGER, Render+Redner=REVIVER, Dieter+Diner=DILETTANTE, and Numclub+Womclub=TWOMCLUB. Cubic duals of pieces with 12-step circuits from MAB 20: Far From Square are the FORROSE, ARBROSE, SUSROSE, and VOTROSE.


Some pieces mix two kinds of part-symmetric move, the limited kind from MAB 04: Generalised Generals and MAB 11: Long-nosed Generals and the wider range from MAB 12: Alternative Fronts. My variant Westfield Chess introduced Shogi generals extended in Nimrod pieces' directions. They have some similarity to the dragons of Jared McComb's Ryu Shogi, which are Princes extended to long-range pieces in Shogi-general directions. Their names I form from the general's prefix and the name of the Nimrod piece with just the long-range move. Two exist on all square and 3d boards. The GOLDHAWKER extends the Goldgeneral in the forward-diagonal and backward-orthogonal directions to include the entire Hawker move. Likewise the SILVERHUNTER extends the Silvergeneral in the forward-orthogonal and backward-diagonal ones. There is no Goldhunter or Silverhawker as the Hunter's backward move is outside the Gold's directions and the Hawker's outside the Silver's. There are instead a GOLDCOWARHUNTER and SILVERCOWARHAWKER, which are the Goldhawker and Silverhunter with their moves completly reversed. Face-to-face square boards have pieces such as a GOLDHAWKRESS also extended along sideways orthogonals, corner-orientated ones a SILVERHUNTSMAN also extended along sideways diagonals, and cubic boards both. Here are the piece images for the Goldhawker, Silverhunter, and Goldhawkress face-to-face:

To these pieces cubic and hex boards add the BRASSRELAYER, AZURESPRINTER, and BRASSRELAYRESS. Hex boards add the BRASSRELAYFOLLOWER, BRASSRELAYFOLLOWRESS, AZURERELAYRESS, AZURERELAYFOLLOWER, and AZURERELAYFOLLOWRESS. The Azurerelayfollower is also a corner-column cubic piece. All kinds of cubic boards add the SUNHAWKER, SUNHAWKRESS, SUNRELAYER, SUNRELAYRESS, MOONHUNTER, MOONHUNTSMAN, COASTSPRINTER. They also add the STEELYACHTER, JADEBOATER, STEELRELAYSMAN, MOONYACHTER, MOONYACHTSMAN, and COASTBOATER. If one-step moves are added to cover a symmetric set of directions rather a Shogi-general set, I mark this with the prefix DRAGON-. Putting dragon at the end would more closly homage Ryu Shogi, but putting it first gives more evocative names. SKYHUNT-, SKYHAWK-, DRAGONHUNT-, and DRAGONHAWK- can be suffixed -ER, -RESS, -SMAN, or -SWOMAN. FORESTSPRINT-, FORESTRELAY-, DRAGONSPRINT-, and DRAGONRELAY- can be suffixed -ER and -RESS. SEABOAT-, SEAYACHT-, DRAGONBOAT-, and DRAGONYACHT- can be suffixed -ER or -SMAN. On corner-column boards the latter two groups can be suffixed by -FOLLOWER. Here are the movement diagrams for the Dragonhunter and Dragonhawker face-to-face:

Pentagonal boards have Waggle+Meandcoward=SNAKEHUNTER, Meander+Wagglcoward=SNAKEHAWKER, Waggle+Havercoward=SNAKESPRINTER, Haver+Wagglecoward=SNAKERELAYER, Meander+Havercoward=SNAKEBOATER, and Haver+Meandercoward=SNAKEYACHTER. Replacing -er with -RESS adds Rattlfiler, -SMAN Boafiler, -SWOMAN Rattlfiler and Boafiler, -FOLLOWER Urothfiler, -FOLLOWRESS Rattlfiler and Urothfiler, -FOLLOWSMAN Boafiler and Urothfiler, and -FOLLOWSWOMAN all three, moves. Female names also add any Bend or Scarp orthogonals comprising entirely steps in the right directions.

The -igrade family of suffixes can be used to switch at more than one step. Thus a ROOK-HUNTER SECUNDIGRADE can move up to two steps as a Rook or two upward as a Hunter, a HAWKRESS-BISHOP TERTIIGRADE up to three as a Hawkress or three upward as a Bishop, the SILVER-HAWKER SESQUISECUNDIGRADE up to two as a Silverider or three upward as a Hawker, et cetera. Again where one normal linepiece move is a subset of the other the Sesqui- prefix is not used, thus HUNTER-SILVER QUARTIGRADE, HAWKER-QUEEN SECONDIGRADE, MITRE-HAWKRESS QUINTIGRADE, et cetera.

Also not previously covered are forward-only (FO) and part-symmetric Bent pieces. Each step of a forward Bent move should be forward, including orthogonal ones, consistently with Shogi conventions for oblique moves. As it is natural for double-bent to follow Panda/Bear/Raccoon usage of the suffix -cub - WOLFCUB, JACKALCUB, FOXCUB, COYOTECUB, WEREWOLFCUB et cetera, I extend this to single-Bent ones. While this works well enough with monster names - GRYPHONCUB, SIMURGHCUB, GORGONCUB, CONTRAGRYPHONCUB - it sounds a bit odd in the human sphere - ANCHORITECUB, FARRIERCUB - but unless anyone can do better so be it. Where a compound piece is a suffixed Straight linepiece its FO version substitutes the FO Straight linepiece, so that the WINGSHEATH makes a Wing move preceded by an Heir step, the MITRESACK makes a Mitre move preceded by an Imp move, WINGPLUS is Wing+Wingsheath, et cetera. For the compound of a symmetric Bent piece and the FO one with the short and long directions swapped over I use the suffix -general so that Gryphon+Anchoritecub=GRYPHONGENERAL, Anchorite+Gryphoncub=ANCHORITEGENERAL, Simurgh+Farriercub=SIMURGHGENERAL, Farrier+Simurghcub=FARRIERGENERAL, Wolf+Foxcub=WOLFGENERAL, Fox+Wolfcub=FOXGENERAL, Jackal+Coyotecub=JACKALGENERAL, et cetera. Finally the SCOUTGENERAL is Girlscout+forward Boyscout on a face-to-face orientation, vice versa on a corner one.


Pieces formed by ad hoc combinations are a natural extension. The MUSHROOM combines the Nightranker, Humpreservist, and Crosscoward. Other Pizza Kings pieces are similarly ad hoc but do not have Piececlopedia pages. The PANCAKE combines the Prince and Hopping Nightrider, while the two most complex Neptune pieces are Sennight compounds with the Wazbafiler and with the Trebizond. The HELMED MAO in my Saint Pancras Shogi combines the Helm and Mao so that the front two directions do not require an empty pass-through square but the rest do. The PLATYPUS of Timothy Newton's Outback Chess can be seen as a Stepping form of either Gardener+Wazbafiler or Superwazchick+Trechick.

Pieces going forward radially and backward obliquely, or vice versa, could be considered to belong in this group, especially if the oblique component includes half the symmetric move. Gary Gifford's Gryphon Aanca Chess has two such pieces, RETNUH=Wing+Helmsupercoward and NOCLAF=Mitre+Helmsupercoward.

Pieces whose moves vary on an ad hoc basis also exist. The GARTER, THISTLE, and PATRICIAN of Orders of Knighthood Tunnelchess move as Knights from their "favoured" files and as the Coheir of MAB 15: Strengthened Across the Board from other files.


Another group of pieces are restricted by the edge of the board - the opposite of MAB 15's reflecting and wraparound pieces.

ABSOLUTE HALFLINGS move up to halfway to the furthest cell in each direction that an unobstructed corresponding non-Halfling piece can reach, rounded up where the total distance is an odd number of steps/leaps of their move. This is in addition to the usual bar on reaching an ally-occupied or passing an enemy-occupied cell. This is important in that it enables them to actually reach the further destination if they have sufficiently many moves to do it. Absolute Halfling is not a meaningful qualifier for fixed-distance pieces as these always move one step or leap, which is equal to half of one rounded up! The short-range move of the Halfling form of the Primate, Marshal, et cetera is unaffected. Halfling forms of Curved, Crooked, or Bent pieces are restricted to going halfway (rounded up) only to cells which non-Halfling counterparts could not continue beyond. Halfling Curved pieces can also make no more than half a complete circuit.

The opposite of Absolute Halflings, ABSOLUTE OTHERHALFLINGS, must go at least to the corresponding Absolute Halfling's furthest limit. These are rounded up as well, so that an OTHERHALFLING QUEEN on the corner of a FIDE board must go at least 4 steps toward another corner. These are reminiscent of EDGEHOG pieces, which must always either start or end a move on an edge. As this is such a weakening they have the usual defaults, with others rarely if ever used. The Halfling restriction can be combined with other restrictions such as which directions or how many steps can be moved. Ravioli Chess features Halfling versions of the Panda and Bear of MAB 06: The Heavy Brigade.


Some pieces go beyond simple divergence. NONCAPTURING pieces such as the POLE in Pole Chess can only block pieces from moving through them (or allow Hopping ones to do so). CAPTURE-ONLY pieces such as the LOCUST, which is a Capture-only Late-Overtaking Queen, have no noncapturing move. A Capture-only Early-Overtaking Queen would presumably be a CONTRALOCUST. Nahbi Chess has two compounds of such pieces: the NAHBI is Stepping Eros+Stepping Eroscoward+Noncapturing Musket, and the ARCHER is Noncapturing Sidemoo+Noncapturing Trebuchet+Capture-only Rifle Guardian. The ARCHER of Jester Chess, however, is Noncapturing Triloranker+Rifle Princeling. KAMIKAZE pieces make normal noncapturing moves but disappear along with any enemy piece that they capture. SELF-CAPTURE pieces can capture their allies. NONBRAKING pieces keep going until they either capture a piece or go their maximum distance in a given direction - a set direction for a limited-range piece, such as the MURRAY LION which is a Nonbraking Leaping Pasha, or the edge of the board for a linepiece.

Others require pieces outside their range, imitate different pieces on each move, or alter or move other pieces without capturing them.

As the history of naming pieces passing through empty cells but requiring another piece beyond their path is rather unclear I attempt a tidy-up. The names can qualify any piece, but have the usual defaults. JABBERWOCKS require a piece just beyond their destination, BANDERSNATCHES require one immediately in the opposite direction to their move, and JUBJUBS require one or the other. These names are of course from Lewis Carroll's Jabberwocky. The idea can be further generalised to a piece requiring one or more other pieces adjacent in any radial direction to the move's start or end - evben when the piece has no radial move. INTRUDERS require a piece adjacent to the destination, EXTRUDERS one adjacent to the start, and BITRUDERS either. In all cases the extra piece may be of either army and is not captured, and the destination may be empty or enemy-occupied. Pieces requiring the extra piece only when capturing suffix -CAPTURE as in JABBERWOCK-CAPTURE. Pieces capturing the extra piece, if an enemy, and requiring an empty destination, include ADVANCERS capturing an enemy immediately beyond the destination, WITHDRAWERS capturing one immediately in the opposite direction to their move, PUSHMEPULLYUS having a choice of either, INJECTORS capturing any piece adjacent to the destination, EJECTORS any adjacent to the start, and BIJECTORS having a choice of either. These last six can be further prefixed as STRICT if a piece of their own army on the capture cell prevents a move. Bitruders and Bijectors are inspired by the mathematical term bijective. The BOWMAN of Quantum Chess is neither an Advancer Knight nor an Advancer Moo (Mao+Moa) but something in between, as its move requires an empty pass-through square but the capturing action beyond its destination does not.

EQUIJABBERWOCKS require a piece to which they move exactly halfway. The only other piece allowed between the two, an optional enemy on the destination, is captured as usual. REMOTE-JABBERWOCKS have the restriction relaxed to require another piece merely somewhere beyond the destination in the same direction. EQUIADVANCERS move halfway to a piece to capture it, and there can be no piece between the two. REMOTE-ADVANCERS capture the first piece beyond their destintion however far it is, if an enemy, but pieces of their own army block capture. MULTIPLE-ADVANCERS capture anything exclusively between their necessarily empty destination and the first piece of their own army beyond. The same prefixes can be applied to Bandersnatches and Withdrawers regarding pieces in the opposite direction, Equi- meaning moving as far as to the other piece but away from it, and to Jubjubs and Pushmepullyus both ways.

SPACIOUS pieces are the opposite of Jabberwocks. Their destination has the usual restrictions but the cell beyond it must be empty. An obvious extension of this idea is a piece that can move only if the first cell in the opposite direction is empty. These I tentatively term SOCIABLE pieces. SPACIOUS-CAPTURE and SOCIABLE-CAPTURE pieces have these restrictions only when capturing.

RELATIVE HALFLINGS are like Absolute Halflings but further restricted to only moving halfway to either an enemy-occupied cell or the cell before an ally-occupied one. Again the number is rounded up, allowing them in this case to capture pieces a single step or leap away, and again it is meaningless for fixed-distance pieces. RELATIVE OTHERHALFLINGS are conversely a relaxation of Absolute Otherhalflings as they can move any distance over halfway to a cell where the Absolute version would be blocked.

The WINDMILL requires a piece to move around. It makes a series of Wazir steps, up to two in any direction before turning 90°, in such a way as to alternate between being orthogonally and diagonally adjacent to the piece enabling its move. As far as I know a hex Windmill has yet to be defined.

The FRIEND moves like any piece protecting it, the ORPHAN like any attacking it, and the JOKER like the last piece to move before it (of whatever army in a multiplayer or multi-move game). The JESTER of Jester Chess is a Joker that cannot capture unless the imitated piece made a capturing move. Note that they can imitate only normal moves, not game-specific ones such as Castling, initial double-step, or En Passant. Any threat by an Orphan is a threat to that Orphan and vice versa. Any of the four protecting a Friend or attacking an Orphan passes on moves that it itself inherits. If it is itself a Joker then it imitates whatever that imitated. Pieces can also be defined as moving in the direction(s) of the piece(s) protecting it/attacking it/last moved. The FIANCÉ, WIDOWER, and COMEDIAN are Wizards confined to those respective directions and the FIANCÉE, WIDOW, and COMEDIENNE Witches so confined. In all cases non-symmetric moves are interpreted according to the player moving the piece, so that a White Joker moving after a Black Goldgeneral moves like a White Goldgeneral.

CHAMELEONS have a preset noncapturing move (with the usual defaults) but capture another piece by that piece's capturing move. They cannot capture other Chameleons, a convention based on games where most pieces diverge from the Queen's noncapturing move. There is also room in variants with more traditional pieces for NAIVE-CHAMELEONS, which capture an enemy by the enemy's noncapturing move, and GRAND-CHAMELEONS capturing like Orphans - including capturing a non-threatening enemy by a threatening one's move. If two opposing Naive-Chameleon pieces differ in noncapturing move (e.g. Bishop and Knight) one can threaten the other without being threatened back. CHAMELEON PAWNED pieces capture Rooks with Bishop moves, Bishops with even-length Rook moves, Knights with Camel moves, et cetera. ADMIRERS capture like Friends. The GRAND-CHAMELEON FRIEND and ADMIRER ORPHAN have each other's captures. CONTRACHAMELEONS and CONTRAADMIRERS are Orphans and Friends with preset captures, the latter with the usual defaults.

Pieces may alter other pieces by overtaking, rifle, advancer, or withdrawer means. Displacement is also possible but requires the attacked piece to flee immediately to avoid normal capture. DEMOTING pieces demote enemy pieces to something weaker in an order prescribed by individual games. Enemies already too weak to be demoted further are captured as usual. Conversely PROMOTING pieces promote allies to something stronger. ROBBING pieces demote stronger enemies to enemy versions of themselves but also get promoted to their own player's version of the piece demoted. As the enemy piece also acquires the Robbing ability, care should be taken to prevent it recovering its old status! RECRUITING pieces recruit enemies into their own army. For the effects of ANDERNACH, EINSTEIN, and CIRCE Hopping pieces see the link. The prefix can be suffixed -FROM-RESERVE if the new piece has to be one that is in the reserve containing its own army, for example PROMOTING-FROM-RESERVE. All such pieces cannot capture unless they are INCLUSIVE (able to capture by displacement in the same move), ALTERNATIVE (able to capture or alter but not both in one move), or RUTHLESS (captures pieces impossible to promote/demote/recruit). The BUILDER of Hafsteinn Óskar Kjartansson's Builder Chess is a Ruthless Recruiting-from-Reserve Injector [Queen]. Armies comprising only Plain Promoting pieces would be impractical. 3 Strikes Chess uses Rifle-Demoting or Escapable-Displacement-Demoting pieces. Alibishogi uses Inclusive Overtaking-Robbing pieces. Takeover Chess uses Alternative Overtaking-Recruiting pieces, known for short as TAKEOVER pieces. Pieces can mix and match alterations not only with capture but with each other, for example Alibishogi's Knights and Camels are both Demoting and Promoting. Playing Shogi with Plain Takeover pieces (twice-Pawning single-step moves) eliminates the need to hold pieces in Reserve and so speeds the game up.

Pieces moving other pieces along the radial that they themselves follow appear in some of my modest variants. Such a piece may be TOWING - pieces away from which it is moving, but without gaps between them, follow in its wake - or SHUNTING - pieces toward which it is moving, again without gaps, flee it in the same direction - or PUSH-PULL - having both effects at once. Pieces beyond a gap have the same effect on the piece leading the train as if the player were moving a single piece: blocking if of that player's army, capturable but not overtakable otherwise. If one or more enemies lead a train, these can be pushed right off the board if unobstructed! My Westfield Chess adds SHEPHERDING pieces, which push only a single adjacent piece directly out of their way, but can also push one each on neighbouring lines. These are blocked by allies of the piece being Shepherded, but if two pieces of opposite armies converge on a cell the Shepherding piece's ally captures its enemy regardless of which piece moves. What happens if a Shepherding piece pushes one Self-capturer into another has yet to be determined!

SOUCIE pieces, with the usual defaults, make moves limited to as many steps as there are pieces (themselves included) on the line. The other pieces do not obstruct save for the usual inability to land on allies.


GIANT pieces occupy more than one cell, typically a supersquare of 2 by 2 cells. Giant Chess and Elephant Hunt use such pieces moving to other such blocks adjoining it orthogonally like 4 Dabbabas yoked together, and Giant-King Chess one moving like 4 Kings yoked together (so that at least one ends a move where another began it), but with royal restriction relaxed to only have to avoid all 4 in Check at once. A piece occupying a linear series of squares is generally termed a WALL. A QUANTUM royally-restricted piece, as pioneered in Gateway Chess, is one that starts off occupying multiple cells but must, when one such cell is threatened by an enemy, settle on a particular, different, such cell to occupy.

There is an overlap between noncapturing pieces, giant pieces, and objects which share the same cell as a conventional piece and enhance or restrict that piece's powers. Some pieces of this kind can move, and a few even capture, under their own steam, while others can move only as part of the move of a piece carrying it.

The most established piece of this kind is the IMITATOR of Imitator Chess, which moves exactly like the piece moving in the normal way, but must make a legal noncapturing move (i.e. to an existing and empty cell). If it cannot make a given move, neither can any other piece from its own current cell. A piece can never move onto a cell with an Imitator on it as the imitator is moving away at the same rate - although whether an Equiadvancer approaching an Imitator captures it is an interesting question. Pieces whose presence affects other pieces take various forms. The ONE RING in Robert Price's variant of that name and Fellowship of the Ring enhances Black pieces carrying it to Queen but reduces White ones to Princeling - but White can win the game by carrying it to the far rank. The PANTHER in my Pink Panther Chess enhances symmetric radial pieces by adding the full King move, forward-only ones to Silvergeneral, and Knights to Gnu, and the TIGER EYE of 2 Jewels by giving pieces the Tgier's noncapturing move. These four are neutral pieces, movable by either player, and so should be a different colour from the Black and White armies, in the Panther's case a Pink Panther. The TRAMPOLINE differs from the Pole in that any ally in Trampoline Chess, or any conventional piece of either army in Hop Chess, can move onto it and straight off again in a single move, optionally changing direction but not by a full 180°.

Most similar to a conventional piece is probably the TROJAN HORSE in Gary Gifford's Shatranj of Troy. This moves as a FIDE Knight, complete with capturing ability, but carries other pieces within it which it can leave behind. The pieces within it cannot move in their own right until they have been left behind. Another Carrying piece is the FERRY of my own Ferry Xiang Qi and Flight and Ferry, which is restricted to the middle two ranks of a board with an even number of ranks. Most other pieces can move over, onto, and off Ferries as if they were not there, but can move a Ferry with a piece on it on any other cell in its area not containing another Ferry. If the move is to an orthogonally or diagonally adjacent cell not containing an ally, the Ferry may be moved either empty or carrying the piece - even if the move is not a normal one for the piece - otherwise it must be moved empty. If the Ferry and the piece move together to a cell containing an enemy, the enemy is captured in the normal way. The TAXI in Taxi: The Nuclear C.a.B. Chess Game carries up to 3 allies. It moves as any piece that it is carrying at either the start or the end of its move, moving through other pieces but not the enemy Taxi. One more Carrying piece of this kind, the TRAIN of Ralph Betza's PASGL 312 Chess, automatically follows a preset circuit. Other pieces can board and alight at Terminal squares, and it captures pieces that it runs into anywhere else on its circuit.

The TRAIN in François Tremblay's Subway Chess, however, is essentially a set of squares moving sideways, carrying all the pieces on it with it. It could be seen as a Giant neutral Carrying piece whose presence does not bar other pieces occupying the same square in its ranks, but whose absence does. The RAFT of of the historic variant Floßschach is also a set of squares, which can either move one step orthogonally together or rotate by 90° within its existing footprint, in both cases taking any pieces on its squares with it. The SHIP of David Jagger's PiRaTeKnIcS is also of this kind, but on a smaller scale. It too is neutral and conventional pieces cannot move on a cell without a Ship, although they can move either from Ship to Ship or move a Ship by their own move. Up to three pieces can occupy a Ship, which then moves as a compound of those pieces. The TARDIS of my Tardis Taijitu is a block of 6x6 cells occupying the space of a 3x3 block - initially that of the Xiang Qi Fortress - and able to swap places with any completely empty 3x3 block.


How outside-the-path requirements apply to non-coprime pieces has yet to be established. For example, should a Bandersnatch Elephrider require a piece on f6 or g7 to move from e5 to a1? Should an Advancer Dabbarider moving from d1 to d5 capture an enemy on d6 or d7? Should it matter whether they are leaping or stepping, and what if they are MD as well as their other qualifier?

This 'user submitted' page is a collaboration between the posting user and the Chess Variant Pages. Registered contributors to the Chess Variant Pages have the ability to post their own works, subject to review and editing by the Chess Variant Pages Editorial Staff.

By Charles Gilman.
Web page created: 2008-12-13. Web page last updated: 2015-06-06