The Chess Variant Pages

This page is written by the game's inventor, Joe Joyce.

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Joe Joyce wrote on 2009-08-16 UTC
My estimate is slightly more than a rook in value. The rook on 8x8 hits 14 squares. The shaman hits 20 max, but just 5 when in a corner. However, it jumps and can change direction, and has the step-leap or leap-step ability. I suspect that these inclusive compound pieces are slightly underestimated in value by most people. But then, I could easily be wrong, because I use them more than most, so have a little practice; these pieces can be quite surprising in many situations. Their shock value probably adds a bit to their worth. Anyway, David Paulowich rates the shaman and rook equal in Opulent Lemurian Shatranj. (Do they maintain the same relationship in going from 10x10 to 8x8, or does one get a value boost? - Trick question, no?)

Possibly the best answer is this: if you have both shamans, don't trade 1 for a rook. If you've lost a shaman, trade the remaining one for a rook, unless you can trade your remaining shaman for 1 of your opponent's pair of them, thus busting up that pair. 

By pair, then, I rate the shaman higher than a rook; by itself, one shaman is likely worth no more than a rook, at best.

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