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This item is a piececlopedia entry
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2001-12-22
 Author: Fergus  Duniho. Amazon. See Amazon. Can move as queen or as knight.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Kevin Pacey wrote on 2020-10-28 UTC

I've read here and there about the Amazon piece type having a bad rap because it's so powerful, which immediately gave me a soft spot for the lady - why does she not really deserve to exist? As David P. noted, Amazons were used in place of queens on 8x8 (chess otherwise), some centuries ago in parts of Russia (called Amazon Chess on this website).

Like Fergus noted elsewhere, powerful pieces are best used on large sized boards, and I think Amazons are best employed this way, too. A more recently invented game where they are used is in my own 10x10 Sac Chess, where each side in fact has two Amazons in the setup, besides many other powerful pieces, which goes against power density theory that I was unaware of when inventing it - luckily the game seems quite playable, and is currently in the top 30 of Game Courier (maybe thus deserving a mention in this Piececlopedia article, if it's eventually updated).

Garth Wallace wrote on 2009-12-02 UTC
Gah, I must be going blind.

Charles Gilman wrote on 2009-12-02 UTC
It does mention the name Maharaja, in the third row of the usage table.

Garth Wallace wrote on 2009-11-27 UTCGood ★★★★
Funny that this page doesn't even mention the Maharajah, even though Maharajah redirects here from the Piececlopedia.

Steve wrote on 2006-09-07 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Oh, I see. For example RookKnights on the a-file, and Amazons on the
h-file. Sure, that's good stuff. All double and triple compound pieces
can be used that way- 2 at a time as above, or even 4 at a time,
4 of the rooks knights and bishops in the original line up.
 By the way, I dislike using 6 new pieces. For example a- file cardinals,
b-file squirrels, c-file amazons, f-file centaurs, g-file RookKings, and
h-file BishopKnightKings or whatever. The problem with 6 new pieces, in
humble opinion, is that too many basic chessmen are eliminated from the
  New pieces are great, but the interaction of the basic pieces with the
unorthodox pieces is interesting, entertaining, and not to be missed.
  I always like to keep the queens in the starting array for this reason.

Charles Gilman wrote on 2006-08-02 UTC
Stve misses the point, in that David Paulowich is suggesting substituting for two different pieces. Both players would have their army enhanced by adding a Knight move to exactly one piece, but in one case it would be the Queen itself and the other the Queen's Rook.

Steve wrote on 2006-04-10 UTCGood ★★★★
Of course the Amazon is much stronger than the Chancellor, and the Amazon force would have a clear advantage over the Chanellor force. However,a Queen-force against Chancellor-force should be roughly equal.

David Paulowich wrote on 2005-05-28 UTC
Two hundred years ago chess players in rural Russia would substitute amazons for the two queens. In my Zillions of Games file for King's Leap Chess, I included an game called Old Russian Chess (not exactly based on history) - with amazons (Q+N) replacing queens and a King's Leap replacing castling. The game I chose to name 'King's Leap Chess' substitutes chancellors (R+N) for the a-file rooks. So it is reasonable to consider games where one player has the Amazon force and the other player has the Chancellor force.

Steve wrote on 2005-05-28 UTCGood ★★★★
A fine piece! But where are examples of brilliant combonations and subtle endgames using this piece? Another thought- substitute amazons for the 2 queens in FIDEchess.Or 4 amazons for the rooks, maybe.

David Paulowich wrote on 2004-08-22 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Eric Greenwood uses this piece in his 80-square variant 'Eric's Great Chess', calling it the Giraffe. In his 84-square variant 'TamerSpiel', a Lion promotes to a Warlord (=Amazon).

Charles Gilman wrote on 2004-01-06 UTC
More detail about the original Amazons can be found on, a page showing a novelty set
based on a battle of the sexes in Classical mythology. Shakespeare used
the outcome as the backdrop to a Midsummer Night's Dream.

Charles Gilman wrote on 2003-05-11 UTC
Getting round to considering orthogonal+diagonal+oblique combined pieces has taken me a while, as I never liked the use of Amazon for a piece with the full Queen move. The literal meaning of Amazon is 'one who has had a mastectomy' as this made archery easier, and so suggests incompleteness (a Queen with one sideways direction removes or replace by that side's Knight moves, perhaps?). Empress I prefer for Rook+Bishop+Unicorn. However the use of Ace in e.g. Cardmate has grown on me, especially as I have devised my own idea for a card-compatible Chess (see my comments on Half Chess). The use of the first two letters of Cavalry/Cardinal/Camel reversed have also given me ideas for Queen+Camel, Queen+Zebra, Queen+Giraffe, &c..

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