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This item is a piececlopedia entry
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2003-08-17
 Author: Hans L. Bodlaender and Fergus  Duniho. Inventor: Dr. Francesco  Piacenza. Squirrel. Jumps two orthogonally, two diagonally, or like a knight.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Boris Badenov wrote on 2003-08-19 UTC
But where is Moose? I must have Moose <b>and</b> Squirrel.

Charles Gilman wrote on 2004-01-11 UTCGood ★★★★
In reply to Boris Badenov (is this his real name or a self-deprecating pun?), the Moose moves like a Grasshopper ( but turns through 45º during the hop. A Squirrel and Moose would indeed be an interesting combination of a strong short-range piece and a restricted long-range one.

Doug Chatham wrote on 2004-01-11 UTC
Boris Badenov was a villian in an old American cartoon series called 'The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show'. The heroes were Bullwinkle, a talking moose, and Rocky, a talking flying squirrel.<p> So I doubt 'Badenov' gave his real name....

Charles Gilman wrote on 2004-03-22 UTCGood ★★★★
Here are some ideas for enlarged-move Squirrels. Some cover more ground over square cells, others use boards with different cells. <blockquote> Beaver (larger rodent of same sub-order): 3:0, 3:1, 3:2, and 3:3 combined leaper. </blockquote><blockquote> Hexirrel (Hex piece like Squirrel): Dabbaba combined with root 7 and root 12 leapers, on a hex board. </blockquote><blockquote> Cubirrel (Cubic extn. of Squirrel): Squirrel+Sexton(2:1:1)+Ninja(2:2:1)+Eunuch(2:2:2) on cubic-cell board. </blockquote><blockquote> Frairrel (Frame-only form of Cubirrel): Elephant+Ninja+Eunuch only on cubic-cell board. </blockquote>

David Paulowich wrote on 2004-08-22 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Eric Greenwood has used this piece in his 84-square variant 'TamerSpiel', calling it the Champion.

Steve wrote on 2005-05-28 UTCGood ★★★★
A fun little position, if I may. White- Ka2 Pa3,b2,c3 Black- SQb5 Rg2 Pa4 1...SQxc3 mate. featuring a nice pin.

David Lichtenstein wrote on 2005-08-01 UTCGood ★★★★
In Ralph Betza's cspigs chess, this piece is worth six points. I'm not entirely sure that it is more powerful than a rook. It can cut off large swaths of board (effectively preventing a king from entering a collumn or row), but I haven't played with it enough to be sure it is worth the six points. For instance, if the opponent's 'King' was a royal knight rather than a royal commoner, the Squirrel would be somewhat less effective than a rook in the endgame, wouldn't it?

David Paulowich wrote on 2005-11-11 UTC

has some interesting comments on the relative values of Rooks and other pieces - with the usual Kings on an 8x8 board. Ralph Betza (gnohman) states that the Knight+Dabbabah piece can force mate when the only other pieces on the board are the two Kings. Back before Zillions existed I also studied this (very tricky) piece and concluded that a Knight+Dabbabah piece is indeed sufficient mating material. This piece is one of Betza's 'Augmented Knights' - intended to be equal in value to a Rook. Clearly the Squirrel, which can move anywhere the Knight+Dabbabah can, is a more valuable piece.

Christine Bagley-Jones wrote on 2005-11-14 UTC
thanks for that link, i've been looking at leapers lately, until now i havn't really 'noticed' the knight/dabbaba much, it is a pretty strong piece in itself. i'm not surprised you can force mate with it .. so yeah, the squirrel is a strong piece obviously with added alfil power.

George Duke wrote on 2008-05-03 UTC
(Knight + Dabbabah + Alfil) goes back to 1683 under many names. For example, Quintessential's Centurion.

Dan Davis wrote on 2008-05-19 UTC
Does anyone rate these pieces?? I was thinking a squirrel might be worth 6.5 to 7.0 points -- similar to Grand Chess's Cardinal. Agree? Disagree?

H. G. Muller wrote on 2008-05-19 UTC
I am currently engaged in a massive test effort to understand such short-range leapers. It is slow going, though: there are many possible combinations of moves, especially if you drop the requirement for 8-fold symmetry. And I need at least 400 games to get an acceptable accuracy for the empirical piece value of a ertain piece type. Even then, the statistical (random) error in the piece values is about 0.1 Pawn, if I test them in pairs (to double the effect of any value difference). Your estimate seems reasonable, from what I have learned so far. 8-fold-symmetric SR compound leapers with N moves seem to have a value close to (30+5/8*N)*N, in centiPawn. That would evaluate to 640 for the Squirrel. And I expect the Squirrel to be one of the stronger such compounds, with this number of moves, because of the 'front' of 5 contiguous forward moves.

Anonymous wrote on 2009-03-20 UTCGood ★★★★
Did you guys know that another name for a Squirrel is the Bear .... in Bear Chess. It is popular in Russia.

Anonymous wrote on 2010-04-12 UTC
Ineresting: in some medieval forms of chess (wich are closer to Shantraj) king could leap like squirrel on it's first move (castling evolved from this move). By the way, I am russian, but i did not knew that 'Bear chess' is popular in Russia before :) .

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