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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: Dragon King

Historical notes

In Shogi, the Japanese form of Chess, the Dragon King is the promoted form of the Rook, moving like a Rook or a Ferz. This piece is also commonly used in many Shogi variants, such as Chu Shogi, in which it is a unpromoted piece that gets to promote to an even more powerful piece called a Soaring Eagle.

A Rook/Ferz compound is functionally identical to a Rook/King compound, and people have often thought of this piece as the latter, because the King is better known than the Ferz. With this in mind, it has sometimes been called a Crowned Rook, as in the 18th Century Chess variant The Duke of Rutland's Chess

In Shatar, which is Mongolian Chess, is has been called a Berse or a Queen.

Despite having the word King in its name, the Dragon King is normally a non-royal piece. However, Fergus Duniho has used a royal version of the Dragon King in Fusion Chess and several more games based on it, such as Bedlam and Thunder Chess. In these games, it is one of four possible royal pieces, which a player can form by merging his King with a Rook.


The Dragon King may slide any number of spaces orthogonally, or it may step one space diagonally. Orthogonal movement follows along rows of spaces connected by common sides. On a regular board, this is horizontal and vertical, but on a hexagonal board, it is sometimes slanting. Spaces are diagonally adjacent when they are connected at a corner and share no sides in common. On a regular board, diagonally adjacent spaces share a common corner, but on a hexagonal board, they are connected only by an adjoining line.

Movement Diagrams

For a more detailed explanation of a Dragon King's movement on a hexagonal board, read about Hex Shogi.

Alternate Images

Click on an image to view the full piece set it belongs to.

Western Shogi Set Diagrammatic Shogi Set
Alfaerie Set
Royal Dragon King
Abstract Set Alfaerie Set

This is an item in the Piececlopedia: an overview of different (fairy) chess pieces.
Written by Fergus Duniho and Sergey Sirotkin.
WWW page created: December 16, 2001. Last modified: December 17, 2001.