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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: Giraffe

Historical notes

In several variants of chess, pieces with the name Giraffe appear. By chess problem composers, the name denotes a piece that makes a kind of stretched knight's jump.


The giraffe has a kind of `stretched' knights-move: it makes a 1,4-jump, i.e, it jumps to a square that is either four squares horizontally and one square vertically away, or to that is four squares vertically and one square horizontally away.

It jumps, i.e., the giraffe can move regardless whether passed squares are occupied by other pieces or not.

Movement diagram


The Giraffe cannot inflict checkmate on a rectangular board with only assistance of its own King, and is thus a minor piece. Even with a pair of Giraffes you cannot force checkmate on a bare King, but paired with another minor this is sometimes possible. Try it!

Information taken from FIDE Album 1989-1991 (a book with a selection of chess problems.)
This is an item in the Piececlopedia: an overview of different (fairy) chess pieces.
Written by Hans Bodlaender.
WWW page created: November 23, 1998.