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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: Man

Historical notes

The Man, also commonly known as a Guard, Prince or Commoner is a piece which has appeared in various early chess variants under various names. It moves like the usual King, but is not Royal.

The Man is a popular piece, used in many games, under many names, including:


The Man combines the movement of the Ferz and the Wazir; that is it may either step one square in any direction (like a King). The Man is not a royal piece. The Man captures the same way as it moves.

Movement diagram

In the diagram, the Man can move and capture to any square with a black circle.

Man movement diagram

Vocabulary: Adjacent

A man can move to any adjacent space. Two spaces are adjacent if they are orthogonally or diagonally adjacent. Orthogonally adjacent spaces share a common side. Diagonally adjacent spaces share no sides in common but are connected at a corner. If the spaces are squares, they share a common corner; if they are hexagons, an adjoining line connects a corner of each space.


This piece can generally force checkmate against a bare king, with the help of its friendly king. However, this depends on the board size: above 15x15, the man can no longer deliver checkmate from a generic position. Try it (on 8x8)!


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

Abstract Set Alfaerie Set Alfaerie Set Cazaux Set

This is an item in the Piececlopedia: an overview of different (fairy) chess pieces.
Written by Sergey Sirotkin (edited by Peter Aronson) and Fergus Duniho.
WWW page created: October 2nd, 2001.