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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: Okapi

The Okapi was invented in 1965 by Pierre Monréal for use in fairy chess problems. However, it was nearly four decades before the piece appeared in an actual chess variant.

(Illustrations: (L) Okapi piece by Jean-Louis Cazaux. (R) Okapi piece by Bob Greenwade.)


As shown in the illustration to the left, the Okapi moves as a compound of a Knight (1,2) and a Zebra (2,3). Because both of its components are colorswitching (that is, they change what color they're on each time they're moved), so is the Okapi.

The nature of the Okapi's moves means that it cannot, with an otherwise bare King, achieve checkmate, though it can force stalemate.


As far as I can determine at this time (with much-appreciated help), the only games that feature the Okapi (so far) are:

In calling the piece Gazelle, Gilman states that the name was already established, though he doesn't cite his source.

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By Bob Greenwade.

Last revised by Bob Greenwade.

Web page created: 2024-03-27. Web page last updated: 2024-03-27