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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.

The Piececlopedia: Archbishop

Historic remarks

The exact origins of this piece are unknown (if you have more information, please let us know). The earliest reference I have to it is in T.R. Dawson's Five Classics of Fairy Chess in which appears archbishop problems by C.M. Fox published in 1932. Although it has some popularity as a problem piece, I know of no games that use it.

Movement rules

The archbishop moves like a normal chess bishop, but it has the additionally power of making a single reflection off the side of the board.

Movement diagram

In the diagram below, the archbishop, which is traditionally symbolized by an upside-down bishop, can move to all the squares marked with a black circle.

Archbishop Helpmate Problem

In the problem below, it is Black to play and help White mate in 2. This problem is taken from part 2 of T.R Dawson's excellent book Five Classics of Fairy Chess. The problem is by C.M. Fox. In addition, Mr. Fox has 8 more problems that are variations on this one, in which the White king and two White archbishops start on the same squares, but in each one the mating archbishop ends on a different square.

Written by Benjamin C Good.
WWW page created: January 15, 1999.