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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: Camel

Historical notes

The Camel is a piece that has been used at least since the 14th century game of Tamerlane Chess. The movement of this piece — an elongated Knight's move — continues to be of interest to chess variant designers and composers of fairy chess problems today, and the piece still retains the name Camel.


The camel is a (3,1)-leaper. This means that it reaches its destination square by moving either three squares horizontally and one vertically, or one square horizontally and three vertically. For comparison, the Knight is a (2,1)-leaper. And, like the Knight, it is a jumping piece, meaning it can move to its destination square whether the intervening squares are occupied or not. If the destination square is occupied by an enemy piece, then it captures that piece.

Movement Diagram

Alternate Images

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

Abstract Set Alfaerie Set Alfaerie Set

Printable Pieces

The following designs are available for printing on a 3D printer. Links are to Thingiverse.

Camel by Jean-Louis Cazaux
Camel by Bob Greenwade


As a popular piece, The Camel is used in many chess variants. What follows is a list of many of them.


Like the bishop, the camel is a color-bound piece, meaning that it can only move to squares that are the same color as the one it starts on.

The Camel 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 Camels you cannot force checkmate on a bare King, but paired with another minor this is sometimes possible. Try it!

This is an item in the Piececlopedia: an overview of different (fairy) chess pieces.
Written by Hans Bodlaender and Ben Good.
Updated by Greg Strong and H.G.Muller.
WWW page created: 1998-09-10.
WWW page updated: 2020-12-17.