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The Chess Variant Pages

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: Grasshopper

Historical notes

The grasshopper was invented in 1912 by the well known fairy chess problems composer T. R. Dawson from Britain. It is one of the two most used fairy chess pieces in problems; probably tens of thousands fairy chess problems have been composed using the grasshopper.

A chess variant featuring grasshoppers has also been invented: Grasshopper chess.


The grasshopper moves on the queens lines, but must jump and lands at the first square after the piece he jumps. To be precise: the grasshopper moves in horizontal, vertical or diagonal direction until it meets a piece (either friendly or unfriendly). It jumps over the piece and goes to the first square on the line after the piece that it jumped over. If that square is occupied by a piece from the opponent, that piece is taken, i.e., the grasshopper takes in the same way as it moves without taking.

Movement diagram

This is an item in the Piececlopedia: an overview of different (fairy) chess pieces.
Written by Hans Bodlaender. Diagram by Ben Good.
WWW page created: September 4, 1998. Last modified: September 14, 1998.