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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: The Pancake

Historical notes

This piece was invented in 2003 by Ralph Betza for use in the Bakery Bombers. It was inspired by chatter on the CVP comment system.


The Pancake moves and captures either as a non-royal King (Commoner) or as a cannon-style Nightrider, and thus its funny notation is pNNK, pronounced "Pancake". (Cannon-style in this case applies to both capturing and non-capturing moves, and means that the moving piece must leap over a piece in its path as part of the move. Cannon-style differs from Grasshopper-style in that the leaping piece can come to rest on a square other than the one just past the hurdle.)

The pNN part of its move is strange and needs some discussion.

Supposing that the pNNK starts at a1, it can move to e3 or to g4 by leaping over the Pawn at c2. However, it can not get to b3 at all, because leaping over the Pawn at b2 does not count; to be Cannonical, a piece must leap over an occupied square that its base piece type could have moved to.

8 |   |:::|   |:::|   |:::|   |:::|
7 |:::|   |:::|   |:::|   |:::|   |
6 |   |:::|   |:::|   |:::|   |:::|
5 |:::|   |:::|   |:::|   |:::|   |
4 |   |:::|   |:::|   |:::| * |:::|
3 |:::|   |:::|   |:*:|   |:::|   |
2 | * |:P:| P |:::|   |:::|   |:::|
1 |PCK| * |:::|   |:::|   |:::|   |
    a   b   c   d   e   f    g  h

In the endgame, the pNN part of the move will be nearly useless. On the 8x8 board, the pNN has very few moves in any case. Therefore, this piece is only slightly better than a Knight, Bishop, or Waffle; maybe as much as half a Pawn.


The Waffle, the Pancake, and the Doughnut (DN, Dabbabah plus Knight) make a tasty array in the experimental army named the Bakery Bombers.

But what serves as the Queen of that army? And what should it be named? Ah, the suspense!

This is an item in the Piececlopedia: an overview of different (fairy) chess pieces.
Written by Ralph Betza.
WWW page created: January 21st, 2003.