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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: Wazir

Historical notes

The Wazir was a piece that already appeared in some very early variants of chess, like the about 600 years old Tamerlane chess. The translation of the name of the piece is vizir.


The Wazir moves one square orthogonally. It takes in the same way as it moves without taking.

Movement diagram



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

The wazir on other types of boards

Alberto Monteiro remarked that the wazir type of move can also be defined on non-square boards, as follows:

The Wazir moves to the adjacent squares that share an aresta with it's current position, or, for more than 2D boards, to the adjacent (hyper)volumes that share a (hyper)face with its current position. In the standard board, these are the four squares in front of, to the left, behind and to the right. It takes in the same way as it moves without taking.
The two diagrams below show the (generalized) Wazir move on a hexagonal board and a board, typically for wargames.

This is an item in the Piececlopedia: an overview of different (fairy) chess pieces.
Text and pictures by Hans Bodlaender and Alberto Monteiro.
WWW page created: September 4, 1998. Last modified: May 28, 1999.