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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: FAD / War Elephant

Historical notes

The FAD is a combination chess piece used by Ralph Betza in his game Chess with Different Armies. The name comes from the description of its movement capabilities in Betza notation.

More recent inventions using this piece, such as Lemurian Shatranj, have used the name War Elephant.


The FAD has the combined movement of the Ferz, the Alfil, and the Dabbabah, i.e., it can move one square diagonally, or it can jump exactly two squares horizontally, vertically or diagonally, where the square passed by may be empty or occupied.

Movement Diagriam


Due to its color binding a FAD cannot inflict checkmate on a rectangular board with only assistance of its own King, and is thus a minor piece, depite its Rook-like value. A pair of them on unlike square shades can very easily force checkmate, even without help of their own King. The FAD is a 'potent' minor, being able to switch its attack two steps along an orthogonal, which is a property that allows a piece to checkmate in combination with any other piece that can roam the entire board, in the corner of the shade it is on. The FAD is so strong, though, that it can also force mates along the edge. You can practice this here.

This is an item in the Piececlopedia: an overview of different (fairy) chess pieces.
Written by Hans Bodlaender. Updated by Greg Strong and H.G.Muller.
WWW page created: 2001-02-19.
WWW page updated: 2023-02-07.