You are on the backup site for Any posts, moves, or other changes you make here will not be permanent, because the pages and database from the main site will be backed up here every midnight EST. Additionally, things may not be working right, because this site is also a testbed for newer system software. So, if you are not here to test, develop, or merely read this site, you may want to change .org to .com in the navigation bar and go to the main site.

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: Mao-hopper

Historical notes

The Mao-hopper is a variant of the Mao, a piece known as the knight from Xiangqi and Korean Chess. The Mao is a popular piece in fairy chess problems; the mao-hopper is less known, but also in use in some problems. Where the Mao must pass an empty square, the mao-hopper must hop across an occupied square.


The mao-hopper is similar to the chess knight - it ends up the same distance away, but the difference is that it must jump over a piece. The mao-hopper is considered to move first one square orthogonally, and then one square diagonally (away from the starting square) to its destination square. The intermediate square must be occupied by a piece.

Movement diagram

In the diagram below, the White mao-hopper on d5 can move to all the squares marked with a black circle. It can also capture the Black mao-hopper, even though the Black mao-hopper can not capture the White one. Also note that the Black king is not in check.

This is an item in the Piececlopedia: an overview of different (fairy) chess pieces.
Written by Hans Bodlaender.
WWW page created: September 18, 2000. Last modified: September 25, 2000.