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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: Honorable Horse

Historical notes

The Honorable Horse, Kei-ma in Japanese, is the Knight of Shogi, the Japanese form of Chess. Within the context of Shogi, English speakers commonly call this piece a Knight, even using westernized pieces that include the letter N as the usual notation for a Knight. It has the same move as the Chess Knight, except that it is limited to moving forward. It is very probably descended from the Horse of Chaturanga, which is the same as our Chess Knight.


The Honorable Horse leaps in an L-shaped move that carries it forward two spaces and left or right one space. On a hexagonal board, its move can be understood as moving two forward, followed by a sixty degree turn left or right. When any pieces stand between it and its destination, it leaps over the pieces as though they weren't there. It moves and captures in the same way. When it reaches the other end of the board, it can normally promote to a Gold General. Details on promotion depend on the game its used in. When there are no longer any spaces on the board it can move to, the usual rule is that it must promote.

Movement Diagrams

For a more detailed explanation of an Honorable Horse's movement on a hexagonal board, read about Hex Shogi.

Alternate Images

Click on an image to view the full piece set it belongs to.

Western Shogi Set Diagrammatic Shogi Set Alfaerie Set



This is an item in the Piececlopedia: an overview of different (fairy) chess pieces.
Written by Fergus Duniho.
WWW page created: December 17, 2001.