The Chess Variant Pages

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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: Kangaroo (Newton)

Historical notes

The Kangaroo is a piece that combines the movement possibilities of the Knight and Alfil. It was invented by Timothy Newton for his Australian-themed 84-squares contest entry Outback Chess. It should not be confused with another piece of the same name used by problematists but not, as far as I know, in any variant.


The Kangaroo can either move two squares in one orthogonal direction and then one in the other orthogonal direction, (like a knight), or two squares diagonally (like an Alfil). When moving, the kangaroo jumps, i.e., the move can be completed regardless whether the intervening squares are occupied. By combining a colourswitching and a colourbound move, this piece can return to a cell in an odd number of moves, for example four Knight and one Alfil moves in a lopsided star shape. The relationship between the Alibaba, Carpenter, Kangaroo, and Squirrel is analagous to that between the Queen, Marshal or Chancellor, Cardinal, and Ace or Amazon.

Movement diagram

This is an item in the Piececlopedia: an overview of different (fairy) chess pieces.

Written by Charles Gilman.
WWW page created: June 18, 2005.