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: Centaur

Historical notes

The Centaur has been used in Typhoon and Jupiter by Adrian King, who calls it a Centaur, because it can move as a Man or as a Horse (Knight). It is also called a Centaur by fairy problemists. This piece can be found in these other games under a variety of different names:

Fergus Duniho has used a royal version of a Centaur in several variants. He has called it a Knight King in Cavalier Chess and Grand Cavalier Chess, where it is the sole royal piece. And he has called it an Eques Rex in Fusion Chess and several hybrids of this game, such as the triple-hybrid game Thunder Chess. In these games, it is one of four possible royal pieces. The royal Centaur is really a compound of a King and a Knight.


The Centaur is a compound piece that moves as Man or Knight. Since a Man is itself a compound of Wazir and Ferz, a Centaur moves as a Wazir, Ferz, or Knight. In other words, it moves one space in any direction, or it leaps as a Knight. It captures in the same way that it moves.

Movement diagram

In this diagram, the blue dots show how it moves as a Knight, and the green dots show how it moves as a Man.

Alternate Images

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

Royal Centaur
Abstract Set Alfaerie Set
Motif Set

Written by Fergus Duniho and Peter Aronson. Diagram by Sergey Sirotkin.
WWW Page Created: 15 December 2001; Last Updated 16 December 2001.