Check out Chess with Different Armies, our featured variant for July, 2024.

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: Phoenix / Waffle

Historical Notes

This piece can either step one space orthogonally or leap exactly two spaces diagonally. It was used at least 600 years ago in Chu Shogi with the name "Phoenix". Much later, Ralph Betza used the same piece in his Chess with Different Armies under the name "Waffle". It is uncertain if Betza was aware that a piece with this movement was not a new invention.


The Phoenix/Waffle has the combined movement of the Wazir and the Alfil, i.e., it can move one square horizontally or vertically, or it can jump two squares diagonally. When jumping, the square passed by may be empty or occupied.

Movement Diagriam


The Phoenix cannot inflict checkmate on a rectangular board with only assistance of its own King, and is thus a minor piece. It can force checkmate with the help of almost any other piece, including another Phoenix. Try it!


In Chu Shogi, this piece is called a Phoenix and it can promote to a Queen upon reaching the promotion zone.

In Chess with Different Armies, this piece is called a Waffle because the first two letters, "wa", describe its movement in Betza notation. It is a member of the Colorbound Clobberers army.

Kevin Pacey added a pair of Waffles to the standard Chess lineup to create Waffle Chess.

AI Art

Conceived as an elephant wazir
Conceived as the breakfast food
Conceived as a phoenix

This is an item in the Piececlopedia: an overview of different (fairy) chess pieces.
Written by Hans Bodlaender.
Updated by Greg Strong.
WWW page created: 2001-02-19.
WWW page updated: 2020-12-17.