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This page is written by the game's inventor, Bob Greenwade.

Okapi Chess

One of my favorite fairy chess pieces is the Okapi -- a piece that leaps (1,2) like a Knight, but also (2,3) like a Zebra. It's a piece that I believe to be quite underrated and underused. This game is meant to introduce the Okapi to chess players, by making it the only change in the game.


The setup is identical to orthodox chess. The usual Knight can stand in for the Okapi if you don't have an actual Okapi piece (which is about 99.7% likely).


As the Interactive Diagram demonstrates (and as mentioned in the Introduction), the rules for this game are identical to orthodox chess except for the Okapi.


files=8 ranks=8 promoZone=1 promoChoice=BRQO graphicsDir=/graphics.dir/alfaeriePNG/ squareSize=50 graphicsType=png symmetry=none pawn:P:ifmnDfmWfceF:pawn:a2,b2,c2,d2,e2,f2,g2,h2,,a7,b7,c7,d7,e7,f7,g7,h7 bishop:B:B:bishop:c1,f1,,c8,f8 rook:R:R:rook:a1,h1,,a8,h8 queen:Q:Q:queen:d1,,d8 okapi:O:NZ:horse:b1,g1,,b8,g8 king:K:KisO2:king:e1,,e8


The okapi, also called a forest giraffe, is classified as an endangered species living primarily in the northern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Several zoos in North America and Europe have acquired okapis for breeding as well as exhibition as part of the global attempt to save them.

World Okapi Day is October 18 every year (since 2016). That would be a good day to pull out your chess set for a game of this, and possibly look for other ways to help the okapi to recover from its endangered status, even if only by increasing awareness.

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By Bob Greenwade.

Last revised by Bob Greenwade.

Web page created: 2024-01-25. Web page last updated: 2024-01-25