The ChessKnight is one of the odder ChessPieces, posessing the ability to jump directly to a square an L-shaped move away (one concise, if confusing definition notes that the Knight can move directly to any of the nearest squares of the opposite color to which it is not adjacent). This ability to leap over pieces makes it useful in closed positions, in WesternChess, BugHouse, and ChesSers alike. Its short-range move, however, means that it must be centralized to realize its full potential.

In WesternChess, the Knight is the only piece which can attack a ChessQueen from a square which the Queen does not herself attack.

In BugHouse and, to a lesser extent, ChesSers, the value of the Knight increases dramatically, due to the fact that when the Knight is in hand all of its usual mobility limitations disappear, and also due to the fact that a check from a Knight cannot be blocked. This increase is so dramatic that in BugHouse, two Knights is almost a fair trade for a Queen.

In ChesSers, on the CheckersSide, the ChessKnight has many uses as well; it's a useful thing to which to promote when you don't want something which will instantly be forced to kill itself; it can fork enemy checkers; and it guards pawn promotion squares well, since any pawn dropped on the seventh rank will promote on white and a Knight may be dropped on black so as to immediately cover the promotion square.

They're also cool because you can point them in a particular direction (unless their nose has been broken off... :-P)

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Last edited May 24, 2001 16:58 (diff)