Mann (chess)

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A common icon for the man used in diagrams

A man (german: Mann) is a fairy chess piece often used in chess variants. It moves like a king, but is not otherwise treated as one (i.e., it has no royal power).[1] In diagrams in this article, the man is represented by an inverted king. Chess moves in this article use M as notation for the man.

Movement[edit]

The man moves as a king in chess (one square in any direction) but is otherwise treated as a normal chess piece (i.e. can be captured; is not subject to check or checkmate).

abcdefgh
8
Chessboard480.svg
e6 black circle
f6 black circle
g6 black circle
e5 black circle
f5 black upside-down king
g5 black circle
e4 black circle
f4 black circle
g4 black circle
8
77
66
55
44
33
22
11
abcdefgh
Possible moves of the unhindered man

History[edit]

Illustration of the chess piece "Man" by Gustav Selenus from the book Das Schach-Oder Konig-Spiel (1616)
The Sage as how it may have appeared in Courier chess.[2]

The man is one of the most simply described chess pieces and as such has a long history and has gone by many names.[a] A similar piece was described c. 950 in a form of chess on a 10×10 board and called a dabbaba.[1] The man has been used since at least the 12th century in Courier Chess, and continued to be played in this game for at least six hundred years.[2] Many chess variants have used the mann, for example these modern variants:

Value[edit]

A man is approximately equal in strength and value to a knight, generally. Often it takes a few moves to get the man properly developed in the opening. It is effective at close proximity, where its striking power is considerable. Although it is rather slow, the man is excellent at both attacking and defending nearby pieces and pawns, similar to the king (Ward 1996:13). The man reaches its peak strength during the endgame, in which its value is slightly more than a knight, despite being slightly less than a knight in the opening.[3]

Examples[edit]

The archers, or men are represented by inverted kings in the following examples.

abcdefgh
8
Chessboard480.svg
a8 black rook
b8 black upside-down king
c8 black bishop
d8 black queen
e8 black knight
f8 black bishop
g8 black upside-down king
h8 black rook
a7 black pawn
b7 black pawn
c7 black pawn
d7 black pawn
e7 black pawn
f7 black pawn
g7 black pawn
h7 black pawn
a2 white pawn
b2 white pawn
c2 white pawn
d2 white pawn
e2 white pawn
f2 white pawn
g2 white pawn
h2 white pawn
a1 white rook
b1 white upside-down king
c1 white bishop
d1 white queen
e1 white knight
f1 white bishop
g1 white upside-down king
h1 white rook
8
77
66
55
44
33
22
11
abcdefgh
Knightmate starting position. To win, the royal knight must be mated.
abcdefghij
10a10 black rookb10 black knightc10 black upside-down kingd10 black bishope10 black queenf10 black kingg10 black bishoph10 black upside-down kingi10 black knightj10 black rook10
9a9 black pawnb9 black pawnc9 black pawnd9 black pawne9 black pawnf9 black pawng9 black pawnh9 black pawni9 black pawnj9 black pawn9
8a8b8c8d8e8f8g8h8i8j88
7a7b7c7d7e7f7g7h7i7j77
6a6b6c6d6e6f6g6h6i6j66
5a5b5c5d5e5f5g5h5i5j55
4a4b4c4d4e4f4g4h4i4j44
3a3b3c3d3e3f3g3h3i3j33
2a2 white pawnb2 white pawnc2 white pawnd2 white pawne2 white pawnf2 white pawng2 white pawnh2 white pawni2 white pawnj2 white pawn2
1a1 white rookb1 white knightc1 white upside-down kingd1 white bishope1 white queenf1 white kingg1 white bishoph1 white upside-down kingi1 white knightj1 white rook1
abcdefghij
Roman Chess starting setup. White's archers are on c1/h1; Black's are on c10/h10.
Quatrochess starting setup. Mann are on e5/e10/j10/j5.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Names including: Man (in Courier Chess), der Mann (im Kurierschach), Rath, Counsellor, Sage.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Hooper & Whyld (1996), p. 244. Mann.
  2. ^ a b "Courier chess". The Saint Thomas guild. June 21, 2014.
  3. ^ "The WF (or Commoner) by Ralph Betza"

Bibliography

External links[edit]