Chess Wiki

An archbishop (also known as princess, bishop-knight compound or hawk in is a fairy chess piece that is a combination of the bishop and the knight. Although it cannot jump over other pieces when moving as a bishop, it may do so when moving as a knight. It can also checkmate all by itself, like the more powerful piece, amazon. The archbishop is also one of the more popular variant chess pieces.


The archbishop alongside the chancellor is one of the simplest described unorthodox chess pieces, and has been named various names throughout the last century. The archbishop was first used in Turkish Great Chess, a medieval chess variant where it was called the vizir. It was introduced to the west with Carrera's chess, a chess variant from 1617, where it was called a centaur. It was first called an archbishop by Cuban grandmaster Jose Raul Capablanca in Capablanca Chess.


Archbishop Range

Movements of the archbishop. (The X marks represent it's movement as a bishop, and the dots represent it's movement as a knight. It moves like both.)

The archbishop is assessed to be worth about 7 points, intermediate between the rook and queen and can be considered as a weak queen. The archbishop is closer in strength between the rook and the queen in that regard.

Trading an archbishop for two bishops can be considered a fair trade, mainly due to the bishop strength increase on wider board variations and the pair advantage subsequently.

The archbishop can checkmate a lone king by itself, if the king is in the corner and the archbishop is 2 squares away diagonally.