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Horsey

A Black Horsey

The Horsey (♘ ♞) is a Chess piece. There are four Horseys in a game of Chess: Two black and two white.

The Horsey move is unusual among chess pieces. When it moves, it can move to a square that is two squares horizontally and one square vertically, or two squares vertically and one square horizontally. The complete move therefore looks like the letter L. Unlike all other standard chess pieces, the Horsey can 'jump over' all other pieces (of either color) to its destination square. It captures an enemy piece by replacing it on its square. The Horsey's ability to "jump over" other pieces means it tends to be at its most powerful in closed positions, in contrast to that of a bishop. The move is one of the longest-surviving moves in chess, having remained unchanged since before the seventh century. Because of this it also appears in most chess-related regional games. The Horsey moves alternately to light and dark squares.

A Horsey should always be close to where the action is, meaning it is best used on areas of the board where the opponent's pieces are clustered or close together. Pieces are generally more powerful if placed near the center of the board, but this is particularly true for a Horsey. A Horsey on the edge of the board attacks only three or four squares (depending on its exact location) and a Horsey in the corner only two. Moreover, it takes more moves for an uncentralized Horsey to switch operation to the opposite side of the board than an uncentralized bishop, rook, or queen. The mnemonic phrases "A Horsey on the rim is grim" or "A Horsey on the rim is dim" are often used in chess instruction to reflect this principle.

Horseys are often mistakenly referred to as Knights. The origins of this misnomer are perplexing.