In chess, a desperado is a piece that seems to have a death wish. It can refer to a piece that is trapped or otherwise in a terrible position on the board that captures a defended piece of lesser value, determined to go down fighting and take as much enemy material as it can before it dies. It can also refer to a piece that repeatedly tries to allow itself to be captured in order to induce stalemate (leading to a draw) from an otherwise lost position.

Des`per*a"do (?), n.; pl. Desperadoes (#). [OSp. desperado, p. p. of desperar, fr. L. desperare. See Desperate.]

A reckless, furious man; a person urged by furious passions, and regardless of consequence; a wild ruffian.


© Webster 1913.

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