7
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I never approach directly,

Yet I am most powerful up close.

I’ll make you choose ‘tween two lives;

Save one, the other dies.

I can jump without a body.

I can move without a mind.

Let me roam free and end up behind.

Hopping around, black to white.

I won’t surrender, without a fight.

What am I?

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Can you check if it is a

knight piece in chess.

I never approach directly

Moves in an L shape, not direct like a bishop, rook or queen.

Yet I am most powerful up close

Cannot attack long range but only attacks two-by-one squares away.

I’ll make you choose ‘tween two lives; Save one, the other dies.

A knight fork attacks two pieces at once, forcing you to choose which to keep.

I can jump without a body. I can move without a mind.

A knight is modelled on a horse head without body, and is moved by the player.

Let me roam free and end up behind.

An isolated knight will not help you attack the opponents pieces, any may be a weak piece.

Hopping around, black to white. I won’t surrender, without a fight.

A knight moves between black and white squares, can be tricky to capture, jumping into attack.

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What am I?

It is

gossip



I never approach directly,


Gossipping is done sans the knowledge of the person or entity who it concerns.



Yet I am most powerful up close.


Intuitive: it changes the way people behave, and if they are in social or physical proximity to someone with whom the rumor concerned, then the knowledge of the rumor will color their interactions with that someone.



I’ll make you choose ‘tween two lives;
Save one, the other dies.


Gossip is divisive: either you side with the subject of the gossip, or with the gossippers.
This is, of course, not always correct: some people attempt to stand with a foot in each boat, whether to make amends or to play both sides.



I can jump without a body.


I.e. “jumping to conclusions”.



I can move without a mind.


Rumors spread between people. This one — well, technically the mimetic superorganisms function with interactions which are very mind–like atop their organisms i.e. us; however, most people would not think of it in such a way.



Let me roam free and end up behind.


Like flotsam in the ocean: the wave passes along, and if you aren't carried on the crest then the gossip spreads away from you. (It can return et al., of course.)
Probably more like this: If you do not push to keep at the front of a social trend, it will spread free and you could be abandoned, derelicted.

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Is it :

Mario?

I never approach directly,

Yet I am most powerful up close.

If he approaches the creatures directly he will die but if it jumps on top of the creatures he can destroy his enemies thus he is powerful in that way.

I’ll make you choose ‘tween two lives;

Save one, the other dies.

I am not so sure about that part. The other should be Luigi? or the princess?

I can jump without a body.

I can move without a mind.

He has neither have real body nor mind. But he can jump and move.

Let me roam free and end up behind.

When he passes the current stage(screen), he always start at the begginning of the screen

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It is

Sun (the closest star)

I never approach directly,

Sun is seen only after a twilight / dawn, not directly.

Yet I am most powerful up close.

Sun is very hot and of course very powerful up close

I’ll make you choose ‘tween two lives;

Day and Night

Save one, the other dies.

Anyone we can have of Day / Night.

I can jump without a body.

During a solar eclipse sun gets skipped !

I can move without a mind.

Perhaps in HOT summers !

Let me roam free and end up behind.

From morning till evening, the sun is free to roam and end up behind a hill/sea/horizon !

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