Courier Chess Set (chess variant/board game)

Courier Chess Set (chess variant/board game)

Courier Chess Set

This is the game most often known these days from van Leyden's painting (http://www.chessvariants.org/historic.dir/courier/painting.html); there are both the old-style elephantine Bishops that hop two squares diagonally (like the al-fil in shatranj), and a modern Bishop called a Courier (Läufer, still the German name for a Bishop). The Queen is the old-school short-stepping ferz, and there are two extra pieces: a Mann (henchman), who moves like a King and is one of the most powerful pieces on the board (being able to mate with support), and a Schleich (sneak), who moves like a wazir, one square along a rank or file. The game was famously played for centuries in Ströbeck, but eventually died out there.

There were four obligatory moves to be made at the start: to advance the Rook's pawns and Queen's Pawn two squares each, then make a 'joy-leap' (Freudensprung) of the Queen forward two squares (not a move allowed on any other turn). I'd like to see Nunn's Courier Chess Openings!

Taste

I have just discovered that Courier Chess (and lots more games you have never heard of) can be played (or watched) using WinBoard/XBoard.

What?

For more information about Courier Chess (and lots more games you have never heard of) see http://boardgames.cyningstan.org.uk/

Chess Quotes

All openings are sound below master level.
[LOMBARDY?]

Choose an opening... which is sound, regardless of fluctuations in current theory.
[HOROWITZ and REINFIELD, in recommending the Sicilian Dragon(!)]

when I'm white I win because I am white, when I'm black I win because I am Bogulyubov"

— -- all from Peter BALLARD