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

"In the eighteenth century they announced their first rule: "Sortez les pieces" - "Get the pieces out". "It took a hundred years before a new rule was announced. Anderssen, the winner of the first International Tournament, that of London, 1851, said:

  "Move that one of your pieces, which is in the worst plight, unless you can satisfy yourself that you can derive immediate advantage by an attack"

 "A few decades went by [...] the masters evolved a "public opinion":

— LASKER, Manual of Chess (second book)