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This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2001-09-29
 Author: Hans L. Bodlaender. Courier Chess. A large historic variant from Medieval Europe. (12x8, Cells: 96) (Recognized!)[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Anthony Viens wrote on 2018-09-03 UTCGood ★★★★

The historicity of this variant vastly increases it's's possible this is the beginning of pawn's double move, and the first appearance of a diagonal slider.  Very important.

Kevin Pacey wrote on 2018-03-01 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

A great historic variant. Games may last a large number of moves, but the slow pace may prove heavenly for some players.

Zombienomicon Eisege wrote on 2016-07-30 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

We play that the pawn is "elevated" ie ennobled, and becomes the "courtier" or "man".

Jose Carrillo wrote on 2008-12-20 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

I love H. G. Muller's missing link theory! Actually makes sense! Even if it's not the case, makes for a nice little story to tell about this game.

This story goes well with the 1508 painting.

Nuno Cruz wrote on 2008-06-24 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
I love this game! It is by itself a very interesting and entertaining
Some people have proposed modifications to it in order to become a more
modern game. The only modifications I would make it would be to change the
Alfil to Alibaba, to increase this almost 'stupid' piece to one with a
slight wider range. It could now hit 1/4 of the board, with Couriers 1/2
and rooks the hole! ;)

h.g.muller wrote on 2006-02-16 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Could it be that this game is on the direct line of the evolution from Shatranj to orthodox FIDE Chess? It seems a nice 'missing link', with all Shatranj pieces still present, but introducing a modern piece in the form of the Couriers. Especially if this game was popular it might have spread the fame of the modern Bishop, so that people that did not happen to have the clumsy 8x12 board around but just the old fashioned 8x8 might have decided on playing a more exciting game of 'mini-Courier' rather than that slow and boring Shatranj, throwing out the weakest pieces of Courier Chess: the Alfils and Wazir (Sleich). I can even imagine that they sacrificed the weaker Ferz for the Commoner (Man), using the latter as Queen. After all, the Man was already standing next to the King (at the correct side!). This would have provided the first step of the evolution of the Queen to her modern form, adding orthogonal directions to here move repertoire. Replacing one piece by another in a popular game is quite a big step, since conservatism will bias people against the relatively unknown newcomer. But if one shrinks a popular game to a smaller board out of necessity, a concious decision has to be made which piece to keep, and the pieces compete on an equal footing!

Charles Gilman wrote on 2004-04-01 UTCGood ★★★★
The most famous of all military couriers was Phidippides, who ran with a message from the battle of Marathon. It is his achievement that is honoured and mimicked in the sporting Marathon. If these details were added to this page it might help get it into the Themed Variants list.

Nuno Cruz wrote on 2003-12-29 UTCGood ★★★★
This is not publicity 'cause I really don't earn any money with it.. but you can try out my courier chess variant COURIER DE LA DAMA presented on this pages, or even the MODERN COURIER CHESS by Paul Byway, on the british chess variant pages... Try them out an tell me what you think! :-)

Charles Gilman wrote on 2003-06-14 UTCGood ★★★★
The array in this game must be of fairly similar total strength to standard modern Chess, as it differs in lacking a Queen usually valued at 9 Pawns, but has 9 extra short-range pieces, including Pawns. However the relative power as the game progresses depends on the promotion rule. If it is as thought most likely Courier will start to lag behind the modern game. On the other hand allowing promotion to any piece would mean that each quarter of all Pawns to be promoted could generate 3 Rooks, a good parallel to 2 Queens. Of course a variant with the Bachelor Chess rules (see small variants) of promotion to modern Queen and win by marriage would be interestingly different.

bob wrote on 2003-03-17 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
it is great!

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