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This page is written by the game's inventor, Daniel Zacharias.

Enhanced Courier Chess

Courier Chess is a good game, with a long history, but it has been recognized before that several of the pieces are rather weak. Others have suggested modernized versions, which are probably all good themselves. This is my own idea of what Courier Chess might have become. The biggest change is replacing the old queens, or ferzes, with gryphons, transforming one of the weakest pieces into the strongest. The idea for this comes from another old game, Grant Acedrex (or Grande Acedrex). It seems more fitting to me to use this piece, with it's possible direct derivation from the ferz, rather than the modern queen, but it ought to have the same effect of making the game faster and potentially more exciting.




The Pawn has its modern move in this game. It moves without capturing one square straight forward and captures one square diagonally forward, but a pawn that has not yet moved may make a double move, without capturing, and is then subject to being captured en passant.


The Queen from Courier Chess is enhanced into a Gryphon. It makes a single diagonal step and then slides outward as a rook.


The Man remainds unchanged, moving as a non-royal King.


The old Bishop becomes an Elephant; retaining its two square diagonal leap, and gaining the ability to step diagonally, to reach half the board rather than ⅛.


The Woody Rook replaces Courier's Schleich. It moves one or two squares orthogonally, leaping to the second square if necessary.


The Courier is unchanged. It moves as a modern Bishop, sliding any distance diagonally.


The remaining pieces are also unchanged.


With these exceptions, all the usual Chess rules apply.


Pawns promote to Gryphons upon reaching the last rank.

Victory Conditions

There are three ways to win the game.

If both Kings are bared on consecutive moves, the game is drawn.

Special Moves

Other than the modern pawn move, mentioned previously, there are no special moves in Enhanced Courier Chess, such as castling, or the mandatory pawn and queen opening moves from Courier Chess.


I included the modern pawn move here, because it could have developed from the forced initial moves of Courier Chess. A more sedate version of this game could restore the old one-step-only pawns and replace the gryphon with something weaker—perhaps ferz+moa.

Enhanced Courier Chess can be played through Game Courier here

This 'user submitted' page is a collaboration between the posting user and the Chess Variant Pages. Registered contributors to the Chess Variant Pages have the ability to post their own works, subject to review and editing by the Chess Variant Pages Editorial Staff.

By Daniel Zacharias.

Last revised by H. G. Muller.

Web page created: 2022-01-27. Web page last updated: 2022-12-05