This game is a lot of fun.

Before You Start: I will be using my very own Logical Notation in this document, so you'll probably want to give it a once-over before you start.

The Setup: Courier Chess is a large Medieval German chess variant played on a 12 * 8 board. You will probably have to make one yourself (or write a program), as I know of none for sale.

w.Pawn: 7.1; 7.2; 7.3... 7.12
b.Pawn: 2.1; 2.2; 2.3... 2.12
w.Rook: 8.1; 8.12
b.Rook: 1.1; 1.12
w.Knight: 8.2; 8.11
b.Knight: 1.2; 1.11
w.Elephant (traditionally "Bishop"): 8.3; 8.10
b.Elephant (traditionally "Bishop"): 1.3; 1.10
w.Bishop (traditionally "Courier"): 8.4; 8.9
b.Bishop (traditionally "Courier): 1.4; 1.9
w.Councellor: 8.5
b.Councellor: 1.5
w.King: 8.6
b.King: 1.6
w.General (traditionally queen): 8.7
b.General (traditionally queen): 1.7
w.Spy: 8.8
b.Spy: 1.8

Here's a picture of the board, for the sake of simplicity.
  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10  11  12
1 b.R b.N b.E b.B b.C b.K b.G b.S b.B b.E b.N b.R
2 b.P b.P b.P b.P b.P b.P b.P b.P b.P b.P b.P b.P
7 w.P w.P w.P w.P w.P w.P w.P w.P w.P w.P w.P w.P
8 w.R w.N w.E w.B w.C w.K w.G w.S w.B w.E w.N w.R
  • The pawn moves a single space forward and captures diagonally (also a single space). There is no initial two-step jump and thus no en passant capture.
  • The Rook, as an orthodox rook, moves an infinite amount of spaces orthogonally until something gets in its way.Castling does not exist.
  • The Knight, as an orthodox knight moves either one space horizontally and two vertically or vice-versa. The knight is also a leaper, meaning it doesn't matter if anything gets in your way.
  • The elephant, as in Chaturanga, leaps two spaces diagonally.
  • The bishop, as an orthodox bishop moves an infinte number of spaces diagonally until something gets in its way.
  • The Councellor moves like the orthodox king: a single space in any direction. He is not hindered by check.
  • The King moves like the Councellor, but cannot be captured and may not place himself in a position making this possible. Castling does not exist.
  • The General, as in Shantranj, moves a single space diagonally.
  • The Spy is unique (as far as I know) to Courier Chess and moves a single space orthogonally.

The objective: The objective is to mate the opponent's king. Stalemate is a draw.

Pawn promotion: The piece a pawn promotes to is determined not by either player's whim but by the column it reaches.

The first four moves: The game always starts like so (these moves are not normally legal so the ritual was probably more complicated, but has been lost)

7.1 ! 5.1 ? 2.1 ! 4.1.
7.7 ! 5.7 ? 2.7 ! 4.7.
8.7 ! 6.7 ? 1.7 ! 3.7.
7.12 ! 5.12 ? 2.12 ! 4.12.
//At this point, you're on your own.//

Good luck, and more importantly, have fun!