Courier Eurasian Chess

Courier Eurasian Chess

(Eurasian Chess plus pieces from Courier-Spiel)


Courier Eurasian Chess is an extension of Eurasian Chess
(a synthesis of European and Asian forms of Chess by Fergus Duniho) so as to include the unique pieces found in
the historic variant, Courier-Spiel . It includes all the standard Chess pieces, as well as the Cannon from Chinese Chess and its diagonal counterpart, the Vao.

The usage of some names differ from that usually found in FIDE chess.
The Bishop is called a Courier, the Knight is called a Horse, and the Vao is called an Arrow. As well as the Courier piece itself this variant also includes the Fool, Councillor, and Bishop from Courier-Spiel. The Fool retains its name while the Councillor is renamed the Sage and the Bishop becomes the Elephant.

Finally a new piece, the Leo, is added which combines the Arrow and the Cannon reflecting the way that the Queen combines the Courier and the Chariot.

Differences in setup and piece-types aside, Courier Eurasian Chess is
played like FIDE Chess. It is worth noting, though, the following
points concerning the King's movement and Pawn promotions:

  1. There is no castling.
  2. Kings may not cross the river, which lies between ranks five and six.
  3. Kings may not face each other across any empty vertical or diagonal line.
  4. When moving to any of the last three ranks, a Pawn may promote to any of that player's captured pieces, but not to King, Fool, or Elephant.
  5. A Pawn does not have to promote until it reaches the last rank.
  6. A Pawn may not advance to the last rank unless there is a captured piece to which it may promote.
  7. Even when a Pawn may not advance to the last rank, it may still check spaces on the last rank.

Starting Array

This is shown in the next image below, taken from my ZoG implementation.
The board consists of 140 squares (14x10) and each player has 32 pieces placed over three rows.

For Black
Pawn a8 b8 c8 d8 e8 f8 g8 h8 i8 j8 k8 l8 m8 n8;
Horse b9 m9; Elephant e10 j10; Chariot a10 n10;
Arrow d9 k9; Courier c9 l9; Cannon c10 l10;
Fool g10; Sage f9 i9; Leo h10; Queen g9; King h9;
For White
Pawn a3 b3 c3 d3 e3 f3 g3 h3 i3 j3 k3 l3 m3 n3;
Horse b2 m2; Elephant e1 j1; Chariot a1 n1;
Arrow d2 k2; Courier c2 l2; Cannon c1 l1;
Fool g1; Sage f2 i2; Leo h1; Queen g2; King h2;


The piece types are those found in Eurasian Chess plus three types from Courier-Spiel.
At the start of the game each player has 32 pieces (14 Pawns + 18 others)

In the images that follow non-capturing moves are shown by grey dots,
while captures are shown by red dots.

Number Name Movement Notes Movement Illustration
1 King As the Eurasian or FIDE King

May not cross the river

May not move into check
See movement image for the Fool
1 Queen As the Eurasian or FIDE Queen

Combines Chariot and Courier

See movement images for the Chariot and the Courier
1 Leo Combines Cannon and Arrow
See movement images for the Cannon and Arrow
2 Chariot As the Eurasian Chariot or FIDE Rook
2 Cannon As the Eurasian Cannon
2 Courier As the Eurasian Sage or FIDE Bishop
2 Arrow As the Eurasian Arrow
2 Horse As the Eurasian Horse or FIDE Knight
2 Sage May move either like a King or like a Horse
2 Fool Moves like a King but with no check constraints
May not cross the river
2 Elephant As the Bishop from Courier-Spiel
May step one square diagonally or leap two squares diagonally
May not cross the river
14 Pawn As the Eurasian Pawns

Pawns may take a double-step on their first move
Capture en-passant is allowed


Rules are as for Eurasian chess apart from any differences mentioned above


1. - Piece values - what follows is very speculative, so feel free to disagree -

Piece Value
Queen 16
Leo 14
Sage 9
Chariot 8
Courier 7
Cannon 7
Arrow 6
Horse 5
Fool 4
Elephant 4
Pawn 1


Link page on

Play Courier Eurasian Chess with the Game Courier


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