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Courier-Spiel. 19th century variant of Courier Chess. (12x8, Cells: 96) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Kevin Pacey wrote on Sat, Oct 28, 2017 05:43 PM UTC:Excellent ★★★★★

A variant with an interesting mix of past and present. It seems possible and desirable for White's (or sometimes Black's) central pawns to strive to both advance to the squares on the fourth rank relatively early in many cases, much as in chess. To me that's a healthy sign for a two army square or rectangular board variant with an even number of both files and ranks, as far as the richness and logic of the opening phase of a typical game of it might go.

As far as this variant's 12x8 board goes, in the old days such would be fine in someone's home on a table, but nowadays if it were to be played over-the-board in a tournament hall (as in a chess tournament) its being 12 squares wide would naturally count against it as far as having physical boards with squares (and thus pieces) that weren't somewhat small in size (otherwise the boards would often take up too much room on a table in a tournament hall). Luckily this isn't much of a consideration for internet contests involving a variant with this one's otherwise unwieldy board shape. Another concern would be that the game might take too many moves to play on average, say compared to chess, but I'd suppose it wouldn't be as bad as in the case of the original 12x8 Courier Chess variant, with its relative lack of more powerful piece types such as the modern queen.

Here's 3 different 12x8 CVs with a quirk or two: