Chess is not a game that I have even come close to mastering nor have a desire to. So what do you do when your 9 year old does? We were fortunate enough to be able to review the Starter Chess Learning Kit from Chess House.
What We Received:
The Starter Chess Learning Set comes will all of the items that appear above: a vinyl game mat, two sets of plastic pieces, the Pawn Level instructional DVD for beginners, and a great storage bag.
How We Used it:
My son was literally waiting on the UPS man to arrive with this product review. He was so excited to have a chance to learn more about the game of Chess from the experts. He immediately opened up the box and was thrilled at what he found. Each of the parts of this kit has its own storage space in the bag. There are elastic rings to hold the game board when it is rolled up, pouches for the game pieces, and even a compartment for the DVD. The best part is that it all zips up and is ready to take to chess club, a friend’s house , or the library.
Once our son had everything set up on the coffeetable, he immediately put in the DVD and began watching intently. Can you see his look of concentration? He didn’t even know that I took this picture.
He watched each of the 10 segments on the instructional DVD. They averaged about 5 minutes in length. Because this is the Pawn Level DVD, it began with an introduction to chess. This was followed by segments on each of the different pieces, how they move, their point value, and best strategies for their use. The DVD ended with specific segments on the strategies of castling and pawn shields as well as further beginner strategy development.
The Pawn Level DVD is just the first in a series of six instructional DVDs. The rest of the DVDs can be purchased from Chess House to continue developing your game. The starter set that we received is appropriate for children age 4 through adults and sells for $39.95.
What We Think:
The Starter Chess Learning Set Kit was a big hit with our son. I loved it, because it allowed our son to learn from an expert right in our own home ~ no extra running! It also came in really handy when disputes broke out over the rules of the game. We just popped the DVD back in and doublechecked the point in question.
Another big plus is that the instructor was personable, knowledgeable, and very upbeat. He helped to put a “cool” factor into chess. Rather than lecturing, we felt like we were part of a dialog with him.
Being able to review these basics at home has really built up our son’s confidence in taking on family members in a game as well as considering to start playing with his friends at our homeschool group.You just never know. This non-Chess loving mom may just use this starter set to get a beginning chess club off the ground at our local homeschool group. All the masters of the game had to start somewhere.
“This set is awesome. The guy on the DVD taught me cool moves that I can use against my big brother and friends. The camo bag was great!” ~ our in-house chess whiz, Josh ~ age 9.
As always, we encourage you to check out what our crewmates from the TOS Review Crew have to say.