Chess House, Starter Chess Learning Kit, A Review

 

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As a reviewer for the Schoolhouse Review Crew, we have seen some amazing products from generous vendors for sure. The Starter Chess Learning Kit from Chess House snagged our attention immediately.  I was thrilled when we were chosen for the review.  As reviewers, we agree to use the product quickly, and continue to use it for the duration of the review period. This is the first time I was bummed about our review requirements, I sure would have liked to save this product for December Birthdays and Christmas!  It felt like Christmas when my youngest son opened the package.

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We received a Starter Chess Learning Kit with a retail value of $39.95 that included:

  • Elliot’s Chess School DVD one ‘Pawn level’
  • A soft easy to transport chess board.
  • A full large plastic chess set.
  • A carrying case.
  •  

    Jon immediately set up the playing board in the dining room and played every member of the household. And won. The next day, he wanted to “act like one of those old men in the park and play chess at a picnic table”. He generated quite a buzz with his friends as he put out all of the playing pieces.  He went on to capture every opponent’s king, player after player.

    I was not discouraged.  The package came with Elliot’s Chess School DVD one ‘Pawn level’ . I watched the video in hopes of getting a bit ahead of Jon’s skills. I was not disappointed.

    We listened to 10 segments of video. Starting with the Intro to Chess, then showing us through Pawn, Knight, Bishop, Rook, Queen and King.  We then watched Castling, Pawn Shields and Development.

    I learned that the pieces have points. I’m not sure how I missed that before. We were aware of how each square of the board has a name, like H1 or F7, and how to set up the pieces properly.

    After each segment of the Video – there is a handy printed guide for activities.  There are games to play to practice each new skill.  Some are two player, some can be played solitaire style.

    Below are a few pics of the practice outside.

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    On this challenge, you want to move the rook to capture each pawn, thinking through the moves that the pawn could capture the rook. Can you do it in 12 moves?

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    We enjoy playing Chess Solitaire games, so this one was simple for Nate. He did ask why we would do these activities – and I reminded him about mental play. This helps the mind think, builds logic, and makes one think through the pattern combinations before you start. Great Logic Play!

      P1160802  The next one, is the Bishop. This one took a bit more thought. But he got it in 11 moves.  

    So this product is much more than ‘just another chess board’.  The Pawn Level Activities offer several challenges for all ten topics. The video is fun and engaging.  Jon said he liked the way the Elliott talked on the DVD. He mentioned that Elliott was entertaining, and didn’t speak in a condescending way, ok, Jon said Hoity Toity and mimicked a bad Brittish accent. Voice on a DVD means a lot to us, too much cutesy – and they loose the boys – too much documentary – and . . . they loose the boys. This one is Just Right.
     
    We really enjoy playing chess, Jon has been playing everyone that comes over. We have used it several times outside, at the park and at the beach. The portable play is awesome.
     
    I like how large the mat it, along with how large the pieces are. Easy to handle, feels good in your hand, with a felt bottom.
     
    I am interested in looking into higher level videos.  This product is aimed at kids ages 6+ so it does start at a level that a young child will be able to follow. However, any age is great, like me, who needs a bit more of a boost at chess.
     
    There was a part of the video that helped my game, using the pawns for bait. Moving them, not only to start using the rest of the back line, but to draw the opponent to a particular area hoping they will want to capture the pawn. That one has served me well, but don’t tell Jon. 

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    About +Angie Wright

    The Transparent Thoughts of an Unschooling Family of Boys - Answering the question - What DO you DO all day?
    This entry was posted in Logic, Reviews, Schoolhouse Crew, Some Schooling and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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