I received a Starter Chess Learning Kit from Chess House to review for the The Oldschoolhouse Review Crew. This starter kit retails for $39.95 and can be purchased from the vendor's website. I was quite impressed with the packaging when it arrived. The kit includes a vinyl mat, 32 plastic chess pieces and Elliott's Chess School DVD Pawn level 1, all in a nice carrying case with detachable shoulder strap. The Starter Learner Chess Kit is for all ages.
My husband picked up a glass chess game years ago but none of us play. He just likes shiny, glass things. My 12 year old daughter wanted to play with it and he told her if she learned how to play chess she could have it. So when the Starter Chess Learner Kit came up for review I had a great idea and my eager beaver 12 year old was all for it.
Elliott Neff is a National Chess Master and he guides students through this level 1 DVD which includes 10 short episodes. The introduction covers how the game board is set up in ranks and files and where each piece is placed on the board. Episodes 1-7 introduce each game piece and discusses how the piece moves on the board, how the piece captures its opponent to rack up points in the game, and the best strategy for using each game piece. If you are new to chess the game pieces include:
Activities are included with the DVD that allow you to practice what you learn from the DVD. These activities include:
- setting up the game board as fast as you can
- playing a game of pawns
- playing a game of rooks vs pawns
Once you complete this level 1 "pawn level," you are ready for level 2, "knight level."
My daughter watched the entire lesson DVD in one sitting. The entire DVD is less than one hour. One aspect of the video lesson that she really liked were the high quality graphics and video game like transitions between segments. After playing around with the board using the knowledge she learned she exclaimed, "mom I know how to play chess now!" I don't know how accurate of a statement that is but she definitely has a good understanding of the game to begin playing and play she did. She grabbed her older sister and taught her everything she knew to start her first game.
I haven't gotten in on all the action yet nor have we broken open the glass chess set yet. However, I will say we know enough to start practicing the basics.
This is a great program for any student of any age to begin learning the game. Elliott has a easy going way of explaining concepts clearly. He is enjoyable to watch and easy to follow. I especially enjoy the high quality video production and graphics. Great product!
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