Thursday, October 10, 2013

Chess House {Schoolhouse Review Crew}

We received the Starter Chess Learning Kit from Chess House to play with review.
Now, I'll admit: I don't know how to play Chess. I've never really had the desire to learn. After doing a little research into the benefits of playing Chess, though, I knew it was something I wanted my children to learn, especially Little Bit. I am willing to do what ever I can to help improve his learning, thinking, and analytical power.

For that reason, I was excited to receive the Starter Chess Learning Kit. This kit includes a DVD, Elliott's Chess School #1 PAWN Level, which introduces the basics of Chess in short, comprehensible segments. There is also an all-purpose Chess set, with durable solid-plastic pieces, and an odor free, roll-up Chess board. This all comes in a sturdy nylon bag, which makes this a very portable product.
Little Bit was so excited when our kit arrived! He immediately sat down and began watching the DVD, along with Botanist Boy and Jen. I like that the segments are fairly short and fast paced, which easily capture young children's attention. He's played several games with his older siblings now.

In the introduction of the DVD, we learn various aspects of the chess board: files, ranks, and being able to name each square on the board. We also learn the different directions in which to move.

We also learn the names of each piece, as well as the value of each one. Then we learn how to set up the board, and where each piece goes. It is important to think of Chess as a team game, and that all of your pieces must work together as a team.

After the introduction, the following topics are covered:
Topic 2: Pawns
Topic 3: Rooks
Topic 4: Bishops
Topic 5: The Queen
Topic 6: The King
Topic 7: Knights

(Within each topic, we learn how each piece moves, and how each piece captures, as well as the most important strategy for each piece.)
Topic 8: Castling, in which we learn the “how” and “why” of castling, and the rules involved.
Topic 9: Pawn Shields, the strategy to block your opponent’s army and protect your own.
Topic 10: Development, in which we learn the best strategic order of playing our pieces.

Included with the DVD is a bonus booklet with practice positions for each topic, helping the learner practice and master the material presented.
Last month, when we went to Florida for hubby's vacation, the boys got to spend a couple nights with their best buds. They were supposed to take the game with them, but they conveniently forgot left the game in the trunk of our car. So, they didn't play Chess with their friends. But hubby played a few games with Little Bit after my folks brought the boys back to us.

This month the boys and I are meeting my parents and my brother and his family in Tennessee, for a week in the mountains, to enjoy the fall colors. Yes, we'll be taking the Chess game along with us, so Little Bit can play with his cousin, or his aunt or uncle, or perhaps even Grandpa! Maybe Grandma can be persuaded,too! He's always ready to play a game! (Hey! Even I now know how to play the game now!) wooden chess sets, travel chess sets, giant chess sets, and more, as well. There are also three more videos in Elliot's Chess School, if you want to learn even more about how to play Chess.

Cost: The Starter Chess Learning Kit costs $39.99, plus shipping. You can also purchase a workbook to go with it, for an additional $9.95. It's suitable for all ages, age 4 and up.

Contact Information:
Chess House
PO Box 705
Lynden, WA 98264
Orders: 1-800-348-4749
Assistance/Questions: 1-360-354-6815


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Further research sources: The Benefits of Playing Chess; Benefits of Playing chess specially for children.

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