Chess can be a complex game of logic and strategy, which appeals just fine to my boys. Already familiar with the basics of chess thanks to a LEGO computer game we found, Chess House was exactly what we needed to make the push from gamer to player.
Just over a year ago, thanks to my time as part of Schoolhouse Review Crew, we had the chance to check out the Starter Chess Learning Kit by Chess House. This kit includes a rolled up board, pieces, and a video all neatly contained in a soft cover carrying case. It’s $39.95US (+ shipping.)
We were a little worried about the board at first since it was rolled up. Thinking in might not lay flat to give us an even playing surface, we lay it down and … it fell flat right away. No curls or creases. It’s made of a leather kind of material and is extremely good quality. The mat has green and plain coloured squares as well as the grid numbers/letters to learn piece positions.
The pieces are plastic, but of excellent quality & weight. What impressed me the most was that both of the black and the white sets come with an extra Queen! I have NEVER seen that before & comment the company for thinking of it!
The video we got with this set was the PAWN level video of the series. It’s for complete beginners, explanations of the board, how each piece moves & some important steps such as castling and the pawn shield are included in the lessons with visual examples and diagrams, broken up into individual chapters for quick reference.
The teacher is Elliott Neff – a National chess master who is very good in a teacher role thanks to his knowledge of chess and his experience training kids. Thanks to a calm, patient, and quiet voice, this teacher is easy to listen to.
Although I’ve been playing chess since I learned how in Grade 3 even I learned something new with this video. We have been enjoying the game of chess together (especially Big and I). I’m thrilled to have it in our home. I’ve even caught the kids teaching their cousins how to play!
The only negative that I can see is that shipping to Canada is (predictably) very costly: ranging from $23US for regular posting to $59US for express.