We're all familiar with the game of chess, right? Even if we don't play it ourselves, we're at the very least aware of its existence. Most of us have likely heard of the genius chess player, Bobby Fischer. Chess seems to have the reputation of being an intelligent person's sport, and even a somewhat stuffy form of entertainment. Interestingly enough, this refined game of strategy seems to be breaking into more circles in increasing measure. Parents, teachers, and students are discovering the pleasure and benefits of learning this pastime. I recently read a book that described in fascinating detail, the benefits to a child's social and emotional health that can be realized by regularly playing chess. Thanks to my husband's influence, both of my daughters have learned to play, and enjoy a good game. Still, it was not my game, until Brain Blox provided our family with its Fun Family Chess set to use and review. Finally, I was going to have no excuse not to learn how to play.
Maybe you already were aware of the positive effects on the brain that playing chess provides, but you never learned how to play. If that describes you, then this Family Chess Set can be a great fit. It provides everything that you and your family need to learn the basics of the game. Included in the set are:
- Folding wooden chess board
- 32 wooden chess pieces, with soft pouch to store
- Full color chess book
- 2 reference cards
- Chess cube
- Instruction manual
This isn't your grandparents' chess set. Brain Blox has provided a few helps to make the game accessible and appealing to first timers. They provide colorful instructions with illustrations, all laid out in a whimsical style. Anyone who is learning to play will appreciate seeing exactly how to set up the board. Those that would like to see a more detailed visual can take advantage of the links provided in the manual, and see the set up in action. The reference cards are a thick, sturdy cardboard that detail the function of each chess piece, all handily (is that a word?) color coded. There are also a few extra tips on these cards that remind players of basic rules.
There are two options for playing. The first of course, is the standard, traditional way to play, and those that already have an understanding of chess can get right to it. The second way is for kids, novices, and anyone new who may want to enjoy a fun twist on chess. This option uses the included Chess Cube, which has one of six symbols printed on every side. To begin, the person on the Light Side goes first per traditional rules. That person will roll the cube, and match the colored symbol that comes up on the cube with the same color symbol on the Reference card. If you happen to roll a star, you can move any piece that you choose. It's a fun way to become familiar with the game.
My daughters, more specifically, my 14 year old, was pretty jazzed about receiving this set. Having learned the game along with my 15 year old some years back, she enjoys a good round, but our last, rather cheap set suffered some casualties through wear and tear. This set is sturdy, with a board that folds up and locks. Two soft pouches keep all of the pieces together inside. My girl wasn't sure about the addition of a Chess Cube, as she is a bit of a purist. After playing through a few times though, she agreed that it was a nice addition to the game. I think her favorite part though, was having the opportunity to teach me how to play.
As I'm in that middle aged stage of life, I freely admit that my brain is a little more foggy than years past, and I like the Cube and detailed instructions. This is a great chess set that our family has enjoyed, and will continue to enjoy for a long time. Whether you pick this up as a gift for a birthday, or for the holidays that will be here sooner than we think, this is a great set, and worth checking out.