« Set of Twelve Brass 2ba 16gm Soft Tip Darts, 100 Black Dart Tips, & Dart Wrench Swimline RC Submarine – 27 MHz » 3 thoughts on “Chess Teacher (styles may vary)” 183 of 189 people found the following review helpful perfect for the beginner!! (just get better instructions!!), May 24, 2001 By Amazon Customer (Canton, OH) – This review is from: Chess Teacher (styles may vary) (Toy) Chess is one of those very rare games that takes minutes to learn, but a lifetime to master. It’s never played the same way twice, even among grandmasters and close friends. It requires (and encourages!!) the ability to think ahead and plan carefully, and is enjoyed by people as young as 5 and as old as 125. It’s a complicated game where you have to mange and plan the moves of your own 16 pieces while keeping a sharp lookout on your opponent’s 16 pieces. Learning the moves is usually the first difficult step that beginners take. All the different pieces move in different ways and have different rules to their movement, so this set has pieces with large bases with the most pertinent information stamped on it. The piece’s name, how many spaces it can move at one time and the directions of movement are stamped on the base. As another reviewer noted, the numbers do NOT correspond to a piece’s inherent point value in the game, so a player will have to think before setting up for a capture: is it worth risking a rook for a knight?? Maybe not. Strategies like this are also missing from the instruction booklet that is amazingly thin and poorly written for what is supposed to be an educator chess set. I would recommend getting another book on introductory chess altogether if there are two beginners coming to the board. I’ve found this board to be the MOST helpful when an experienced player is teaching a beginner the rules and movements of the pieces. That way, the experienced player can point out difficulties or poor moves (“uh, you don’t want to move there because you’ll open yourself up to check”), while the beginner can get a better feel for the pieces and their movements. A strategy that is rarely (if ever!) suggested outside of children’s chess clubs and that is also missing here in the instruction book is to begin slowly. When I teach chess, especially with children, I begin with only a few pieces on the board, like rooks and bishops and the king, so the learner can get an idea how the pieces move and to better understand the GOAL of the game, which is checkmate (checkmate confuses a lot of children who think the goal of the game is to CAPTURE the king, not make it impossible for the king to make a legal move). As the learner gets better, I substitute or add additional pieces to the game until eventually we have the standard board setup. It’s at this stage, especially, that an educator set is helpful–LOTS of stuff is on that board and it’s pretty cluttered by midgame. By knowing how your OWN pieces move (and how far they can move), you can understand how your opponent’s pieces move. I had a set like this when I was a child and the pieces were much more stylized back then-the knight didn’t look so much like a horse as a weird, squished mask-like thing. I’m pleased to see that the manufacturer has revamped the design of the pieces themselves, and would encourage them to revamp their instructions as well. 0 Help other customers find the most helpful reviews Was this review helpful to you? | Comments (3) Reply 45 of 45 people found the following review helpful Good for a (very) limited time, December 27, 2006 By R. Storms – This review is from: Chess Teacher (styles may vary) (Toy) My 5 year old son is learning to play chess, so this set seemed perfect for him. All pieces are marked on the bottom with their proper movement (not their value as stated in an earlier review). This will be useful for a period of time. But I must mention that the pieces and board are very, very flimsy. For a game as enduring as chess, the life of this set will be fleeting. The board can only hold up on a perfectly flat surface. The pieces feel very cheap because they are hollow. The queen chipped her base within the first couple of uses. As soon as we can move on to a more substantial set, we will get rid of this one. 0 Help other customers find the most helpful reviews Was this review helpful to you? | Comment Reply 43 of 50 people found the following review helpful Helpful to learn moves, but instructions are very weak, January 4, 2001 By Laura Schmuck (Chicago, IL USA) – This review is from: Chess Teacher (styles may vary) (Toy) My 6 yr old son really enjoys checkers, so I thought he would like this game too. He does, but after just playing a few times we have run into a couple of situations where I was unsure of the rules, and the rule booklet did not help at all (i.e. my son’s move inadvertently left his king open and put it in check, the rules do not say what to do in this situation). I had to look to the internet for the answers. The diagrams for the possible moves are quite helpful for my son (I have very basic knowledge) and he really enjoys the game, so I would recommend it, but I wish the manufacturer would improve the rule booklet. 0 Help other customers find the most helpful reviews Was this review helpful to you? | Comment Reply Leave a comment Cancel replyYour email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment Name * Email * Website Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.