Tuesday, October 15, 2013

TOS Review: Chess House

For the last few weeks we have been reviewing one of or very favorite review products of the year!  We received a Starter Chess Learning Kit from ChessHouse.com and we are LOVING it!!

In our Starter Chess Learning Kit, we received:

  • A chess board that is made out of a vinyl foam and rolls all up
  • A full chess set made out of sturdy plastic, and they have green felt on the bottoms
  • Elliot's Chess School Pawn Level DVD
  • A large carrying case that has compartments for the board, pieces, and DVD
This set retails for $49.95 if you buy each item individually, but for the set is just $39.99.

As soon as our Chess Learning Kit arrived, my children started begging to try it!  It was really hard to not try and start playing the game immediately, but I held them back so we could watch Elliot's Chess School DVD first.  My kids had never played Chess and I didn't want them to get confused, so I was very firm that the would watch the DVD first!

So, they patiently watched the DVD.  The LOVED it.  All four sat with their eyes glued to Elliott.  The DVD runs 49 minutes, and they were a bit frustrated when I wouldn't let them watch it all at one time.  But, as soon as they watched the first couple episodes they were happily setting up the chess board and telling me all that they had learned.  

The second day, I let them finish watching the DVD.  As soon as it was over, they were off.  I was very impressed at how well they had picked up the information.  They weren't world class chess champions or anything, but they DID know what all the pieces could do and how they moved across the board.

The way that Elliot presents the chess game in his DVD is to first, introduce the board.  Then he introduces each individual piece.  He explains the name, value, and capabilities of each piece.  The DVD is broken down into chapters, so you can watch it all at once or break it up like we did.

Since then, there as been many a chess game being played at our house.  We have the slight challenge that Charger isn't as old as Mustang, and currently that means he is not as good as she is.  So, she almost always wins, but he is getting better.

When my parents came for a visit, my dad was more then happy to play against the kids.  He also continued to give chess instruction to Charger-helping him to learn more strategy.  

My brother is, ironically, a chess champion-literally.  He was a member of our school's first place state championship chess team.  It's ironic because he was also the school homecoming King, lol.  But, chess has always been a part of my family growing up.  I knew that young children could learn (my brother learned when he was 4), but I had no CLUE how to teach them!!  I am extremely grateful for Elliot's DVD helping me with something I couldn't do!

Overall I would recommend this product hands down!  We loved every part of it.  The DVD, especially was a hit.  But the board was really nice, too.  Granted, you can go to any store and pick up a random set, but this one is a step above.  I loved the way the board is labeled with the letters and numbers of each row-very nice for new learners. 

 And, I LOVE LOVE LOVE the way that it all wraps up and goes into the carrying case-it will be super nice to take along for Christmas chess games at Grandpas!

If you already have a chess set, Elliot's Chess School DVD's are sold separately.  But, I would recommend the whole set.  The Chess Starter Kit is designed for ages 4 and up, and while I would probably up that to about 5 1/2, I agree that pretty much any child, teen, or adult will enjoy this!  It would make a great Christmas gift for lots of people on your list!

To see what others on our crew thought of the Chess Starter Kit, check out the crew blog.  

Thanks for stopping by!
God Bless,

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