Well! I have once again been pleasantly surprised by a review product I received as a result of being part of the Schoolhouse Review Crew . . .
the Starter Chess Learning Kit from the company Chess House!
I have to admit to you right now that after I was accepted for this review, I did have second thoughts . . . and third thoughts . . . and even fourth thoughts! In fact, if it were not for the fact that my kids had been begging for some time to learn how to play chess, I very likely would not have even expressed interest in this particular review! But, they HAVE been asking for a while, and so when this came up, I went for it, without letting them know. But then, I got picked, and thought, “Oh no! What if it’s too much for them?” Remember, with four boys who have a variety of special needs, many of them having to do with developmental delays and mental retardation, it can be easy to think they wouldn’t be able to follow something and learn from it. Boy, was I wrong this time! 🙂
I mentioned above that I chose not to tell the boys about this review until it came, so they were very excited to see it when it was delivered!
Our Starter Chess Learning Kit came with the following components:
•Elliott’s Chess School DVD 1 – “Pawn Level” introduces basics of chess in easily digestable chunks, keeping it fun and interesting for youngsters as well
•All purpose chess set that will last for years.
•Solid plastic chess pieces with 3 3/4″ regulation size king. Easy to obtain replacements.
•Odor free chessboard made in USA. 20″ x 20″, 2 1/4″ squares.
•Chess bag keeps all 32 pieces, roll-up chess board, and DVD together and portable. 24x8x3″
Everything was packed within a very sturdy, easy to transport carrying case in an attractive dark green color. Other color options are black, navy, green camo and tan camo.
This set is appropriate for all ages, and worked very well for my boys, who range in actual age from 12 – 20, but in developmental age from probably 4 – 12.
My boys were excited to get going with this review, so we popped the DVD in and began watching.
Here, we have everyone, “The Batman”, “The Artist”, Mr. Loquacious” and “The Puzzler” all watching as the teacher, National Master Elliott Neff, showed them step by step how to play this game that has actually been around for 1500 – 2000 years.
I really do credit the DVD in this kit (Elliott’s Chess School #1 PAWN Level) for getting my boys engaged and excited to learn this game. The topics that they were taught with on the DVD are:
•Intro to Chess (board, names of pieces, values)
•Pawn shields and when to break it
And the features on the DVD are as follows:
•Bonus booklet with practice positions for every topic helps the learner practice and master the material presented.
•Introduction of each piece
•Understanding of the values of each pieces
•Best strategy for each piece
•”Pawn Shield” strategy (how to BLOCK your opponent’s army)
•Learning about the most important squares to control
•How to start a chess game with the BEST strategy
The DVD is not so long as to become tiresome, it comes in at 49 minutes, and after each topic is introduced and taught, we paused the DVD so the boys could play the practice game using just that topic’s pieces.
Here is just a little clip from the DVD showing how Elliot Neff teaches the game in a way that my boys were able to understand . . .
The practice games are given in the bonus booklet, which is tucked right into the DVD case.
Here, you can see the twins, “Mr. Loquacious” and “The Puzzler”, playing one of their many games (they play it the most right now, although “The Batman” and “The Artist” do play with them at times.)
As you can see, they have set up their own little audience of action figures to watch them play! 🙂
I am very pleased with this set. It has exceeded my expectations, and my boys have been able to understand the clear teaching by Elliot Neff. They are remembering what each piece is, how it moves, and what it can do. They are learning strategy, something that up until recently, I was unsure they would be able to do. And most importantly, because as you all know, I believe learning should be fun, if at all possible, they are having FUN! They are also no longer asking to play with the glass chess set I have decorating a shelf in our home, lol!
You and your children can also easily learn the game of chess from Elliot Neff. The Starter Chess Learning Kit from Chess House is available for the current price of $39.95 (regular price $49.95) with the Product Code: KP100.
Once you have mastered the Pawn Level DVD, there are other levels you can move on to in order to improve your skills:
Elliott’s Chess School #2 KNIGHT Level
Elliott’s Chess School #3 BISHOP Level
Elliott’s Chess School #4 ROOK Level
Other members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew also received the Starter Chess Learning Kit from Chess House . . . to find out what they thought of it, please click on the graphic below.
As always, I would love it if you would join me on all of “My Journeys Through Life”! Please use the “sign me up” button at the top of the blog . . . just enter your email information and you’ll never miss an update again! 🙂