Review and Giveaway: How To Teach Children To Play Chess

(AD Gifted) Chess is a great game which can be enjoyed by children all the way through to adults. It requires focus and strategy, but it’s not too difficult to get started, you just need to remember how the pieces move. With Chess Teacher from Cardinal Kids (Spinmaster) it is really easy for anyone to learn the moves because all the pieces have diagrams on to remind you. We received a copy to review and one to giveaway from Wicked Uncle.

The chess teacher set from Spinmaster showing the box, board and instructions
An easy way to teach children to play chess

Chess Teacher Review

Chess Teacher is recommended for ages 6 and up and for 2 players (obviously as that’s how many people generally play a game of chess). In the box you get a folding cardboard chess board, instructions and plastic chess pieces. Slightly confusingly the board is two shades of blue, but in the instructions it says a white square should always be at the bottom right hand of each player. It's easy enough to guess that on this board that it means a pale blue square, but it does feel like they are trying to confuse you before you even lay the pieces out.

While two complete novices could learn to play Chess with Chess Teacher, exploring online chess tutoring might be best suited for a beginner looking to play with guidance from someone more experienced. This would allow the beginner to ask questions when needed, but also to play largely independently thanks to the pieces having reminders on them about how they can move.

The pieces are quite large chunky plastic. They are hollow and quite light and less satisfying to hold than some chess pieces, but they will work well to get players started with the game. 

Playing chess with plastic chess pieces with diagrams on them to show how the pieces move
The plastic chess pieces have the name and how they can move printed on

The instructions (which come in 17 different languages) explain the basics of chess in 5 succinct sentences which make it sound nice and simple. It shows how to set up the board, although the image is very small and goes on to explain what each of the pieces do as well as the “castling” move. The explanations are easy to understand.

You set up your pieces with the writing side facing you. Each piece has it’s name, the number of spaces it can move and the directions it can move. For instance it shows the Rook can move between 1 and 7 squares either left, right, forwards or backwards, the Knight however can only ever move 3 spaces but in it’s round the corner type move. The Pawns it shows as "1-(2)" to indicate they can move 2 spaces on their first move. It’s still a lot to remember which is why I think the assistance of a more experienced player is helpful, but it would allow anyone to get started in the basics of chess if they wanted too.

And of course once you know the basics of chess there is no limit to how much you can learn. Grand masters (chess experts) can plan their moves 15 or more moves ahead, but it’s an interesting game even when you are just starting out.

My only negatives about the set are that the print of the instructions are a bit small and difficult to read and that the plastic set doesn't have the same tactile appeal as a beautiful wooden chess set, but it's fine for getting started with the game.

Instructions which come with Chess Teacher showing a section in English and French to illustrate the size of the diagrams
The instructions are easy to understand, but printed very small


If you would like to win a copy of the Chess Teacher game then enter my giveaway using the widget below before midnight on Sunday 16th January 2022. UK entry and over 16s only. Full terms and conditions available in the Rafflecopter widget.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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