No Stress Chess Set
Our Personal Rating: 4.75/5 stars
Finally, a way to learn chess without stress! The secret? An innovative deck of action cards. Each depicts a chess piece and how it moves. Once you become comfortable with the moves and powers of each chess piece, you can flip the two-sided board over and play standard chess. Includes rules for two variations of playing using the action cards, and all the necessary rules for standard chess.
With this revolutionary chess teacher, you’ll be playing the world’s greatest game in no time at all! Unlike any other chess teacher, No Stress Chess teaches you how to play using illustrated cards and an illustrated two-sided game board. Includes two-sided chess board, 17 charcoal pieces, 17 ivory pieces, 56 action cards, black plastic card tray and instructions. For two players.
Amazon Review 1:
I love my 4 year-old daughter more than I can say but, in all honesty, she’s no chess prodigy.
Daddy has all these different chess sets around the house, so that’s where the interest began (an interest I was more than happy to encourage). We made a game of learning the names of the various pieces and how to set up the board. I thought our next step would involve learning how the pieces move and maybe even playing ‘games’ with some of the pieces’ movements (bishops and rooks versus bishop and rooks, etc.), it was then that we discovered “No Stress Chess.”
What the folks at Winning Moves Games have provided is something you’d imagine some clever teacher would have thought of centuries ago, namely; drawing from a shuffled deck of cards to determine which chess piece is to be moved.
Players draw from a face-down pile of 56 cards which each show a picture, the name, and movement of a particular chess piece; if they are able to move that piece, that is what they must do. The card is then placed face-up on their discard pile (each player has their own separate discard pile). In addition to ‘chess piece movement’ cards, there are also ‘move same type of piece again’ cards; this card allows the player to move the same type of piece last moved by themselves or their opponent. Believe it or not, that’s just about all there is to it!
Needless to say (if you already know how to play chess), the game that results from this type of play is a whole different experience, for the most part based on the luck of the draw. There is no such thing as being in “check,” and a “checkmate” is achieved by actually taking your opponent’s king! Accordingly, there is “no stress” in placing an unprotected queen next to your opponent’s king unless, of course, your opponent proceeds to draw a “king” card.
Once this basic form of the game is mastered (referred to as “Level One”), players may progress to the next level. In “Level Two” each player is dealt 3 cards at a time and may choose which of those cards they wish to play for their move. In “Level Three” each player is dealt 5 cards. Finally, the instructions suggest an “Advanced Game” where the rules of pawn promotion, castling, checking, and en passant are employed.
In addition to the playing cards a two-sided board is included. The squares on one side of the board show how to set up the game, with the name and picture of each piece on their appropriate square. The included plastic chess pieces are “heavy-duty” and virtually indestructible (with the noteworthy exception of the cross on top of the king). Lastly, in addition to the rules and variations of “No Stress Chess,” a very adequate explanation of “Standard Chess Rules” and basic strategy are provided.
Okay, back to the title of my review…much to my amazement, I have a 4 year-old who moves her knight around the board like a seasoned grand master. What more can I say?
Amazon Review 2:
My son received this for his 6th birthday, and didn’t want to stop playing it the next day, even to go to his party! He had been learning some basics of Chess but was not able to really play. This game uses cards that tell you which piece to move, so even children (and adults) who have never played the game can jump right in. The moves for each piece are on the card. You have to move the piece shown if you can, but you decide which/how. It really changes the game since being in check does not apply — even if you can threaten your opponent’s piece, you can’t necessarily get it on your next turn. There are also a few cards that let you move your choice of either of the last two cards shown, which is helpful if you just got in a position to strike! One side of the board shows where the pieces go and the other is a standard chess board so when your child is comfortable, he can play the ‘regular’ way. We love both ways! My son actually began playing ‘real’ Chess after only a few weeks. I think this is the best possible way to teach Chess quickly and accurately, and as an experienced player, I really enjoy the game with the cards too — it is faster and more of a game of chance, but still fun! Definitely pick it up.
Amazon Review 3:
The game has a regular chess game board on one side; the other side has the chess game board with pictures of the pieces on it so you can see how to set it up. Then it has a deck of cards that you pull from to make your move. Each card shows a picture of a chess piece and how it moves. This setup allows you to start playing a modified version of chess right away, without worrying about messing up. It does take a lot of the strategy out and rely more on luck, but it’s still fun, even for grown-ups. After you’ve played a few times, you realize you remember the piece names and how each piece moves. Then you can play regular chess without the cards.
As a grown-up, I always thought it would be cool to play chess, but I was intimidated and didn’t have a lot of time to spend on it. Now I’m playing and enjoying regular chess after very little time/effort and so are my 6 and 10 year old children.
Amazon Review 4:
Took it out of the box today shortly before dinner, the worst time of the day to introduce something new to children. My six-year-old and my almost-5-year-old dove right in and played three rounds of Level 1 against each other. Within ten minutes, both kids had learned how to move every single chess piece. Yes, I was there, explaining things when they made mistakes and pointing out opportunities to take pieces, but after two games they informed me I was no longer needed (not true, actually, but it will be true by tomorrow).
The board has two sides – I didn’t realize this for the first few games, and played on the “real chess” side. The other side includes drawings to show you where to set up your pieces. With the pictures, my kids have no trouble setting up.
Games took less than 10 minutes. We haven’t tried the more advanced levels, which give players a little more control over which piece they move (at the basic level, you draw a card and move the piece it tells you to move).
Both kids wanted to play again after dinner and by bedtime, my daughter told me that she really did not want to stop playing!
My track record teaching things I love to my children is not great. I do love chess, and I must say, this was truly No Stress. I’m about to buy an extra set to donate to my 5-year-old’s classroom so she can play it during indoor recess.