This is our favorite game now! Jackson has been interested in playing chess for a while, but I've never played before so I didn't know exactly how to teach him. I found this game at Toys R Us for around $16. It was worth every penny! We have played it more times than I can count already, and we've only had it out a week or so. It hasn't even made its way back to the game cabinet yet! Yea!
The board is set up to play on both sides. One side is the traditional chess board, the other has pictures of each piece and their name in the spaces where they should start. Jackson can set it up in less than a minute without any help from me! There is a deck of cards with the game. Each card has a chess piece on it, labeled and gives directions how that particular piece is allowed to move - complete with a diagram! You can use the cards in a variety of ways, depending on your level of play.
In the beginning, all the cards go in the cardholder which has a place for the draw pile, facedown, and two spots for the discarded piles. In the beginning, all you need to do is draw a card and move that piece. (ie, If you draw a pawn, you move a pawn) It is SO easy and is a great way to learn how each piece moves. The game ends when the king is captured, of course. The luck of the draw determines the winner, of course. There is really not much room for strategizing, but this is GREAT for a beginner.
The next step is to deal 3 cards to each player. On each turn, the player gets to choose from the cards in his hand. This allows a little more ability to strategize and make more decisions for yourself. The next step works the same way, only you deal out 5 cards each. Finally, you can play the traditional version of the game without the cards at all - on either side of the board.
It's our new favorite! What's yours?