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      03.12.2011 20:55
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      Bad for the ego

      Whereas the Commonwealth nations can decide disagreements with a game of cricket or two in the good old days the East and West chose to go to war on the chess board, memorably at the 1972 world championships between Bobby Fisher and Boris Spasky, dominating the headlines both sides of the Iron Curtain for the duration of this extraordinary showdown in Iceland, every piece aggressively launched back and fourth like a missile at Moscow or New York. Fisher would win and Americas first chess world champion, suggesting an intellectual weakness in communism over capitalism.

      Chess is a mentally punishing game, one of those challenges you should only enter into if you are prepared to lose. Being whipped by someone much younger than you or you feel smarter than, can be hard on the ego, especially if you define yourself by your intelligence, a defeat similar to that of a person that thinks they are handsome or pretty but being called ugly by three strangers in a row. You have to be tough to play to win. Like with the England football team it's all about the fear of losing over the kudos of winning. Bobby Fisher only took on Spasky when the time was right for Spasky to lose, the same when the Americans beat the Russians at ice hockey in the Olympics all those years ago.

      Learning to play chess is the first big leap and once you do you have to test your skill, which means intelligence. You have all seen the child prodigies whip three middle-aged guys at once as they tap those little clocks as the sweat runs down their forehead and so walk gently on that rice paper. It is a brutal game and the elation when you beat a better player is very high. I consider myself to be ok at chess and so pick my opponents carefully, my ego demanding I learnt to play this wonderful game.
      It's not too hard game to learn to play and if you are intimidated by all the pieces and tactics then don't be. But it is hard to be a good player, something you can't really accrue by playing more.

      The basic rules are not as anarchic as they seem and the movement of the pieces very ordered. Pawns, the smallest pieces on the board, on their opening move have the option to move forward one or two squares and then one square forward from their after. The beauty of pawns is not in their mobility but the way they can clog up the opposition's superior pieces, able to take any piece off the board with a forward diagonal move of one square. They cant pass or take anything directly in front of them.

      Bishops can move any number of squares at a time if their path is clear, just as the Rooks (the castles) can do likewise horizontally. If the enemy are in their line of fire then the piece launches at it on that players turn and takes it off the board and out of the game. The Queen is the super piece on the board and combines both bishop and rooks movement to sweep around the board. No pieces can take their own pieces of the board with a collision. Things are complicated by the Knight that can move in a rather strange manner, the only piece able to hop over the top of other pieces, the point being, I suppose, he is on a horse. The beauty of chess is the way the pieces move. The King is the least mobile piece on the board behind pawns and has to be defended at all costs, the game won when the King is in check mate, when he cant move to any position on the board and is currently checked, check meaning an enemy piece able to take it off the board if it doesn't move, the king knocked over on the board when the game is lost. The top players often concede well before this point in the game as they know their opponent is suitably on top of the match and so out of respect for them, give up, an equally humiliating handshake offered.

      Better players often learn the fabled openings, set moves that grow you into the game quicker that if you had played randomly, often resulting in a strong central position on the board, where the game is often won. I didn't learn these opening gambits and tend to play the opponent freely.
      Chess is also about sacrifice, losing a powerful piece to gain position and then take back their powerful piece and more a normal tactic. If your opponent feels you have made a dumb move he will do what he thinks what will exploit it, where you want him to move to so to deploy your plan, he or she the dummy then. It is 100% a mind game.

      I have won more games than I have lost and would quickly overrun a novice player. When I get into the mental zone I would consider myself intermediate at best and don't ever consider myself a good player. It is just takes too much out of you mentally to go where you need to go to beat better players and my ego doesn't like too many whippings. I remember being all cocky in Los Angeles down by Venice Beach to play one of the old black guys at speed chess, only to get hammered in less than five minutes! I didn't play them again, needless to say.

      You can play chess online now although opponents tend to clear off when you're winning and the game declared void rather than a walk-over. A basic chess set is cheap to buy and they come in many sizes, mini magnetic to coffee table size. I have a soap stone one from Africa I picked up in Zim for about three quid, twenty times that on Camden Market.

      So, could you new years resolution could be to learn the greatest game ever invented? If it is then I'm your teacher!

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        12.07.2010 17:15
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        An awesome brain trainer!

        Chess is one of the oldest and most successful strategic board games of all time. It was played as early as the 15th century and has been going strong ever since. My brother and I used to play a bit when we were younger, though we would just play until somebody had lost all their pieces (rather than putting the king in checkmate). Now in my 20's I have decided to try and improve my game and try and hone my chess skills.

        A chess board is divided into 64 squares which are alternately black and white. When a player moves their piece into the same square as an opponents, the opponents piece is taken and removed from the game. The object of the game is to put your opponents King into the check-mate position (meaning that he can not move to a safe square), while simultaneously defending your own.

        Chess is all about forward planning and anticipating your opponents next move. For a novice like me it can be immensely frustrating to stumble into the carefully laid traps of more experienced players. I find it to be a fiendishly addictive game and it is supposed to help improve your critical thinking skills as well. There is quite a steep learning curve to begin with. If you are playing against a more experienced player you will no doubt spend most of your first game smacking your own forehead in disbelief as you haplessly sacrifice piece after piece. The more you play, the better you will become and before long you will be hatching plots and coups of your own.

        I would highly recommend this game to kids and adults alike. It is a great brain-trainer and is completely absorbing to boot. Well worth 4 stars out of 5!

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        09.06.2010 20:11
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        An ancient game that's still going strong.

        Chess must be one of the most played puzzles of all time. I struggle to call it a board game (although technically that's what it is), because it has become so much more than a mere way to fritter away a few hours.

        The chess board is made up of 64 alternating black and white tiles in an 8 by 8 configuration. There are two players involved in a game, one taking the black pieces and one taking the white (although nowadays there are all sorts of novelty pieces including different colour variations and even characters from television shows).

        Each player takes it in turn to move just one piece, each piece can move in a different way with the lowly pawns only able to move 1 square forward and one square diagonally (providing they are taking an opponents piece), and the most versatile piece, the queen who can move anywhere she damn well wants 8^P

        When an opponents piece is taken it is removed from the board, a player wins on the scenario where the opponents king cannot move out of harms way, this is known as a check mate, in plain terms it means your stuffed : )

        Chess can be played for a bit of fun with the family on a rainy day but the best chess is played by 'grand masters'. These are experts at the game who can extrapolate theirs and their opponents moves far into the future sometimes a whole game of chess could be played out without moving a single piece.

        Sometimes grand masters are pitted against super computers (giving insight into the type of thought processes that must be employed to play chess at a high level),very logical and precise.

        I however am completely rubbish at chess, I don't forward think enough, whilst this means I could never play the grand masters it doesn't mean I can't have a bit of fun when I'm at a loose end for something to do.

        It's doubtful theres anyone out there who has never heard of the game but there may be the odd few who have played only on a handful of occasions, to those people I really reccomend dusting off the old checkered board, failing that you can get some great sets these days. Solid gold and silver pieces right down to my personal favourite, the cast of the simpsons.

        For a game thats thought to be around a thousand years old it's still going strong, I'm sure we'll all be playing chess far into the future, long after the robots have banned all forms of electronic entertainment.

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          03.02.2010 12:21
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          The best way for kids to develop skills for life in the big wide world.

          I'm sure at some point we've all imagined a chess club. It's the one in school where the geeks go, right? No one who is good at football, or rugby, or gymnastics, or anything else physical goes to chess, right? Well, no, actually! I could spend hours and hours now telling you how to play the game, but there are some great reviews of that and any search for "chess rules" on the internet will tell you what you need to know. Be warned though, if you Google it, there are 13, 300, 000 results, and that's nothing compared to the infinite number of combinations possible across the board!


          So I thought you might like to know what is fascinating about chess. Although it's played on a board, by two seated opponents, with what look like passive pieces of wood or plastic, is actually a bloody thirsty and cut throat war. Good players no longer see 64 squares, they see pathways and patterns which are to be exploited to capture, or "mate", their enemy's King. Knights attack Bishops, Rooks eat up Pawns, Bishops join forces to develop two pronged attacks on the King and the Queen dominates the board. Even the pawns, which are so humble in the Opening, end up charging a path to the opponent's back rank for the End Game and are promoted to a better piece, usually a Queen but very effective mates can occur when the pawn is promoted to a Knight. Great players don't lose - they learn from the mistake but talk about suffering "crushing defeats", and the winners blow their opponents off the board, squeezing the life from them and totally squeeze the life from them.

          For those kids in school who aren't interested in some of the other clubs, chess gives them an opportunity to develop the ability to think outside the box, to develop lateral thinking and to learn how to outwit their opponent. These skills are essential for our youngsters as they grow and get into careers with massive competition. Are chess players wussie? Er, no! Having been to a number of tournaments I can tesify to the tantrums, bad manners and sore losers that I have witnessed. Winners who jump in the air in a self congratulatory manner, after being embroiled in mind games against the opponent, are common place. As are the tears, especially among jumiors. No one likes to lose at chess...

          There have been some very interesting top flight players, such as the genius that was Bobby Fischer, US champion at 14 and later world champion. Not just better than the rest, but he was head and shoulders above the rest. (If you don't know of him I would highly recommend reading his story).

          But for me, here's the most fascinating thing about the game. If you want to replay every kick and movement from a football match from 1884, you can't. Only in your imagination. But chess games have been recorded for centuries, and any game can be replayed. Great chess players have spent years playing the games of their idols. There are thousands, and I mean literally thousands, of chess books, all with some fantastic games. All you need is a board and pieces and off you go. You can follow the mind of a genius as he/she works out the best way to anihilate the opponent, to come crashing down on their King. In reading and playing through those games your own skills develop and respect for those great players strengthens with every move.

          There are so many chess computers now as well, that it is easy to practise even if you don't have a real life opponent. The ICC, Internet Chess Club, is a vast resource for chess, with thousands of games stored to study, tutorials, grandmaster members who regularly play and you can observe them live. There are even downloads for the mobile phone, such as the nifty Kasparov Chess game, which is very easy to use.

          Overall chess is a game that should be taught more in schools, and after school clubs. There is currently an initiative from the English Chess Federation to provide free sets to all schools in England and get them playing, so if you get the chance, get your kids involved or volunteer to help!

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            17.03.2009 20:53
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            Try It, You Might Like It!

            Chess is a game of combat played on a flat square board divided into 64 black and white squares which alternate in colour.

            The board in effect is a battle field and each player starts with 16 playing pieces. One player has white coloured pieces and the other player has black coloured pieces. The pieces are lined up on opposite sides of the board, much as what would happen in real life on a battle field.

            The 16 pieces are broadly representative of a society of the middle ages when countries and peoples were ruled by Kings and Queens that lived in castles, when the church was powerful and when armies were led by mounted Knights on horse back supported in front of them by foot soldiers who were often used as expendable pawns in the game of war.

            The chess pieces in the game are:
            Kings, Queens, Rooks(Castles), Bishops, Knights(Horses) and Pawns.

            Chess has in the distant past been used as a training tool to teach war and battle strategy and there are some that believe that in very ancient times it may have been used as a substitute by leaders for an act of war instead of using real people and suffering human loss. This is most probably myth.

            As in real life each playing piece has a different role to play with differing powers and capabilities. A contradiction to this is that The King is one of the least powerful pieces and in effect The King is more representative of the chess player's own mind and free will to move the other pieces around on the board than it is of a powerful force in the game.

            The Queen is the most powerful piece on the board and the pawn is the weakest. But to add a dimension of realism and meritocracy to the equation the humble pawn can in certain circumstances be promoted to the status of a Queen. This can happen even if the original Queen is still around.

            The idea of the game is to capture your opponents King or to sufficiently weaken your opponent's forces (playing pieces) and/or weaken your opponent's morale so that he/she surrenders.

            The game is played by each player taking turns to move one of their pieces to a new position on the board.

            You strive to achieve a win by either directly attacking your opponents King or more commonly by attacking and then capturing your opponent's other forces (pieces).

            When you capture a piece it is removed from the board and can play no further part in the game.

            When you capture your opponent's King it is known as "Checkmate" and if your opponent surrenders it is known as "Resigning".

            There are also two other possible outcomes in a game of chess.

            "A Draw":. This is where the pieces left on the board are such that it is impossible for either player to win, or it is impossible for either player to win unless the other player scores what in soccer terms would be "a deliberate own goal".

            The most common form of A Draw is when both players agree to declare the game a Draw. This can happen when the players are evenly matched and when either the game has become very log jammed in the early stages or where a large number of (and equal amount from each player) pieces have been captured thus making it likely that it would take an incredibly long period of time for any one player to gain a significant advantage over the other.

            "Stalemate": This is a situation where the same sequence of moves by each player is indefinitely repeated and therefore it is impossible for either player to ever win.

            It can be a situation that is unavoidable by either player or it can be a deliberately planned strategy by one player that forces his/her opponent into an involuntary move of his/her pieces each time. This tactic is a clever one deployed by a player who is at a big disadvantage pieces wise at that stage of the game and who considers a stalemate to be a better option than a likely defeat.

            When you win a game of chess as part of a chess competition or tournament you score 1 point and your opponent gets 0 points. If the game is a draw or is a stalemate each player gets one half of a point.

            The player with the white coloured pieces always goes first and who gets which pieces is decided by one of the players holding a white pawn in one hand and a black pawn in the other hand, clenching both fists so that neither is visible. The other player then chooses a hand and whatever colour pawn is in it is the colour he/she will play with.

            Why is chess a great game?

            It is a very good test of skill, strategy, forward planning, patience, discipline, temperament and general mental aptitude.

            You can improve your own mind in respect of other parts of your life by learning from situations in a game of chess and how you reacted to them. An obvious example is that sometimes sheer determination, focus and will to win can bring you back from the brink of defeat to a glorious victory in chess.

            Chess is a truly International game meaning that you can play against anyone even if your language or culture is not common to each other. So it can bring people together and show us all that none of us are that different to each other.

            Chess is easy to play needing just a board and some pieces. Folding boards that hold the pieces inside and that have magnetic pieces are very good and can be bought for as little as a couple of pounds. You can also get very fancy ornamental boards with beautifully made pieces that you can still play a game on but double up as a nice display item.

            Chess can be played by all ages and combines cerebral exercise with fun.



            What are the negatives about chess?

            It is an aggressive board game in which you are really trying to crush your opponents mind and spirit. This can cause a problem if you are playing someone you know and like and one player turns out to be way superior at the game to the other. It can hurt one person's feelings.

            In order to become exceptional at chess just having a lot of natural ability is not enough. Once you reach a certain level you will not improve much more without studying books about chess and studying previous matches.

            Chess can take up far too much of your time if you really get involved with it seriously. If this happens it may ultimately become a waste of your life as in the final analysis it is just a board game and a virtual pursuit rather than a real one.

            If you ever reach the high levels of chess the chances are that most of the fun will have long gone out of it and that a high proportion of the people you play against will be for want of a better word, nerds.


            Things that have happened to me in chess.

            I used to play for a Civil Service team. When I first joined the team I told them how good I was based on my performances for other teams.

            In my first match I lost to the only woman on our opponent's team. She was one of their better players but women chess players are quite rare at competition level and I was ribbed about this.

            In my second match I lost to a blind man. I later found out that he was one of the best players in the whole of the London Civil Service. He played with the aid of his own chess board with specially sculpted pieces. He kept this board on his lap and moved all of the pieces on it to mirror the piece movements on the main board which I controlled.

            He also had a Dictaphone which he spoke all of the moves into so that he could analyse the game at a later stage if he wished to.

            I played another match where my opponent spoke with a strong Eastern European accent, he was in his 60s, dressed eccentrically and came across as an Einstein like mad scientist. I thought oh, no I've got no chance in this match. I was wrong, he was one of the worst players I have ever faced!

            Summary:

            Chess is a truly great game and it is worth trying it just to learn the basics of it so that it is an ability that you can "store in your locker" for a time when you may need it.

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              01.03.2009 13:36
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              The thinking man's game!

              Although chess is a pretty easy game to play, it is extremely difficult and complex to master it with any degree of success.

              For the full rules and explanation on how to play this intriguing game, here is the link to Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chess

              At its most basic, the idea of chess is to 'capture' your opponents King, in what is known as 'Checkmate'. Although this sounds pretty easy I can assure you that it is extremely difficult and complex to do this if you are playing an opponent who has a good knowledge and understanding of the game.

              So complex is this game of strategy that it has been said that at any given time during a game of Chess there are more combinations of moves than there are atoms in the entire world! So to become proficient (even to a small degree) at this game, takes incredible reserves of thinking power and planning. You may have to 'second guess' your opponents thinking, and apply a move to counteract his move, while all the time trying to advance your pieces for the final onslaught to capture his King.

              There is a fine balance in this 'Game of Kings' in that you must advance some of your pieces for an attack, yet keep some pieces back as your defence, to counteract your opponents attack.

              So complex is the game that after each person has made one move each there are 400 different positions available. After two moves each there are 72,084 positions available. And after three moves each there are over 9 million positions available. Four moves each and the total amount of different positions available is a mind-boggling and staggering 288 billion (give or take a few!).

              In this modern age of computers they have even built 'chess engines' which are basically computer chess 'players' that can think millions of moves in advance, within a few seconds, to apply the 'best' move currently available. This incredible, fast computer processing is beyond any human being obviously, and one of the 'chess engines' was pitted against World Chess Champion Vladimir Kramnik and trounced him 4-2! Amazing when you think that Kramnik is the best player in the world. The only surprising thing here is the fact that Kramnik actually won two of the six games against a computer that can think millions of moves per second and come up with 'almost' the perfect 'next' move!!

              Chess buffs have studied opening moves, defences and gambits for as long as the game has been invented and there are more combinations of these moves than there are 'quarks' in the Universe.

              Studying opening moves and defences will improve your ability to play better Chess, as will learning by your mistakes!

              There is nothing better than playing a friend on a Winters evening, glass of wine in hand (to improve the thinking process ofcourse!), fire burning in the hearth, and you within a few moves of 'checkmate!' Wonderful.

              Here is a final thought for you: There are 169, 518, 829, 100, 544, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000 ways to play the first 10 moves of a game of Chess. Misjudge only even ONE of these awesome amount of moves, and it could spell the beginning of the end for you!!

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                09.08.2008 17:54
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                brilliant, for anyone!

                Chess... A Classic game of intelligence my passion started when I was small but it got lost by the age of ten :(
                Then after being stuck i a locked room with some kids at 14 i started to play again and became very good at it, a natural and then went to develop my talents going to clubs and being crown chess champ a few time here and in germany, but that is mostly irrelevant. I only said it because you should never give up on a game because you keep losing but you should perservere and you will get better and what better to show this that on a chess board?
                chess is a game of skill intelligence and wits and al of them get tested when you play a formidble opponent. So you have no friends who can play? then a chess computer what better, chess grandmaster kasparov couldn't play aginst anyone his level so he created an IBM back computer called deep blue in which he played an trained.
                Initailly he beat his creation deep blue but the computer upgrade deeper blue beat kasparov with no mercy. Which shows you don't need friends or a split personality to play chess when a computer can train you.
                happy playing!

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                  17.05.2008 19:56
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                  Great tactical game.

                  Chess is a classical board game that dates back to the 15th century, this had evolved from games like this created in India.
                  This is a fun game and a good way to get your brain working.

                  In this game two people can play, they each have sixteen pieces, eight pawns, two rooks, two knights, two bishops, a king and a queen.

                  The most powerful piece is the queen, you can move her forward, backwards, diagonally for as many squares as you want, so try not to lose her but if you do don't worry you can always get the queen back if you can get a pawn to the other side of the board, but unfortunately the queen cannot jump over any other pieces.

                  The weakest piece is probably the king, the whole game depends on this piece. It cannot be taken but if your opponent has one of its pieces able to attack your King, the must say "Check!" you must then move you king out of harms way, if you can't, this is called check mate and you lose the game.

                  There are many different boards available for chess, from very little to thousands of pounds. This is a great game and can really get you thinking!

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                    10.01.2008 16:55
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                    My lvoe of chess has been rekindled; hopefully yours will be too.

                    Why on earth would I want to review Chess? Everyone knows what a good game Chess is, right?

                    Well, it occurs to me that with Chess, the same thing may have happened to other people as happened to me. I use to be an eager chess player as a child, playing my brother repeatedly, taking part in Chess club at school and eventually even going in for a couple of tournaments (I got thrashed but had fun). the trouble is its a complex game and to improve, especially as a child (ina pre internet era) its not always obvious what book to read to help you out and I ended up becoming a frustrated novice player.

                    Gradually my love of chess got lost in the mists of time, its simple charm replaced by the many overblown Computer and video games in my life and after that, reading,, music and movies.

                    Well, I've just rediscovered this game, bought my self a chess computer program (Fritz) and some excellent novice Chess books as it has slowly dawned on me that its still the greatest game in the world. As a young child there's a certain frustrating fascination with its complexity; but as an adult its suddenly feels like a whole new world of strategy, tactics and complex thinking that i'd never dreameed could exist.

                    So consider this review one of encouragement. don't just get out your chess board, playa game or two and then scratch your head wondering how you are supposed to get better - its complex but there's an excellent column on chesscafe.com archive called Novice's Nook (http://www.chesscafe.com/archives/archives.htm#Novice%20Nook) which will diretc you in ways to think, ways to play, what books to buy and how to get the most from your chess computer. Once you've read a bit you can play live chess online and ....da daaarr the sky is the limit. This game will last you a lifetime as its myriad complexities will unfold before you.

                    Its a wonderful hobby and one that I suspect many overlook through not knowing where to go with it next. Give it a go!

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                      22.02.2006 14:00
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                      Great Game

                      Intro:

                      Ok, now where do you start with Chess, probably the greatest strategy game ever. I have broken this review down into two parts, the basic rules and my opinion on the game.

                      I am not going into two many details on the basic rules as it is too complicated and would take too long to go into everything, but hope that you will get an idea of what the basic gameplay is.

                      My opinion is quite clear what that involves, but I tell you now that it will be very positive as I love this game. This is long review because the rules of the game are so complex, so if you know the basics then just read my opinion which will give you my thoughts.

                      Setting up the Board:

                      Now then Chess, where do you start. Well the beginning is usually the best. Now this is a complex board game. You have two sides (one Back and one White). The aim of the game is to get the opponent CheckMate (More about this later).

                      Now what does the board look like, You have 64 squares, 32 White and 32 Black in a sequence of 1 Black and 1 White square. The Board is 8 X 8, i.e. 8 Wide and 8 High.

                      You have in total 32 pieces, 16 Black and 16 White and these are made up on both sides of 8 Pawns, 2 Rooks (quite usually called Castles) 2 Knights (Look like horses) 2 Bishops, 1 King and 1 Queen.

                      Each piece has different values and instructions. The pawns are generally cannon fodder and can only move forwards 1 space at a time. These can be made into any other piece on the board (except the king as there can only be one of them) if / when they get to the other side of the board. Pawns always start on the second row of the board (Did I mention that you line up your pieces facing each other, high value pieces on the back line and pawns in front? If not that is what you do, more about the high value pieces shortly).

                      Behind the pawns you have in this order starting from the left 1 Rook, 1 Knight, 1 Bishop, 1 Queen, 1 King, 1 Bishop, 1 Knight and 1 Rook (which obviously means that you have the King and Queen in the middle flanked by the Bishops, then the Knights and then the Rooks.

                      VALUE OF PIECES:

                      Ok, now you have finally managed to set the board up, next thing to cover is how does each piece move. I have done this in a table to make it simpler.

                      Pawns - can only move forward 1 space at a time, except on the first go when they can move 2 if there is nothing in its way.

                      Rooks - Can only move in a horizontal or vertical way but as far as they want - as long as there is nothing obstructing them.

                      Knights - Ok these are a little more complicated, they basically move in a L shaped way, i.e. 2 forwards, 1 to the left or right. This can be any way and they are the only piece on the board which can jump over other pieces.

                      Bishops - can only move in a straight way but can only move diagonally and on their colour (if you have set the board up correctly then you will start the game with one bishop on a black square and 1 Bishop on a white square, which means that the black bishop can only move diagonally on black and the same for the white bishop. The Bishops can again move as far as they want but only as long as nothing obstructs them.

                      The Queen - Now this is the most powerfull piece and can move horizontal, vertical and diagonal. I.e. it can move more or less any way it wants once (so either diagonal as long as it can, vertical as long as it can or horizontal as long as it can). Note it can only do one of the three in any go.

                      The King - This is the most important piece and the Weakest. The King can only move 1 square at a time, but in any direction.

                      AIM OF THE GAME:

                      Aim of the game is to get the king CheckMate. Now what does this mean, this means that you attack the king (i.e get one of you pieces in a position where it could take the king, so the Bishop needs a clear diagonal run towards the King, or the Queen the same) and your opponent cannot move the King out of the way, and can move no piece into position where it stops the King being under attack.

                      HOW DO YOU GET TO FULFIL THE AIM OF THE GAME & BASIC TIPS:

                      Now the basic aim is as mentioned is to get the King into CheckMate. You do this by attacking the King and moving your pieces forward so that you can fulfil this aim.

                      Basically your first move has to be either a pawn (as if you remember none of the pieces behind them can move except the Knights as they need to be able to run straight lines) or one of the Knights.

                      Usually what happens (especially with beginners to the game) is that you usually have a complete kill feast to start with with each team taking an opponents piece as soon as they can until there are not many pieces left on the board. This then makes it easier to get CheckMate. Oh one thing to mention is that you cannot take the King (taking means that you remove the piece off the Board and it cannot come back on - unless as mentioned above you get a pawn to the other side of the board).

                      You basically need to manoever the opponent into a position where you can attack the King and he cannot move it away from that position without being attacked by another of your pieces and cannot move anything in between your piece that is attacking the King and the King itself.

                      Basic Tips, now the most vital piece on the board is the Queen as it is the most powerful, protect it with your life and try not to lose it unless you can get your opponents Queen or it is a clear part of your grand plan to get him CheckMate.

                      I don't think that i have mentioned yet that each player gets one turn, to move one piece once. In the case of the Queen, Rock and Bishop these pieces can move as far as you want them to / as far as they can move with nothing obstructing them. Then it is your opponents turn to move one piece, etc.

                      You can take any piece of your opponents when they are in a position which allows you to move one of your pieces in a direct line to theirs. Note, in some cases your opponent might have a piece protecting the one that you want to take (this basically means that one of their pieces is in direct line (same way as that piece moves) as the one your are planning on taking, you should therefore conside carefully whether you want to take that piece if it means you will lose the piece on the next go when your opponent moves. It is never good chess sense to lose a Queen or one of your higher value pieces for a pawn or a lesser value piece unless as mentioned above it is part of your immediate grand plan for CheckMate.

                      Now this is the main part of the basic rules, anything more than this and this review is going to absolutely massive and will begin to get very complex.

                      I hope that you now have a basic idea of how to set the Board up and the basic possible movements of the pieces and their importance.


                      My Opinion

                      Now this is probably the greatest strategy game ever and does really allow for you to have many hours of fun in just one single game. It can however also be over in 4 moves if you are a beginner playing someone who is good at the game.

                      This is not a game for someone who is not patient. It can take many hours to finish to finish a game especially if you are both good players. It can also be difficult to make an opponent CheckMate if you have never played before if you have are not used to it.

                      Please do also note that it will take you some time to learn how to play this game properly. I learnt this game as a young boy (and this is definetley the best way to learn as you have your entire life to get better). However even though I learnt this as a young boy it still takes a lot of hard work to get good and beat better players. You need to be patient and constantly play people who are better than you.

                      Another really annoying thing about this game is that if you stop playing regurlarly then you do lose some of your skills as a Chess player. This is reallly irritating when you come to play someone again. Note however that you do pick this up again quite quickly when you play again.

                      What else to say, this game is basically quite simple to learn but takes ages to master. But it is really a great game. I have enjoyed playing this game for many years. I learnt it from my Dad and have played with many people since. Used to enjoy playing the game with pretty girls when I was younger so that I could have a reason to stare in their eyes (How sad must I have been!!!!!).

                      Now the basic game is easy to set up and easy to play. I do recommend that if you are just starting out that you learn the game from someone who has been playing for a number of years. This will enable you to have someone explain the game to you (which is a lot easier than trying to understand the basic game setup from what I have written above) and they will also help you to learn some of the pitfalls that Chess will bring you. BUT be prepared to lose most of your first games that you play as it will take you ages to master the game.

                      I have found that if you are willing to learn and work hard at it, then you will get good enough to beat the person who taught you.

                      The major trick of the game is to think moves ahead. When you start to play you think only of your next move, when you get a little better you start to think 3 - 5 moves ahead (this is where I generally sit nowadays as I do not play enough). When you get really good (and I don't mean Championship level, but good enough to beat most of your friends) you start thinking 7 - 10 moves ahead with many options in between.

                      I used to have one friend who I used to play quite regular (he was a great chess player) and I only really beat him once and that with a move that he had never seen before. So there is hope for everyone when you play chess, you just need to practise and learn the game. I will mention that I never beat him with that strategic move again though.

                      So in short, this is a great game when you have learned the basics and start playing regular. I have a chess computer that I play and when I start playing regular I beat it on Level 4 or 5 on advanced mode (t has 17 Advanced Levels) but once I stop I have to go back to Level 2 and start to practise again.

                      I recommend learning this game to everyone as it really starts to make you use your brain and it definetely teaches you how to lose. This is absolutely gripping and enjoyable although sometimes really long. Learn to play with a friend and stick with it.

                      Verdict: 5 out of 5

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                        22.08.2004 21:18
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                        ?So its your move then? ?Oh Ok, there!? ?Check Mate? ?Damn - ooh Ow? ?You alright? ?Course, I?m only in labour!? ?and that was the conversation that ended my last proper game of chess with my husband. I was induced at 9.30 in the morning, I wasn?t allowed out until the baby came and we had to do something, and chess is way more interesting than day time tele, even New Years Eve day time tele, strangely I lost three games in a row. So what is chess? The game of kings, respected the world over. It brings up visions of snow covered Russian market squares with old men sat playing with there friends over a glass of vodka, playing with friends over a glass of red wine with cheese and biscuits on a long winters night in front of an open fire, or incredibly boring televised competitions that I never quite saw the point of. It originally was created in China in the time about 2 centuries BC, although there are some people who think it was created in India, they are wrong, well according to one website I was looking at. Chess is one of those things that if your parents play, there is a very strong chance that you will, I don?t know many people who play, whose Dads didn?t teach them when they were little or if they didn?t they simply don?t play. My Dad, and Granddad (who was a master) spent many hours playing with me as a kid, and I still turned out really, really bad at it! Anyway, down to the basics, chess is played on a board ? it?s called a chess board you know! Unless of course you?re playing with my mum then it becomes a draughts board. 64 squares alternating black and white and you must start with a corner white square on your right. Each player has 16 pieces and they must be set up in the same way each time, one is black and one is white. I
                        ;ts only for 2 players, because they don?t make red or blue pieces. The pieces: 8 pawns ? or prawns as anyone under the age of 8 calls them, the same age group also refers to the game as ?chest? Pawns are basically cannon fodder, they line up in front of the main pieces and looking at the board to start with you have to blast your way through your opponents pawns to get to the other pieces. However, if you look after them, they will look after you later in the game, don?t ever underestimate the value of a pawn ? unless you?re playing me, then you could probably win really easily with or without them. 2 Castles (Rooks) ? right, its blatantly obvious why people call them castles, I never, ever understood why anyone would call them rooks (in fact it was many years before I realised what people were on about when they did call them Rooks) Once they are out, they are quite useful pieces, but they often don?t fulfil their true potential in a game. They start in the corner and move in straight horizontal or vertical movements. 2 Knights ? The sexiest pieces on the board, well all knights are sexy right? and they don?t just move boringly in one direction, they can jump over pieces and move wonkily one square, one diagonal ? try teaching that to a 5 year old, they do get it eventually. 2 Bishops ? now if chess were invented today, as opposed to 2000 years ago, would the church have any influence at all, or knights and castles for that matter. It?s a great game of strategy but is very much influenced by times gone by. Bishops are quite useful pieces and are often the first main pieces to enter the game ? move diagonally only. 1 King and 1 Queen ? naturally one your king is captured its game over, but the Queen is a pretty good prize too, and way more powerful as a piece as she can move anywhere, so once again you men may like to thing you come out on
                        top but it?s the ladies who really have the power. So what about the game itself? Now each piece has its own specific move and can?t do anything else and the idea is to move around the board, capturing your opponents pieces until you have their king, then you?ve won, ideally you should have worked out about 65000 possible combination of moved in advance, in reality at my level its usually reactive. As with any game that?s been around for 2000 years, there are some other little rules that go in with it, that depends who you?re playing as to how strict they are, you can have timed games where you must make your move in 5 seconds (or whatever) and that really irritating move that school kids always take to heart ? ?if you touch a piece you?ve got to move it? Internet chess is way better from that point of view. Then of course there are the really stupid rules that you know only ever came into existence because some ?Persian Prince? didn?t want to get beaten by his Granny so cheated and the cheating move became part of the rules ? the conversation may have gone something like this: Granny: Ha, 2 moves and you?re toast little Princy! Princy: Well actually Granny, because I?m not already in check I can move my castle up to my king, then the king just jumps over it like that, then you?re no where near me! Granny: You cheat, that?s not a proper move! Princy: Of course it is, tell her Jeeves. Jeeves (nervous of having his head chopped off) Yes sire, of course it?s a proper move. Jeeves, then proceeded to use it whilst playing his mate down at the local pub the following evening and so Castling is created! On a similar vein, try this one: Granny: So the prawn moves once or twice on its first move? Princy: (sighs) Granny, how many times have I told
                        you its called a Pawn! And yes that?s right. Granny: (smugly) Ok, so I?ll move this one 2 places then you can?t take me with your prawn ? Ha! Princy: Well sorry Granny, you?ve forgotten about ?en passant? Granny: En what? Princy: If you move 2 places and I could have taken you with my pawn had you only moved one, I still move the pawn to the place you would have been had you only moved one and take you anyway. That?s right isn?t it Jeeves? Jeeves: Yes of course sire! Of course these days the only people who use en passant are smug irritating people that only use it to prove they know a really obscure move, and it rarely has any overall benefit to their game whatsoever. Moving on, where can you play chess these days? With the invent of television and playstations I am sure the number of people playing chess in front of the fire has reduced drastically, although I?m sure the odd game of Strip chess still goes on, I know I can?t persuade hubby to play with me very often, even the strip version. So there are chess clubs around but of more use these days are probably the many internet chess sites. There are sites like Chessnet.com that have real time games or sites like chessworld.net which are like email chess so its not real time and you have up to a week to make your move, (which means you get to think a bit more) and naturally there are places like MSN where you can play, the great advantage here is of course that you can play people from all over the world, so would very rarely play the same person twice. Chess sets themselves range from £3 from a cheapy toy shop to thousands of pounds. It would be nice to have a really lovely set but unless you have a nice library or games room to display it in there is not a lot of point. You can also get novelty sets
                        , Simpsons, middle earth, Star Wars ? which are great fun but must be confusing if you are used to a traditional one. Then there is battle chess for the computer, inspired possibly by Monty Pythons knights where each time you take a piece it attacks the defeated and in the case of a knight it chops his opponents? limbs off, and in some versions I?ve seen blood comes out ?Kill Bill? style. In the mean time, the only person I get to play is my daughter and she?s still at the stage where she sulks when I win and is no where near good enough to beat me yet, although I?m sure it?ll happen one day. So Check Mate, and thank you for reading. Capital letters courtesy of: http://www.chuckleweb.co.uk/fixit.php

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                          10.01.2004 04:45
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                          -~0~- CHESS -~0~- -~0~- A little history -~0~- The origins of chess can be dated back to 5th Century BC India , where the game of Caturanga was played .Europe has known and played the game of Chess continuously since the 9th century . The 16th century brought refinements and changes that are the basis of todays game . From its humble beginnings the game as we know it has grown to become was of the most famous and popular stratergy board games of all time. Today the game is controlled by an international federation , which was formed in 1927 and named FIDES - Federation Internationale des Eches. -~0~- The Equipment -~0~- 1 x 8*8 playing board ( most usually black and white ) 2 x identical sets of chess pieces ( most usually 1 * black , 1 * white ) made up of the following : 8 * Pawn 2 * Rook 2 * Knight 2 * Bishop 1 * Queen 1 * King Each piece is also worth relative value , however the values given should only be used as a guide as many factors during a game can be of influence .The relative values of the chess pieces are : King - not included in the table because, in a real sense, it has infinite value Queen - 9 points Rook - 5 points Bishop 3+ points Knight - 3 points Pawn - 1 point ~0~- Starting board Set Up -~0~- The board should always have a white square situated in the bottom right hand corner of the players end . The base line should have the pieces in this order ( left to right ) : Rook , Knight , Bishop , Queen , King , Bishop , Knight , Rook The 2nd line should consist of the eight pawns along side each other. When set up corrected each players Queen will be on its own coloured square . -~0~- The Object of the Game -~0~ The object of chess is to checkmate your opponent's King. "Check" occurs when a king is liable to capture by a pieces perculiar move on its n
                          ext go . "Checkmate" occurs when the king cannot escape capture on its next move. White always starts first , but players decided amonst themselves who should be white . -~0~- Piece moves -~0~- Pawns : Pawns can only move in a forward direction . On their first move they can move forward two spaces , subsequent moves are just one space . Pawns can however capture the an oppositions piece by occupying that pieces square when it is diagonally one square in front ( this is the only time it can move in a forwards diagonal movement ). Rooks : Rooks can move any number of free spaces either vforward , backwards , left or right . Knights : Knights are the only piece that can jump over another piece . They can occupy a free space or capture an oppositions piece . Knights move in an L shape fashion consisting of two spaces one way and one space another , eg: 2 left 1 forward ; 1 back 2 right ; 1 forward 2 right . Bishops : Bishops can move any number of free spaces ( including an oppositions occupied space ) , forward or backwards but only in a diagonal line . At the start of the game you have two bishops , each allocated its own colour line , which it must maintain throught its life . Queen : The Queen is the most versatile board piece , able to move any number of free spaces ( including an oppositions occupied space ) in any one direction at a time . King : Under normal circumstance the King can move only one square at a time in any direction , so long as that space is freely available or occupied by an oppositions piece that is to be captured . -~0~- Special moves -~0~- Castling : This move involves the King and Castle . It can only take place if neither piece has previously moved ; there are no other pieces between them ; the spaces the King passes over do not put him into Check . If all criteria are in place the King move
                          s two places towards the Castle and the Castle moves immediately to the other side of the King . This move is used to protect the King or move the Castle to a more advantagous board position. Pawn En Passant Should a pawn make its first move two spaces forward , then the square it has crossed over can be attacked by an oppositions pawn , should it be in a position to do so ( ie. it would be one square diagonally in front of it ) . By attacking / moving into this space , it is deemed as to have captured the pawn that had moved the two spaces forward . And, at the beginning of the game, always start with a white square in the lower right corner of the chessboard. Queening Some people allow for a pawn that reaches the oppositions base line to be turned into any other denomination piece ( usually a Queen is chosen ) , other allow for said pawn to change only into any of its previously captured pieces . -~0~- Ending a Game -~0~- The most obvious and desired game end is CheckMate . There are however other possibilities , namely : Resignation - where a player sees no hope of a win , so chooses to lose with dignity . Stalemate - whilst not in Check , a King is unable to move to any legal position other than one that would place it in Check. Draw - this can be mutual agreement ; when a pawn nor capture has been made during fifty combined moves ; when remaining board pieces are too weak to bring about CheckMate ; perpetual Check where a player can continually Check his opponssitions King without cessation ; where the position of all remaining chess pieces occurs three times during the game , with the same player to move - on the third occurance a draw can be called . -~0~- Learning the Game -~0~- Learning the individual piece moves is relatively easy and most people should be able to play a game in a relatively short time. I would however recommend purchasing any
                          computer chess programme ( any decent one will have a demonstration mode ) or seeking the loan of basic chess instruction books available from your local library . Alternatively enter the word Chess into your web browser search engine to find suitable sites. Mastering the game is another matter though , as forward thinking , stratergy and even piece scarifice can take a lifetime to understand and achieve .However the game can provide many hours of pleasure , so go out and purchase this game soon ( at the time of writing , Tesco Stores are selling a wooden set for just £3.49 ) .

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                            25.11.2003 18:18
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                            • "Can only be played by two people"

                            I have mixed feelings about chess. Some people love it, some people have no time for it. I suppose I learned to play when I was about eleven or twelve; I liked it initially because it's a game of pure skill, and I'm easily bored by games of luck. I like the little pieces, and I like the basic simplicity of the rules. However.. I'm not much of a forward-thinker, and when I'm playing against the kind of person who spends half an hour over each move, my mind wanders so far that I rather lose the plot by the time it's my turn. But perhaps I'm leaping too far ahead... there may be people reading this who have never played the game. * What is needed for chess? * It's played on a square board (known as a chess-board!) which has 64 squares, in an 8x8 arrangement. They are alternately black and white, making a chequered pattern. There are two players, each of whom has 16 playing pieces. One set is white, the other black. Each set of pieces (the chessmen) consists of: ~ One King - usually the tallest, sometimes with a cross on its head, or a crown ~ One Queen - nearly as tall as the king, with some kind of crown or coronet ~ Two Rooks (or Castles) which have little battlements around the top ~ Two Bishops, which tend to be fairly tall and thin, with oval pieces at the top ~ Two Knights, which look like little horses ~ Eight pawns, which are the smallest pieces, rather like a smaller version of the bishops * How is the board set up? * The board is set up between the two players. One chooses to be 'white' and plays the white chessmen; the other is 'black' and takes the black chessmen. Each player sets his pieces up in the two rows closest to him. They are placed like this: ~ Rooks - go in the corner squares ~ Knights - go next to the rooks on the outside row ~ Bishops - go next to the knights on the same row ~ Queen - goes
                            on the centre square which matches her colour on the same row ~ King - goes on the remaining square in the outer row ~ Pawns - one in each square on the second rows, ie one pawn in front of each other piece * What is the aim of the game? * The aim of the game is to capture the opponent's King - or to put it in a position where it cannot move without being taken. To achieve this, players take it in turns to move according to certain rules, and can - if they wish - take other pieces if they are on suitable squares. * How do the pieces move? * Each piece has its own way of moving around the board which cannot change. A move is always from one square to another square, depending on the rules. This seems complicated at first but is not too difficult to master with a bit of practice. This is how they move: ~ Pawns - can normally move one square forwards, although for their very first move they can move two squares forwards ~ Rooks - can move any number of squares forwards, backwards, or sideways - but only one direction in one move ~ Bishops - can move any number of squares diagonally in any direction - but only one direction in any one move ~ Knights - these are the most complicated! They can either move one square forwards *and* two squares to either side, or two squares forwards and one square to the side, or the same in reverse (eg two backwards and one to the side). ~ King - can move just one square in any direction - forwards, sideways, backwards or diagonally ~ Queen - can move any number of squares in any direction, but only one direction in any one move * How is a piece captured? * To take an opponent's piece, a player has to have one of his pieces positioned so that it has a clear line to the piece it wants to take, according to the movements of the piece concerned. For example, if a piece is in a straight line forwards, backwards or sideways from a rook,
                            then the rook can take that piece. The only exceptions to this are the pawns, who take pieces by one square *diagonally* although they only move one square forwards in regular play. * How does a game end? * When any piece is moved so that its playing rules would enable it to take the king on the next turn, that player must say, 'Check!' and the opponent must then either move the king out of the way, or move another piece between the king and the attacking piece. If there is no possible move that puts the king out of all attack, then the attacking player must say, 'Checkmate!' and the game is over. Usually a winning player will have placed a few other pieces stategically so that - for instance - if the king can only move backwards, there is a rook at the end of the relevant row, meaning that it would be able to take the king if it moved backwards. Sometimes, particularly with beginners, the majority of the main pieces are taken fairly quickly, leaving very little to play with. In such a case, it's impossible ever to trap either king, and the game is declared 'Stalemate', ie a draw. Alternatively one player may resign if it's clear that the other will win in a few moves due to a much stronger position. * Are there any other quirks? * There are a few of extra oddities, which are fairly rare, and the last one particularly strange: ~ Crowning: if a pawn in its advance forward manages to reach the other side of the board, then - as in draughts - it becomes a queen. This can be signified in any way the players choose, or can be replaced by the original queen if it's been taken already. ~ Castling: if at some point in the game a player has a king and rook which have not yet moved, and have no pieces in the squares between them, they can switch places; this is known as 'castling'. ~ En Passant: if a pawn which has not yet moved could
                            be taken by another pawn if it moves forward one space, so advances two spaces instead to avoid being taken, then the opposing pawn can still take it by doing the usual diagonal move to where he would have been. * Why is chess considered so difficult? * Although at a basic level, chess can be played without too much difficulty once the rules are understood, it requires considerable thinking abilities and strategy when playing at advanced levels. Master chess-players plan not just one move, but several - perhaps even the whole game. There are rarely great surprises in chess, but no two advanced games are the same. As well as aiming to catch your opponent's king, it's vital for each player to watch his or her own king to ensure it is not being threatened by the opponent's pieces; it's also important to be aware of anything threatening all the other pieces. While a pawn is not very useful or valuable, and may be sacrificed for the sake of gaining another piece, others - such as the queen - are considered very important, and must be guarded almost as closely as the king. * How is it possible to become good at chess? * As with any game, it's vital to play it in order to improve. Playing with a more advanced player is a good way to pick up some hints, if the other person is willing to teach; alternatively playing with another beginner gives both players the chance to develop their own strategies. There are many books and web-sites devoted to chess, and some computer versions of the game that can be played alone; this can be another way of learning some strategy, as the computer can often be set to different levels of skill. * Where can the pieces be bought? * Any good toy shop will be likely to sell chess sets. A basic board with plastic pieces will cost around £8 new, although they can often be found very cheaply at charity shops (check that all pieces are present before buying!). Tra
                            vel versions of chess with little magnets or pegs to keep the pieces on the board are useful for bored children in the back of a car, and at the other extreme there are chess sets made of bronze, or onyx, or hand-carved wood, which may cost up to hundreds of pounds. These can sometimes be found in specialist games shops, or expensive gift shops, or sometimes tourist shops in a holiday resort. * What age child can play? * There's really no minimum age for chess, although it's unlikely a child under about five or six would be interested, or have the necessary concentration for such a complex game. One of my sons leaned the rules in half an hour one evening when his Cub Scout troop had a chess championship - he was about nine at the time, and one of the few who could not already play. While some children (and indeed some adults!) find it boring and tedious, other children, whose minds work in the appropriate way, may go on to become chess prodigies if they play frequently. As with any new skill, it's probably easiest to start at a fairly young age. For those who enjoy it, it's a fascinating and mind-stretching game.

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                              17.04.2003 04:19
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                              I had my thinking cap on today. Why? I hear you ask. The reason being I have just spent the afternoon playing chess. That mind taxing game that has been around for hundreds of years. Yes, chess played on that familiar black and white checked board. With all of them little soldiers waging a war against each other. The object of the game is of course to kill your opponents king, which is called checkmate. If none of you can win you call it a draw. The chessboard has 64 squares and it is played by 2 people, each person having 16 pieces or men each. One person has white pieces, the other has black pieces. How to place the pieces on the board. The 2 rooks that each of you have (that look like little round castles) are put in the corners. The 2 knights that you each have (that look like horses) are put going inwards next to the rooks. The 2 bishops you each have (they have pointy heads like a bishops mitre) are put again going inwards next to the knights. The 1queen you both have going inwards again goes next to a bishop she goes on the same colour square as her own colour. Then you put the king next to the queen. Finally you put your 8 pawns (the smallest pieces) on the row above the ones you have just placed. You are now ready to start. The person with the white pieces always goes first. You then each take it in turns. How does each piece move? This is were the tricky bit comes in if you are new to chess. The king can only move one square in any direction at a time. (Unless you castle, but that is for more advanced players) If one of the enemies? pieces is on the square that a king moves to, that enemy is killed and taken off the board. The queen can move horizontally, vertically, or diagonally any amount of squares. The rook can move any amount of squares in straight line, up, down or across, but not diagonally. The bi
                              shop can move any amount of squares diagonally only. None of the above pieces can jump over another piece. But they can all go up or down the board. Forward or backward kind of thing. The Knight is the only piece in the game that can jump over other pieces. He moves in an L shape. The pawn can only go one way upwards. The first time they move they can move 2 squares, after that it is one square only. If they want to capture or kill somebody they have to do it sideways. When a pawn reaches the top of the board he can be promoted to a higher piece such as a queen (but not a king) The pieces of the chess set have different values as shown below. Queen 9 points Castle 5 points Bishop 3 points Knight 3 points Pawn 1 point The king does not have any points because once he has gone the game is over, no matter how many points you have gained. Having said about the points sometimes it is better to lose a piece with higher points if it is to your advantage. Chess is a game that needs patience and concentration, I think it is a great game for children to learn as it teaches them about patience and concentration. The object of the game is to get the king as I said earlier. When you move look in all directions to see if your enemy has a piece that will take you. Be very careful about your enemies. knight as he can jump over other pieces. Always try and cover yourself with another piece before you move. Chess sets can be made of cardboard and plastic pieces costing around £8-£10 to marble or even gold costing thousands. You can even buy chess sets with certain themes with the pieces looking like wizards and witches or fairies and elves etc. That is all for now. Enjoy your game.

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                                09.04.2003 03:32
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                                I would first like to blame the chess software that I have for being defective in some way. Dozens and dozens of games I have played, and yet I still have not, even on the easiest of settings won a game against Mr. Compter. This will remain my excuse until I actually win a game (he thought dreamily), and it will then be my mastery of the game, and tactical insight that enabled me at last to defeat the might of the computer. However, it is possibly an indictment of the game that no matter how many defeats I keep coming back for more. It must be 'the' ultimate in board games. A game of skill and strategy (or at least I have heard it is). The game of territory and gain, played out on sixty four squares with thirty two pieces whether played on a traditional board, or on a computer (dodgy software allowing....cough cough) remains a classic. Don't know why its called Chess though??? Perhaps someone can tell me. Any back to my game now, the words jaws and defeat spring to mind.

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