Chess Sets for Kids
Many times, a person without a great deal of chess knowledge is looking for a chess item – be it a gift or just to expose someone to the game. The process of finding the right chess set for them can be really difficult, and with the holidays just around the corner I thought i’d try and ease some of the confusion – after all there are thousands of chess sets out there and you want to find the right one.
Question: Which chess sets are best for children?
This is perhaps the most commonly asked question. A parent or grandparent wants to either get their child involved with chess, or they already are interested and looking for more. You don’t need to know how to play chess to foster an appreciation of the game in your children! This article will review what chess sets for kids are best.
Instructional Chess Sets
There are a lot of different options out there, but i’d recommend taking a good look at instructional chess sets. These sets help you learn to play as you go along, so fit quite naturally with someone young (or simply new to the game!).
Teaching Chess sets come in many shapes and sizes. Some take a traditional approach by including kid-friendly instructional books that introduce the reader on how the chess pieces move and the basic rules of the game, and others rely less on words and more on visuals.
Visual Chess Sets
There are several popular chess sets that actually show how the pieces move directly on the chess board, or on the chess pieces themselves. The “Chess Teacher” is a very popular one where there is a reminder diagram on the base of each piece showing how they move, and the american made Chess Instructional Set has a ‘map’ underneath each piece giving instruction in how it moves.
For a young person, consider that an item like the chess teacher is probably best suited for someone who already knows the rules but needs a reminder. It can be very frustrating when you’re starting out and you forget which piece moves horizontally and which one moves diagonally!
Chess Sets with Instructional Books
If they have not played at all, take another look at the options with books included, such as the “Once A Pawn A Time” Chess Set, and the “Kids Book of Chess”. Both of these include books that are very kid friendly with full color pictures and easy to read passages. If you’re new to the game yourself, this can make learning a fun activity for you and the child!
Other Chess Sets….
It’s certainly possibly you have a child that is too advanced for an instructional chess set, and there are several other options to consider. You might want to consider a wood folding chess set – those have storage for the pieces so it’s easy to put it away. Alternately, the tournament chess sets are inexpensive and large – those are the same chess sets used in clubs and schools.
Sometimes people are very interested in getting some sort of theme chess set for kids. A few options do exist, but before you look at those options I offer some words of caution. Although the chess pieces may be more ‘fun’, you do not want to learn how to play chess on non traditional pieces, or you’ll find yourself very frustrated when you use another chess set down the line. Theme chess sets are a great second (or third!) chess set. Usually, there is a better option for your first chess set.
As always, if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to send me an email or put a comment down below.