One of Winning Moves Games’ biggest sellers since its launch in 2004, No Stress Chess is an introductory chess game that teaches the basic moves of chess through a simple yet innovative gameplay system. The aim is simple – slowly learn the basic legal moves of the various pieces, and gradually build up your knowledge until you have the ability to play a real game. Although primarily aimed at children aged 7 – 12, parents of children as young as 4 have spoken highly of the game, while many adults use it as a practical learning tool to teach themselves how to play! The board has two sides; one side has a regular chess board and the other has a learning board. The learning board labels the pieces’ positions, and is played with action cards, which dictate what piece the player moves and how the piece can move. This novel approach allows players to learn at their own pace.
Is No Stress Chess Worth Buying?
For someone who has never played chess before, No Stress Chess offers a unique training guide that allows players to learn the basic fundamentals of chess piece movement. In the training mode, players take turns drawing action cards from a deck. On each action card is a chess piece, a diagram of that piece’s legal movements, and written instructions of the movement. For example, the King card has a picture of the King piece, a diagram of the piece on the board with arrows indicating legal movement, and an explanation which states “You can move me one square in any direction”. The player must move the piece that is on the card. If they cannot, they forfeit their turn.
This method of learning chess makes an awful lot of sense. It does not get bogged down in strategy, but rather allows children to learn the fundamentals of each piece. A sure sign of progression is when children can say what card they are hoping to draw, as they can see a good move on the board. When comfortable with all the moves, children can progress to drawing three action cards at a time, and choosing whichever one they think is best. Eventually, they can turn the board over and play a real game without the cards.
What makes No Stress Chess such a good learning tool is that it restricts both players. It can be difficult teaching a child to play chess without beating them too easily, as children can often tell when you are letting them win. Playing with the restriction of drawing cards means adults are limited in their movement, and a more even game can be played.
No Stress Chess will not teach your child about strategy, opening combinations or sneaky en passant movements, but it will give them a solid understanding of the game from which they can progress. As a learning tool, and as an introduction to chess, it is one of the best chess games on the market.