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My oldest daughter has been teaching a couple of her younger siblings how to play chess. Since I already knew they were interested, I was eager when the opportunity to review a new chess game from Brain Blox was presented. When the new game arrived, the kids were thrilled!
Called Fun Family Chess, it’s different from any other chess set we’ve ever seen. Of course we had to spend a few minutes digging into it right away and learning more. And that die – why in the world was there a die in a chess game? We were excited to find out!
What Is Fun Family Chess?
Designed to introduce younger children to the classic game of chess, Fun Family Chess works to make the game accessible to players of different abilities. There are two ways to play.
If you already know how to play chess, you can play like you would with any other chess set. In that case, you set aside the die and don’t use it. You just set up the pieces in their proper places and try to get your opponent in checkmate.
A couple of my kids preferred to play this way, as did my husband.
But, if you don’t already know how to play, you can use the unique rules of Fun Family Chess. It’s designed to teach kids how to move each piece, by eliminating some of the other things they have to worry about when trying to learn to play.
How Do You Play Chess with a Die?
When you’re learning to play chess using Fun Family Chess, you set up the board like normal. White goes first. That player roll the die.
The die shows which piece to move. Then you look at the colorful booklet that came with the game to see how that piece is allowed to move. The player moves that piece, and then their turn is over.
Now, the second player rolls the die. They also move the piece depicted on the die.
Game play continues, as players alternate rolling the die and moving the pieces.
The game is over when one person kills the king. However, because of the die, once you are in check, you can’t just move the king out of the way. But, neither can the other person just make their move.
You both have to wait and play the pieces indicated by the die.
Removes Some of the More Complicated Rules
By focusing on only the way to move pieces, Fun Family Chess has successfully made chess less complicated for younger players. All they have to do is roll the die, and move the piece in a legal way.
They don’t also have to try to deal with strategy and complicated rules involving check or castling.
They also don’t have to try to memorize how to set up the board. Handy pictures along both edges helped make sure even my youngest players could prepare the board for play.
Since the human brain can only focus on so much at once, this really is a successful way to help younger children learn more about the game.
My four- and five-year-olds both really enjoyed being able to play chess with their older siblings.
How Did We Use Fun Family Chess
Over the course of the review period, my kids played chess a lot. They played with the die. They played by traditional rules.
It was a fun addition to our board game collection, and one that will get a lot more use.
What Did We Think of Fun Family Chess?
This chess set is nice and sturdy and held up well to lots of play. The pieces store in the box, which is a feature I love.
The younger kids enjoyed being able to play chess like the big kids. And the big kids appreciated that they could ditch the die and play like normal when they were playing each other.
All in all, this truly is a fun family game and I highly recommend Fun Family Chess if you’re looking for a way to play chess with younger kids or teach kids of any age to play.
I was one of 57 reviewers. To see what other families thought of Fun Family Chess, click on the banner below.