Top positive review
95 people found this helpful
Excellent game for kids who know the rules
on January 3, 2005
Original Fritz and Chester (F&C), that was released less than two years ago, was a revolutionary program because it managed to combined introduction of chess rules and some very basic principles with exceptional graphics that kept children, including my 5 year old, glued to the screen and eager to play (and learn). The program was really high quality and proved to be very attractive for kids as young as 3. You can find my extensive review of the original F&C here on Amazon. Also, it is strongly recommended in my book "Chess Exam and Training Guide: Rate Yourself and Learn how to improve."
When I heard that the second installment of the program was released, I was very eager to get it to see if the makers were able to beat their original. Well, the answer is "Yes!" and the comment is "Wow!" The best thing about the F&C that it is a sequential product with minimal rehash of the real basic material (rules) that was introduced in the F&C 1. You get the same high quality graphics, new games, which are very simple, yet hilarious and with some clever underlying coaching. For example, who in the right mind would have thought of trying to split the piece of pie to feed two pigs, all on the tennis court? Yet, the way it is done, not only it is funny, but also it will eventually help the child to learn the idea of double attack on diagonal. Another funny game is the shooting the cannon-man, will develop easy understanding of the pin and skewer.
Besides the games there are plenty of training modules, each teaching some of the basic tactical and strategic principles in a very simple and entertaining way.
Could this game be better? Of course, among the things that I found questionable are long dialogs that can't be interrupted and some unnecessary technical inflexibility. Some of the training modules are somewhat dubious, but... I am sure these issues will be addressed in the future. Until the F&C 3 is on the market this program is the best that is available for children who know basic rules and ready to learn some introductory level of strategy and tactics. For a complete beginner, I would recommend to start with F&C 1. For adults eager to improve, I would suggest products by Convekta, also available on Amazon.
Also, to address concern's of prior reviewers:
To be able to switch the chess pieces from cartoon characters to regular format - There should be a picture/button just outside of the chessboard, near square "a4". Clicking on it switches the look of chess pieces.
Also, in some instances the dialogs / songs / music can be interrupted by double-clicking on left mouse button.
Best of luck!
Have you taken your "Chess Exam" yet?