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ThinkFun Solitaire Chess - Fun Version of Chess You Can Play Alone, Toy of the Year Nominee for Age 8 and Up
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- WHAT YOU GET - Comes with board, 10 chess pieces, and 60 beginner to expert challenges. Includes game-go bag for easy cleanup and storage.
- CLEAR INSTRUCTIONS – Easy to learn with a clear, high quality instruction manual. You can start playing immediately!
- DEVELOPS CRITICAL SKILLS - Develop logical deduction, spatial reasoning and critical thinking skills through fun gameplay.
- COMES WITH MULTI-LEVEL CHALLENGES - Solitaire Chess comes with 60 beginner to expert challenges that become increasingly difficult as you play through them.
- AWARD WINNER - Parents' Choice Gold Award, Creative Child Magazine Preferred Choice Award and Toy of the Year Nominee in 2011.
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CHOKING HAZARD -- Small parts. Not for children under 3 yrs.
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Solitaire Chess is one of ThinkFun's best stem toys for boys and girls, and was a Parents' Choice Gold Award Winner. It's a chess variant that you play by yourself, and is one of the best gifts you can buy for kids who like smart games and a challenge. Solitaire Chess is made with high quality components, and comes with a very clear and easy to understand instruction manual - you'll be able to play within minutes of opening the box. Like all of ThinkFun's games, Solitaire Chess is built to develop critical thinking skills. Playing through the increasingly difficult challenges will improve logical reasoning, spatial reasoning and planning skills, all through fun gameplay.
From the Manufacturer
Everyone knows the best part of Chess is capturing your opponent's pieces. Solitaire Chess makes the best part the whole point. Players get 10 pieces, two each of the Knight, Rook, Pawn and Bishop, one each of the King and Queen, and 40 challenges. Set pieces on the board according to the challenge cards, and proceed to capture each one, but only by using the same moves allowed in traditional Chess. Players have to capture a piece with every move, so the game is fast-paced and always exciting. Ages 8 to Adult.
Legal DisclaimerSome shelf-wear on box, but the set is in very good condition, complete, and with instructions.
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|Are Batteries Required||No||No||No||No||No||No|
|Item Dimensions||8.88 x 2.5 x 8 in||6.75 x 2.5 x 6.75 in||2.1 x 10.7 x 12.3 in||8 x 2.1 x 8.1 in||8.88 x 8 x 2.5 in||8 x 8.88 x 2.5 in|
|Item Weight||1.5 lbs||1.13 lbs||1.56 lbs||1 lb||0.93 lb||0.91 lb|
Top customer reviews
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Older version, with the plastic case: I love the case; the playing board has indentations that hold the pieces in place, making it good for playing on the go. It's self-contained,with a nice drawer to hold the pieces. The rooks tend to stick a little, but the other pieces slide in and out of their holders easily. Other people have complained about the cards not sliding into the slot easily, but I've had no trouble with that. My only complaint there is that the little tab that holds them in place is a separate piece, which could be easily lost. It would have been better to make it attached to the container. The case has little rubber feet so that it stays on a table without sliding. The guidebook that comes with this version includes not only complete solutions, but also hints that tell which piece to capture first and which to capture last. I did resort to peeking at the "which piece to capture first" hint on one puzzle that had vexed me for an hour.
Newer version, with no case and the cards spiral-bound: On the other hand, the newer version, with the spiral-bound cards and no case, has more puzzles: there are 80 instead of 60. I made it somewhat portable by buying a plastic box to keep it in, one that fit the book more snugly than the cardboard box in which the game came. I keep the book in the box as I play in the car, so if the pieces slide, they won't go far. If you keep the original box, it does have packaging that holds the book and pieces so they don't slide around. The pieces in this version are nicer than the ones in the older version. They seem a little heavier, and they are more polished. I would love to have a complete chess set made in this style. The large wide bases make them very stable, and the stylized forms are very easy to distinguish. The guidebook that comes with this version does not have the hints, though it does have the complete solutions.
Conclusion: If it weren't for the fact that the newer version has more cards, I would prefer the older version, though the newer one does have nicer pieces. I am glad to have both sets.
I am not a very good chess-player, though I have played for many decades. The puzzles in this set were at just about the right level for me. I can solve the beginner ones without much thought. The advanced level puzzles take me quite a while to solve, sometimes an hour or more. The intermediate level puzzles sometimes jump out at me and sometimes stump me. I have also found that if I leave a puzzle I have solved and then come back to it a few days later, I don't remember the solution and can enjoy it again (this is also why I can enjoy the same books and movies over and over.) That may not be true for everyone.
I've been looking for a good solitaire game to play with chess pieces for a long time. Twenty years ago I invented one called "Queen's Quadrille" (it's not for sale, but you can find instructions online) which is kind of the complement of this one. (In my game, you always move to an empty square and never capture, while in Solitaire Chess you always capture and never move to an empty square.) I also really like the Chess Mazes books by Bruce Alberston. I would love to see those puzzles packaged like these, with cards where you could set up your pieces.
The easy skill of chess is moving pieces and not making obvious mistakes. The more difficult skill is to look several moves ahead: if I do this, he'll do that, then I'll do this... This little game helps teach that. It works best if you don't let them touch the pieces until they have the solution.
I purchased this set instead of the other one because the handy little case that fits all the cards/pieces is worth the extra $2.
I got it out and played a bit myself. It is a plastic set with plastic playing pieces. Several cards illustrate where to put the pieces to start. To play you capture the pieces, following the rules of movement for each piece, until you have only one piece left on the board. The cards get progressively more difficult, so each child should be able to find a comfortable starting point. I think students would also enjoy making up their own puzzles.
I'd give it more stars if there were refills. Once the cards are done, I probably wouldn't replay it.