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This game is one of the first games ever made, the first simaliar type board game found, was dated back over 2000 years ago. It is impossible to know who the original creater was. The version of chess we know of right now was popularised around the 1200's and amazely the same rules still apply today(the special rules like castling were put in the 1400's). One thing noticable about this game is how it hasn't been 'solved' by computers. Unlike checkers and tic tac toe which have been 'solved'(a game being 'solved' means there's a way to play with out ever losing).
I really do not think the fact that chess doesn't work with modern military tactics really matters. The Knight, which hops arounds, is a very good piece in closed situations, whereas the Bishop is better in more open games. Things like this evens the game up.
Many beginners often think that going first will mean a complete advantage. Well this is surprisingly not true. If you know the basic princibles of chess, you will not lose because of going second.
One thing I love is the amount of choices there is in this game. There are always equally different moves for every situation, meaning it is impossible to master the game. I reccomed this game for everyone who likes tactic based games.
After reading Todd's review below, I decided to give this one a try myself. All I can say is, 'Wow!' This game is destined to become a classic! I've only played Chess 268 times and I'm already thinking about what I'll do differently next time.
There are quite a number of possible moves in this game, giving it great replay value. I also think that although abstract, this game is quite accessible to both the casual gamer and hard-core wargamers (the instructions fit on the inside of the box!)
Now a few problems I have with this game. First, setup is a little annoying. I can't remember if it's 'King on Color' or 'Queen on Color' and find that I have to refer to the diagram on the box to setup properly. When your opponent's King piece is in danger you are also obligated to warn him by saying 'Check.' I feel this takes away any possibility of surprise, and thus, you often spend a lot of time chasing the elusive King around the board. I know the price is darn good but I have to say the pieces are on the poor side; being nothing more than hollow plastic tubes with very little detail, and flat black and white colors. But don't let these minor details deter you from trying this awesome game!
For the price, I highly, HIGHLY recommend getting this game.
Oh yeah, a computer version of Chess would be neat too.
I recently stumbled across this neat little game (top seller on Funagain), and I was very surpised to find a game of this strategic depth from a company like Parker Brothers. My wife and are totally addicted.
The game simulates a war between two kingdoms. Each player controls his/her army, which consists of pawns, knights, bishops, castles, a queen and a king. The object of the game is to capture the opponents' king. It's essentially Elchfest, but instead of trying to get your Elk to the opposite island by 'flicking' discs, you're allowed to physically 'lift and place' your pieces.
The game obviously borrows from many of the current successful German imports: Billabong (board of light and dark squares), Through the Desert (many possible moves), and Settlers of Catan (cardboard box). However, the best way to describe Chess is that it's Bosworth with pieces instead of cards.
While the game is fantastic, I'll be the first to admit that the theme is pretty weak, however. It's essentially an abstract game at heart. The game would play just as well as a battle between mafia families, bean varieties, or types of poisonous frogs.
What's really great, though, is the price. With many German games currently selling at $20-40, the $3.38 is a total steal. Parker Brothers seems to understand the value behind offering a great product with no fluff (ala Cheapass games).
Parker Brothers has really stepped it up a notch. This is far better than their previous offerings like Don't Wake Daddy, Wicket the Ewok, and Care Bears Touching Tune. It now appears that they are now committed to producing quality games, which is a great sign for us hard-core gamers.
One annoying thing: Parker Brothers once again refuses to credit the name of the designer. When will American publishers realize that they should give credit to the individuals behind the games?
All in all, this is an excellent little game. It plays pretty fast, too, which makes it a great filler before or after a serious night of gaming.