When my oldest son expressed interest in chess after reading the first installment of the Harry Potter series, I was excited, but tentative. While he loves to learn new games, he gets pretty frustrated when he can't master a game quickly. Not being a chess player myself, I had a vague sense that learning chess, let alone mastering it, was not going to be an easy task.
Boy, was I wrong.
On a trip to Stellabella Toys, I came across No Stress Chess, a version promising that players aged 7 and up would "Play the World's Greatest Game Instantly!" For once, an advertising slogan turned out to be true! The secret, I learned, is the special deck of cards from which players draw, showing exactly which piece to move and how to move it. While the deck eliminates the need to remember how every piece works, we found ourselves learning very quickly and not needing to refer to the card's instructions every time we drew. After just a few days of playing, my son was challenging us to games without the cards. A year after getting the game, his interest hasn't waned. At least once a week he pulls it out before bed and beats us handily.