Gift Ideas for Someone Who Wants to Learn Chess

The game of chess has been played for centuries but still many are intimidated by it. What most people don’t realize is once you have the basic moves down, it more or less becomes a lifetime of learning the different strategies associated with playing.

As popular as it is, many people still do not play and that is a shame. There are a lot of benefits in helping people think on strategy that benefit them in other disciplines. Kind of like playing a team sport is more than just about exercise. If you are looking to find the perfect gift for Christmas this year, here are a few recommendations.

Labeled Pieces

The first step in learning chess is knowing the names of the pieces and how they move. This can be a memorization issue at first and cause people to get frustrated because instead of thinking about the game, they are focused on how the pieces work. Here is a great solution that allows students to quickly grasp this first hurdle. Names and directions that they can move are labeled with diagrams. Here is a great little set from FAO Schwarz

labeled chess pieces

Speed Chess Game Set

speed chess game box

Don’t let the age of 6+ on the box fool you. whether a kid is starting to learn or two adults just want to play a few quick games, this chess variation is played by all ages.

It goes by a few name like QuickChess, Chess Attack, and Mini Chess.

If you are familiar with regular chess and it’s 64 squares, this is the same game with fewer pieces and only 30 squares. The nice part about this particular product is that on the flip side, it still has the full chess board, so it is a two in one game.

speed chess game board

The Netflix series – The Queen’s Gambit – has brought a lot of interest back to this old game. This makes the gift of Chess perfect for almost anyone.

Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess

bobby fischer book cover

There are lots of books on chess and may are very long and wordy. This book is written by Bobby Fischer, one of the all time greats of the game and it is anything but wordy. It is mostly diagrams and tutorials on simple theories and practice moves. I have read it and by far it is one of the quickest reads as well as the best ay to learn from one of the greatest Grandmasters.

page example

Computer Chess Board

As much fun as it is to play against someone, sometimes you just want to play and learn. Chess computers have been around for years and as long as you have the basic understanding of the game, then this allows you to learn at an accelerated rate.

Different levels of difficulty. The ability to easily take moves back and different variations are allowed. This is a must have for any enthusiast.

computer chess board

Travel Boards

folding chess board

Pretty much everyone has a smartphone these days and a free chess APP is only a few clicks away. There are however some people that still like the tactile feel of real pieces. When starting to learn it can be very nice to have a small chess board with magnetic pieces that help to keep them on the board. This particular one, less than 12 inches long, folds up nicely and allows the pieces to be held inside. Great for wherever they may go.

No matter what level of chess play someone is, this is one of the most useful sets out there. Large pieces and flexible board is great for indoor/outdoor use. You can take it with you wherever you go.

roll-up chess board set