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Chess-A-Peek

Helps beginners map out & remember strategies
 
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I'm teaching my daughter to play chess. As with all beginners, learning to play ahead can be difficult - as can remembering that a particular piece should not be moved for defensive reasons.

I considered a chess set where all the pieces have two or more tiny magnets on self-retracting strings. When the beginner is moving or preparing to move a piece, a magnet can be withdrawn and placed on the target piece or square. If the object is to take an opposing piece, magnets on that piece can be used to map out retaliatory moves or future movements. In the end, you'd end up with a chess board displaying a spider web of possibilities. When a piece is moved, any magnets it has deployed can be removed and reused for the new position.

The pieces would need to have magnetic bases (or be slightly heavy) to avoid sliding around. Also, a fair amount of caution would need to be exercised so no pieces were knocked down accidentally.

I'm not sure what the paradigm is for the strung magnets. Maybe something that works into the shape of the piece itself (a lance tip for knights, a hand or fingertip for the queen, etc).

phoenix, Sep 07 2003

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       Tough to picture this one, phoe.
waugsqueke, Sep 07 2003
  

       I also can't see how the magnet is drawing lines.   

       Maybe a high tech version played on an horizontal LCD screen, with magnetic piece ID, similar to current electronic chess sets. The LCD could display possible moves and strategies.
Cedar Park, Sep 07 2003
  

       How do you map a knight's move with a self-retracting string?
Cedar Park, Sep 07 2003
  

       This idea is amazing. I tried teaching my youngest sister to play chess but she could never remember the way the pieces should be moved, so I never got to play with anyone on family trips. I'd get one of this.
Pericles, Sep 07 2003
  

       Hmmm. You know those keychains that connect to one's belt? Basically a reel of wire and a loop for keys at the end? Well, instead of spooling from the belt, I envision the line spooling from a chess piece. And instead of a loop for keys on the end, I envision a small magnet to attach the wire to another chess piece. The idea being to illustrate some strategic or tactical connection between the two pieces. A series of these connections could be used to illustrate a cascade of possibilities. Ideally, each piece would have more than one wire (to illustrate more than one possible move).   

       I'll see if I can bodge together an illustration to make it clearer.
phoenix, Sep 08 2003
  

       You could also use lasers on a fog-covered chessboard.
Amos Kito, Sep 08 2003
  

       Further to what jutta said... perhaps some sort of touch-sensitive illuminated-square board. You touch a piece and all of the possible moves 'light up'.
waugsqueke, Sep 08 2003
  

       I considered a lighted board, but how would you reliably know which piece(s) were the source and which were the destination?   

       And I'll grant that the board could get crowded, but this is primarily for instructional purposes, so I don't anticipate any fast paced games. The board might be only used to teach a strategy in the middle of a game on a conventional board.
phoenix, Sep 09 2003
  

       My chess computer uses 8 lights along the top and side to cross reference squares. There is a 'threat' LED that comes on if a piece is being directly attacked (or check). Its not that illustrative though.   

       I suggest that instead of having the entire square light up, have a series of small icons along one edge of the square to represent each piece. Under each icon can be a pair of LEDs to represent white (duh... white LED) and black (red LED). To illuminate a square, there may be a set of push switches along one side of the board. Press 'colour' then 'piece' then depress the square you want.
(There isn't any computational element to these lights - they are just there for players to switch on)
Jinbish, Sep 09 2003
  

       What about elastic (or winch wound) string onto pegs? The board could have small holes to fit little chessmen-shaped pegs. You could link the pegs with elastic.
Jinbish, Sep 09 2003
  

       I thought being beaten by moves you had not anticipated taught one to better understand the "threat matrix" for chess. I also completly do not understand not moving for defensive reasons. I have won a few games by setting up defensively with hidden traps, yet I am no chess wizard. When I used to play, we would often be thinking of 4-5 moves in advance and I know that the "pro's" do better than that. I don't think the strings can represent such complexity, but would be interested in a teaching aid that could represent more that 1 move.
perhaps for beginers a simple light inside of the piece which was properly positioned would demonstrate its' possible path?
Zimmy, Sep 09 2003
  
      
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