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Subject: Extended-giving gift rss

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Kelsey Rinella
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Background: I decided a while back to give my nieces and nephews an unusual gift. At birth, they get a chessboard. Then, for every birthday and Christmas, they get a piece, which is tied to a more significant gift and used to identify both giver and recipient. I thought this was a cool way to introduce children to the idea of long-term planning and commitment very young, and I've always thought chess, though not the most fun game, was a cultural artifact of sufficient importance to justify familiarity among nearly anyone wishing to be well educated.

My problem is that I'm not quite as happy as I once was with my original plan of giving a different set to more than one sibling. For some reason I'm more concerned now than I used to be that the duplication will suck, even if the sets are very aesthetically distinct. I'm wondering whether another game could serve a similar purpose. I'd still like to give a gift that can be delivered over a long period, so I'm considering the following options:

1) Accept the badness of duplication and find another interesting-looking chess set.
2) Choose a non-game gift; perhaps a collectible of some kind.
3) Choose a different game. Some options which I find appealing, but not yet so appealing that I've committed to them, include:
A) Go - not bad, but I don't like the choking-hazard nature of the pieces
B) Richard III: The Wars of the Roses - I like the potential to perhaps include a little historical sketch about the units depicted by the pieces, and it looks like a great game. However, it's the opposite of classic, being brand new, is of less universal appeal, and depicts a historical period which might seem awfully boring to a 16-year-old (which is roughly when I'm looking to have the giving conclude). I'm also reluctant to give a wargame to a girl, and we don't yet know the sex of this kid.
C) Monopoly - just kidding. But perhaps Acquire?

Any thoughts on whether one of these options is better than another, or if there are other games I should consider?
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Jimmy Sorel
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I don't think there is any problem in sticking with the chess set idea. It seems like a very quality gift and a fun thing to look forward to each b-day and x-mas.

If you are looking for more interesting looking sets I would recommend trying out this online store:
http://chess-sets-games.novica.com/
They have some really nice stuff and they sell on ebay.

If you still aren't happy with sticking with the chess sets but want a similar theme, why not try Crokinole.

Hope this helps
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Chad Martinell
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Its an interesting idea, but around the time the kid would start knowing what it was and would want to start learning the game would be well before they would ever get the final pieces... in which case the parents would have to go buy a cheap "interim" chess set for the kid to learn on... which isn't a bad idea in itself, just a thought.

That said, I don't see any problem giving a chess set to each kid, as long as they are aesthetically different.
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Chris Ferejohn
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chadmart wrote:
Its an interesting idea, but around the time the kid would start knowing what it was and would want to start learning the game would be well before they would ever get the final pieces... in which case the parents would have to go buy a cheap "interim" chess set for the kid to learn on... which isn't a bad idea in itself, just a thought.


Well, they'll be 8 if they get 2 pieces a year (christmas/birthday). If you did the pawns in bigger chunks, they could be as young as 5, which seems like a good age to learn it.
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Mario Arnold
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cferejohn wrote:
Well, they'll be 8 if they get 2 pieces a year (christmas/birthday). If you did the pawns in bigger chunks, they could be as young as 5, which seems like a good age to learn it.


There are 32 chess pieces. 32 / 2 per year = 16 years. That does seem pretty long to wait, maybe give a 3rd piece per year?
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Chris Ferejohn
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sourlemon wrote:
cferejohn wrote:
Well, they'll be 8 if they get 2 pieces a year (christmas/birthday). If you did the pawns in bigger chunks, they could be as young as 5, which seems like a good age to learn it.


There are 32 chess pieces. 32 / 2 per year = 16 years. That does seem pretty long to wait, maybe give a 3rd piece per year?


Whoops. Oh yeah, I guess they will need the pieces from both sides. Heh.
 
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Kelsey Rinella
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chadmart wrote:
Its an interesting idea, but around the time the kid would start knowing what it was and would want to start learning the game would be well before they would ever get the final pieces... in which case the parents would have to go buy a cheap "interim" chess set for the kid to learn on... which isn't a bad idea in itself, just a thought.


That's exactly the idea I had, actually. I've long thought that one should learn to play chess with one of those "chess teacher" sets, which have the legal moves printed right on the pieces, but they're not very attractive or high-quality. So I thought I'd give one of those around the kid's eighth birthday if there wasn't another set in the house (my house growing up seemed to accumulate them at an alarming rate, so I don't know whether this would even be necessary). I thought this might put the kid in a position to begin to anticipate something VERY far off, being able to play with the full set, and actually having that come true eventually.
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Kelsey Rinella
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Titaniumator wrote:
I don't think there is any problem in sticking with the chess set idea. It seems like a very quality gift and a fun thing to look forward to each b-day and x-mas.

If you are looking for more interesting looking sets I would recommend trying out this online store:
http://chess-sets-games.novica.com/
They have some really nice stuff and they sell on ebay.

If you still aren't happy with sticking with the chess sets but want a similar theme, why not try Crokinole.

Hope this helps


Crokinole is a great idea! Dexterity games in general seem much more approachable; I should look into others, as well (perhaps Pitchcar might be worth consideration, too).

Thanks for breaking me out of my mental rut--this is exactly why I posted!
 
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=The real gift=

Children can learn chess from 5-6 years of age (younger with a good teacher who understands the limits of their concentration). I think you should stick with chess sets, but need to speed-up the process, or somehow make sure they have a set to play and learn with.

Having said that, the best gift is not the pieces, but the game. Is someone making sure they get exposed to chess, learn from someone, and have plenty of opportunities to play? Because this is much, much more important.

The best gift I ever received was not my 21st birthday chess set (although I treasure it), it was not my first club membership, nor was it the lessons my mum paid for when I was seven.

Neither my mum or dad really played chess. They didn't try to play with me after a couple of months - I beat them too easily...

The best gift I ever had was my mother, and sometimes my father, driving me to chess lessons, to the club, and to tournaments.

Is someone doing that for your nieces and nephews? If so: mazel tov! It is a great thing.

-R
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Kelsey Rinella
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Ozludo wrote:

=The real gift=
...
The best gift I ever had was my mother, and sometimes my father, driving me to chess lessons, to the club, and to tournaments.

Is someone doing that for your nieces and nephews? If so: mazel tov! It is a great thing.


Well, no. Right now the eldest is two. I expect his parents will be supportive of whatever his interests are, though, and I'm interested in stoking the fires as soon as he seems ready.
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