Top Gift Ideas for Chess Players

Shopping for gifts can be stressful especially if you’re a perfectionist and can’t ever seem to get your hands on the perfect gift for your friends. Getting a gift for a chess player can be difficult as well since you’re never sure about what gift would be the ideal choice for them. Do you get them classic chess pieces set or a chess book? Those would be pretty basics gifts for them, and one they probably already have if they’ve been playing chess for some time.

If you want to get them something unique, stylish, and clever, you’ve come to the right place, as we’re going to be sharing the top gift ideas for chess players.

1.    Chess Watch

The first gift idea on our list is a chess watch, and the Premium Citizen 2030 Quartz watch is the one that you should choose. It has been designed for chess players and is going to provide you with insight on how to solve tactics whenever you check the time.

2.    Ice Chess Maker

You can get the silicone ice chess maker for a unique chess match, where the pieces will be really nice. The goal of the game is to play fast, as the ice chess pieces are going to be melting and the player whose pieces melts first is going to be the loser. You can make the game interesting by using liquids of different colors to have an invigorating and fast-paced chess match.

3.    Pawn and Roof Cufflinks

Another great gift idea for a chess aficionado is to gift them pawn and roof cufflinks that are going to delight anyone who wears them. It is going to act as a great piece of art for every chess lover as well.

4.    Chess Knight Jigsaw Puzzle

Learn to reassemble the wooden pieces if you’re a puzzle collector or chess aficionado and take part in wooden brainteaser challenges. Every elegant puzzle is going to be finely crafted and is going to be a work of art created from Chinese rosewood. You can choose different chess pieces and create the entire set of chess pieces jigsaw puzzles.

5.    Wooden Chess Memory Stick

You can gift this chess piece USB flash drive to a chess player and give them a great solution for storing their chess games, tactics trainers, chess eBooks, etc. It is made from real wood and has snap-in magnets at the base, which makes it an extremely original gift that any chess player is going to appreciate. The best part is that they come in different sizes as well.

4 Tips for Dominating Chess Tournaments

A lot of chess players a serious amount of time practicing and perfecting their chess game, but when it comes to crunch time in tournaments they lose all their focus and ability. It’s not only frustrating but downright demoralizing for any chess player who has spent hours honing their skills and perfecting their strategy only to struggle in tournament mode. How is it then that after spending so much time studying, you still perform so poorly in chess tournaments?

It’s a conundrum but one that isn’t rare, and since chess is an incredibly complex game with victory defined by various factors, you’ll need to develop a mature mindset to attain success in tournaments. One of the most important parts of winning a game of chess is your psychology in the chess battle, and not being in right mind frame is one of the main reasons why most players struggle to replicate their training and success in tournaments.

The best competitors can solve difficult problems and don’t get distressed when cornered, but that’s easier said than done in the heat of the competition. To help struggling chess players, we’re going to share some of the best tips for dominating your opponents in chess tournaments.

1.    Play the Opponent

You need to be flexible in your approach towards the game and in your thinking to win at chess. The key is to study your opponent thoroughly and adapt to their strategy by exploiting their weaknesses. That may mean not playing your favorite opening but reacting to the moves of the challenger.

2.    Confidence

You won’t win many games of chess if you don’t believe in yourself and your ability to beat your opponent. Confidence plays a big role in winning tournaments, and you must trust your instincts and challenge yourself to beat better and more experienced players.

3.    Don’t Be Predictable

If you keep on using the same opening strategy in every round, the good players are going to pick up on it and will exploit holes in your opening. The best chess players tend to use the same opening in every round, but they are also prepared to switch it up when necessary.

4.    Recompose Yourself after a Tough Loss

The most important thing after you lose a close match or to an inferior opponent is not to lose your composure. Take the loss on the chin and learn from it, instead of adopting a negative mindset and being afraid of another loss. Start afresh because what doesn’t kill you will only make you stronger. !

Tips on How to Design a Board Game

Tired of playing the same old games every game night? You can spice things up by designing your own board game and to impress everyone. The best part about designing your own board game is that you have complete control over what type of game it’s going to be since you’ll be making all the rules, the goals, and the basics of the game. After that’s done, you can create a mock-up prototype for testing your design, which will allow you to identify the kinks and iron them out from the game.

Once all of that is finished, you can go about creating your polished finished product and you can surprise your friends with a brand-new game on game night. So, here is how you should go about designing your own board game.

1.      Create a List of Ideas

The first step in board game design is coming up with a unique idea for your board game. You have complete control over the creative aspects of the game, meaning that you can combine different ideas to create a new game concept. Create a list of ideas for your board game by writing them down when you’re playing different games since you never know when inspiration may hit you.

2.      Develop a Theme

One of the most crucial aspects of any board game is its theme, as the entire game will be based on this theme. You’ll need to come up with a unique theme that will help make your board game standout. You can either go with a simple board theme or a complex one that has player politics, conflicts, and strategy in placement for game pieces.

3.      Use Mechanics to Develop the Game

The game mechanics will determine how players are going to interact with one another and the game. For instance, the mechanics in Monopoly are based on making money, dice-rolling, and selling/buying property. You need to come up with similar mechanics to allow players to get involved in the game.

4.      Decide the Rules of the Game

Now that you’ve developed the mechanics of the game, you must come up with the rules of the game. This will include how many players will be playing the game at a time, how they will manage to win the game, and the different ways to win the game. Your basic rules may change over time as you develop the game further, as you start testing the game mechanics.

5.      Create a Prototype

You’ll need to create a prototype for the game before you finish work on it so that you can test the game first by playing it. Since it will only be a test model, you don’t need to worry about how it looks because the goal here is to test how it plays. Your prototype will allow you to properly envision how the game will play when multiple players are playing it. So, there you have it, all the essentials that you need to know about when it comes to designing a board game that you can play and enjoy with your friends and family on game night.

Fun Board Games that Make You Smarter and Exercise Your Brain

It won’t be wrong to say that board games took a backseat with the emergence of console and computer gaming. You would hardly see anyone taking out a board game to relax and unwind with some friends. However, in recent years, board games have been making a comeback of sorts and there’s now a demand for interactive and fun board games that challenge you.

If you’ve been searching for fun board games that make you smarter and exercise your brain, here are some of our top picks.

1.    Risk

This game is designed for 2 to 5 players with an approximate playing time of between 120 to 180 minutes. Players must take turns to use their army units for attacking other players with the goal of fortifying their territories and taking over others. Players will need to make alliances or dissolve them to strategize and improve their chances of occupying territories to win the game.

This fun game gives your brain a good workout since it’s all about strategy. With Risk, it’s difficult to predict the winner until the very end of the game. It’s great for building your decision-making and logical thinking skills since every action you take has a consequence.

2.    Ticket to Ride

This game is designed for 2 to 5 players and has an approximate playing time between 30 to 60 minutes. Plays must collect train car cards in the game to take over railway routes all over the map. The more routes you have, the more points you’ll earn. There are different editions of the game with maps of different countries and continents.

It has simple game rules allowing you to play with it your friends or family. It’s an exciting game where you must use your sharp wits and strategy to take over routes on the map.

3.    Pandemic

This game is designed for 2 to 4 players and has an approximate playing time of about 60 minutes. It’s different from other board games because here you must be cooperative instead of competitive with other players. Every player will need to play the role of an operations expert, researcher, scientist, medic, and dispatcher with the goal being finding cures before the world ends from an outbreak of 4 deadly diseases.

This is a difficult game where players need to use their strategic and problem-solving skills to find out the cures successfully. It is intellectually challenging and teaches you about cooperation and teamwork, as you need to work together to win the game.

How to Select the Right Chess Pieces for Your Chess Board

Chessmen or chess pieces come in all materials, sizes, shapes, and designs you can think of and that makes it difficult to select the right chess piece for your chess set. There are chess pieces designed for competitive and serious play, and then there are chess pieces that are ornate and decorative. The most popular chess pieces are the traditional Staunton wooden chess pieces, while the clubs and schools prefer using plastic pieces since they want pieces that are durable and can withstand frequent use.

If you’re looking for luxurious chess pieces, the best option are the luxury metal pieces from Italy, which are rich looking and elegant. They are commonly used for décor in homes, but you can also use them to play serious chess games. There are also chess sets available in different themes, which allow you to own a unique chess set that is unique. Since chess pieces vary a lot in terms of function, feel, size, and appearance, most players end up owning several types of chess sets.

Things to Keep in Mind

When buying chess pieces for your chess board, it’s important that you keep some vital things in mind, so you can make the right choice. That includes knowing that when you’re starting as a chess player, your best option would be to select inexpensive plastic pieces. However, if you want visually appealing and long-lasting chess pieces, you should opt for wooden pieces.

There are also chess pieces in alabaster, stone, or marble, which look stunning when they are placed on display and are ideal for a slow game. If you want your chess game to be imaginative, you can select theme chess pieces which will make for a colorful and fun game.

Getting Pieces of the Right Size

The most important rule you must remember when buying chess pieces is to only purchase chess pieces that match the board you’re going to be playing on. How do you match a chess piece to the board? You must check to see whether the chess piece covers more than 75% of the square on the board. This will allow you to gauge the right size of the chess piece. In most instances, you won’t need to check because the base diameter will be mentioned on the cover of the chess board.

Selecting Chess Pieces for Your Needs

When it comes to selecting chess pieces, you should think about your needs when making the choice. This means that if you’re a beginner, you should focus on buying club and tournament chess pieces. These pieces are ideal for schools and chess clubs where children are instructed in a group about playing the beautiful game of chess.

If you want handcrafted and exquisite chess pieces, the best choice is going with the wooden pieces for your chess board. Finally, plastic chess pieces are the best option for competitive and casual chess play and they come with more details and weigh heavily as well, which is something that most chess players prefer.

5 Fun Board Games You Can DIY and Play with Your Family

Have you grown tired of playing the same board games with your family? They can get a bit monotonous, which is why you end up losing interest in them and stop playing board games entirely. But did you know that you can also make your own board games? Yes, there you can be creative and build your own clever DIY games by taking stuff lying around the house.

You don’t even need to spend a lot of money on creating these games since you can make them from items that are lying around your house. All you need is a template and you’re all set to create a board game that everyone is going to love playing. So, here are some of the 5 fun board games you can make using DIY methods and play with your family:

1.    Checkers

You’ll struggle to find a more classic board game than checkers, and you can easily create this masterful game by making your own pieces and board. You’ll need to use paint, fabric, and lids of milk jugs as the core ingredients, and then make a grid and color all alternating boxes. You should then use permanent markers to decorate the milk jugs, and you’re all set to play your own game of checkers.

2.    Family Memories Game

It can be difficult to come up with a personalized and inexpensive gift for your family, but one way to do that is by crafting a family memories game. All you’ll need is an old board game covered in cardstock and then you draw a path on it, and then decorate the board with photos of your family. You should then create a deck of questions with the cardstock. Be creative with the questions and ask anything from personal jokes, anniversaries, and birthdays.

3.    Tic Tac Toe

One of the best ways to get your kids involved in games and keep them occupied for a length of time is with DIY Tic Tac Toe. You should visit the craft store to purchase an inexpensive chalkboard and find at least 8 smooth rocks. The theme of the game can be anything you want, and you can paint the rocks in any color that you want.

4.    Guess Who

Another great DIY game that you can play with your family is Guess Who, which is sure to have everyone in your family involved and having fun. All you’ll need to do is collect 25 photos of your closest friends and your family and print 3 copies of them. You should then cut them up into little squares and use glue to attach them to the plywood squares. You can then create hinges by drilling little holes into the base, which will be attached to the block on the board for every person.

5.    Create Your Own Game

If you really want to stand out and play something unique then get your family involved in creating your own unique board game. You can take clues and ideas from other board games and get creative in designing all the pieces and rules of the game.

How to Avoid Making the Biggest Chess Mistakes

All chess players have one thing in common, which is to keep on improving their chess game and playing better than their previous game. The good news is that you can always improve your chess game by cutting out simple mistakes. However, it will require plenty of work from your end, because mistakes will always be made in a game of chess. Most chess players don’t realize that they keep on making the same mistakes again and again, which is what stops them from improving their game.

So, how do you avoid making the biggest chess mistakes? It takes a lot of practice and hours of playing time to perfect your strategy. If you’re looking to avoid making the biggest chess mistakes, here is what you’ll need to do:

1.    Develop a Disciplined Thinking Process

Your first line of defense against making mistakes should be developing a disciplined thinking process. This will take time, but you can start improving your thinking process by studying the analytical thinking system. You must also train your ability to concentrate for longer time periods by challenging yourself with difficult chess puzzles and playing slow-time controls.

2.    Improve Your Tactical Skill

Not have sufficient knowledge of motifs and tactical patterns will make it harder for you to effectively calculate variations. If your tactical skills are not good enough, you will end up making silly errors. The best way to improve your tactical skill is to study the motifs that show up in chess tactic puzzles. This will not only help you increase ‘pattern awareness’, but you will also manage to easily spot the common mistakes in your chess game.

3.    Develop Respect for Chess Principles

The chess principles have been tested and proven over time. You shouldn’t disrespect them otherwise you will end up paying the price. These principles work slowly and if you don’t consider them, it will only worsen your condition until you get to a point where your position gets so bad that you end up making mistakes more frequently. To improve your chess game, you should work on understanding the principles of chess and make them a part of your game.

4.    Study Common Mistakes Made by Chess Players

You should study the mistakes you make in your chess game, and the mistakes made by other chess players as well. This will allow you to develop a deeper understanding of the common mistakes made in chess, and you will learn how to avoid making them. The one thing you must remember is that everyone makes mistakes, as we’re all human. Even chess grandmasters make silly mistakes sometimes, but they don’t make the same mistakes often. They learn to minimize their mistakes, by studying their common mistakes and ensuring they never repeat it.

The Best Modern Board Games You Should be Playing

If you’re a boardgame enthusiast and have been regularly playing board games over the years, you must have realized that there is a boardgame renaissance going on. There are several different kinds of board games launched in recent times, which are definitely worth adding to your collection. So, if you’re looking for the best boardgame to add to your collection, and spend your days tossing around some dice with your family, you have come to the right place. Here are the best modern board games you can play:

1.    Secret Hitler

The name of this boardgame may leave you scratching your head, but you shouldn’t write this game off. Despite its strange title, which will make for some awkward conversation between your friends and family, this game is a lot of fun. The game requires a minimum of 5 players, and the goal of the players is to stop Secret Hitler. Some players are fascists in the game, and they will do everything in their power to rise to the top. It’s a fun game that everyone will enjoy playing.

2.    Euphoria

Euphoria is a great worker placement game, where you will be claiming a dystopian city. You will be in control over your workers, and can restrict their freedom, while also cashing in on the artifacts, so you can fight your way to the top. The game can be played by 2 to 6 players and is going to be a massive hit with your family and friends.

3.    A Game of Thrones

This game isn’t a knock-off that is only popular because of its name, and it is an extremely exciting game that allows you to enjoy time off in the evenings between episodes. The game is played between 3 to 6 players and gives you the chance to claim the Iron Throne. There are 10 rounds of the game, and whoever manages to conquer the most land, will be the one that gets to sit on the throne.

4.    Trajan

Ancient Rome is the backdrop for this game, which will instantly grab your attention. In Trajan you will be trying to gain power in different areas of life, which include trading, military, and politics. The path that takes you to victory will not be a simple one, while the mancala-style system adds a unique element to the game, and makes you think about moves in advance to become successful. The game is sure to be a hit with your family, as it is visually stunning apart from being fun as well.

5.    Agricola

There are going to be plenty of people claiming that Agricola is their favorite game, once they play it a few times. The board game is incredibly entertaining, and you will be controlling your family and trying to plan a successful future by leaving your home behind. Agricola is a turn-based game, which is complex but isn’t that difficult to grasp, since it has several ways you can attack it and plan different strategies. This is one entertaining game that will be a favorite in your family for years.

Useful Chess Skills You Must Develop to Become a Better Player

Chess isn’t an easy game to master. To become a better player, you must be willing to invest time and effort. The good news is that there are several things you can improve upon, from your tactics and middlegame to your openings and endgame. Developing your chess game depends on mastering some basic skills that require constant training. You should also remember that success won’t come to you overnight and you must be willing to train consistently to see the results.

It will take you more time than usual because it’s just like working out in the gym. The improvement in your game may only be gradual but you must keep on trying and working on your skills. So, what are those skills that you need to master? Here are the useful chess skills you need to develop:

1. Position Evaluation Amateur players make the mistake of not understanding the importance of positioning on a chess board. Their lack of positional sense and evaluation hampers their game but it’s not entirely their fault. Evaluating a position is difficult and if you get it wrong you will end up losing the game. To master this skill, you need to read games that are commented on by chess grandmasters. They will explain to you what is happening in the middlegame and what are the flaws and strengths of different positions. Once you understand the different positions, you can play games by yourself to figure out the positions in the middlegame.

2. Calculation To become a better player at chess your calculation skills must be spot on. With excellent calculation skills, you can get away with a lot of mistakes in a game of chess. There have been instances where strong chess players with poor positional understanding managed to win chess games due to their excellent calculation skills. They were able to counter the moves of their opponent by calculating moves. The best way to develop your calculation skills is by solving tactics. This can be done by meditating on a position for a period and writing down the moves on paper. You must do this correctly by aiming for precision. You must play regularly to improve your calculation skills.

3. Planning All skilled chess players possess the ability to plan well for their games. The dynamics and tactics of games are important but when you find yourself in trouble in a lot of positions, you need to know how to develop a strategic plan that helps you reach your goals.

4. Sense of Danger It’s imperative that you recognize when your position is dangerous on the chess board. You should sense danger before it happens. Otherwise, it will be too late to defend your position. The obvious way to develop this skill is by observing and paying attention to the moves made by your opponent.

These were some of the skills that will have an impact on your chess game and developing these skills will allow you to become a better chess player. You should work on all these skills repeatedly until you have mastered them to elevate your chess game to another level.

The Crucial Skills All Strong Chess Players Should Have

Chess is a game that requires immense skill and powers of concentration. To be successful in the game, you must develop certain skills to overcome your opponents. Most chess players are left flabbergasted by how easily chess grandmasters and masters tend to outplay other players. It is believed by many that the elite chess players have developed unique abilities which hand them an advantage every time they play. It is true to some extent that the best chess players all have exceptional tactical skills but they have other skills that help them stand out.

So, if you’re wondering what crucial chess skills the best chess players have in their locker, you have come to the right place. Here is what separates the best from the rest:

1.      Playing Simple Positions

The best chess players have an uncanny ability to play simple positions extremely well. They know how to handle positions exactly which involve an isolated pawn, rook endgames, doubled pawns, and symmetrical positions.

When it comes to playing simple positions, the best players automatically play the moves without thinking much. Think of it like this; if they need to checkmate a king with only two rooks, they will instantly make moves. That’s because they have experience of this endgame and understand the theory of this endgame better than most.

2.      Selective Calculation Ability

Most chess players believe that the best chess players can calculate variations like computers. They can easily think ahead 20 to 25 moves in any position which gives them a considerable advantage. It is this skill that separates the best chess players from the rest since they can calculate the exact lines.

A chess master will look at the position and choose 2 to 3 promising variations by calculating quickly. A weak chess player won’t know what lines they should be calculating. Therefore, they will try to calculate everything. This will only end up confusing them because chess grandmasters know what should be calculated and what shouldn’t.

3.      Knows When to Play for a Win or a Draw

One of the most important skills that a strong chess player has is the ability to understand when they should play for a win and when to play for a draw. This is an important skill because you shouldn’t always look to attack in chess. Playing attacking chess is recommended but you should always be thinking about the outcome of the game. If you’ve lost two pawns in rook and your king is vulnerable, you shouldn’t be looking for a win since you need to defend your position. The best outcome here is a draw and the best players know when to play for one. The plan is different when you’re playing for a draw instead of a win because a player that is playing for a draw will look for repetitive moves and stalemate ideas. A lot of players have lost games simply because they didn’t think about defending and went for the win when they should have been looking to draw the game. This is what separates the best from the rest. d0 \lsdqfor