If kids love one thing, its chess. Forget your PS3’s, your Xbox’s and your iPhones, all children talk, read about and do is play chess. Come the ring of the playtime bell and kids everywhere are unfolding their boards and preparing to enter the cerebral, antiquated world of feudal battleship.
Footballs are deflated and stickers remain unstuck while Rooks, Pawns and Bishops are scattered across classroom tables – all for the chance to unlock the secrets of the board – the reward, a place amongst ‘the chess set’.
That alternate state of being where everything is the successful completion of another mind-boggling stratagem but, though they try, not everyone can make it.
Other, desperate souls, eager to climb above their ’pawn’ status resort to novelty chess sets and like anything with the word ’novelty’ in front of it those are a gateway to misery.
Sure you could pick up the Doctor Who Chess Set (which we warned you about several months ago) with its plastic pepper pots capturing the 3-D Lenticular images of your favourite characters but once out their in the arena of serfdom, you’ll be as clueless as a Cluedo player in Boggle county.
Without the handy information of the box, how will you know what each piece means? ‘What’s this chequered board? Where’s the Pandorica? Is this nobbly one supposed to be Rory? Where are the Smilers?’
There’ll be Smilers alright, and they’ll be laughing at you.
I had a Flintstones set. For years I would baffle proper chess-playing aficionados with my daring ‘Barney Rubble, Pebbles, Log Car, Log Car’ strategy before they wiped the floor with me… or the caretaker got our ball down from the roof.
I had no idea what my pieces did or what they were supposed to represent apart from abject failure and, I suppose, The Flintstones.
So kids consider this a warning from history, a missive from the future, stick with the real thing because pre-ordering a Doctor Who Chess Set from Firebox for £31.99 might seem like a good strategy but it’ll be checkmate for the rest of your life.