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Children's Software Review:    Learn to Play Chess with Fritz & Chesster 2: Chess in the Black Castle


All reviews at Edutaining Kids are independent, impartial reviews. Children's software reviews are designed to help parents and caregivers decide which software games are best for their kids, and are evaluated based on a number of factors, including educational and entertainment value, originality, dynamic content, and quality of learning.

Computer Software Game Review: Learn to Play Chess with Fritz & Chesster 2: Chess in the Black Castle

For Windows 98/Me/XP 

By Viva Media

Released: 2004

Reviewed: December 2004

Our Recommended Age: 9-up

Our Rating: A



Learn to Play Chess Computer Game



Buy: Learn to Play Chess with Fritz and Chesster 2: Chess in the Black Castle



More Screenshots:



Learn to Play Chess Screenshot



Learn to Play Chess Screenshot



Learn to Play Chess Pictures


For those not already familiar with the first title in the series (Learn to Play Chess with Fritz and Chesster), this game stars a chess-loving Cheshire rat (Chesster), King White's son Fritz, and his cousin Bianca. Their adventures involve a fiendish King Black who will stop at nothing to be the best chess player in the world. 


This educational software game is fun, featuring 21 arcade-style mini games that reinforce chess concepts introduced in the story line. Kids need to rescue Chesster from King Black's Castle. Players learn chess concepts—from basic to advanced—through the game's intelligible and engaging format. Such chess concepts as pinning, delivering check, piece values, protecting, openings, chess notations, and more, are introduced and reinforced through tutorials, exercises, and mini-games. 


The adventure begins with the kidnapping of Chesster by King Black. King White's son, Fritz, and his feisty cousin, Bianca, set out to rescue the rat, who happens to be a chess whiz. They set out in a horse and buggy, reviewing some chess basics along the way. Luckily, Bianca had stored a number of important chess rules in her organizer. The duo arrive in Pleasantville quite by accident, and take part in the village Olympics for the fun of it. Arcade-style games that use a checkerboard base (deliberately resembling a chess board) are featured at this point in the adventure. After taking part in the games, the townspeople offer Fritz and Bianca a map (guess what? it's checkered off as well) to get to King Black's castle.


Learn to Play Chess Screenshots

King Black's castle is filled with interesting things, such as a collection of rat traps (King Black is just a little obsessed with the fact that Chesster the rat beat him in a chess tournament) and chess machines. After finding the rat, it's time to find a way out of the castle. Along the way, kids take part in a number of tutorials and exercises. One of the King's chess machines, for example, is a "Set-check-o-matic" machine (pictured above). Players need to click on all the pieces that can put the opponent in check on their next move. Other machines incorporate such concepts as piece values and double-check, and address such questions as, "Which piece to start with?"  


Chesster claims that anyone can win a chess game against King Black, as long as they have the right coach. Learn to Play Chess with Fritz & Chesster 2 aims to be that coach. Paired with the first title, the game does a good job. This sequel is not for absolute beginners. It is probably best to start with the first title in the series, unless children already have a handle on chess basics. The game features some truly cute interludes and charming humor. However, despite the fact that the graphics and dialogue are charming, the tutorials are just that...tutorials. If children are not already keen about playing chess, they are likely to find the game challenging to follow.


Learn to Play Chess with Fritz and Chesster 2

Kids also learn chess notation, and a bonus one-year free subscription to is included.


Note: Now that the second title in the series has been released, the original Learn to Play Chess with Fritz and Chesster is selling at sale prices. 


Our Bottom Line As charming and clever as it is, this game requires some dedication to learning the game of chess. For those eager to learn, this program offers unique challenges and tutorials.


  • Clever and unique challenges that teach chess concepts.



  • Tutorials are sometimes lengthy. They're thorough for chess enthusiasts, but drag a little for children who are not already interested in the game.




Our Rating:




[For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Learn to Play Chess with Fritz and Chesster 2: Chess in the Black Castle]


Reviewed December 2004

















Buy Learn to Play Chess with Fritz and Chesster 2: Chess in the Black Castle at



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