>Home >FAQ  


What is Chess Champs?

Chess Champs is a card game that contains the greatest Chess players in the world from 1530 through to today! There are 36 hero cards and each card contains a biography of the hero, interesting facts about the hero and numerical data of the hero's strengths. The aim of the game is to use your hero's strengths to win other players' cards.

Do kids like playing Chess Champs?

You bet! Chess Champs was actually designed specfically to help kids learn about Chess Hero's. For kids it is a great way to learn and have fun at the same time. When kids first pick up the game, they enjoy it just because it is fun to play. But after a while they start taking an interest and reading about each hero and this is where they learn about Chess history. Kids need Hero's to inspire them and Chess Champs is a great way to introduce them to these Hero's.

What about adults?

For adults, Chess Champs is a wonderful addition to your chess library, as it brings together the greatest chess players for history into a single hand-held box. And of course, out-witting kids in Chess Champs might be a bit easier than trying to beat them in Chess!

How long does a game take?

Usually around 15 minutes but some games are over in 5 minutes and some can take 25! It depends on how closely matched the players are.

How many players can play at the same time?

Chess Champs can be played with 2-6 players. The more players the more fun!

What is in the box?

To win players need to learn each hero's strengths. There are 36 chess heroes in each Chess Champs edition, as well as a title card and rules card. Each hero in Chess Champs has a summary of who they were, why they were famous, what they contributed to Chess, some interesting facts about the hero and a famous quote or two.

How do you measure a hero's strengths?

Chess Champs measures each hero on 6 key strengths:

# Games Played - This is the total number of games the hero played over their chess career. Casual games are not counted. So who has played more professional games that anyone else - ever?

% Games Won - This is the percentage of games won as a fraction of all the games they played. Do you know who has the highest percentage in all of Chess history?

Excels in Chaos - This is how well the hero copes in positions where sacrifices occurred. We analysed every game by every chess hero in history and found some surprising results. Who excelled the most in chaotic positions? The answer will surprise you - it wasn't Mikhail Tal!

Avoids Time Trouble - Some great masters managed to constantly get into time trouble. This is a weakness so the higher the score, the more confident and intuitive they were as a player. Can you work out which player was the most naturally gifted?

Combativeness - This is how much a player is willing to fight. Essentially a high score here means the player rarely allowed a draw and would fight on win or lose. So who do you think was the most combative player of all time?

Skill Rating - Every professional chess player has a chess rating. But this wasn't always the case. We have used data from Jeff Sonas' ChessMetrics website to determine historical chess ratings based on real tournament performance. So for the first time, you can actually see who was the greatest chess player of all time!

How many editions are there?

There are actually four editions of Chess Champs so far. Click the edition you are interested in to find out which chess heroes are in each edition.

Romantic Era - Chess Heroes from 1530 - 1906.

Cold War Era - Heroes from 1906 through to 1985.

Modern Era - Heroes from 1985 - 2005

Millenium Edition - The new breed of chess players from 2005 - today!

Why is my Chess Hero missing?

For each era we worked out the top 36 players in that era. To determine those 36 players, we looked at each players active tournament performance. We took their highest performance over any 5 year period. So to be one of the top 36 in an era, the player had to be actively playing tournament chess for at least 5 years at an extremely high and consistent level. There are some new players that have achieved the consistency yet. And there are some old players that rose quickly to super-stardom but fell just as fast.

Why are there hardly any women in Chess Champs?

The reality is in the past the pinncle of chess has largely been dominated by men. But there are some notable exceptions. In the romantic era we feature Vera Menchik. In the cold war era, we have two outstanding women chess players, Maia Chiburdanidze and Nona Gaprindashvili. In the modern era we have the Judit Polgar, the strongest female in all chess history, her sister Susan Polgar and the Chinese superstar Xie Jun. And in the Millenium era, we feature two great chinese superstars Hou Yifan and the current women's world champion Ju Wenjun, sisters from Ukraine Anna Muzychuk and Mariya Muzychuk and Alexandra Kosteniuk.

Can you play with two or more editions together?

Yes, absolutely. For the first time you can bring players together from completely different eras! Ever wanted to know how Tal would fare against Morphy? How about Carlsen vs Capablanca? Now you can find out because strength is based on real tournament data, and each era's heroes is measured against the same criteria.

Who actually created Chess Champs?

Chess Champs was created by chess educator, Paul Macdonald. Paul Macdonald is the CEO of Chess Power, a company that specialises in teaching children chess. Paul has created many unique chess products and chess variants to help kids learn chess. Paul won the Major Open of the New Zealand Chess Championship in 2014 and actively plays in Chess tournaments around the world.

Where can I get my own Chess Champs?

Chess Champs is available from various Chess online resellers.

USA - www.chessusa.com

UK - shop.chess.co.uk

Australia - www.chesskids.com.au

New Zealand - www.chesscity.nz