The Companion Resource Guide for Lego Chess Sets

Where to find, how to make, how to buy: I love LEGO sets. Over most other toys I buy for my son, I enjoy buying him LEGO sets because I enjoy putting them together… ah, with him, of course. So, working with Chess House, it was natural that I should eventually wonder about LEGO chess sets. And so began the search to find what sets are out there and available. What I found was amazing–chess sets offered by LEGO, sets made by fans, more sets made by LEGO Star Wars fans, and the list goes on. But what if I actually wanted to have a LEGO chess set for my own… er, my own son? Where would one go to purchase? Could I go to learn how to make or build a chess set or have one made? And, even more fundamentally, what set should be purchased? Fear not though! Taking upon myself the heavy yoke I have blazed a trail before you, being your guide to finding a LEGO chess set to meet your needs and budget. The short answer? While there is an amazing amount of LEGO chess creations out there, only a relative few (although still good) choices remain for those looking for something within a reasonable budget and a limited time frame. For those with time and a larger budget, the path is bigger, but there are still some sets that are a steep climb to find or have commissioned. So let’s get started! : The Obvious Answer At this time, LEGO only offers one LEGO chess set– that being the Kingdoms Chess Set.  ToysNbricks.com...

Cost to Raise Family Up 53% Since 1995; Net Worth Nearly Cut in Half: Strategic Ways Families Can Succeed

Families now spend an average of $222,360 to raise a child from birth to age 17—a 53% increase over the past fifteen years. (1) That’s one person working full-time nearly six years to cover the expenses of raising one child! During the global financial crisis and ensuing recession, median family net worth fell by over 38% from 2007-2010. For many, that’s nearly two decades of savings wiped out in just a few years! These troublesome trends are requiring most of us to rethink our jobs, opportunities, income—and of course, our expenses. But in spite of the rising costs to raise a child, the decline in families’ average net worth and the intense social pressures facing your kids these days, remember this: You still have the same 6,205 days to raise your child from birth to age 17.  How you choose to spend that time as a family makes all the difference in your child’s life. Whether you’re already enjoying activities together as a family—or whether you need to make time in your active schedule—time together develops trust, respect and unity over the years, which contributes enormously to your child’s well being. As a result, any financial limitations your family faces become less inhibiting to your child’s future success. The question is, will you be controlled by a busy schedule resulting from increased financial stress—giving up time with your family during these crucial years you have with them—or will you make it a priority  to spend time together with your children to help them grow in considering others, making good decisions, thinking ahead and becoming self-sufficient? No one has a...

The Hebrew Word for Silver

Sterling Judaic Miniatures from Israel Article by Penny Herbst Born in Israel in 1952, Amnon Caspi was stricken with polio while a young child and was left severely handicapped. Despite many challenges, he had his first art exhibition at the age of 6, and to everyone’s delight became keenly involved in competitive water sports as well. Always a role model, and an example of what can be accomplished by spirit, ambition, and the love of family and friends, Amnon defied the odds, earned an advanced degree, and along with his brother Eric opened Caspi Silver Ltd. in 1986. Eric left the business to pursue a career in aviation in 1988, and at the same time, Amnon moved the fledgling company from Or Yehuda to the city of Netanya. Only an hour’s drive from Jerusalem and a half-hour north of Tel Aviv, Netanya boasts a welcoming commercial environment, in addition to miles of beautiful beaches running along the Mediterranean. It is here that the company’s design, production, and marketing are located, and the city provides a perfect backdrop for Amnon Caspi’s remarkable business style and philosophy. Several of Caspi’s employees are recent immigrants from Russia, and others have come to Israel from the Ukraine, Iran, and Ethiopia. Amnon goes out his way to hire disabled people who might otherwise experience difficulty finding good jobs. For example, Arcadi Shulkin, who lost a leg as a result of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, has worked as Caspi’s senior polisher for the past seven years. “The skilled artisans and production staff who work at my company reflect not only Israel’s multinational population, but also...

Enjoying chess on your Ipad

Soon after I bought my Ipad I wanted a chess program to play. So I logged onto the App Store feature on the Ipad and searched for chess. There are many programs, some free, and some not. I trust chess.com (they are one of the largest chess communities online), so I downloaded their free program. This is what it looks like in the Player vs Computer mode. I found that it will play at a very beginner level all the way to very strong. I am an 1900 rated player, and on level 4 out of 10, it gave me a very strong game.  Level 1 is very easy though! If you are already registered on chess.com, you can Sign-in. Now you have 4 choices. Play Chess Online lets you play multiple games at once. It’s a relaxed approach to online chess with games that allow a player to take up to several days per move!  This means you can be playing many games at once, and you can analyze a game, make your move, and go to the next game. It’s actually a great way for a busy person to enjoy chess. Play Computer is my favorite feature, and what I most wanted. It’s super easy to start a game, and there are plenty of settings to choose from if you need them. Tactics Trainer has 100 chess positions to solve, and challenge yourself. Video Lessons offers a nice selection of free training...

What is the best chess software to learn chess?

The best chess software to learn chess depends on the learner’s level of knowledge. But there is some straightforward advice to make a good choice on what chess software to use. If you are new to chess, start with carefully choosing a chess software program that covers the rules, basic strategies and tactics in depth. There are plenty of good programs to choose from later that will help you build this initial knowledge. You should have chess software that 1. Teaches you all the rules and more. 2. Let’s you play against the computer and practice what you learn Surprisingly it’s hard to find a chess software program that does both well. So it’s usually best to find two separate programs that complement each other. This way you’ll maximize your learning experience as well as your playing experience. A clever combination of training and playing software will yield the best results. Here’s some advice. First of all, the chess playing software. One of the newest, most feature-rich, and straightforward chess software programs is Rybka 4 with the ChessBase interface (this interface is more user friendly than some). Rybka 4 has a unique advantage. It plays like a human. What that means is you have a much more natural feel to the game and don’t get the same repetitive stuff you’ll find in many free chess softwares. Rybka 4, released in 2010, was also a breakthrough in sheer playing power – sure, unnecessary for beginners, but still cool. And you can always customize it’s playing levels and strength to your liking. Another key reason a chess software like Rybka 4 could be...

Shredder Chess for Apple Ipad

Playing chess with new Shredder for iPad lifts chess to a new dimension. Play against the full Shredder 12 chess engine or solve one of the built-in 1000 chess puzzles. Shredder evaluates your play and will automatically adjust strength to yours if you wish. The great user experience and tons of fun will make it hard to stop and switch off the device once you have started playing with Shredder on the iPad. Guaranteed. Try it! Shredder Chess for iPad is available in the Apple AppStore, like Shredder Chess for iPhone and iPod touch already. In addition to the outstanding playing strength of the 12 times computer chess world champion, Shredder for iPad is also able to mimic the play of a human chess player with any playing strength. He even deliberately makes typical human mistakes in those levels. Solve 1000 built in chess puzzles. Shredder for iPad keeps track of your performance and offers advice if needed. You can adjust Shredder’s playing strength from beginner to master level. If you like, Shredder for iPad automatically adjusts his strength to yours. He even calculates an Elo rating for you. This is how the playing strength of chess players is typically measured. During the game a coach is watching your moves and warns you if you are about to make a mistake. See how you are getting better and better the more games you play and the more chess puzzles you solve. Adjustable playing strength Intuitive and very easy to operate 1000 built in chess puzzles Rates your play Outstanding playing strength on the iPad Analyse your games with Shredder,...