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Ho Math Chess Research and Articles > Comparing Traditional Chess Set to the Flat-Faced Chess Set

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31 Dec 2007

Comparing Traditional Chess Set to the Flat-Faced Chess Set
Frank Ho
Teacher and founder of Ho Math and Chess
It is interesting to note that western chess set are all made in 3-D figurines and each chess piece looks very different and yet Chinese chess sets are all flat-faced with uniform look on one surface, why is this? I do not know if anyone has done a research to look into and see why there is such a disparity in using such a very different styles?
I have invented a new chess training set which is based on geometry lines in correspondence to how each chess piece moves. Since the emphasis is so much on its direction of moves so I used the flat-surfaced chess pieces. After I used it for a while, I concluded that my flat-surfaced international chess set is just as effective to use when compared to the traditional chess set, but I am not asking adults to convert to use my chess set. The clear advantage of using my invention - Ho Math and Chess Teaching set is that it is so easy for young children to learn chess and the speed that the young children can learn to play when using Ho Math and Chess Teaching Set is just incredible. This can be evident by the responses from the accompanying parents who come to my class with kids together and asked for using Ho Math and Chess Teaching Set since they also think it is much easier for their children to learn how to play chess.
The following attempts to make some comparisons on how different there are between the traditional chess set and Ho Math and Chess Teaching Set (hereby called Ho Set).
1.    Look
Ho Set is flat-surfaced and each chess piece’s moves are marked on the surface of each chess piece so it is easier for young children to learn how to move by just looking at the directions marked on each chess piece when compared to the use of traditional chess set.
2.    Geometry Concept
Ho Set design is based on the geometry concept of line and line segment to indicate that the allowable move is one square only or multi-square. Each arrow marked on each chess piece metaphors a line so the move could be multi-square, whereas the line segment with no arrows signals the move is just one square at a time. The traditional set’s figurines have no relation to its move directions. The Ho Set’s move direction stems from the middle of each squared chess piece (turn point for knight) and thus the lines are actual symmetry lines of each square. The entire design of Ho Set is closely tied with the concept of geometry but the traditional chess set is not.
3.    Blind chess and half-blind chess
Since the flat-surfaced Ho Set has a uniform look on one side so it allows children to play blind chess or half-blind chess. The half-blind chess has 3 advantages: one is that it does not require players to be blind folded and is hilariously fun to play, the third advantage is it trains children’ memory since one has to remember where the opponent’s chess pieces are.
4.    Incorporating with workbooks
The Ho Set symbols are built into Ho Math and Chess integrated workbooks so the learning curve in use of the math and chess integrated workbook is shortened by using Ho Set.
As it can be easily concluded that Ho Set is very good in training children how to play chess. In addition, it can also be used in conjunction with working on Ho Math and Chess integrated workbooks.

Frank Ho


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