Those luvverly people at Big Game Hunters have sent me a splendid giant chess set – just in the nick of time. After several consecutive days of good weather, the kids have got quite bored with the ancient badminton racquets and deliberately non-functioning water pistols which were all that remained in our outdoor games bucket. Well, three years of lashing rain have not made me want to invest heavily in brightly coloured stuff which ends up gathering cobwebs in the garage. But this year, with the good weather set to last at least until the end of the week, we have absolutely loved a weekend of outdoor chess.
The mat, simply printed on plastic and not too enormous, so it doesn’t have to be pegged down, is perfectly easy to manage even for Child 4 (now six, yikes). The pieces, ranging from the king who is a goodly size at about 30cm tall, to the chunky phalanx of pawns, are big enough to be impressive, but not so big they are heavy or awkward to move around. And they float, as we discovered when Child 4 threw them in the paddling pool during a particularly tense game. Well, it’s one way to get a checkmate, I suppose.