Review: Psychic Chess 2.0 by Brian Watson

[vc_row full_width=”” parallax=”” parallax_image=””][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_custom_heading text=”Reviewer: John Teo” font_container=”tag:h2|text_align:left” google_fonts=”font_family:Abril%20Fatface%3Aregular|font_style:400%20regular%3A400%3Anormal”][vc_column_text]The performer plays a mental version of chess with the audience.  It does not use a chess board but it involves the 6 different chess pieces: ie. the pawn, the knight, the bishop, the rook, the queen and the king.

Although the spectator has a free choice of movement over any of the pieces, and landing on any one piece each time, the performer, with his head turned to one side, is able to eliminate each chess piece one at a time in which the spectator does not land on.  Eventually, only one chess piece is left – it is the exact piece landed on by the spectator!  As a climax to the effect, a prediction is turned over and it reveals exactly the chess piece that will be the last one standing!

If you like mental tricks that involve moving counters and eliminating them until one is left, you will love Psychic Chess.

You receive beautifully printed chess pieces on credit card size plastic cards plus the prediction card.  Brian made the cards plastic so that if you perform this over the bar counter, spilled bears and drinks will not damage the cards, as they are waterproof.  The cards come with an instructional DVD which is also well produced and explains everything quite thoroughly.

Version 2.0 implies this is an improvement over an earlier version.  Indeed, Version 1.0 was Brian’s original effect called The Grand Master Gambit which he contributed some time ago to Lee Earl’s SYZYGY magazine.  The improvement was the elimination of memory work by a clever crib system built into the prediction card.

The entire effect is easy to perform.  When performed properly, the effect can be quite dramatic as it seems the performer is able each time to eliminate the correct pieces.  Variations using actual chess pieces are also discussed.  The printed cards are preferred because they are so nicely printed and you also paid for them.

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Please support intellectual property. Only buy original. Available from all reputable Murphy’s Magic dealers.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator color=”grey” align=”align_center” style=”” border_width=”” el_width=””][vc_custom_heading text=”Reviewer: Bernard Sim” font_container=”tag:h2|text_align:left” google_fonts=”font_family:Abril%20Fatface%3Aregular|font_style:400%20regular%3A400%3Anormal”][vc_column_text]I am no chess player, I don’t even understand chess (I know that in this game, you have to trap the king though). But I do know how to play Chinese Chess. But that has got nothing to do with this review.

Psychic Chess is basically a prediction effect. A set of business size cards with chess pieces printed on the cards are laid on the table. With some gradual elimination, the last card on the table matches the prediction card that was placed on the table before the routine began.

In the performance video, it was taken outdoors at night. There is this irritating squeaking sound that keeps coming up every 2 seconds. I imagine this to be someone playing some swing in the background. Anyway, the performance was ok; I was not really impressed by it. There are many routines that use this method but Psychic Chess has nicely printed cards and even a “hint” card to aid performance. There are no moves at all but you’d need to have a setup and remember the steps to perform this. I am not a fan of such magic methods (that’s all I can say without exposing the method) as it can be lengthy and boring at times.

The cards are nicely printed on soft thin plastic stock and you can carry them in your wallet. With all the cards stacked, the thickness is about the size of two credit cards stacked together. The DVD explains clearly on how to perform this routine.  I find it hard to like this routine, I don’t know if its because I don’t like chess more or I don’t like the method more.

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Ning Cai is a Singapore Literature Prize nominated author, who was also long listed for the Epigram Books Fiction Prize in 2016. A bestselling writer, she is also recognised for her illusionist/ escapologist stage character Magic Babe Ning, and recognised by Channel News Asia as South East Asia's first professional female magician.

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