Chess Challenge Mascots
DUCKY is the noisiest of the friends (besides Dog). He never stops talking about his game and the latest opening he has learnt from his computer database. Unfortunately, he sometimes gets the moves mixed up and the Dog mates him. But Duck is learning fast and all the other animals go to him for advice before an important game.
SQUEAKS doesn't play chess, but he loves watching the game, usually from the top of his jam-jar from where he can get a good view of the board. When the position gets tense, Squeaks finds it too exciting, so he sometimes falls off his perch into the pieces. He likes solving the puzzles he sees in newspapers and composes problems of his own. Sometimes he plays chess by post; one of his games lasted over a year!
BUNNY thinks that all you have to do to win is to copy your opponent - but most of his games end in disaster, either by landing him in checkmate or losing his queen. He has learned several phrases which he trots out at various stages of the game - such as "pawns in the centre", "knights before bishops!", "don't forget to press your clock" and "I can see mate in 3 moves!".
FROG never stops jumping up and down. During the lesson he jumps up and down with his hand up - although sometimes he doesn't know the question, let alone the answer! During his game he bounces up and down while he's thinking about his moves. He doesn't seem to notice that he's jumping and nobody else minds except for Panda who gets distracted and makes her play even slower!
DOG is responsible for all the missing pieces in the chess club. Highly materialistic, he places all his captured pieces under upturned chess boxes or holds them tightly in his mouth. I guess he remembers the days when chess pieces were made out of bone. Sometimes he rushes into corners of the room and hides the chess pieces away and, as his memory is poor, he cannot always find them again.
ELEPHANT never forgets anything! He is so clever he can play several games at once. He also remembers games that he played months or years ago and enjoys reminding his opponents about their previous losses. Strangely though, Elephant cannot remember ever losing a single game!
PANDA is slow and steady. Sometimes too slow. She sits and ponders and you wonder if she has fallen asleep. When you ask her she always replied "I don't know what to move"...
HIPPO loves nothing more than taking pieces. He calls it "eating" pieces.... all you hear during the game is "chomp, chomp, chomp".
BEAR hates to lose. He is grumpy if he does -- luckily he is such a good player that it rarely happens.
COW knows all the tricks in the book, and some that aren't. Scholar's Mate, the Fried Liver, the Oh My God are some of the traps he knows inside out. He always has a cheeky look on his face, and you have to laugh when he is caught moving a pawn twice so it queens faster, or edging a piece onto another square. When beaten, Cow is unconcerned; he makes it clear that he could have won easily if he hadn't got better things to think about.
PENGUIN lives at the South Pole and finds chess an ideal occupation for those long winter evenings. With his friends, he stands around in large groups discussing chess positions to his heart's content. Penguin gets little international practice, except when his iceberg floats off to the north. However, his dream is to hold the next World Chess Olympics in Antarctica, and he is building an enormous ice palace to house this event.
TIGER plays very fast and loves attacking. He hates reading books and picks up his ideas from listening to Chirpy and watching videos! He plays gambits and always sacrifices pieces. When he is behind on points he can nearly always find a trick to win the game. Tiger is rather boastful, but too good-humoured to be a bad loser.