$113.00 (List Price: $125.00)

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The Blurb

The Chess Knight’s Tour has a long and esteemed place in the history of magic and mentalism. Some of our finest performers have made this a major feature of their program.

Now Lior Manor has brought the Tour into the 21st century. He has developed a new and visually exciting way to present the Knight’s Tour. This routine has literally proven its worth around the world.

By using computer technology, Lior now allows you to have the best of both worlds – you carry almost nothing (there is certainly no need for a large or bulky board) yet everyone in the audience is assured of seeing the movement. The board is located on a computer disk, with added features that provide the demonstration with an extra level of visual appeal.

You receive a special program allowing you to incorporate tailor made changes that reflect your client’s attributes such as its corporate message.

This is a great tool for corporate workers, mentalists, and any stage magician that simply desires to add another dimension to his show.

Written by Ken Weber
Designed by Haim Goldenberg

“There are few routines that match Lior’s presentation of the Knight’s Tour for drama and suspense.

Audiences really believe this is a demonstration of ‘Super Mentality’. Lior’s use of technology allows the performer to present this remarkable routine to a large audience. Indeed, the excitement grows as each move is made because the wholechess board is visible on the screen. Although this routine requires practice and good acting skills, the investment is worth it. Once this is mastered, you have a memorable stunt that can be performed for any size audience, from a sales meeting to a theater show — and everyone in attendance will feel involved… ”
– Barrie Richardson

“It is the most brilliant innovation in the Knight’s Tour history”
– Marc Salem

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My Comments

What a great idea!  But let me perfectly honest and admit that I have a bias.  I'm not a fan of the Knight's Tour.  I remember seeing Reveen perform it many years ago and it certainly was impressive.  However, I was a young boy at that time and my memory of the presentational details is quite hazy.

There are a few main problems with the basic presentation of the Knight's Tour, as far as I'm concerned.  First, unless you have a giant, expensive board, it's hard to find a suitable size chess board that's both portable and visible for larger audiences.  (Reveen used an expensive large chess board) Second, the audience must know the game of chess, or at least how the knight moves.  They must appreciate the difficulty of doing the tour.  Even though you can explain the knight's movements before performing the tour, it can still be quite confusing to the non-chess enthusiasts, which make-up the majority of most audiences.  Third, the more squares that are toured, the less the suspense.  The audience begins to realize about two-thirds of the way through that the feat will be accomplished.  As such, the ending is almost anti-climactic.  This has been my experience with both watching and performing the basic effect.

Compare this with the magic square.  The grid is smaller (16 squares) and audiences easily understand that all the numbers add up to a certain number.  Each combination revelation is a new and amazing surprise to the audience. This plot is very easy to understand and follow.

Now, I know that quite a few may disagree with me.  But I truly feel that the Knight's Tour just isn't as powerful as the magic square.  Sure, I also know that there are mentalists that have great presentations for the Knight's Tour and that some mentalists have sleep-inducing presentations of the magic square.

That said, let me talk about Lior Manor's product.  Lior has elegantly solved the first problem.  By projecting the chess board, the audience can easily see the board.  And it is a professional looking, easy to use board.  The audience member you recruit only needs to use the mouse and click on each square as the performer calls it out.

And it is for this reason that I state the following:  If you perform Knight's Tour, especially for corporate audiences, you need to have this product.  Solving the problem of its visibility to the audience is an invaluable addition.

I should also point out that to do this effect, you'll need to have access to a computer and a projector.  The program is small enough to keep on a flash drive, so you can borrow these items if you need to.

Let's talk about the other features.  After the tour is completed, a picture or a message appears.  The message can be anything you want it to say.  Unfortunately, in regards to the picture, it is fixed and you cannot import your own picture or logo.  I wish that feature would have been there.

Also, I would have liked to see an optional timer.  The few times I've performed the Knight's Tour, I used a timer that added another level of suspense.  Those in the audience who didn't understand the difficulty of the Knight's Tour could at least understand the need for the performer to land on all the squares before time runs out.  This is a very minor quibble, of course.

Another feature I would have liked to see is for the program to identify, or light up, the L shape pattern that the Knight makes as each square is chosen and eliminated.  The pattern could light up for a split second and then disappear along with the chosen square.  This would make it much easier for those who don't understand the game to see that the Knight's movements are correct.

The package includes a CD with the program in two formats, one for PCs and one for Macs, and a PDF file for the 23-page instructions by Ken Weber.  The best way to do the knight's tour involves some serious memorization work and there are explanations for some of the better techniques to enable you to do this.  The instructions also include Lior's presentation with some handling touches that Lior uses to heighten the effect dramatically.

Despite my bias about the Knight's Tour (perhaps I need to see Lior perform it live), and the absence of features I would have liked to see, Lior's program is highly recommended and essential to anyone who performs, or wishes to perform, the Knight's Tour.  If you have never performed the Knight's Tour, everything you need to help you learn it is included.  Technically, I think Lior priced it a bit high, but it's definitely worth it to the corporate mentalist who will easily recoup the cost with any one performance.