When Netflix first released The Queen’s Gambit, a miniseries set in the 1950s and 1960s, no one really expected it to become a global success, nor could they have predicted the growing cultural impact the show would have. The story of child prodigy Beth Harmon and her quest to become the best chess player in the world while grappling with addiction has had millions glued to the screen. As a result, sales of chess sets and boards have spiked, to say the least.
The Queen’s Gambit Has Increased Chess Sales by 1,000+ Percent
According to Elizabeth LoVecchio, vice president of marketing at a toy company, their chess sales have increased by triple digits, while another company, Goliath Games, reports that sales of their chess sets have gone up by more than 1,000% since the release of the hit Netflix miniseries. The Queen’s Gambit has also managed to boost sales on one of the biggest eCommerce platforms in the world, eBay, with chess sales rising by 215%. If six months ago, you could find a chess set anywhere, the same might not be possible this holiday season!
The Miniseries Portrays the True Fashion of Chess
In an interview for Vanity Fair, Jennifer Shahade, a two-time women’s chess champion, said that The Queen’s Gambit is particularly accurate at portraying the various facets of the game. Especially the fact that quite often in chess, you get to play against younger or older players, and you should never discriminate against an opponent based on that. You’re neither less nor more than anyone else.
Beth Harmon’s story of rising to the top of a male-dominated sport is both inspiring and deeply captivating. All chess games in the series are choreographed by professional chess players, including former World Champion, Garry Kasparov. That could also explain why people have been getting chess fever and buying more chess sets after the release of the show.