'The Queen's Gambit' Piques Interest In Chess

The Queen's Gambit quickly became a wild success on Netflix, but the streaming series isn't the only one benefitting from the series' popularity.

Game and toy companies, as well as online marketplaces like eBay, are riding the Gambit wave—i.e., a growing interest in chess sets and boards.

"Ever since The Queen's Gambit launched, our chess sales have increased triple digits," said Elizabeth LoVecchio, a VP of marketing at Spin Master toy company.

"Six months ago, a year ago, these retailers weren't saying, let's load up on chess sets," said toy analyst Gerrick Johnson. "Good luck finding a chess set this holiday!"

The show debuted on Netflix just before Halloween, but it remains firmly settled on the top-ten list of most-watched shows. Although Netflix does not release detailed viewership data, the service claimed that over 62 million households have watched the show in its first 28 days on the site.

"The chess community fell in love with the series because it successfully portrays different aspects of chess in all its richness: It's easy enough to be fun to play, but also complex enough to pose a challenge," said International Chess Federation Spokesperson David Llada. "It is nerdy, but also cool and fashionable. It is intensively competitive, but full of interesting, creative, and colorful characters."

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