Interest in Chess Rises Thanks to “The Queen’s Gambit”

Netflix released a miniseries called “The Queen’s Gambit,” a story about a female chess prodigy. As a result, chess has gained a renewed interest in the US.

“The Queen’s Gambit” is based on Walter Tevis’ 1983 novel by the same title, about an orphaned Kentucky girl in the 1960’s who becomes a chess champion while still in her teens. While the viewers identify with her struggles (such as addiction, loss, and personal conflict), Chess is seeing significant rise in popularity. Since its launch in 2007, chess.com has seen 12.2 million new members since March 2020, which includes 3.2 million that joined after the show’s debut in late October.

In fact, in the first three weeks after its debut, chess set sales went up by 87%, while book sales have gone up by 603%. Chess sales had been relatively flat before 2020.

Many people are finding its consistency and structure to be comforting in a time where there is no such thing.

Chess had been a traditionally “nerdy” game favored by men, but “The Queen’s Gambit” has created an interest in girls and women, who identified with Beth Harmon’s character.

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