Netflix show ‘The Queen’s Gambit’ sparks huge surge in chess set sales

"We might all be pros by December 2," an eBay spokesperson said

Netflix series The Queen’s Gambit has prompted a huge surge in the sale of chess sets, eBay has confirmed.

The show, based on Walter Tevis’ 1983 novel of the same name, follows the life of an orphan chess prodigy, Beth Harmon, played in the show by Anya Taylor-Joy.

eBay has now revealed that the website saw a 273% surge in searches for chess sets over the first 10 days of the show being released on Netflix.


Nouman Qureshi, Toys Category Manager at eBay UK, told Metro: “We’re seeing shoppers turn to more traditional forms of entertainment during this second lockdown.

“This includes a big uptake in the classic game of chess, which if things continue as they are, we might all be pros at by December 2.”

Thomas Brodie-Sangster, who plays chess maverick Benny Watts on the show, praised the era in which The Queen’s Gambit is set – the 1960s. “I’ve always wanted to work in the 1960s,” he told NME. “I loved being there; the cars, the fashions, the styles, the hair. All of it. It’s very cool.”

In a three-star review of The Queen’s Gambit, NME said: “Beth’s experiences as an addict and a woman in the world of chess may be new ground for television, but Frank and co-creator Allan Scott do little to address evolving attitudes around such themes, focusing instead on a likeable lead.

“Taylor-Joy embodies the chic, placid poster girl effortlessly with her orb-like eyes and swan-like posture. As an addict however she’s still shown to be glamorous, moving lucidly around kitsch interiors while drinking from a bottle as if in a music video.”

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