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2020 has introduced its fair share of surprises and among them is a rise in chess set sales. The public’s sudden interest in the cognitive board game was made popular solely thanks to the October-released Netflix series The Queen’s Gambit, and it’s been such a hit that chess sets have been flying off the shelves.
The Netflix period drama follows the story of a chess prodigy named Beth Harmon who masterfully defeats her opponents as the only woman in the then-male-dominated world of chess.
While Harmon’s story includes some struggles along the way (don’t worry, we won’t spoil anything for you), the one takeaway many got from the series is that chess is actually cool — and there are several reports to prove it!
According to the New York Times, Goliath Games, a toy company that sells several varieties of chess sets, reported that sales are up more than 1,000 percent compared with this time last year. A spokesperson for eBay also echoed that sentiment, telling the publication that the company recorded a 215 percent increase in sales of chess sets and accessories since The Queen’s Gambit debuted in October.
With sales skyrocketing at record rates like these, it’s currently a bit of a task to find a chess set that’s both affordable and well made. Thankfully, Amazon still has a few in stock, and based on thousands of customer reviews, these are six of the best — and they’re all under-$50.
1. Chess Armory Wooden Chess Set With Felted Game Board Interior, $28.99 (Orig. $32.99)
2. Frosted Glass Chess Set With Felted Bottoms, $22.97
3. Harry Potter Wizard Chess Set, $33.20
4. Magnetic Wooden Chess And Checkers Set, $39.95
5. Quiver Triple Weighted Combination Chess Set, $25.95
6. Croove Electronic Chess And Checkers Set, $49.99 (Orig. $59.99)
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