The 7 Best Chess Sets for the Avid “Queen’s Gambit” Fan
It's almost impossible to find a chess set now. Because it's 2020.
Nota bene: If you buy through the links in this article, InsideHook may earn a small share of the profits.
Since the launch of the very popular The Queen’s Gambit on Netflix last month, specialty chess retailers reportedly experienced an unprecedented 1,000 percent increase in sales. The miniseries follows Beth Harmon, played by Anya-Taylor Joy, on her way to becoming the best chess player in the world. Now, whether it’s due to viewers’ desire to ignite their own inner chess prodigy or how perfectly the show’s release coincided with the holiday season, chess sets — particularly of the wooden variety — are becoming increasingly harder to track down.
So if you planned on picking a set up in hopes of learning the game yourself, or to gift to the devout fan of The Queen’s Gambit on your list you’ll want to act fast. We went ahead and compiled a list of seven that are still in stock and ready to ship.
CB2 Exclusive Marble Set
This marble set puts a modern twist on the traditional wooden version. Hand carved and polished by artisans in India, these game pieces could double as a sleek update to your coffee table decor should you decide chess isn’t your quarantine hobby of choice.
Bey-Berk Leather Chess Set
This board, both for its shape and fabrication, is certainly the most refined of the bunch. Made of black wood and leather, this set is meant to be played over a dram of your favorite Scotch.
Bey-Berk Art Deco Set
This set, albeit a bit more mid-century modern, errs more on the side of tradition. If you’re in the market as a result of having binge watched The Queen’s Gambit, this one might be more your speed.
Minimalist Wooden Set from Pottery Barn
In Pottery Barn’s take on the traditional wooden set, you’ll find game pieces that are just as functional as they are aesthetically pleasing. This board would make a great gift for the beginners or the interior decor enthusiasts in your life.
The Wobble Chess Set
This set from Umbra is a little unconventional, but it’s dual purpose in that it serves as a great conversation piece. The concave board is designed to keep the chrome-bottomed game pieces from toppling over, though it doesn’t keep them from rocking around a bit, adding a bit more life to your game.
Scully & Scully Wood and Leather Chess Set
If you’re looking for legit Queen’s Gambit-level of authenticity, this set from Scully & Scully is a solid option. Both the board and game pieces are handmade of Italian wood and leather, making this a really great gift for the more experienced player.
Lladró Chess Set
This Lladró Chess Set is a remake of the original Lladró, which first gained traction in the 1980’s. The porcelain pieces are a tribute to the Middle Ages, and the early days of chess play. The most expensive of our round-up, this board isn’t suited for everyday play, but would make a great investment piece.
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