Beth Harmon has officially made chess cool again.
And, apparently, viewers are very eager to get in on the chess action themselves. According to Netflix’s press release, Google searches for “how to play chess” have more than doubled. And now The NPD Group — which tracks consumer spending across a variety of categories — has released data showing that sales for chess sets have increased by 87% in the three weeks following the show’s debut on Oct. 23. Even more impressively, chess book sales rose by 603%.
Some of the book titles that have seen a sales increase include Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess by Bobby Fischer, Chess Fundamentals by Jose Capablanca, Chess for Kids by Michael Basman, and The Complete Book of Chess Strategy: Grandmaster Techniques from A to Z by Jeremy Silman.
Before Beth Harmon’s chess domination became must-watch TV, week-over-week sales for chess books and chess sets had been relatively flat for about 13 weeks.
“The idea that a streaming television series can have an impact on product sales is not a new one, but we are finally able to view it through the data,” Juli Lennett, toys industry advisor for NPD, said in an official press release. “The sales of chess books and chess sets, which had previously been flat or declining for years, turned sharply upward as the popular new series gained viewers.”