Has Netflix and The Queen’s Gambit Turned Chess into 2020’s Most Popular Board Game?

It would be an understatement to say that Netflix’s smash hit, The Queen’s Gambit, has been a monumental success. With an audience of 62 million in its first 28 days online, it has quickly become the most popular original show on Netflix – a feather in its cap for fresh programming and writing. While the show is praised for its representation of strong female leads, its cinematography, and brilliant writing; the show has led to a phenomenal growth in interest for the 1500-year-old board game that the show shares its premise with. Chess has never been more popular, and we have the data to back it up. Not only have chessboard sales jumped 87% in the US after the show’s release, but Google Search and Trend data reveals how influential the show has been. So, what has been happening online?

Monthly searches for Chess went up 189% in November following the release of The Queen’s Gambit

Using Google Trend and search data, we can see the massive jump in popularity of the game chess coinciding with the release and internet buzz surrounding The Queens Gambit. The increase was a huge 189% compared to the average for the 11 months prior. The graphs below illustrate the strong correlation between the interest in the show and the subsequent interest in chess that boons in the days following.

Graph Showing The Queens Gambit Google Trend Data

Graph Showing Chess Google Trend Data

Chess is ending 2020 as UK’s most searched for board game

Additionally, we can see how this interest surrounding chess has put it leaps and bounds ahead of some of the UKs most popular board and party games. With interest jumping 122%, interest in chess has surpassed the likes of Monopoly and other in popularity as we head into the festive season. With a subdued Christmas ahead, has Britain found its go-to board game to see out 2020? Chess rankings against popular board games   Moreover, chess became the most searched for board or party game in October alongside Monopoly with 135,000 searches. For the month on November, searches for chess could exceed 300,000 if forecasts align to the information provided by Google Trends.

Most searched for board and party games

We are not just searching for chess, we are learning how to play too

The first national lockdown saw a dramatic non-seasonal increase in those looking to learn how to play chess. Chess.com saw 1000 new users signing up to play every day, and interest is swelling even more during this period. During November we have seen a 56% interest in ‘How to Play Chess’ compared to the first peak during March and April.

Google Trends how to play chess

  For more campaigns, data and insights explore our blog or see the services we have to offer.     Sources – Google Ads for historical keywords, Google Trends data for forecasts and trend monitoring.
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