10 great items for The Queen’s Gambit chess fans

10 months ago

Throughout seven thrilling episodes, Netflix’s hit series The Queen’s Gambit does what many people previously considered impossible: it makes chess exciting. This seriously great show follows the careening career of chess prodigy Beth Harmon, from how she learns the game from a janitor to throwing down the gauntlet in international tournaments. Hopefully, The Queen’s Gambit will spur a new generation to get into chess. At the very least, it should inspire you to snatch up some gifts for your favorite chess player or fan. Have a look at some of these great deals on great chess-related items.

Get on board | Wooden Chess Set

All chess obsessives, whether new ones or masters, need solid, dependable chess sets for their game. You can’t do much better than this deluxe board and carrying case from aGreatLife. Made from wood, fully magnetized, foldable, and portable for games against total strangers in random parks, this set comes with chess pieces that have been individually hand-crafted by artisans with high attention spans. It’s a great foundation for your burgeoning chess career or haunted obsession, whichever it is.

Turn back time | Wooden Mechanical Chess Timer Clock

The biggest non-human star of The Queen’s Gambit is, without question, the chess timer clock they use in every tournament scene. This dual-faced timing device looms over every match, regulating the action, adding tension, and making sure everyone remembers to take a lunch break. Perfect for both pro chess tournaments and learning the game, this durable chess timer runs on a winding mechanism (no batteries required), with ruthlessly efficient stop-start buttons on top that make a loud “clacking” noise to drive your opponent crazy.

Fear through clothing | Chess Player Pullover Hoodie

One of the most striking aspects of The Queen’s Gambit was the costume design: A veritable walk-in closet of ‘60s suburban pastels and hip urban sophistication. This chess-related hoodie was nowhere to be found in the series at all, but it’s a slam-dunk choice if there’s ever a modern sequel. It’s unisex clothing available in three different shades, displaying silhouettes of chess pieces above the ominously ironic phrase “Choose Your Weapon,” in case you decide your best chance of getting inside your opponent’s head is by wearing a sweater.

Put chess across your chest | Vintage Chess Shirt

From the casual wear mavens at Vintage Retro Chess Apparel, this subtle, alluring T-shirt combines the nobility of chess pieces with the rustic, nostalgic imagery of late-70s surfboard shops, or maybe early-80s sci-fi network television. Whichever reference sounds more dated. The T-shirt, however, is timeless, featuring silhouettes of oncoming chess pieces, advancing methodically against the backdrop of a fragmented sunset. We can hear you yanking out your wallets now.

Use your words | Chess For Beginners

Canadian chess master Yelizaveta Orlova welcomes new recruits to the game with an immensely helpful, introductory book. Chess for Beginners makes the challenge of learning chess much less daunting, like a much less gruff Mr. Shaibel in book form. Orlova outlines all the rules of the game and describes a few strategies and tactics that can get novice chess players up to speed and winning games in no time. This book is the first step in removing the fear from chess and instilling it in your opponents.

Chess is a snap | LEGO Iconic Chess Set

This winning game board and piece set combine the majesty of chess with the build-it-yourself ethos of LEGO. Snap all the dissembled components together, fashion all the individual pieces in trusty plastic armor, and you’re ready to conduct multiple chess battles the LEGO way. If 8-year-old Beth were a kid in today’s world, this may well have been her introduction to the game that consumed her very soul. It also has checker pieces for those whose obsessions are a bit less complex.

Play with power | Black Frosted Glass Chess Set

This unique chess set from Avant Garde represents the cold, hard strategy and icy ruthlessness of chess far better than those fold-up boards with the loud red and black squares. The frosted, mirrored glass of this chessboard isn’t so much a game surface as it is a portal to infinity over which each chess piece makes their forceful and fatal dance. If you ever find yourself in a Scandinavian movie playing a chess game with Death, this is the board you’ll want.

So much winning | Custom Engraved Chess Glass Trophy

Everyday chess fans simply pursue their hobby out of love for the game. But surely, they occasionally wish they could get a trophy like the ones Beth keeps racking up. Validate your chess-loving friend’s casual drift into obsession with this handsome, fully personalized glass trophy. Whether it’s used as a thoughtful gift or for an actual trophy for an actual tournament, this tasteful relic with a special engraved message is a vessel of pride and gamesmanship that you can also drink beer from.

Tread lightly | Chess Crew Socks

There are several ways to measure the depth of someone’s personal passions, but few are as telling as novelty socks. When it spreads to your feet, folks, it’s more than a passing phase. It’s real. The people at Good Luck Sock know this, and to that end, they’ve made some special footwear for chess fans. When you give these attractive, affordable socks adorned with stitched-in chess pieces to a player you know, you’re telling them you understand their obsession at an intimate, personal level, but not in a weird or uncomfortable way. That’s the power of socks.

Drink it in | Eat Sleep Chess Mug

Let’s just say there’s a lot of drinking of liquids in The Queen’s Gambit. While some of the liquids on the show had more noticeable effects than other liquids, one thing’s for sure: All the liquids would have fit perfectly inside this 11-ounce mug. It bears the message “Eat. Sleep. Chess.” While we’d suggest other life functions — say, drinking — in that life strategy, it’s not a bad place for chess players to start.

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