Five gifts for aspiring chess players
According to the marketing research company NPD Group, after 62 million households watched Netflix’s “The Queen’s Gambit” in its debut month, sales of chess sets soared by 87% in the US and sales of books on chess increased by a whopping 603%. eBay claims sales of chess sets have increased by 60% compared to last year. It appears that the intriguing series brought the ancient game to people’s attention and caused an unlikely boom. With the game growing rapidly in popularity, here is a list of five gifts for any aspiring chess players.
A travel chess set
Though most people aren’t doing a whole lot of travelling at the moment, it’s sure to resume at some point. When it does, an essential for an avid chess player is a travel chess set, like this one from John Lewis. The small, portable size also makes it convenient for those who don’t want to bring out a bulky set every time they want to play or practice. It’s also a good gift for a novice who is just dipping their toe into the world of chess, before committing to a large set.
A chess clock
As chess is a sport, it’s important that players are able to time themselves properly because play is limited. A proper game of competitive chess requires a chess clock. They’re available in all sorts of user-friendly digital forms and come with a number of settings, depending on the length of game one wishes to play. It has been found that those who practice chess with a clock are more likely to become better players and will be better prepared for tournaments. DGT clocks are the official clocks of the World Chess Federation.
A luxury chess set
A lovely present for someone getting into chess is a beautiful set they can be proud of. A wooden set with large and ornate pieces will not only look great at home, but it’ll hopefully inspire them to play more chess regularly and therefore improve. For those willing to spend a little money on their loved one, these bespoke sets from Farrar and Tanner would make a meaningful gift.
A book on chess
There are tonnes of books on chess out there, varying hugely depending on knowledge and ability. Find out the gift recipient’s ability level and buy them a book accordingly. It’s a great way for players to improve, learn special moves and understand the game better, such as this book on chess openings for beginners. There are also many novels on chess for those who really love the game and enjoyed The Queen’s Gambit.
A subscription to a website
For those getting serious about chess, a subscription to a chess website will make a fantastic present. The largest online chess training platform, Chess.com, attracts millions of chess players from all over the world. It offers a space to play others of all abilities as well as somewhere to train and learn. There are also video lessons where top players share their winning secrets.
The editorial unit