As Netflix’s ‘The Queen’s Gambit’ Captures Fans, Chess App Downloads Have Doubled

Since show’s debut last month, online interest in chess through apps, message boards and Twitch videos has exploded

“The Queen’s Gambit” hasn’t just been a big hit for Netflix. The new show — which Netflix announced on Monday had set a company record with 62 million views in its first month — has also been a boon to the online chess community.

The numbers don’t lie. Since the show started streaming on October 23, chess apps have seen record downloads, Reddit’s main chess subreddit has been thriving and people are streaming more chess content than ever before on sites like Twitch. And “Queen’s Gambit,” which focuses on Beth Harmon, a fictional chess prodigy from the ’50s and ’60s, looks to be the driving force.

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Sean Burch

Tech reporter • • @SeanB44