‘Queen’s Gambit’ series inspires Kentuckians to buy chess

Published: Nov. 27, 2020 at 4:55 PM EST
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Most Hollywood storylines feature large cosmopolitan cities like Chicago, San Francisco or New York. But the setting of The Queen’s Gambit, one of Netflix’s most popular series, is right in our own backyard.

“I didn’t realize it was set in Lexington until they said New Circle at the beginning of episode one.” Legendary Games Lexington general manager Anthony Devarti says the fictional limited series is accurate.

“It’s a really good depiction of what those sort of things were like and honestly they’re not that terribly different today,” Devarti said.

The show follows Beth Harmon as she discovers herself, and the game of chess.

“In the show she picked up chess because she was kind of bored and wanted to do something besides sing. And it became a lifelong interest for the main character,” Devarti said.

Now, chess has become a interest big for customers.

“We are constantly selling out of chess sets right now,” Devarti said. “We can’t keep them in stock. We make them in-house, some of them. We have some speciality ones, we make a basic one in-house,” Devarti said.

The show’s title is a chess move that Devarti says is risky.

“Even though you have control of the board for a bit, that doesn’t guarantee you control in the end game and if you ever take your foot off the gas, you’re in a bad spot,” Devarti said.

Legendary Games employees told our Shelby Lofton their demand is so high, they ran out of their homemade sets. We went to the Richmond store to see one being made, and it takes 13 hours to 3D print half of a set.

“We’re just cranking out those chess sets as fast as we possibly can,” Devarti said.

Employees said chess isn’t necessarily a quick-paced game, but the sets are flying off the shelves ahead of the holidays.

Devarti says he’s seen multiple parents with their young daughters come in--daughters inspired by a female protagonist.

“When you see a woman not just participating, but excelling in a field, it makes that more accessible, it makes that more interesting for young girls that are watching,” Devarti said.

Legendary Games Lexington employees are encouraging people to shop local for games this year. They said employees can help find games suited for shoppers and their friends.

In a year when the game of life has taken a turn for the worst, a show set in the Bluegrass means so much more to the player.

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