How The Queen's Gambit and the Pandemic Turned Into a Perfect Storm of Sales for Chess

Netflix's leading series might even be helping your kids get smarter

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In the summer of 1972, a world in the grip of the Cold War found its attention drawn to an unlikely face-off between the superpowers: the World Chess Championship match between Boris Spassky of the Soviet Union and America’s own Bobby Fischer. Over 21 games played in Reykjavik, Iceland, the cantankerous and unpredictable Fischer came from behind and trounced his Communist opponent, snaring a title that the Soviets had held for over three decades.

In the days that followed, excited Americans did what excited Americans usually do: They went out and spent money.



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