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Logical reason for chess set shortage...Not The Queen's Gambit!

magictwanger

I'm really just surmising this,with the hopes of getting a bit of differing opinions on the subject.

My sense of what's going on with the chess set production/shortage/price increase situation leads me to believe it is much more of a Covid related issue,rather than the popularity of the show(which was great).

Logic dictates that the entire chain of production has taken a huge hit,from tha damn virus and it has trickled all the way down,from the wood turners to supply etc.

See what's going on in India(so sad) and you can't get a flow of "product" on a regular basis....so,the "sold out" labels we see on so many sets is more likely to be a viral related issue,with so many people either out all together,or working at a snails pace.

I loved the Q.G. show and I know so many folks who watched it and loved it(it deserved the accolades)....but.....I don't know of a single person who decided to buy a chess set,due to the show,let alone take up the game!

Maybe I am wrong and it's only my neck of the woods,but the virus' impact just makes more sense to me.

 

TheOneCalledMichael

For sure because of the lockdowns people are staying put at home and out of boredom they just go binge on anything. It's just that the TQB is catchy, good casting, wonderful sceneries, intriguing story so even people who never think of chess before got to think what is this chess thing is about and want to try it out. It also woke up people like me out of 35+ years of slumber. So I'd say TGB is definitely the catalysator in all this .

Powderdigit
G’day Magic,

The pandemic must be affecting supplies globally but especially in India at present. Within India - one can only imagine how hard it is to keep quality control across the production process - particularly if people are coming and going with infections or worse. I have a work colleague from India and 15 of his family members have contracted the virus - thankfully all are recovering - touch wood. (Or wooden chess pieces 😉.)

Then, add in tighter cross-border controls and these would be making the entire global supply chain harder and slower to navigate.

It is a very tricky situation as people and businesses would be keen to continue working to ensure their livelihoods are maintained and yet, governments are trying to restrict the movement of people to make it harder for the virus to transmit.

I do think supply has been affected by a double blow though - I am sure that I saw numerous articles noting how retail sales of chess sets had exploded after the Queen’s Gambit.

It’s a perfect storm for a chess industry where India is central to so much of global supply.

Outside of chess, I must say that I feel thankful that (at present) the situation in Australia (and where I live in the state of Victoria) has the pandemic largely under control and we are living reasonably normally after severe lockdowns in 2020.

magictwanger

I don't know.....I think "The Monopoly Guy" might disagree.-happy.png

TheOneCalledMichael

For stocks and supply to run out there must be a demand for it first and from what I've read and saw on interviews the demand/sales exploded after the TGB just like mister Power said. And it's also true for people in India who get the worse hit by pandemic it's tough to continue the supplies when you ran out of resources ( people )because some of them if not most they are out of running for a while.

IpswichMatt

I've taken advantage of the increase in popularity to sell most of my antique sets. The prices seem to have approximately doubled for old sets.

Hopefully in a few years I'll be able to buy them back...

Does anyone think the prices will start to drop? If so, when? Whether the surge in popularity is due the TQG or the virus it will be on the wane in a few months, and the prices will start to drop a few months after that IMO. Interested in other peoples' opinions though as I still have some sets to sell

SpanishStallion

Mainly due to the pandemic and Queen’s gambit chess prices have gone up and quality gone down. Prices will come down in the next few months as covid subsides. 

MCH818

In one way another, it was all caused by Covid. Covid was like the fuel and the QG was the flame. I think during the lockdown many people were bored. They watched lots of shows including the QG. The QG show brought many back to chess which caused a surge in chess sales. Even my step sister who has not played chess in a long time bought a chess set from Amazon. This caused all of the chess supplies to disappear. Covid also caused supply chain issues. There were difficulties with raw materials, craftsmen, logistics, and many other issues.

IpswichMatt
MCH818 wrote:

 Even my step sister who has not played chess in a long time bought a chess set from Amazon. This caused all of the chess supplies to disappear.

Bit harsh on your step-sister there @MCH818

TheOneCalledMichael

lol oh mister Mc, go to bed!

Pawnerai

OTB Chess was/is such a small niche market, any small bump in interest will cause equipment supply disruptions.

Early on in the pandemic (US) along with the usual shortages of masks, bathroom supplies, and cleaning products, one strange shortage that stood out was baking yeast. Are people eating more bread? Was there a Baker's Gambit show I missed?! No. Some people were stuck at home and took up baking. Was it a huge widespread earth-shattering paradigm shift? No. It was a small uptick in people who wanted to start baking at home during lockdown and work from home. But it was enough to disrupt the supply of this niche ingredient in the supermarket. 

I don't know of one person who has taken up OTB chess due to the pandemic or TQG. 

TheOneCalledMichael

Shortage of baking yeast? That's okay, we got it worse here for short amount of time. We had shortage of toilet papers! Mud! I'm tellin' ya, mud! 

Eyechess

The pandemic did set the stage.  But the Queen’s Gambit did trigger the huge buying surge.

I know this because I spoke with Shelby of American Chess Equipment, Kevin of The House of Staunton, and Raphael of The Chess House, back in December and early January.  They all told me it was The Queen’s Gambit response that literally flooded them with orders. People would call them telling them this.  A lot bought their first Chess set and wanted it to be the same as what they saw in the series.

 

MCH818
IpswichMatt wrote:
MCH818 wrote:

 Even my step sister who has not played chess in a long time bought a chess set from Amazon. This caused all of the chess supplies to disappear.

Bit harsh on your step-sister there @MCH818

Haha! Well if you only show those two sentences then yes it looks harsh.

MCH818
TheOneCalledMichael wrote:

lol oh mister Mc, go to bed!

I couldn't sleep. Sometimes I wonder if playing blitz against the computer in bed is a good idea before bedtime.

magictwanger

Those first 2 sentences by "MCH",in post #8, were quite perfect as a play on words.

Clearly,MCH is a smart guy......He beat the 2000 ELO rated Bot named Li.......she's crushed me about 30 times already.I am better at collecting nice sets than playing....Obviously.-happy.png

MCH818
magictwanger wrote:

Those first 2 sentences by "MCH",in post #8, were quite perfect as a play on words.

Clearly,MCH is a smart guy......He beat the 2000 ELO rated Bot named Li.......she's crushed me about 30 times already.I am better at collecting nice sets than playing....Obviously.-

Haha! I got lucky. I lost two more times after that. I think my win must have been a result of a computer bug.

magictwanger

You deserve the credit and the regular hangout crowd now know.happy.png

MCH818
magictwanger wrote:

You deserve the credit and the regular hangout crowd now know.

Thanks!