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

Sean Burch
·1-min read

“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. Just look at the recent performance of chess apps: Chess.com, the biggest app dedicated to the game, was already enjoying a big 2020, thanks in large part to the pandemic forcing people to play more games. Chess.com had a record 979,000 downloads in April, according to data provided by SensorTower — but that figure has already been eclipsed through the first three weeks of November, when the app was downloaded 1.4 million times. That also marks a 179% increase from October. Zynga’s Chess With Friends app has also seen a recent spike in downloads....

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