Why Championship Chess Sets Are So Expensive | So Expensive

An inexpensive chess set can sell for $20, but a handcrafted wooden set certified for the World Chess Championship costs $500. Much of the set’s value lies in just one piece: the knight. Each knight must be carved by hand to look exactly the same. Making this one piece takes two hours, and there are fewer than 10 people trained to carve knights for the championship chess sets. So, how are these chessmen made? And why are they so expensive?

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Why Championship Chess Sets Are So Expensive | So Expensive


  1. Although much more effort is put into carving championship kings than regular tournament kings, the tournament ones look so much nicer.

  2. if there are only 10 people who are trained to carve knights for the championship chess sets, why do they seem so undervalued to be working in some random concrete room, sitting on the floor, with a crappy fan?

  3. Biggest waste of money I could possibly imagine.

  4. failed to understand Why Championship Chess Sets Are So Expensive

  5. Wow it affects the game very true (it’s not)

  6. I have a beautiful handcrafted set from Poland. My parents decided to do a different holiday at one time and went to Poland instead of a sunny standard destination….must have been 1985 or 1986 I guess.
    They brought the set back home as a present.
    To our standards everything was really cheap there. My mother was looking at a dress on a market or something, best looking thing there and the most expensive…..people actually stopped to look if she would buy it, as if she was a queen or something. Made my folks very uncomfortable as they were just regular working class peoole themselves.

    I still have that chess set, great piece of work.

  7. If they get too expensive, they could be produced by a machine. Probably the number of championship sets is too low to make machining economic.

  8. What about 3D printer to make all these artisans unemployed ? 😂

  9. "hand carved" bit ising machines…
    But yeah, like someone else said, they deserve more pay.

  10. اباتراب [ F ] علي زامل says:

    It's so beautiful, so majestical…
    So surreal…

  11. You can buy a house for 5000$ but a castle mansion is 10000000$ lets look at how they are made and why they are so expensive

  12. "any form of contact changes the shape of the piece" no way really?

  13. I think it's a dark side of fide, those people are exploited to get $50 from $500 set, that could be produced much cheaper and easier. It's a nice set though, custom design etc etc, clearly shows the difference between people who make money on it and people who are exploited.

  14. 4:42 "The design of the chess pieces can alter the outcome of the game." What is this lady smoking on

  15. im not even joking a normal chess set costs 5$ idk if this is because its lower quality or whatever other reason

  16. Longtime chessplayer here, but the more I see the pieces the more I become determined to design a set that does away with monarchy, sexism and Christianity.

  17. This video is disgusting. It’s a pathetic and blatant attempt to glamorize exploitation.

    The chess set is expensive because of corruption. Cheap wood, cheap labor and a $490 dollar mark up on a $500 set which tournaments are contractually obligated to buy. It stinks of back room deals and corporate astroturfing.

  18. Me with my normal chess set looking at my pieces:
    “Who are you all and what is your purpose

  19. Being an Indian i can confirm that a worker get around 800 to 1200 rupees(10 to 15 usd) per day depending upon their skill level.

  20. Wow I didn't know a chess set can lower the chances of you making a mistake! (sarcasm)

  21. When Hikaru burst out laughing, when it came to the "It can effect the outcome" its defiantly bullshit

  22. I think this settles the dispute for "Knight or Bishop"🤔

  23. I'm not very good at chess due to a poor memory and concentration. But I find these things beautiful regardless

  24. But why? Master chess players could probably play with flat pieces that have letters on them indicating which piece it is…they are fine recognizing pieces on a digital screen too. Why all the bougie BS and time spent making these?

  25. Don't their long nails make them uncomfortable 😖

  26. It's insulting to act like only 10 people are capable of doing it. It just means there's an exclusivity contract.

  27. Cool vid. I finally purchased a beautiful set after many years of saving. It's a pleasure to use.

  28. I have expected to be cast out of a special brass or bronze that doesn t corrode not wothless wood😂

  29. It's so cool to see that an Indian is one of those people who carve chess pieces for Championships

  30. It's so odd, The chess set is so expensive but the makers of the pieces sit in a dark room on the floor

  31. Took them years to master then 3d printer can just print it in minutes. That's why automation and ai are scary. They would make so many people jobless

  32. How much resources (nature) do plastic pieces consume versus wooden pieces, and how much CO2 is emitted during the manufacture of the products? 🤑

  33. This episode was especially fun to make after watching “The Queen’s Gambit”. One thing we didn’t have time to include is that the board alone for the full set (worth $500) costs $220. Thanks for watching this episode! What other expensive things do you think we should cover?

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