11 July 2021

How Much Do the Artisans Get?

This month's featured video is from the Business Insider #soexpensive YouTube channel, currently with 3,843,191 views and 5,600 Comments.

Why Championship Chess Sets Are So Expensive (7:42) • '[Published on] Jul 3, 2021'

The video's description says,

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?

At 3:10 into the video, we see that the set is sold by Worldchess.com. A marketing email I received from the group last year informed,

Since 2013, the sets in this design have been exclusively used in the World Chess Championship matches top events.

Will the same be true of the forthcoming Carlsen - Nepomniachtchi (m-w.com; Dubai, XI-XII, 2021) title match? We'll find out in a few short months.

As for Business Insider, it was last seen on this blog in Fabulous Fabiano (August 2017; 'All three [stories] are from businessinsider.com and were written by Matthew DeBord'). At 6:35 into the video we see a fake photo of Kasparov playing Fischer. For some reason, Business Insider has a tendancy to use fake photos. A few years I managed to do a couple of posts on the subject:-

For another take on the video, see GMHikaru's Youtube commentary, $500 Chess Set vs $1,000,000 Chess Piece, currently with 383,978 views and 814 Comments. For the previous monthly video featuring GM Hikaru Nakamura on this blog, see The Responsibility of Fame (February 2021) : 'It's been six months since a pair of previous Naka videos were turned into posts ... so it's high time for another.'

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