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. The carving may be good but to me the knight's design is extremely underwhelming.

  2. "Hair on a knight's tail", huh? Stay in school, kids.

  3. 32 pieces? No spare queens? So if an average Joe buys a set, they have to learn to win without promoting 6 pawns? Takes all the fun out of it.

  4. "From the hair on the knight's tail." That isn't the tail.

  5. It's just carving. You can't convince me it takes 6 years to recreate an already-existing design. With how exact their designs are (moreso than our tech industry lol), They could most definitely just have these machined in a factory environment.

  6. Because of this video now I know Championship Chess Sets is just like Balenciaga, ridiculous overprice product. Thank You

  7. had one of these and threw it away into garbage, didnt look expensive, I still have the board, but i use it as a paperweight the lacquer is all cracked, it's banged up

  8. ♟♟♟♟♟♟♟♟♟♟♟♟♟♟♟♟

  9. they buy those overseas for $20
    and sell it to us for $500 is that fair???

  10. I wonder if vibrating anal beads that help you cheat at heads-up chess are made with this much care.

  11. Taryn Varricchio, the "T" in the middle of your words. You need to work on it. 🙂

  12. So why don'twe use high tech machine to design them??

  13. Huh, a bunch of fucked up socialists in the comments

  14. Meh. I've paid under $10 for every chess set I own, and I'm perfectly satisfied with them. You dont need to overspend to enjoy something.

  15. I only buy sets carved with only the artisans teeth and fingernails

  16. 1:53 – less than ten people are trained. When it comes to these poor Indian artisans, LESS sounds also additionally humiliating and disrespectful. Would saying nine or eight instead do any harm?

  17. Please don't tell lies. Championship chess don't have any such criteria to use a certain chess sets. And these wooden set are easily available in India between USD 100 – 200. Rest of the money goes to midman pockets and they claim to cost USD 500.

  18. Why special championship sets? Why not just regular chest pieces like in any other chest set?

  19. In the Future we will have an ISO for chess pieces .

  20. Lol when Business Insider forgets where the tail goes on a horse, it's called a mane bro, and then completely ignores the wage disparity between luxury chess sets and the craftsman who make them. Honest question, how much do you think he pays his craftsman. Maybe that's the more interesting story here, Business Insider.

  21. I just love all these comments couldn't say it better my self
    Only expensive for the sake of being expensive

  22. Is it me or are they not that well carved ? Iv seen and owned some really beautiful hand carved antique sets admittedly they are worth wore that 500 a set some of them but still these are championship grade ?

  23. My great uncle could carve the most realistic chess pieces with his carving knifes. He also did metal sculptures and did a metal Kachina for the Barry Goldwater collection .

  24. Я вот не могу понять. А какой смысл играть дорогими фигурами? Какая разница между конем за много денег и конем за копейки? Купите еды бедным.

  25. Please tell me that these craftsmen are making a really great living from producing these sets. I'd have a coe if I knew that the company is raking in the profits while paying the craftsmen pennies a day.

  26. "Knight's tail"? Rather a "horse's mane"!

  27. Lol wtf 500$ is still a rip off 😂 tryin to make it sound all intricate I'm dying 😂🤣😂🤣😂

  28. aaahh … india…. one of the country known for their cleanliness …. look at those long nails …..

  29. Lowering the chances of making a mistake? U sure

  30. 2:30 You do realize that a horse's tail isn't on the back of its head, right? That's called a mane.

  31. "Master Craftsman" after spending only 4 to 6 months in a hut in India 🇮🇳
    Wow, the term Master Craftsman is really getting used generously these days 🤣

  32. I always improve the knights of my sets because those are the figures that the manufacturer has saved on. I've had to do this a few times now because I give the sets to my opponents as a prize if they have won the most games of the evening. They often think I paid a lot of money for the sets because of the knights.

  33. Yeah these sets actually aren’t expensive enough for the labor that goes into them

  34. Short answer, coz people with more money than they could spend in a lifetime are total wankers.

  35. Theres more technology in one of those cameras than in their entire operation.

  36. I swear.. I can smell the wood through my screen, cause of the amount hitting the camera.

  37. Something wrong with you if you pay $500 for a chess set.

  38. You can basically use a 3d cutter and programming to do this for wayyyy cheaper on a large scale.

  39. Don't you just love these videos that make you question your life choices and debate on whether or not to move to a foreign country and start making chess men to save the industry from dying off

  40. why is everyone in the comments so confident that the workers are only getting payed $5? I'm not denying it i just wanna know where this information is coming from

  41. I'm hoping for a chessup for christmas. It looks pretty amazing after watching some unboxing/reviews. It's not wood, but it's high tech.

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