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. I appreciate the craftsmanship, however, let's all realize that finding chess sets will never become a problem…

  2. Its because the 50cent/hour these guys get. ☝🏻

  3. Interestingly, chess is one of those games where the quality of the equipment has no effect on the outcome. Mine is plastic.

  4. My dad surprised my brother with a chess set which cost $150, his dogs chewed the chess set pieces (the dogs were fine) but the pieces were destroyed… My dad was so disappointed

  5. I am an Indian, ordered a leather wallet which came from Australia spending 70 USD and later found its engraved as "Proudly made in India". The similar wallets are available in Indian market for 12 USD. Most of the time we don't pay for the quality or craftsmanship, but for the marketing.

  6. Seems world class not always flashy advanced and fancy…

    Just look at that factory slum…

  7. It costs so much because the distributors are chisellers of the price.

  8. Honestly $500 seems way too cheap for a full hand-crafted 32 piece set by master artisans

  9. The fact that I can go buy a set of identical pieces with just as much quality and precision (made by a certain eastern country) for less than $20, says a lot about how dumb people that buy into this bs are.

  10. You think 500 is expensive? Especially cuz they do it manually on a lathe?They need to be perfectly simetric. If you think 500$ is expensive you on strong weed. Then again it is made in India, and those pp look like they work in a factory. They would get a lot more if they would work for themselves but… I seen a nice looking board and pieces ( not the most elegant or the most durable, flawless but ok for 250 pounds ( around 300 $ i guess )and although they are not unique, one of a kind, but still it looks like the wood is naturally left, without making it too ''factory made" . You would think that is easier considering you don't need to shape the wood too much, but still for 300$ it also has a drawer and the legs can be unscrewed. If i would do it by hand without making each piece of that table 1 million times with the help of 10 pp it would take me 2 days. 150 % a day is nothing. But i guess if they are made in India, or Cuba 300$ for the seller is fantastic especially if he doesn't have to work but employ others. If only the workers would know the true value of what they're making.

  11. There is no justifiable reason why the chess pieces are so expensive; it is just a rip-off.

  12. I’m so glad I’m not the only one who was put off by this video. It’s so glamorized, these people aren’t “master artisans”, they’re laborers in a sweatshop. If these people were payed like master artisans, these chess sets would cost thousands.

  13. Chess pieces today are carved on a computerised machine with precision cutting, better quality, far cheaper to buy and are produced in bulk in a proper factory and not by a few people in some stinking Indian workshop!

  14. Another example of exclusivity and monopoly ….where is the wow factor, when 1000's skilled craftsmen's are lacking opportunity ???

  15. uhhh… Pretty sure that "Tournament king" would require a bit more skill to be handmade than the "championship" piece… Was this video a meme? I genuinely can not tell

  16. If this company was in America 🇺🇸 I would love to work and learn how to make chess pieces, especially the knight.

  17. My father have chess factroy and he is india

  18. Business insider, please take this comment section as a lesson in not falling for and propagating marketing bullshit as much anymore. This is just pretentious.

  19. I am so glad chess is becoming less revered and online speed matches are becoming more popular

  20. I’m sorry, but I really am confused by this video. I’m not a woodworker, by any means, but I think this video was suggested to me cuz I watch an absurd amount of videos on woodworkers. I swear I’m not trying to pass judgment (even though it definitely sounds like I am), but I’m trying to figure out why these artisans are so exceptionally rare for this particular skillset. Don’t get me wrong, what they’re doing is CRAZY impressive, but the video makes this skillset sound so dramatic. Didn’t the narrator say that only 10 people in the world know how to make these chess pieces (or something to that effect)? I’ve watched videos on woodworkers that have taken a lopsided tree root and turn it into a medieval goblet with intricate, carving patterns.

    To me, this looks like a sweatshop with people who just learned how to do the same carvings over and over, year after year. Idk…maybe I’m just too critical and not seeing the rarity here. 🤷🏻‍♀️

  21. I thought the name said "Why Championship Cheese Are So Expensive".

  22. @2:30 I like the way that horses tails come out of the back of their head. It's impor-ant to know your horse anatomy.

  23. What an amazing group of artisans. I just hope they were paid more😩

  24. I hadn't considered that the people who craft these pieces would be as precise and skilled as dentists. Very cool!

  25. my ocd really wants that 39mm to be 40mm

  26. Wow. knight makers are more rare than Grandmasters.

  27. "official world chess championship sets" sounds like a load of bs in a single sentence tbh… It's a chess set, you could literally use rocks if both players agree what each piece is.

  28. Dang, imagine only allowing your chess pieces to be made by 10 artists who see none of the profits. Seems nothing but exploitative to me.

  29. they do good work man get them a better shop.

  30. As a woodworking student, I can tell ya 500 dollars per chess set ain't expensive for artisan wooden products

  31. Designed in my Hometown. Moment of Pride

  32. all these pieces are made this skillfully and i bet the artisans get like five dollars out of the total 500 it costs on sale. Exploitation

  33. Why are championship chess sets so expensive?

  34. I don't know why but this video makes me want to play chess.

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