Gross sales of Spanish chess makers soar on ‘Queen’s Gambit’ success
Revealed on: Amended:
la Garriga (Spain) (AFP)
At David Ferrer’s manufacturing facility, employees are busy slicing, carving and assembling skinny sheets of wooden to make chess boards to satisfy a rise in orders following the runaway success of the Netflix collection, “The Queen’s Gambit “.
Rechapados Ferrer, a small household enterprise, has struggled to maintain up with demand since its boards appeared within the award-winning miniseries about an orphan chess prodigy.
“We’ve by no means seen such a increase in demand for chess boards,” mentioned David Ferrer, 30, who heads Rechapados Ferrer in La Garriga, the commercial belt that surrounds Barcelona.
The corporate usually makes round 20,000 chess boards a 12 months, however has already obtained orders of over 40,000 to this point this 12 months, due to each the Netflix collection and the renewed curiosity in board video games throughout the lockdown.
“And there are nonetheless many months earlier than the tip of the 12 months,” he instructed AFP.
Rechapados Ferrer, which has simply 14 staff, was based within the Nineteen Fifties to offer veneer – or skinny items of wooden – for furnishings, however a decade later it additionally expanded into manufacturing chessboards.
“If my mother and father might solely see that,” smiles Joan Ferrer, David’s father and the son of the corporate founder.
Though retired, he usually visits the manufacturing facility and nonetheless remembers how his mother and father made the primary chess boards in “a small room, stitching and carving the strips of wooden.”
– “The demand is loopy” –
They initially labored solely with a close-by chess maker, however ultimately expanded their enterprise to promote their merchandise throughout Spain after which world wide.
Right this moment 98% of their chess boards are exported, a few of that are utilized in tournaments, in order that they weren’t shocked to study that their merchandise had been utilized in “The Queen’s Gambit”.
Miquel Berbel, who heads the corporate’s chessboard division, noticed one among their units within the present’s final episode.
Within the biting finale, chess prodigy Beth Harmon travels to Moscow to tackle Russian world champion Vasily Borgov in a match performed on a sublime black-framed board with a crimson and yellow ornamental border.
“There are some very particular boards that we make on our personal and this board was 100% one among us,” mentioned Berbel.
The portray was custom-made for the corporate’s first worldwide buyer, a board recreation distributor in Berlin the place the collection was partially filmed.
When Ferrer heard about them he was excited, but it surely wasn’t the primary time their boards had been featured in motion pictures or TV collection.
“I used to be excited… however I did not count on that form of response in any respect,” he mentioned.
“The demand is loopy. We get a great deal of emails and we will not reply them in any respect.”
– ‘Attempt for perfection’ –
Orders began growing early final 12 months when the pandemic first hit and lockdowns started, however they actually took off after the premiere of “The Queen’s Gambit” in October 2020, which has prompted the corporate to rent three new employees.
“To satisfy demand, we must double or triple the workforce. And we do not need to go down that street as a result of we do not understand how lengthy it may final, ”Ferrer says.
Making chess boards is a gradual course of. A employee first selects prime quality lumber which is lower into lengthy, skinny sheets of sunshine and darkish colours.
Utilizing a machine, one other craftsman sews the leaves tightly with a sticky thread, always checking that there’s not the slightest hole between them.
The board is then varnished earlier than being packaged.
“We verify the finishes rather a lot, we attempt to try for perfection,” explains Oscar Martinez, a 40-year-old craftsman.
Even when he needed to, Ferrer says it will be tough to seek out extra employees to assist him given the scarcity of expert artisans, whose coaching lasts “4 or 5 years.”
“We need to develop naturally. It is a very expert job and all the pieces takes time, ”he says.
“It is actual craftsmanship.”
© 2021 AFP