Those who like to check are about to get more mates.
The Hawke's Bay chess club says interest generated by Netflix series The Queen's Gambit has increased sign-ups – especially of women.
The fictional period drama follows the life and struggles of Beth Harmon, played by Anya Taylor-Joy – an orphaned chess prodigy on her unexpected rise to the top of the chess world.
According to streaming platform Netflix, the seven-part series, created by Scott Frank and Allan Scott, notched 62 million viewers since its debut in October.
Set in the US state of Kentucky, The Queen's Gambit wasn't just popular in its country of origin, but placed among Netflix's top 10 most viewed shows in 92 countries – including New Zealand.
Hawke's Bay Chess Club committee member Aaron Percival said the 38-member club enjoyed an "uptick in interest" towards the end of last year after the show was released, he's excited over the prospect of further new faces as a result of the show's success.
Four new members attended club meetings in November last year, which is far more than usual according to Percival.
"We've had increased interest over the festive break with people making inquiries about the club due to The Queen's Gambit," he said.
"We've seen more women coming to the club recently, which is great. The club is pretty male dominated, so we would love to see that change over time."
Percival recently joined the club's committee to run the social media, which has had a hike in likes, in hope of capitalising on the interest in chess.
Based on the 1983 Walter Tevis novel of the same name, the series follows Harmon from being taught chess by her orphanage's janitor to competing in international tournaments.
In an interview with the Guardian, Taylor-Joy admitted to never having played a single game of chess before filming started.
But, after coaching from former world champion Garry Kasparov and renowned coach Bruce Pandolfini, the red-headed star encouraged more to take up the game.
"It was important for me to honour the chess community and understand what I was doing," she said.
Percival said the "top notch" show is credit to the show's creators consulting "some pretty serious chess talent" in Kasparov and Pandolfini.
"Among chess players, the show has proved popular due to how realistic the chess is," he said.
The Hawke's Bay Chess Club formed after a merger between the Hastings and Napier clubs in 2012.
Originating in 1876, Napier Chess Club hosted a number of New Zealand Chess Championships in the 20th century.
Hastings' David I. Lynch won the national title in Christchurch in 1950.
The club hosts its first meeting of the year at the Havelock North High School library on February 3.
"Even though we hold meetings at a school, we are a club for all ages," Percival said. "So whether you're retirement age, middle age or a kid, anyone can come along. We are open to all levels of players."
Percival said the first few meetings of the year will focus on speed chess, where each player gets 25 minutes for all their moves, ahead of a rapid chess tournament on February 13.
"We're expecting top-level competitors - including 12-year-old Felix Xie who is the current NZ Rapid Chess champion," he added.