Single handed in bringing back a resurgence in the game of chess!
Has a TV show ever had such an impact on the interest in, and the take-up of a hobby? Has a show ever managed to make a game and its players sexy? When previously its devotees were seen as sexless nerds?
Well, Netflix’s 7-episode series ‘The Queen’s Gambit’ has done just that! Since its release in late October, interest in chess, talk of chess, and the take-up of chess has gone through the roof! Even I! Had toyed with the idea of bringing our chess board to a recent weekend away with friends (but we ended up not taking it, as it’s this large heavy wooden thing). But Beth and the Chess players from Kentucky are now the coolest cats in the hobby world!
For those who aren’t familiar with ‘The Queen’s Gambit’, it is a limited Netflix series set in the United States in the 50s and 60s. It follows the young fictitious life of Beth Harmon a child orphaned from 9 years of age, and how in the orphanage she befriends the Custodian (handyman) who teaches her the game of chess. And after proving that she is a prodigy in the game, she plays her way across the state, the country, and then across the world- beating all who she sits across from.
Don’t worry, it’s not all about Chess- as that would be pretty boring. But it’s a story about discovery, growth, and relationships (think back to Forrest Gump). The actress who plays Beth (Anya Taylor-Joy) pulls off an all-together convincing performance depicting a complex, sassy, and brilliant character. While all other characters were very much just a supporting cast, coming and going from Beth’s 9 – 19-year-old life.
By the way of period dramas, they construct an all-together realistic looking and feeling 1960s America, from the US Soviet tensions, down to the low-tech means in which information and news were conveyed inter-state and inter-continental. What I liked the most about The Queen’s Gambit, was how they were able to portray one’s genuine life, as there were the ups and downs in fortune, lessons were learnt, and people grew from their life experiences both from the good and the bad.
If you’re prepared to experience something completely out of the ordinary, which will open your eyes to a chequered square of society which you hadn’t thought much of in the past? Then check out ‘The Queen’s Gambit’, it will go down as one of my top 5 watches in 2020!