The Queen’s Gambit
The Queen’s Gambit is a fictional story–a very popular 7 part miniseries produced by Netflix.
The story follows the life of an orphan chess prodigy, Beth Harmon, played by actress Anya Taylor-Joy, during her quest to become the world’s greatest chess player while struggling with emotional issues and drug & alcohol dependency. The story begins in the mid-1950s and proceeds into the 1960s.
The actual chess games interspersed in the story are extremely well done with realististic positions from games shown just long enough and at the right time in the drama to move the story forward without being tedious and a distraction.
Chess aficionados will not be disappointed!
Today’s 2021 Women’s World Chess Champion, China’s Ju Wenjun, comments on “The Queen’s Gambit,” the film.
China’s Ju Wenjun
The 2020 Women’s World Chess Champion
Born January 31, 1991
29 years old
Classical Chess Rating 2584
Although Ju Wenjun’s life’s path to the top is different than the character Beth Harmon, Ju can still identify with her.
“I know how popular the Netflix show The Queen’s Gambit is–and it’s great to see a show about chess, especially female players. The character Beth Harmon is smart and she is an intelligent player. She’s charming to watch when she’s at the board.
“I like that the name The Queen’s Gambit speaks to the famous chess opening and the fact that it’s about a female player.
“Beth and I both studied chess when we were very young and playing was our own choice—we played because we wanted to play. And, of course, we both want to win. There is a sense from the show that Beth is a passionate woman, with a passion for chess.
“Many more chess players are male than female, so it’s good to have a film that can encourage women to play chess. Beth could be a good role model for women. Whether you’re male or female, young or old, you can play chess—it’s not limiting.
“I love to think that I could encourage even more young female chess players, and I hope that many more young people begin to play and love the game.”