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The Queen’s Gambit, A Fictional Chess Prodigy

In 2020, Netflix released a series called The Queen’s Gambit. This series is an original series produced by Netflix which is adapted from the novel of the same name by Walter Tevis. That is an exemplary tale of what it means to be human and that we all share the same aspirations, hopes and dreams. This series raised a story about the world of chess and was packaged very well.

The series follows the fictional life of an orphaned girl named Elizabeth Harmon (Anya Taylor Joy), Elizabeth became interested in playing chess from a lowly custodian that works in her all girls school orphanage. Mr. Shaibel (Bill Camp) was a custodian who played chess alone in the basement. Elizabeth asked Mr. Shaibel to teach her how to play chess until she was proficient. He taught her the important basics and strategies that pollinates her mental acuity. Later she would compete in the world environment of chess. She astounds the world as a child prodigy, all the while dealing with drug addiction that follows her into adulthood.

Courtesy of The Queen’s Gambit

The storytelling is very solid and manages to make you curious on what will happen in each episodes.  Especially the part when Beth played chess in her own mind after taking the sedative. As is routine in orphanages in America, each child will be given a sedative to reduce the child’s feelings of trauma.  However, it seems that Elizabeth was addicted and couldn’t get away from the drugs.  Until one day she got the urge to steal it from the storage room.

The depiction of a character who is calm, talks less and pays more attention to it is what attracts the audience, it seems like we are forced to focus more on finding clues from the little things that are done rather than what is said.

Courtesy of The Queen’s Gambit

Jolene (Moses Ingram), Beth’s best friend at the orphanage, came to bring the news that Mr. Shaibel had died and the day after tomorrow was his funeral.  Beth returned to the orphanage again for the funeral. When Beth asked for a minute to look at the basement, she finds a photo of her early chess lessons and all the magazine clippings about her career as well as her achievements during her pursuit of the world champion goals on display by Mr. Shaibel on her bedroom wall.

In her journey to become a world-class chess player, we saw changes in the appearance of  Beth Harmon. Beth, who initially looked very simple, slowly began to change her style of clothing with fashion that made her look really beautiful and elegant.

Courtesy of The Queen’s Gambit

Beth has done a terrific job in portraying the emotions and passion of a player for the game despite the circumstances. She played this complex character in such a captivating and enthralling way that I’m dumbstruck by her performance. The other characters were also portrayed well. The show felt so authentic and nothing is exaggerated out of place. Despite the other genres of series we have been seeing lately, this miniseries stands shining with an intriguing plot and well etched characters.

The best thing I found about this series was its story. It has a wonderful story that grabs our attention from the beginning of the first episode to the end of the last episode. As it is an original series it has a satisfying conclusion and is refreshing. The journey of Beth is the second most powerful thing this series has. It also has a wonderful background score that gets printed on our minds and not only background music, there were many scenes, many moments that got printed on our minds. Not only the did Beth, but the other characters were also well developed.

Courtesy of The Queen’s Gambit

Many moments bound us to hold our breaths and our hearts stop pumping, like the climax sequence of the first episode. You will not be able to wait for the next episode and will be obsessed. The saying ‘I have to win at any cost’ is what pushed Beth to win all the time. She was obsessed with the thing she loved to do and would always work hard to win in that stream, though she did fail at times. However, the scene was able to stir the audience’s emotions when the heroic figure Beth was the first woman to win the world chess tournament.

The main attraction in the series was of course what lied in the appearance of Elizabeth ‘Beth’ Harmon (Anya Taylor Joy). Although a number of the cast in this series acted brilliantly, Beth managed to be different and truly be the center of attention throughout its seven episodes. She successfully portrayed a genius female character who had a drug and alcohol addiction and who had a career in a male-dominated world.


Our Score (9/10)


Title                  : The Queen’s Gambit
Production     : Marcus Loges, Mick Aniceto
Director           : Scott Frank
Screenwriter  : Scott Frank
Casts                 : Anya Taylor Joy, Bill Camp, Moses Ingram


Komang ‘Cei’ Santya
ig : exceii

Mail: exceii0927@gmail.com

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