12 Interesting Facts About The Queen's Gambit

Updated: 2021-03-15
Authors:
Lela Jagodnishvili
  

The Queen’s Gambit, a hit on Netflix, revolves around a fictional character, chess prodigy Beth Harmon. The miniseries significantly increased the interest in a centuries-old game and gained popularity throughout the world.

Read on to find out 12 interesting facts about the Queen’s Gambit.


1.Queen’s Gambit series is based on a book written by an American author Walter Tevis.

The Queen's Gambit

Image source: Netflix


The book of the same name was published in 1984. However, it became a bestseller 37 years later when the Netflix miniseries was released in 2020.


2. Queen’s Gambit was released in 2020, but it was planned more than a decade ago, in 2008.

The Queen's Gambit

Image source: Getty/Netflix


A famous actor, Heath Ledger, who was obsessed with Trevi’s book, was supposed to be the director of the movie, and Ellen Page would perform as Beth Harmon. But the project was left aside after Ledger’s untimely passing.


3. Officially the Queen’s Gambit is the most-watched miniseries on Netflix.

The Queen's Gambit

Image source: PHIL BRAY/COURTESY OF NETFLIX


The show is ranked in Netflix’s top 10. It was viewed in 92 countries and took the number one place in almost all of them.


4. The series led to a huge boom in chess

The Queen's Gambit

Image source: PHIL BRAY/NETFLIX


The story of an orphan girl who becomes the world chess champion appeared inspirational for viewers. The number of users on the famous online chess platform, Chess.com increased five times. Moreover, plenty of companies report record sales of chess books and sets.


5. To make the chess games convincing, Queen’s Gambit creators needed professional advisors. One of them was legendary chess player Garry Kasparov, a former world champion.

The Queen's Gambit

Image source: Ted Thai—The LIFE Picture Collection/Gett


Kasparov designed the games for the series but declined the suggestion of playing Vasily Borgov’s character.


6. The actors had to actually perform the game positions and movements.

The Queen's Gambit

Image source: Netflix


They learned the movements and positions for every scene. Even when the camera was focused on their faces, the actors continued making moves, including the speed chess games.


7. As the actors had to actually play the chess games, each of them strived for coming up with special manners for their characters.

The Queen's Gambit

Image source: Netflix


Anya Taylor-Joy playing Beth Harmon opted for her ballet dancing experience to acquire choreography with her fingers while making moves. Thomas Brodie-Sangster, who performs Benny Watts decided that he would always play with his ring.


8. In the series, Beth Harmon often imagines playing chess games on the ceiling. This action may seem just a part of the plot, but it is not an uncommon practice for chess professionals.

The Queen's Gambit

Image source: Netflix


The aim of looking away from the board is to remember and calculate the moves. Chess players such as Hiraku Nakamura and Vasyl Ivanchuk often do that during the games.


9. The character of Benny Watts, a chess prodigy, Beth’s competitor, and mentor, is inspired by the Grandmaster Bobby Fischer.

The Queen's Gambit

Image source: Netflix


Fischer was the eleventh world chess champion. At the age of 13, he won the well-known “Game of the Century” that thrilled people worldwide.


10. Beth Harmon decides to compete with men chess players and successfully defeats them.

The Queen's Gambit

Image source: Netflix


Although the show takes plays in the 1960s, it was not until the 1980s that women were allowed to participate in the World Chess Championships.


11. The Queen’s Gambit, the name of the series, is also the title of a chess opening.

The Queen's Gambit

Image source: Netflix


It is one of the oldest combinations that dates back to the 15th century. This opening is still commonly played. Beth Harmon also plays the Queen’s Gambit in the final episode.


12. Beth’s looks in the episodes involve the combination of black and white, squares, and diagonal lines.

The Queen's Gambit

Image source: Netflix


The designers created a wardrobe for her character inspired by the game.


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