What Did You Think of “The Queen’s Gambit”?

Last week, we burned through the 7-episode miniseries on Netflix, The Queen’s Gambit. It follows Beth Harmon, a young chess prodigy, as she navigates inner and outer opposition.

I really enjoyed the show, to the point that it made me pull out a chessboard and convince Megan to play a game with me (she loves tabletop games…but not all tabletop games). I thought the show treated a tabletop game with a high level of respect–while the show is more about people than the game, when the game is on screen, it’s being played accurately and often expertly.

Why does a show about chess work? In my opinion, I think the key is that we’re fascinated by the idea of innate genius. It’s fun to root for someone who is incredibly good at something, and depending on choices that character makes, sometimes it also feels good to root against them.

The show takes the idea of “genius” to the next level, though, as it acknowledges that mastering anything requires practice, research, and feedback from others. That painstaking process is often brushed over in other works of fiction, but not in The Queen’s Gambit. I really liked that.

The acting, casting, and set design were also noticeably amazing.

What did you think of the show? Did it make you want to play chess?

6 thoughts on “What Did You Think of “The Queen’s Gambit”?”

  1. I absolutely loved the series as a Chess player since age 6, but nowhere near that talented. While I missed the book, having a female protagonist was fascinating. I’ve known so few females that play Chess, which is why 8 made sure that my own daughter knew how to play and could hold her own, at least against other folks at a similar level.

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  2. I thought it was amazing! It both made me want to play chess and humbled me by showing me how little I know about chess strategy. It was fascinating!

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