Queen’s Gambit

I wanted to write something about the 7-episode Netflix series based on Walter Tevis’ novel of the same name. This mini-series is about the life of a character named Beth Hormone. Tevis was inspired by famous chess players like Bobby Fisher to create this character. Warning, it contains spoilers, let me warn you from the beginning (!)

A period film about Beth’s burnout, substance abuse, and the cold war period, starting from her childhood in the orphanage until she became known as the chess queen.

Consider a 9-year-old boy. His memories of his father are limited to the day he quarreled with his mother and abandoned them. His mother, a mathematics professor, is a woman who vacillated between insanity and genius, and died in an accident the same day her daughter was in the car. After this point, the orphanage is the only option for Beth, who is an orphan.

In the 1960s, the period that the film reflects, we see a procedure applied in orphanages. Beth’s addiction to the misuse of sedatives has been testing her for most of her life. She is introduced to chess thanks to Mr. Shaibel, who works at the orphanage.

Beth explains her interest in chess in an interview: ‘The board first caught my attention. A world of 64 squares. I feel safe there. It can be in my control, in my dominion. It is predictable. If I get hurt, I’m the only one to blame.’

These words summarize the movie, his life and his struggle with himself. Having to watch her own life like watching a movie, not being able to do anything, not being able to establish secure bonds at an early age, being a mother to both herself and her stepmother, and the search for a safe harbor are seen in Beth’s struggle since the beginning of the movie.

As it turns out, Beth’s safe place is the chessboard. So where is your safe place?

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