The Queen’s Gambit

Series | English | 1 Season (7 episodes). Each episode is between 46 and 67 minutes | Original Release: 2020

Info

Nine-year-old Beth is adjusting to life in an orphanage after the untimely death of her mother. By chance, she encounters Mr. Shaibel, the custodian, playing solitary chess in the basement during his time off. Beth is intrigued with the game and quickly becomes aware of the moves of all the pieces.  Mr. Shaibel is flabbergasted with Beth’s supreme command of the game so he notifies the high school supervisor of the chess club. Beth easily trounces the high school chess players but she is also getting addicted to tranquilizers that are dispensed at the orphanage. Beth is adopted by a dysfunctional couple, Alma, an alcoholic wife and a husband who abandons her.   But Beth is moving ahead, first entering local tournaments, then winning  the Kentucky state championship. When Alma learns there’s money to be made winning tournaments, she pushes Beth to enter the bigger ones with bigger payoffs. But Beth is now focused on the ultimate challenge:  facing and beating the   Russian  world champion, Vasily Borgov.  Beth, tormented and obsessed, addicted to tranquilizers and alcohol, is determined to win at any cost.  

Cast
Anya Taylor-Joy (Beth Harmon, as a young adult) / Bill Camp (Mr. Shaibel) / Marielle Melling (Alma) / Marcin Dorocinski (Vasily Borgov)
Why Stream This Series?
From Caroline Framke’s review in VARIETY: “When THE QUEEN’S GAMBIT gives both Beth and Taylor-Joy room to tap into the twin veins of her fury and longing, it’s the best kind of bildungsroman. What could’ve just been a clever show quickly becomes a portrait of a special, flawed person that reveres her fire as much as her brilliance.”
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score (Critics Consensus): 100%
  • Metacritic Score: 79
Accolades
  • The film series received a perfect 100% Rotten Tomatoes score

Now streaming on:

Anya Taylor-Joy dominates Scott Frank’s excellent new Netflix limited series. The actress’s tour de force performance is far from the seven-episode saga’s only asset: It’s smart, lavishly produced TV for grown-ups—something to relish.
Daniel Fienberg

The Hollywood Reporter

THE QUEEN’S GAMBIT manages to personalize the game and its players thanks to clever storytelling and, in Anya Taylor-Joy, a lead actor so magnetic that when she stares down the camera lens, her flinty glare threatens to cut right through it.
Caroline Framke

Variety

THE QUEEN’S GAMBIT looks gorgeous, the main performances are superb, the vital chess exposition neatly done and the true meaning of each game to Beth is made clear, whether spiritual battle, learning curves, inner reckoning, occasional flirtation, retreat from or re-emergence into the world.
Lucy Mangan

The Guardian

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