Review of The Queen’s Gambit

Review of The Queen’s Gambit

Xander Coomes, Assistant Editor

The Queen’s Gambit, a newly released Netflix series, chronicles the journey of Beth Harmon, Beth is a chess prodigy, who, growing up as an orphan, experiences many hardships with the game of chess being her outlet and source of comfort. Following its release on October 23, 2020, the Queen’s gambit received billions of minutes viewed, and according to Insider and Deadline, all 7 hour-long episodes were watched by 62 million households.

The show inspired many people to take renewed interest in the game of chess, and others to try chess for the first time. Chess books and chess set sales country wide increased by 125% according to Insider., a popular and free website for online chess, also recently gained 3.2 million more members, according to CNN. Both the magnitude and range of the show are great, given that it has reached the number one most watched show in 27 countries according to Chess24, a chess playing website.

To unpack the appeal of the show, Netflix critics gave it a 97% on rotten tomatoes, describing the show as “an absolute win.” The content in The Queen’s Gambit is targeted at a mature audience, however it can still be entertaining for people in all walks of life, and its messages reach far and wide. This show is highly entertaining, and I recommend it to those who are interested in chess, or who simply enjoy character growth and a heart wrenching story. To those who are sensitive or young or specifically triggered by material that engages with issues of abuse and drug use, this may not be the right program.

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