What does The Queen's Gambit mean and is the Netflix show a true story?

12 November 2020, 15:07

Is the Queen’s Gambit based on a true story?
Is the Queen’s Gambit based on a true story? Picture: Netflix

The Queen's Gambit recently dropped on Netflix - here's your need-to-know on whether its a true story and the book it's based on.

If you haven't binged every episode already, you can bet that The Queen's Gambit is about to become your newest Netflix obsession.

Read more: Who is in the cast of Netflix's The Queen's Gambit and where have you seen them before?

The miniseries tells the story of Beth Harmon, a chess prodigy who grew up in an orphanage. It follows her life as a competetive player, all while battling drug addiction.

It is based on the novel of the same name by Walter Tevis. Here's your need-to-know on its meaning and story.

The Queen's Gambit is available to stream on Netflix
The Queen's Gambit is available to stream on Netflix. Picture: Netflix

What does The Queen's Gambit mean?

The Queen's Gambit refers to a move in chess, the oldest opening move in its history.

It dates back to the 15th century, and sees white move their Queen's pawn to the middle of the board, then sacrificing its adjacent pawn in the next move.

The “gambit” refers to trading a piece for control of the centre of the board.

Read more: How to watch Netflix with friends using the new Netflix party feature

Is Netflix's The Queen's Gambit based on a true story?

The series has been praised for its realistic depiction of chess competitions and the prodigies that take part in them, but the actual events and characters of the series are fictional.

However, they are based on the author's own experiences of competitive chess playing.

Writer Walter Tevis told the New York Times: "I’ve played well enough to know what a good game is. I can beat the average person, but I’m afraid to play those guys who set up boards in the street of Broadway."

He also said that, throughout his entire career, he has written about "losers and loners", adding: "I’m obsessed with the struggle between winning and losing.

"In The Queen’s Gambit, my heroine is an outsider."

Is there a trailer for The Queen's Gambit?

There is! You can watch it below:


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