Queen’s Gambit examines both sides of genius

Poster of Queens Gambit

Poster of Queen’s Gambit

For those who want to experience the disappearance of time, Queen’s Gambit is a great choice.

Those hearing the title without any knowledge about chess, people easily misunderstand that the series is about gambling while it is not. “Queen’s Gambit” is a term for chess opening, it literally means opening queen’s side.

In Queen’s Gambit, Beth, played by Anya Taylor-Joy, the protagonist, has lost her mom in a car accident. She was sent to an orphanage where every girl has the same hairstyle, meal, clothes, and lifestyle. She meets Mr. Shaibel, the janitor and handyman, who secretly teachers her to play chess in the basement.

She fells in love with chess, imagining the chessboard on her ceiling. Shaibel soon realizes her talents in chess and starts teaching her. She learns quickly and overwhelms Shaibel. She performs her chess skills at high school when she was 10 years old. Meanwhile, a family adopts her and she finally goes to school and gets out of the orphanage. Then she competes with a lot of professional players and figures out what she wants to do and what she needs to do, resolving her personal problems at the same time.

Queen’s Gambit is a Netflix series that portrays a girl’s life in the mid-1900s based on an original novel of the same name. But she is not the typical girl in the mid-1900s. She has a special ability on chess. It may seem boring when just heard of a genius girl on chess. Everyone will feel like it is so common movie.

However, do not underestimate before watching this show. Instead of talking about a bunch of chess rules and plays, the series decided to focus more on her life and her emotions. As the story continues, Beth faces a lot of challenges and conflicts. The one thing special about the series is that it displays what was the life of genius like.

People always want to be geniuses, thinking that they are all having only good and comfortable lives. Queen’s Gambit points out difficulties and challenges that the protagonist, Beth, faces and how she resolve and deal with them as a genius of chess.

A lot of other chess movies or series film the chessboard when protagonists are playing chess. But in Queen’s Gambit, the director shows more of the character’s face and emotions, which help people who know nothing about chess can enjoy it as well. Just following a character’s emotions, thoughts, personalities, and behaviors is not boring at all; in fact, it is more intriguing.

However, the series has a few certain parts that are hard to understand. There is no narrator or voice-over that tells directly about protagonists’ emotions and thought, it is hard to expect what to happen and follow. But that can be an advantage because that enables people to fall into character more as if they were in the series: exist in the series’ world.

Queen’s Gambit is worth watching whether your a chess expert of beginner.  It is available on Netflix.