Series: The Queen’s Gambit 2020
Elizabeth Harmon lost her mother in a car accident. More like her mother wanted to kill herself but Beth survives and being an orphan she is placed in a an orphanage. Expressionless Beth tries to cope up in a new environment. She befriends with a much older girl Jolene. Through her Beth gets to know more about the orphanage and what medicines they gave to the girls. As tranquillisers were common in the 1950s the girls got them daily. First time after taking it Beth feels dizzy and advised by Jolene she then took them before going bed. One day she goes to the basement and finds the custodian, Mr. Shaibel playing chess. She tells him to teach him. At first he rejects the idea then agrees. He discovers that Beth Harmon was a 9 year old child chess prodigy. She learned it more and more achieved perfection with time. She then discovers with tranquillisers she could play better even without a chessboard and only inside her head. But the orphanage stops giving the pills as it got banned for children. But Beth’s addiction couldn’t let her give it up. She stole them and gets caught. The director of the orphanage Helen Deardroff takes away her chessboard as a punishment.
Years passed she did well in her studies speciallyat mathematics like her mother who had a PhD in that subject. For her well manners and good performance she gets adopted by Alma Wheatley and her husband. At the age of 13 Beth leaves the orphanage and Jolene. She is finally free to play some chess again. But tragedy falls when Alma’s husband leaves and they fall under financial crisis. Secretly Beth participates in a local chess competition beating every opponent including state champion Harry Beltic. The news spreads and 13 year old Beth Harmon gets famous. She wins prize money. So Alma also encourages her. Soon she goes to big competitions and beats every other champion in the country. She befriends them and also learns from them with time. Beth Harmon is now a famous name throughout the world. When she was about to face the world champion Borgov she got overconfident and loses. For the first time in life she lost and loses her mind. On the same day her foster mother Alma dies as well. Feeling helpless she goes back home. Continuous drug abuse and drinking made her distracted. She loses to Borgov again. She becomes devasted and lonely. How will she cope with it now? Who will help her regain her lost fame? The last episode reveales all the answers.
Based on the novel of same name by Walter Tavis, the starting of series was full of tragedy. Throughout the show there was pain of losing loved ones, madness, drug abuse, alcohol abuse, love, portrayal of overconfidence and arrogance and last but not least overcoming obstacles were shown with perfection. How a child prodigy who happened to be a girl makes her way in chess world among men. There is feminism, there is girl power. Above all the series was more than just drama. It was an inspiration. Nonetheless the casting was great with many familiar faces and their amazing glow up.
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