In the 1950s, a nine-year-old orphan learns how to play chess thanks to the orphanage’s custodian; years later, she’s one of the nation’s most brilliant competitors… but also struggling with addiction. Another frustrating example of a story that would have been even better as a movie; there are times when the series loses its grip as we follow Beth’s battles with pills, alcohol and young men. Set in the era when chess and its stars caught the fancy of a whole world, The Queen’s Gambit is visually sharp and Anya Taylor-Joy excellent as the reticent Beth.
2020-U.S. Made for TV. 393 min. Color. Created by Scott Frank, Allan Scott. Written and directed by Scott Frank. Novel: Walter Tevis. Cinematography: Steven Meizler. Cast: Anya Taylor-Joy (Beth Harmon), Marielle Heller (Alma Wheatley), Moses Ingram (Jolene), Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Harry Melling, Bill Camp.
Trivia: Originally shown in seven episodes. Chess masters Bruce Pandolfini and Garry Kasparov acted as technical consultants.