"The Queen's Gambit" is the sexiest and thrilling TV show about chess you'll ever watch

In Netflix's limited series "The Queen's Gambit," troubled chess prodigy Beth Harmon — played by "Emma" star Anya Taylor-Joy — receives this compliment from her good-looking opponent Townes (Jacob Fortune-Lloyd) during her first tournament.

Written and directed by Scott Frank, and based on Walter Tevis' 1983 novel of the same name, "The Queen's Gambit" begins with nine-year-old Beth in a Kentucky orphanage, where she is raised after her mother's tragic death.

After her adoption, Beth's unique Bildungsroman begins in earnest as she travels the country and then the world to earn prize money at chess tourneys and seek the respect from mostly male peers.

Even when there's some heavy stuff going on with these kids [in the orphanage] being dosed with tranquilizers, the way he intercuts that with clips from the movie 'The Robe' where the characters are entering the kingdom of God with the scene of [young Beth] stuffing pills in her mouth — that's pure Scott."

He was a devoted C-class player who constructed the novel's realistic games with the help of U.S. chess master Bruce Pandolfini, who also consulted on this series and the film "Searching for Bobby Fischer."

Garry had lived the life of our protagonist because he was a child chess prodigy, who was growing up in the Cold War and was roughly the same age as Beth Harmon's character in the book," said Horberg.

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