A Queen's Gambit

If you are anything like me, you may struggle to find new shows to binge watch on Netflix. Oftentimes, I will start something to see if I like it. Then I end up leaving it unwatched in my watch history. While it takes me some courage to step away from my usual shows, I have found some gems among Netflix’s limited series. The most recent show that I absolutely adored (and binged in two days) is "The Queen’s Gambit." 

 

Currently #1 on Netflix’s top 10, "The Queen’s Gambit" tells the story of a young female chess player, Beth Harmon, as she conquers the male dominated world of chess. Beth, who is a chess prodigy, has to deal with the 1960s issues that face a female in a male dominated world, while also dealing with addiction. Bringing some glamour into the world of chess, Beth becomes an international sensation with her high-class style and killer chess moves. 

 

Initially, I was drawn to this series because of the main actress. Anya Taylor-Joy plays Beth. You may recognize her from "Emma" or "Peaky Blinders" (another Netflix gem). Taylor-Joy does a wonderful job playing the intelligent orphan, Beth. While her acting drew me into the show, I was actually surprised how the competitive chess scenes kept me alert. I was on the edge of my seat when Beth would set up an attack against her opponent, and I would start to stress when it looked as if she had lost. This show had me glued to the screen for all seven episodes, and the outfits were period-piece heaven!

 

While I was binging this show, I was actually struck by how much I connected with Beth. While I may not be an orphan or struggle with addiction, I understood some of the frustrations that Beth had. Wanting to be taken seriously for her talent, not her sex, Beth struggles with the way the media focuses on her compared to her competitors. Instead of talking about her skills, magazines draw attention to the fact that she is a girl. Like many females, Beth just wants to be treated like her male counterparts. The fact that she is a girl should not take away from her abilities. 

 

Like Beth, I grew up playing chess, and I would compete in chess tournaments when I was younger. I was a pretty good chess player at the time, but I did not see it as a “cool” thing to do. No one cared if I played chess. It was just something nerds did. After watching this show, I am really disappointed that I let myself quit something because of the views of others. Like Beth, I should embrace what I do and put some personal flare on it. I should throw on an adorable outfit and kick some ass. 

 

On a chessboard, the queen is the most powerful piece. She can move anywhere and take any other piece. She is also worth the most points. We females are the queens. We are dangerous and powerful and ambitious. The way the game goes depends on us. We can do anything we set our minds to.