The Queen's Move: a beautiful and sad mini-series about a genius chess player

Netflix has released a TV miniseries The Queen's Gambit based on Walter Tevis's 1983 novel of the same name. It shows an orphan from the American countryside, who managed to impress grandmasters from around the world. The role of a gloomy prodigy was played by Anya Taylor -Joy ("Split", "Witch", "Emma"). 

The series begins in the mid-1950s and lasts until 1968. Nine-year-old Beth Harmon (Isla Johnston) finds herself in an orphanage after a car accident in which her mother died and she miraculously survived. While the rest of the students prepare to become exemplary daughters in foster families, and eventually good wives, Beth finds herself in the basement of a shelter caretaker who respects whiskey and chess Mr Shaibel (Bill Camp).


As a teenager, Beth (played by Anya Taylor-Joy) suddenly falls into the family of an alcoholic wife and an unlucky sales representative who have long been tired of each other, and therefore a foster child was treated more like a pet.

However, after she turned 20, a small Beth represented the United States in international tournaments and win over Latin American, European and Soviet chess masters. Only one circumstance overshadows this tale: back in the shelter, Beth became addicted to tranquilizers. The drugs helped to reveal her gift that turned out to be too expensive.
Beth will get into a "normal" family just to make sure the norm is not for her. Then she will go to chess tournaments around the country and around the world.
The fate of the adult hero, who woke up at the very beginning of the series with a stranger in a Parisian hotel resembles the fate of her two mothers. The real mother, escaping from her husband and herself, closed her eyes behind the wheel, pressed the gas and collided with another car. The foster mother, waiting for her husband from eternal business trips, became addicted to pills and booze. One refused to play by the rules; the other followed them too hard. Beth took into account the mistakes of both: she knows and respects the laws of the chess world, but before the decisive chess game she does not hesitate to use drugs.
Chess in this story seems to be a clear, but in fact completely incomprehensible coordinate system, in which reason and feelings, mysticism and science converge. Vladimir Nabokov's "The Luzhin Defence" describes the hero who saw chess signs in every aspect of life. The series’ show the image, which repeatedly sees the hero: the shadows from the trees on the ceiling turn into chess pieces.
There is fanaticism in Beth's love of chess. The series, like real chess, requires viewers’ maximum concentration. After all, the main idea of ​​this rebellious TV series about growing up is this: if you need to teach children, let them play chess.