After nearly 40 years on the shelves, Walter Tevis’s 1983 novel The Queen’s Gambit has finally become a screen close to you. The end of The Queen’s Gambit is a cruel and hopeful celebration of a young woman’s journey to her own power. Tevis’s novel ends on a bright, pleasant note, and it’s exactly the kind of story we need right now. Spoilers for The Queen’s Gambit.
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The Queen’s Gambit focuses on the shy Kentucky Beth Harmon, who learns she has a natural ability to chess. He’s been developing his skills in the game for eight years, attending the U.S. Open with benny watts, a 16-year-old grandfather and American champion. He met Benny again at the American championships, defeating him and winning him a place at Moscow’s invitation in the process.
To go to Moscow, to play against the best chess players in the world, is also to travel to the USSR at the height of the Cold War. After selecting Benny as her second, Beth initially provided money for trips, meals, and accommodation to a Christian organization. When the Christian crusade asked him to make a statement against communism and atheism in the USSR, the non-religious Beth severed ties with them – a decision that led Benny to cancel his intention to attend the invitation with him.
Beth is a Mexico City match against Russian grandman and World Champion Vasily, knowing that the invitation gave her the opportunity to save herself for the most embarrassing game she has ever played, to Moscow, which was accompanied only by a man from the US State Department. Borgov, who ended up with his concession. Beth confronts Borgov again after fighting in the ranks of the Moscow Invitation.
Everything’s changed this time. In the middle of their match, Borgov wants to postpone the game to the next day, give both players time to strategies. When they continue the game, he offers Beth a raffle he didn’t attract. He plays fugue, worried he’s made the wrong decision until he wins in 19 moves. It would take 15 moves for Borgov to know he’d been defeated. From the novel:
“When you knocked the knight down, there was total silence. A moment later, he heard a breath of breath from the other end of the table and looked up. Borgov’s hair wrinkled and a stiff smile appeared on his face. He spoke English. . “This is your game.” He pushed his chair back, stood up, and then reached out and raised his king. Instead of tilting the chair side by side, he stretched it out to the board. He looked at her. ‘Take it,’ he said. “
Beth’s victory over Borgov gave her the opportunity to challenge her for the title of World Champion in a 24-game match. Beth, who stood with him for two years between their next encounters, goes home … But he breaks into a park in Moscow to play a chess match against an old man who has no idea who he is before.
In Netflix’s adaptation of The Queen’s Gambit, Anya Taylor-Joy (The Witch) stars As Beth, Thomas Brodie-Sangster (Maze Runner: The Death Cure) and Marcin Dorocinski (The Pact) as Benny and Borgov. Dimple Gambiti begins airing on October 23.
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