Queen’s Gambit a life eye-opener

Netflix series explores early stages of women’s movement

The seven-episode new Netflix Drama The Queen’s Gambit shows the insight of orphan and chess prodigy Beth Harmon’s life. She grows up without experiencing any real love and struggles with drug and alcohol abuse. She ends up being an overcomer of all the hardships put in her path and becomes the world’s greatest woman chess player.

As Beth Harmon’s birth mother dies right in front of her young eyes, she is immediately placed by the state into an orphanage. It is here where she is forced to take the daily “green pill” which they used to tranquilize the children. Her new friend Jolene teaches Beth how to manage the pills by taking them at bedtime.

Beth befriends the janitor, who teaches her how to play and win the game of chess. The janitor sees that Beth has a special ability to immediately memorize all the pieces and moves. Beth soon realized she can picture the chess game on her ceiling in her imagination after she takes the green pill.

After several years Beth was adopted by a couple who were struggling in their marriage. The adopted father eventually walks out leaving Beth and her new adopted mother, Alma, alone with no financial support.

It was at this point that Beth realized she could make money winning chess tournaments. Alma quickly became aware of her daughter’s extremely high intelligence level and her ability to beat her opponents in chess consistently. The two of them decided to travel across the country winning chess tournaments and making substantial amounts of money.

This time period was the beginning of the women’s liberation movement which brought on torment from her fellow male players. It was this torment and her own determination which led to her obsession over studying the intricacies of chess by the masters. Beth decided she would be the world’s first woman chess champion.

Throughout this time Beth relied completely on her green pills which she took from her mothers’ supply. She had come to believe that she couldn’t win without them.

During a tournament in Mexico Alma died leaving Beth to deal with all the arrangements. She contacted her adopted father who turned over the family home to Beth. Beth was now on her own, orphaned once more. She turned to alcohol along with her green pills which led her down a self-destructive road. The irony of this was she could still win at chess no matter how disabled she was the night before. The alcohol and drugs didn’t affect her genius ability to win her tournaments.

McClatchy High senior Maya Mendoza watched the whole season of The Queen’s Gambit and absolutely loved it.

“I thought Queen’s Gambit was a really good adaptation of the book,” she said. “It is a good coming of the age TV show and it has a really good storyline and a strong female role. It touches base on a lot of real issues dealing with drug addiction and alcoholism.” Mendoza recommends this series to anyone.

This series is inspirational and motivating and awakening. It shows Beth’s determination and confidence in her innate gifts and talents which lead her to overcome her substance abuse and life’s tragedies. Competing in a field with mainly men strengthened her determination rather than tearing her down.

This show was a real eye-opener to many life problems and illnesses which can grab anyone’s attention. Overall The Queen’s Gambit delivers an impactful, heartwarming plot with amazing actors that tie the whole show together.