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Walter Tevis wrote "The Queen's Gambit." Netflix Born in San Francisco in 1928, Tevis was older by the time he wrote "The Queen"s Gambit," & as a result, some aspects of the protagonist"s story were drawn directly from his own experiences.

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According to David Hill"s reporting for The Ringer, Tevis learned to lớn play chess at 7 years old, but he wasn"t a prodigy and didn"t go on khổng lồ compete professionally until he was an adult. Although he never ascended to Beth"s level, he still appreciated the intricacies of the game.

Tevis also spent time in a convalescent trang chủ as a child due lớn medical complications, during which time his parents effectively abandoned him.

Carers at that facility regularly drugged him with phenobarbital three times a day, & Tevis credited this early experience with drugs as a precursor khổng lồ the alcoholism he developed as an adult — a parallel that is clear in the book.


"The màu sắc of Money" is about a different sport — pool. Sunset Boulevard/Getty Images

Like Beth, Tevis spent much of his childhood in Lexington, Kentucky. As Hill reported for The Ringer, before Tevis became seriously interested in chess, he was obsessed with pool — he watched hustlers compete for big money và learned khổng lồ play the game himself.

He eventually wrote a short story that he later expanded into a novel, which inspired the namesake film, "The Hustler" (1961).

Other books Tevis later wrote were adapted into movies including "The Man Who Fell khổng lồ Earth" & "The color of Money," which was a sequel lớn "The Hustler."

The show's creators consulted chess experts, including former world chess champion & grand master Garry Kasparov.


World chess champion Gary Kasparov in London, United Kingdom. Howard Boylan/Getty Images

Much of the book relied on the advice of noted chess instructor Bruce Pandolfini, so creator Scott Frank brought both Pandolfini và Kasparov on board as consultants. At one point, Kasparov was even invited khổng lồ play the character Vasily Borgov.

In a November interview with Slate, Kasparov said that several of Tevis" game descriptions were a bit "amateurish," so he made sure they were properly translated to the screen.

"So I said, "I will talk khổng lồ Bruce, we"ll pick up the key games," he said. "I will collect some games and I will basically slightly upgrade them — change them lớn make sure that those are real games that will look exactly as described in the book.""

On đứng top of facilitating those adjustments, he also provided invaluable insights into Soviet chess culture that further added khổng lồ the realism of the series.


Anya Taylor-Joy on "The Queen's Gambit." Netflix

In the same Slate interview, grand master Kasparov likened Beth"s story lớn a "female version" of the real-life American grand master Bobby Fischer"s life.

Fischer died in 2008 at the age of 64. In his obituary, The thủ đô new york Times described his playing style with words that could also fit Beth"s particular flair: "volatile," "dramatic," "difficult," & "brilliant."

Thomas Brodie-Sangster & Anya Taylor-Joy on "The Queen's Gambit." Netflix

In October, Frank told Entertainment Weekly that although chess consultants created each game you see on screen, the actors memorized và played every match — even the speed rounds.

"You can freeze-frame anything, & it"s a real chess setup," Frank said. "There"s even a whole sequence where you never see the board, but they"re still actually moving the pieces where they"re supposed to. The actors always knew exactly where every piece was supposed to lớn go."

Although Lexington, Kentucky is the backdrop for most of "The Queen's Gambit," much of the series was shot in Berlin, Germany and Ontario, Canada.

Beth's house on "The Queen's Gambit" is actually in Canada. Netflix

According lớn Atlas of Wonders, several of the show"s iconic settings were filmed in Berlin, Germany, from the Methuen trang chủ Orphanage khổng lồ the beautiful French hotel.

Additionally, the pivotal bridge, the Ohio US Championship campus, and Beth"s house were all locations in Ontario, Canada.

Actress Taylor-Joy was so excited about playing Beth that she literally ran to lớn meet with the show's creator lớn discuss the role.

Anya Taylor-Joy played Beth Harmon on "The Queen's Gambit." Netflix

Taylor-Joy told NPR in 2020 that she"s not a runner, not for any reason.

Nevertheless, she said that she finished reading "The Queen"s Gambit" book in about an hour and was so thrilled about the role that she ran khổng lồ meet with Frank khổng lồ talk about it.

"It"s still the only job that I"ve ever physically run to," she said. "I was so excited."

Anya Taylor-Joy also starred in "Emma." Universal

The Golden Globe-winning actress gained massive acclaim for her role in the 2015 horror movie "The Witch."

She has also appeared in "Split" (2016), "Glass" (2019), và "Emma." (2020) as well as on the series "Peaky Blinders."

Harry Melling on "The Queen's Gambit." Netflix

Actor Harry Melling, who plays Harry on "The Queen"s Gambit," also portrayed Dudley Dursley in five of the eight Harry Potter movies.

You may also recognize him from his more recent roles on the bbc One series "His Dark Materials" based on the books by Philip Pullman & in the 2020 Netflix films "The Old Guard" & "Devil All the Time."

Thomas Brodie-Sangster on "The Queen's Gambit." Netflix

Actor Thomas Brodie-Sangster played Newt in the "Maze Runner" film series và Jojen Reed on "Game of Thrones," both adaptations of books by James Dashner & George R. R. Martin, respectively.

But way back in 2003, he also played Sam in the instant holiday classic "Love, Actually," a role he reprised in 2017 for the UK"s charity short called "Red Nose Day Actually."

Even though the show was set mainly in the 1960s, women weren't allowed khổng lồ compete in the World Chess Championship until the 1980s.

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Beth Harmon was often the only woman or one of few women at chess tournaments on "The Queen's Gambit." Netflix

According lớn reporting by Jennifer Bisset for CNET, Hungarian player Judit Polgár became the youngest chess grand master in history at just 15 years old in 1991. She refused lớn play in women"s tournaments, instead going up against và beating the best male chess players of her time.

Before she ascended lớn those heights, her older sister, Susan Polgár, fought for the right for women khổng lồ qualify in the World Chess Championship in 1986.

Until that point, the word "men"s" had been in the name of the event, but she worked lớn replace that title with "open" và base the tournament"s eligibility on skill rather than gender.

The scenes where Beth looks to the ceiling to lớn visualize moves on the chessboard aren't completely unrealistic.

Chess players regularly look away lớn visualize plays in their heads. Netflix

Chess players might not have the handy visual aid of a dedicated special-effects team, but current world champion Magnus Carlsen told Chess24 that professionals looking away from the board lớn remember moves is "pretty normal."

Carlsen became a grand master at 13 years old, was going up against the best players in the world by 16, and gained his first world championship title at 22.

In 2020, he is the current reigning world champion, having defended his title three times.

The chess games were also a narrative device. Netflix

Although expert chess consultants trained the actors and kept the moves realistic, it was Tesoro"s job khổng lồ keep telling Beth"s story through the games.

She told Vulture in October that she kept switching the camera"s focus lớn varying things during different matches, like the ticking clocks or the player"s hands, to lớn fit the games into the overall arc of Beth"s story.

During the Paris tournament where Beth is clearly hungover, the pieces move around the board in a way that Tesoro described as being lượt thích a "Gumby" effect, a reference khổng lồ the famous green clay character.

Heath Ledger was working on adapting "The Queen's Gambit" from the page lớn the screen over a decade ago.

Heath Ledger was set lớn direct and star in his own adaptation of "The Queen's Gambit." Chris Weeks/Online USA/Getty Images

The Independent reported that prior to his death in 2008, Ledger had been working on a film adaptation of "The Queen"s Gambit," which he was planning to direct và star in alongside Elliot Page, who would"ve played Beth.

Screenwriter Allan Shiach, who writes under the pen name Allan Scott, had been working with Ledger on this adaptation, & he said Ledger resonated with Tevis" novel & was also an incredibly gifted chess champion who was close khổng lồ becoming a grand master.

Costume designer Gabriele Binder deliberately chose Beth's wardrobe to convey certain things about her character.

Beth Harmon's final outfit was symbolic of her groundbreaking win. Netflix

Binder specifically chose to lớn use plenty of checkered patterns throughout the series, which marries Beth"s passions for chess & fashion. She told Vogue UK in November that there are also various homages to lớn designers of the era, such as André Courrèges.

According to Binder, Beth"s all-white final outfit on the finale unmistakably shows Beth in control as the trắng queen.

"At the end, Beth wears the trắng coat with the white pants & cap," Binder said. "The idea, of course, is to lớn convey that she is now the queen on the chessboard và the chessboard itself is the world."

As of November 23, 2020, "The Queen's Gambit" is officially Netflix's most-watched scripted limited series to date.

Along with the show's popularity, interest in chess has also increased. Netflix

According to Deadline, 62 million households had watched the seven-episode series in its first month. It ranked in Netflix"s đứng top 10 in 92 countries & reached number one in 63.

Deadline also reported the show seemed to lớn make the game more popular.

They reported a spike in eBay searches for chess sets, a doubled number of Google searches on the topic, và a five-fold increase of players on

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Disclosure: Mathias Döpfner, CEO of Business"s parent company, Axel Springer, is a Netflix board member.