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Sunday, July 25, 2021

The insurmountable game of chess that inspired the Queen’s Gambit series

Gambito de Dama is one of the new Netflix series that has caught the attention of several viewers on this streaming platform. She basically portrays Beth Harmon, an orphan who is a prodigy in the world of chess and who seeks to become the best player, but at the same time struggles with drug and alcohol addiction problems.

The miniseries starring Anya Taylor-Joy, an actress who is part of several other films in which she stands out for her performance and her particular beauty, is based on real events. In the first place, the story is based on a novel of the same name written by Walter Tevis. But in addition, his novel is inspired by real players who served as the basis for developing the characters in his book and, therefore, those in the series.

One of them was Bobby Fischer, a chess genius who experienced several tragedies that made him suffer, despite being a prodigy. Apart from his case, Queen’s Gambit was also inspired by a historical chess game between the aforementioned Bobby Fischer and another player, named Boris Spassky.

The meeting between Fischer and Spassky took place in 1972, when an American and a Soviet clashed on the board, representing interests very much on everyone’s mouth because of the Cold War.

During the game, they both proved to be the best in the world because they responded like no one else to every move. Many fans followed that game and filled the way with suspense as they watched the future of the game. People felt they were witnessing something unique because of the level of intelligence of both players.

This meeting took place in Reykjavik, Iceland as part of the 1972 World Chess Championship. The challenger was Bobby Fischer, while the defender was champion Boris Spassky. It is commonly referred to as the Match of the Century.

The result was that Bobby Fischer became the first American to be world chess champion since Wilhelm Steinitz, who in 1886 became the first world champion to beat Johannes Zukertort. Fischer’s victory also ended the Soviet reign, which for 24 years had been the champion of the game.

This game lasted 40 plays, until it was postponed for another day. It began on July 11 and was postponed to August 31. Spassky surrendered over the phone the next day without continuing the game, so Fischer won the match 12½ – 8½.

It is important to take into account the context of this game. Since at the time, a nuclear confrontation between the United States and the Soviet Union seemed feasible, with terribly destructive results as the only guaranteed end. This made the game symbolic of two powers fighting each other on several levels. This tension ended up exploding in a chess match.

There are videos that recreate the movements made in that historic chess game. Because the Queen’s Gambit series has increased the popularity of chess worldwide, many people have become increasingly interested in knowing the origin of this narrative and in tracking the chess players who went down in history and who inspired this Netflix miniseries.

Although Bobby Fischer was the prototype of an American citizen who did not appear to have a game as powerful as he had, he soon caught the attention of the press and became a controversial figure who to this day continues to inspire characters, as we can clearly see in Queen’s Gambit.

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