Queen Of Our Lockdown: The Queen’s Gambit Reviewed

Updated: Mar 24

by Niall Walker

"Watching the show as the walls close in, and the lights from the outside world dim, it is community, not victory, that I long for"
Anya Taylor-Joy as Meg Harmon. Still: The Queen's Gambit (Netflix; 2020)

In 1996, the Chess grandmaster Gary Kasparov faced Deep Blue, an IBM-developed supercomputer, and lost.

As Kasparov’s king went down in the final game, it seemed as though a new future had been confirmed. A door had opened, through which the internet, job automation, driverless vehicles and self-service checkouts all inevitably seemed to flow. Across 64 squares a processor had defeated the human mind. Now the world was surely theirs. Deep Blue’s defeat of Kasparov - grandmaster at 17, world champion for 25 years - was the most defining moment in chess history.

Or maybe second. Netflix’s The Queen’s Gambit has brought the fictionalised match between Vasily Borgov and Beth Harmon into quarantined living rooms across the world. Over 62 million have tuned in, leading to a