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Book cover  Because of the Netflix adaption of this book, chess has had a resurgence in the last few years and that is because the story is wonderful: Beth Harmon, an orphan with a very analytical brain, but a rather frigid attitude to life, learns to play chess and then becomes the best in the field. The TV series follows pretty much The Queen's Gambit book, with just minor details or changes of perspective differing.

  The structure of the plot is that of a sports story: poor disadvantaged kid gets a break, shows they are great at something, then struggle to prove it. Walter Tevis writes a very compelling character, using an almost serial killer vibe. If you think about it a bit, the tranquilizers that the orphanage gave to the children to "pacify" them are probably the main cause of Beth's choices in life ;)

  Even if I saw the series before reading the book, most characters were just that, some characters. I couldn't remember who played them in the show and I didn't care. But for the character of Beth I can't imagine a better casting choice than Anya Taylor-Joy. While reading I was seeing her in my mind's eye.

  I hear that the show will have a second season. That's both good and bad. Good because I want to see more of Beth. Bad because there is no more original material, the quality of the story might suffer significantly.


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