Is “The Queen’s Gambit” Based on a Real-life Story?



“The Queen’s Gambit” is a popular Netflix series that has captivated the audience all the time because of its thrilling narrative and stunning performances of cast members highlighting young chess prodigy, Beth Harmon. The plot of the series is all about Beth’s rise to prominence in the male-dominated world of competitive chess.

Additionally, the series got positive ratings from critics worldwide on different platforms such as 8.5 out of 10 on IMDB, 96% on Rotten Tomatoes, and 79% on Metacritic. The scenarios of the film seemed realistic and gripping which attracted the attention of the masses and made them wonder whether the plot was based on real events.

I have answered all your queries about the “The Queen Gambit” film through this post. If you want to know everything then you have to read this post completely to its entirety. Let’s dive into the inspirations and realities behind “The Queen’s Gambit” as well as historical elements of the chess world.


  • Coming-of-age
  • Period drama
Created by
  • Scott Frank
  • Allan Scott
Based on  The Queen’s Gambit
by Walter Tevis
Written by Scott Frank
Directed by Scott Frank
Directed by Scott Frank
  • Anya Taylor-Joy
  • Bill Camp
  • Moses Ingram
  • Isla Johnston
  • Christiane Seidel
  • Rebecca Root
  • Chloe Pirrie
  • Akemnji Ndifornyen
  • Marielle Heller
  • Harry Melling
  • Patrick Kennedy
  • Jacob Fortune-Lloyd
  • Thomas Brodie-Sangster
  • Marcin Dorociński
Country of Origin United States
Original Language English
No. of Episode 7
Executive producer
  • William Horberg
  • Allan Scott
  • Scott Frank
  • Marcus Loges
  • Mick Aniceto
Running time 46–67 minutes
Production companies
  • Flitcraft Ltd
  • Wonderful Films
Network Netflix
Release October 23, 2020

What is “Queen’s Gambit” All About?

The Queen’s Gambit is an enthralling 2020 American coming-of-age period drama television miniseries. This miniseries is based on the 1983 novel of the same name by Walter Tevis. It was written and directed by Scott Frank. The unique narrative of the series revolves around the life of Beth Harmon (Anya Taylor-Joy).

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is the queen's gambit based on a true story

The Queen’s Gambit was preimeried on Netflix on October 23, 2020. It gained popularity in such a short period as it became Netflix’s most-watched miniseries just four weeks after its release. Taylor-Joy’s performance, cinematography, and production values are praised by critics worldwide. This series has also won eleven Primetime Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Limited or Anthology Series.

Is the Queen’s Gambit Based on a True Story?

The Queen’s Gambit is not based on the true story. The film is entirely friction and inspired by the 1983 coming-of-age novel of the same name by Walter Tevis, who died in 1984. Despite the ongoing circulating rumors on various social media platforms, the film is not a real chess prodigy.

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It highlights the life of American Chess Grandmaster Bobby Fischer who proved his level of intelligence and focused mindset in his teenage years. However, he suffered from intense paranoia and schizophrenia and still managed to become the youngest U.S. Chess Champion in history at age 14.

Moreover, he made several contributions to the film. Throughout the production of this captivating miniseries, Fischer deals with several addiction issues. Before proceeidng further, take a look at the truth about the plot of “Terrifier” film.

Does ‘the Queen’s Gambit’ Present a Feminist Perspective on Chess?

Given the prevalence of misogyny in chess, The Queen’s Gambit is notable for its feminist perspective. Susan Polgar, a chess prodigy and world champion, praised the show for portraying “chess as something emotional and exciting,” although she considered Harmon’s encounters with prejudice on the show “mild.”

Polgar, the only player to win all six major titles, faced emotional and physical abuse during her career in the 1970s and 1980s. She found Borgov’s graceful acceptance of defeat after the decisive game to be unrealistic. Check out: Is Texas Chain Saw Massacre based on a true story? Who was the real-life inspiration for Leatherface?

What is the Storyline of the Queen’s Gambit?

Walter was an amateur chess player. He transformed his identity into a female protagonist in The Queen’s Gambit so that he could balance everything in the game. The elements were taken from Bobby Fischer. Beth Harmon is a female chess player who is not so smart and also fails while playing and showcasing her talents.

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Throughout the film, Walter changes the way of challenging Bobby’s presumptions in the film. Therefore, the lie of Walter is more reflective than Bobby’s. In 1993, he revealed that he was not only a good chess player at a young age but he was addicted to drugs in the film, the fictional character, Bobby, did not struggle with drugs or alcohol like Walter in real life.

Who Was the Cast and Character of “The Queen’s Gambit”?


  • Anya Taylor-Joy as Beth Harmon
  • Isla Johnston as nine-year-old Beth
  • Annabeth Kelly as five-year-old Beth
  • Bill Camp as William Shaibel
  • Moses Ingram as Jolene
  • Christiane Seidel as Helen Deardorff
  • Rebecca Root as Miss Lonsdale
  • Chloe Pirrie as Alice Harmon
  • Akemnji Ndifornyen as Mr. Fergusson
  • Marielle Heller as Alma Wheatley
  • Harry Melling as Harry Beltik
  • Patrick Kennedy as Allston Wheatley
  • Jacob Fortune-Lloyd as D.L. Townes
  • Thomas Brodie-Sangster as Benny Watts
  • Marcin Dorociński as Vasily Borgov

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  • Sergio Di Zio as Beth’s biological father
  • Dolores Carbonari as Margaret
  • Eloise Webb as Annette Packer
  • Matthew and Russell Dennis Lewis as Matt and Mike
  • Max Krause as Arthur Levertov
  • Ryan Wichert as Hilton Wexler

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  • Jonjo O’Neill as Mr. Ganz
  • Louis Ashbourne Serkis as Georgi Girev
  • Janina Elkin as Borgov’s wife
  • Millie Brady as Cleo
  • Bruce Pandolfini as Ed Spencer
  • John Schwab as Mr. Booth
  • Marcus Loges as Luchenko


“The Queen Gambit” is a captivating film, showcasing the young chess prodigy. The film is entirely fictional and based on the 1983 novel of the same name by Walter Tevis.

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