The Queen’s Gambit: That ending explained and all your questions answered

Anya Taylor-Pleasure in The Queen’s Gambit.


For those who’re nonetheless buzzing after Beth Harmon’s triumph in The Queen’s Gambit, let’s dive even additional into the superb Netflix miniseries. From whether or not it is primarily based on a real story of a chess prodigy, to what a “Queen’s Gambit” is strictly, we’ll hopefully have all of your questions coated.

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Warning: Spoilers forward


Younger Beth learns chess from Mr. Shaibel, her orphanage’s janitor.


Is it primarily based on a real story?

Whereas The Queen’s Gambit comes throughout as an inspirational sports activities story, it is an adaptation of a 1983 fictional coming-of-age novel of the identical identify written by American novelist Walter Tevis. Tevis was a chess participant himself and consulted real-life chess masters to make sure he precisely depicted the intricacies and guidelines {of professional} chess. So no, Elizabeth Harmon is not primarily based on an actual orphaned chess prodigy from the ’50s and ’60s. However for those who’re on the lookout for a feminine chess participant to learn up on, Judit Polgar of Hungary is usually thought-about the strongest feminine chess participant of all time.

What is the Queen’s Gambit?

The Queen’s Gambit is a chess opening that includes three performs. It is the transfer Beth makes use of in her last successful match in opposition to Vasily Borgov, the Russian world champion. Beth, beginning as white, performs her pawn to Queen 4. Borgov performs his pawn to Queen 4 after which Beth performs her pawn to Queen Bishop 4. That is the Queen’s Gambit.

How does Beth’s actual mom die?

When Beth was 9, her actual mom Alice dedicated suicide by driving into an oncoming automobile. She first drives to Beth’s father’s home, the place his new spouse solutions with their younger son. Alice asks Paul for assist with caring for Beth, however Paul frantically rushes her away from his new household. He says she will be able to come again they usually’ll discuss one other time, nevertheless it’s been 5 years since they final noticed one another and he is clearly moved on. With nowhere to take Beth, Alice makes an attempt to kill them each within the crash. Beth miraculously survives, however suffers from emotional points all through her life.


Beth and Benny Watts.


What tablet does Beth take?

At Beth’s orphanage, the Methuen House for Ladies, the kids are given tranquillizer drugs to make them compliant. When a regulation is handed forbidding this and Beth’s drugs are taken away, she suffers withdrawals and continues to battle along with her dependancy to the drug.

How does Mrs. Wheatley die?

After her whirlwind romance with pen pal Manuel ends, Mrs. Wheatley would not present as much as Beth’s match with Borgov in Mexico Metropolis. Beth returns to her resort room to find Mrs. Wheatley useless. The coroner expects it was hepatitis, an inflammatory situation of the liver. Mrs. Wheatley was an alcoholic, operating up an enormous invoice on margaritas on the resort.

How does Beth beat Benny Watts?

The primary time Beth performs Benny Watts, the reigning US champion, on the US Open in Las Vegas, he defeats her. Later, with the assistance of ex-Kentucky state champion Harry Beltik, Beth learns to review her opponents and the video games of their careers, as an alternative of simply improvizing within the second. She buys a replica of Chess Evaluate with a characteristic on Watts and asks him questions on himself in individual, like why he carries round a knife (he says it is safety from “no matter”). Within the last match of the US Championship in Ohio, Beth swiftly defeats him in 30 strikes. She permits him to play the identical transfer he performed to defeat her the primary time — buying and selling queens — however this time she’s ready.


Beth and Borgov.


How does adjournment work?

When Beth performs her last match in opposition to Borgov in Russia, he requests they adjourn till the subsequent day. This implies he should write his subsequent transfer on a chunk of paper and seal it in an envelope. The director will then kick off the subsequent session with the ready transfer. This ensures neither participant is aware of what the board will appear to be when it is their subsequent flip.

Why does Borgov wish to adjourn?

Whereas Beth seems to be the extra bored with the 2, after enjoying a number of lengthy matches in a row, it is Borgov who requests they finish the primary session of their last match of the Moscow Invitational till the next day. This might level to Borgov’s interview in a tape Beth watches whereas coaching with Harry, the place Borgov talks about developing in opposition to folks half his age, like Beth, and would not know the way lengthy he can proceed successful. “I can battle in opposition to anybody however time.” It is potential he too is drained and, recognizing Beth’s fatigue, believes it truthful to name the adjournment. He may also already really feel threatened he’ll lose, so retreats to seek the advice of the opposite Russian gamers — Beth stumbled upon Borgov serving to earlier world champion Luchenko within the adjournment of their match a day or two earlier than.

Who’s Iepe Rubingh?

The Queen’s Gambit is devoted to Iepe Rubingh, the inventor of chess boxing, who died aged 45 in Could this yr of unknown causes. Chess boxing is a hybrid sport, the place opponents compete in alternating rounds of chess and boxing.

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Jennifer Bisset