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The Queen's Gambit (miniseries) - Season 01 - Free Download


The Queen's Gambit is a 2020 American coming-of-age period drama miniseries based on Walter Tevis's 1983 novel of the same name. It was created for Netflix by Scott Frank and Allan Scott. Beginning in the mid-1950s and proceeding into the 1960s, the story follows the life of an orphaned chess prodigy on her rise to the top of the chess world while struggling with emotional problems, drug problems, and alcohol dependency.

Netflix released The Queen's Gambit on October 23, 2020. After four weeks it had become Netflix's most-watched scripted miniseries.[1] It has received critical acclaim for Anya Taylor-Joy's performance as Beth Harmon as well as for the cinematography and production values. It has also received a positive response from the chess community and is credited with spurring a resurgence of public interest in the game.



The Queen's Gambit follows the life of an orphan chess prodigy, Beth Harmon, during her quest to become the world's greatest chess player while struggling with emotional problems and drug and alcohol dependency. The title of the series refers to a chess opening of the same name. The story begins in the mid-1950s and proceeds into the 1960s.[4]

The story begins in Lexington, Kentucky, where a nine-year-old Beth, having lost her mother in a car crash, is taken to an orphanage where she is taught chess by the building's custodian, Mr. Shaibel. As was common during the 1950s, the orphanage dispenses daily tranquilizer pills to the girls,[5][6] which turns into an addiction for Beth. She quickly becomes a strong chess player due to her visualization skills, which are enhanced by the tranquilizers. A few years later, Beth is adopted by Alma Wheatley and her husband from Lexington. As she adjusts to her new home, Beth enters a chess tournament and wins despite having no prior experience in competitive chess. She develops friendships with several people, including former Kentucky state champion Harry Beltik; gifted but arrogant chess prodigy Benny Watts and journalist, photographer and fellow player D.L. Townes. As Beth continues to win games and reaps the financial benefits of her success, she becomes more dependent on alcohol and other drugs.

Cast and characters


  • Anya Taylor-Joy as Elizabeth (Beth) Harmon, an orphan who matures into a competitive young adult fueled by a desire to become the greatest chess player in the world while masking a growing addiction to the drugs and alcohol that allow her to function.
    • Isla Johnston as young Beth
    • Annabeth Kelly as five-year-old Beth
  • Bill Camp as Mr. Shaibel, the custodian at the Methuen Home for Girls and an experienced chess player who teaches Beth how to play the game.
  • Moses Ingram as Jolene, a rebellious teenage girl at the Methuen Home who becomes Beth's closest childhood friend.
  • Christiane Seidel as Helen Deardorff, director of Methuen Home for Girls.
  • Rebecca Root as Miss Lonsdale,[7] the chaplain and choir director at Methuen.
  • Chloe Pirrie as Alice Harmon, Beth's deceased mother who earned a Ph.D. in mathematics at Cornell University before experiencing a downward spiral in her mental health.
  • Akemnji Ndifornyen as Mr. Fergusson, the orderly at Methuen, who among other roles administers state-mandated pills to the girls.
  • Marielle Heller as Alma Wheatley, who with her husband Allston adopts Beth as a young teenager and later acts as a manager for Beth's chess career. Alma's biological child died sometime before Beth's adoption, and she develops a worsening alcoholism that begins to influence Beth.
  • Harry Melling as Harry Beltik, a state champion player Beth defeats in her first tournament and later befriends.
  • Patrick Kennedy as Allston Wheatley, Alma's husband and Beth's estranged adoptive father.
  • Jacob Fortune-Lloyd as Townes, a fellow chess player for whom Beth develops an unrequited love.
  • Thomas Brodie-Sangster as Benny Watts, a brash young man who is the reigning United States chess champion and one of Beth's most challenging competitors, later a mentor and friend.
  • Marcin Dorociński as Vasily Borgov, the current Soviet-Russian world champion chess player and Beth's strongest competitor.


  • Sergio Di Zio as Beth's father
  • Dolores Carbonari as Margaret, Beth's high school classmate.
  • Eloise Webb as Annette Packer, a friendly teenager who becomes Beth's first tournament opponent
  • Matthew Dennis Lewis and Russell Dennis Lewis as Matt and Mike, twin brothers who serve as registration officials at Beth's first tournament and go on to become her friends.
  • Max Krause as Arthur Levertov, a grandmaster and friend of Benny's who assists Beth with her training
  • Ryan Wichert as Hilton Wexler, a strong player and chess problem enthusiast, friend of Benny

Guest starring

  • Louis Ashbourne Serkis as Georgi Girev, a 13-year-old Soviet chess prodigy
  • Janina Elkin [de] as Borgov's wife, who is also his interpreter
  • John Schwab as Mr. Booth, Beth's agent
  • Millie Brady as Cleo, a French model who had a brief affair with Benny. She quickly befriends Beth.
  • Bruce Pandolfini as Ed Spencer, a tournament director
  • Marcus Loges as Luchenko, a veteran former world chess champion and Beth's penultimate opponent in Moscow.



On March 19, 2019, Netflix gave the production a series order consisting of six episodes. The series was written and directed by Scott Frank, who also created the series with Allan Scott.[8] The two also served as executive producers alongside William Horberg.[9] Scott had been involved in attempts to get the book on screen since 1992, when he purchased the screenplay rights from Walter Tevis' widow.[10]

The series was released on October 23, 2020, with seven episodes instead of the original six-episode order.[8]


Former World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov and chess coach Bruce Pandolfini acted as consultants.[11][12] Pandolfini had consulted with Tevis prior to the novel's publication some 38 years earlier,[13] coming up with the title "The Queen's Gambit".[10]

Pandolfini, together with consultants John Paul Atkinson and Iepe Rubingh, devised several hundred chess positions to be used for various situations in the script. Kasparov developed critical moments in the story, such as when a real 1998 game between grandmasters Arshak Petrosian and Vladimir Akopian was improved to showcase Beth's skill.[10]


Alongside the series order announcement, it was announced that Anya Taylor-Joy was set to star as the lead.[14] In January 2020, it was reported Moses Ingram had joined the cast of the series.[15] Upon the miniseries premiere date announcement, it was announced that Bill Camp, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Harry Melling and Marielle Heller were cast in starring roles.[16][17]

Production design

Production designer Uli Hanisch developed the series' sets to evoke the aesthetic of the 1950s and 1960s. Much of the series was filmed in Berlin because of how interiors found there could stand in for a large number of the show's locations, including Las Vegas, Cincinnati, Mexico City, Moscow, and Paris.[10][18][19]


Though the series is set mostly in the United States, filming was carried out mostly in Berlin,[20] many of the minor roles being filled by British and German actors. Principal photography began in August 2019 in Cambridge, Ontario.[21] Locations used in Berlin included the Kino International, the Berlin Zoo, Humana and the Friedrichstadt-Palast.[22]


The musical score was composed by Carlos Rafael Rivera.[23] Frank initially wanted the score to be piano-based only, but in the end decided with Rivera for a full orchestral score for more "instrumental depth and color." Rivera found scoring for chess a challenging task, having been warned by Frank that "music would be doing a lot of heavy lifting." He decided to reflect Beth's growth – both as a person and a chess player – by adding more and more instrumentation over time.



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