On October 23, 2020, The Queen’s Gambit premiered on Netflix. It is based on the 1983 novel of the same name, written by Walter Tevis. It tells the story of an orphan, who, at age nine, learned to play chess and became a prodigy. Her life and her rise to international fame is not a smooth-sailing one as she struggles with drug and alcohol addiction.
Since its debut on the streaming platform, The Queen’s Gambit has taken the world by storm. Praised for its visual style, enthralling narrative, and Anya Taylor-Joy’s performance as the lead character Beth Harmon, chess experts have also commended the show as being more realistic than other film or television adaptations of the game.
To date, The Queen’s Gambit is Netflix’s most watched limited series, reeling in 62 million households. The series also played a crucial role in reviving people’s interest in the game with searches for chess sets on eBay going up to 250%. On chess.com, the number of sign-ups has hit 100,000 per day following the success of the show. Also, the novel it was based from is now a New York Times bestseller 37 years after it was released.
The success of the series is well-deserved. And because we can’t get enough of it, here are 30 The Queen’s Gambit quotes you can read while you wait for that chess set you ordered.
Would you like to start my clock? – D. L. Townes
Intuition can’t be found in books. – Alma Wheatley
Chess isn’t always competitive. Chess can also be beautiful. It was the board I noticed first. It’s an entire world of just 64 squares. I feel safe in it. I can control it. I can dominate it. And it’s predictable, so if I get hurt, I only have myself to blame. – Beth Harmon
Someday, you’re gonna be all alone. So you need to figure out how to take care of yourself. – Alice Harmon
Let’s play. – Beth Harmon
My tranquility needs to be refurbished. – Alma Wheatley
I analyze games. – Beth Harmon
What you know is not always important. – Alma Wheatley
The key is not to be tentative. You have to play with absolute confidence. – Benny Watts
Mr. Gantz told me I beat them all in an hour and twenty minutes. – Beth Harmon
Anger is a potent spice. A pinch wakes you up; too much dulls your senses. – Harry Beltik
Girls do not play chess. – Mr. Shaibel
Most times when people tell us something’s for the best, it’s for the worst. – Alice Harmon
Creativity and psychosis often go hand in hand. Or, for that matter, genius and madness. – Jean Blake
I don’t know why my body is so intent on sabotaging my brain, when my brain is perfectly capable of sabotaging itself. – Alma Wheatley
What surprised me, was how bad they played. – Beth Harmon
I’m gonna be a radical. – Jolene
Most of us are lifers. Been here a long time. Nobody’s gonna come for us now. We’re too old. Or too black. – Jolene
I’m not your Guardian Angel. I’m not here to save you. Hell, I can barely save me. – Jolene
You play what’s best for you. – Benny Watts
We weren’t orphans, not as long as we had each other. – Jolene
Men are gonna come along and wanna teach you things. You just let them blow-by, and you go on ahead and do just what the hell you feel like. – Alice Harmon
It felt good. I never won at anything before. – Beth Harmon
I want to know what that is you’re playing. – Beth Harmon
You destroy everyone you play, Harmon. I can only lose so much. – Mike
It’s foolish to run the risk of going mad for vanity’s sake. – Harry Beltik
Isn’t it intimidating? I mean, when I was a girl, I wasn’t allowed to be competitive. I played with dolls. – Jean Blake
The strongest person is the person who isn’t scared to be alone. – Alice Harmon
Dark’s nothing to be afraid of. In fact, I’d go as far as saying there’s nothing to be afraid of. Anywhere. – Alice Harmon
Dear Mr. Shaibel, there’s a chess tournament here with a first prize of a hundred dollars, and a second prize of fifty dollars. There are other prizes too. It costs five dollars to enter, and I don’t have that. If you will send me the money, I will pay you back ten dollars if I win any prize at all. – Beth Harmon
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