The Queen’s Gambit, Anya Taylor-Joy win Golden Globes

by Carlos Alberto Colodro
3/2/2021 – Netflix’s “The Queen’s Gambit” was a major success in 2020, with the streaming service announcing in November that 62 million viewers had watched the limited series since its debut on October 23. The series’ success has now also been recognized by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, as Anya Taylor-Joy won the Golden Globe for ‘best actress in a miniseries or television film’ and the series won the ‘best miniseries or television film’ award.

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“I love chess”

Right before Netflix announced that 62 million viewers had watched “The Queen’s Gambit” merely a month after it had been released, we published a piece noting that the series’ success had also helped the popularization of chess worldwide. In it, we compiled four of the many positive reviews the series had received. Rachel Syme wrote for the New Yorker:

What makes “The Queen’s Gambit” so satisfying comes in large measure from the character Taylor-Joy brings to screen: a charming, elegant weirdo who delivers her lines with a cool, wintergreen snap, and never really reacts the way one might expect. [...] The chess masters Garry Kasparov and Bruce Pandolfini, who consulted on the show, taught Taylor-Joy how professionals move the pieces along the board, but, as she told the magazine Chess Life, she developed her own way of gliding her hands across the board.

Three months later, the excellent work done by Taylor-Joy was rewarded with a Golden Globe, as she beat the likes of Cate Blanchett and Nicole Kidman in the category ‘Best Performance by an Actress in a Limited Series, Anthology Series, or a Motion Picture Made for Television’.

The following exchange was included in an interview for Variety:

Interviewer: At this point, are you playing chess all the time, or you’ve had enough for a lifetime and don’t care if you see another chessboard again?

Taylor-Joy: Oh, goodness, I could never say that, I love chess! I’ve had to pick up new skills for the movies that I’ve been doing, so I’m looking forward to get some time off so I can get back to chess.

Later on, the American-born Argentine-British actress and model was asked what was the most surprising thing she had discovered by learning how to play chess. She responded:

How much fun it is to punctuate a feeling by moving a piece.

The period drama miniseries based on Walter Tevis’ novel also took home the big prize as the ‘Best Television Limited Series, Anthology Series, or Motion Picture Made for Television’. Written and directed by Scott Frank — who created it with Allan Scott — the miniseries received the award in a category that had Small AxeUnorthodox, The Undoing and Normal People as the other nominees.


Carlos Colodro is a Hispanic Philologist from Bolivia. He works as a freelance translator and writer since 2012. A lot of his work is done in chess-related texts, as the game is one of his biggest interests, along with literature and music.


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karavamudan karavamudan 3/4/2021 05:56
All said and done, from chess players in James Bond movies (involving Sean Connerry, Daniel Craig) to the recent TV series, chess as a sport has received more visibility. Will it lead to more people taking up the game, will i atteact more sponsorship, jury is still out.
I feel that more lasting visibility and sponsorship may be attained if players are more human or even controversial (a la Fischer who fought for better treatment of the game and its players) than being robotic computer trained grand masters who smile or shake hands perfunctorily, and who are perhaps too well behaved). The game needs colorful and powerful personalities who stand up to the impefections in the FIDE system, are unafraid to state the truth - call spade a spade (you may not like Fischer or Kasparov but it was hard to ignore them) and fight for better
conditions for the players of the noble game.

Queens Gambit may make a temporary impact which will be soon forgotten.
ngnn ngnn 3/2/2021 11:50
Adbennet, my thoughts were exactly the same when I read her answer. "Oh, she put it very well!" I have been playing chess for almost 30 years but I don't think I ever formulated that sentence or anything similar myself. Yet, I knew immediately what she was refering to.
adbennet adbennet 3/2/2021 07:31
"How much fun it is to punctuate a feeling by moving a piece."

This is an exceptionally clever thing to say. The actress is a chessplayer with words as the pieces.
adbennet adbennet 3/2/2021 07:29
@Aldrin_Caraig - Keep working at it, you too can win a Golden Globes award some day. :)
Aldrin_Caraig Aldrin_Caraig 3/2/2021 11:43