The Queen ‘s Gambit Review

I witness maturity, the chess game and Elizabeth Harmon. Maturity, perhaps, has to do with her upbringing. From the beginning, Beth suffers from abandonment issues at a very young age. Beth is not really an orphan, she has a father but no father figure. The story doesn’t really tell something that is very unforgiving from her father that cause him leaving. It could be coming from the mother that the father is no longer tolerable. The mother just keep advising the value of self-worth. Well, that adds up to ‘survivor kit’. She watches, listens and observes and has her own independent inner work. Tried to understand something complicated at young age. She doesn’t understand what is happening yet absorbing the sadness. She manages to find her own obsession in chess, something intellectual while other kids are passionate in something else. Chess has become a place where she put her mind into 100%. She finds peace with chess. Chess takes her to new mental adventure. With natural good inner work, she grows up as a matured young chess player. She plays like a survivor. She is an ‘orphan’. She has nothing to lose. That shows in her chess play.


Beth is a coachable person.

She has a well-mannered personality from the start. Her well-mannered attitude makes conflict easier to solve. She doesn’t cause much trouble to others but much more on self. She relied on alcohol and tranquilizers to keep her mind cloudy. She also get that habit from drunk adoptive mother.

Alcohol is the evil, not the drunkard.

Drunkard is not necessarily evil. However, the alcoholism habit can affect others who is growing identity in the house. The mother could have play her piano fun, but the melody often sad. The mother failed to response her issue well. She ended up dead on deathbed, diagnosed with a hepatitis. The story doesn’t mention what type of hepatitis but she is prone to virus before. Heavy alcoholism makes her worse. However, the mother has been supportive through Beth’s career. Alcoholic is not necessarily evil. The habit can merge with depression and leads to suicidal tendency.

Stoicism stuff: Deliver promise.

This story also tells about the adoptive father is less than a man. He isn’t man enough to take responsibility to look after Beth that he signed for, after releasing from Denver and is not delivering his promise to give the house to Beth. I put, he does not know what he wants in his life. That is pathetic to observe. His wife became a painful character to watch towards her death.

Be at your own class.

Beth knows how to handle issues with self-respect and with her own class. For example, she gave back money to Christian club who wants her to speak for them against Communism who urge atheism. She is a world-class chess player. She doesn’t represent any other than herself. She is young and she knows her self-worth perfectly even though she doesn’t sure whether giving back that capital is a right thing to do. Benny Watts asked her to take it. The mother has advised, “Man tells you what to do, you go ahead”. I think not many are this decisive.


Harry Beltik was infatuated by her talent in chess. Then, Benny Watts. Two male chess player have fallen in love with Beth for her talent in chess (with sexual intercourses). Then, they realized that they are not able to accept her weakness, her whole identity, for WHO she is. They want to fix her alcoholism and drug issue without going to the root cause (abandonment issue and Beth is not opening up to that). But Beth is fine, no offense taketh nor giveth. Beth got herself, still respect her colleagues and march on, headstrong.

Guess my favorite character?

Hell yes, Jolene! I love Jolene from the beginning! The girl is A LOT fine on her own. Jolene has high EQ even though she is a naughty person. The girl doesn’t take pill as instructed, curses a lot. That’s why she never get adopted. But the most important thing is, she is very well accept herself. She got herself alright with out adoptive parents. She is also a headstrong person with high ambition to fight justice as paralegal. I love her afro hairstyle! 😀

Jolene would be everyone’s good best friend

Jolene also has her own class from the very beginning except she took Beth’s book “Modern Chess Opening” because she is envy but presented it to Beth later as “pun-intended gift” in adult life.

Jolene is a wonder in Beth’s life. She would be our kind of best friend, the friend that accepts you, came when you in need and doesn’t have anything to do with you nor acting like your guardian angel came to ‘save’ you or fix you. I think the issues on her plate has grown her into a wise adult.

Jolene’s high EQ shows at every words of support, her care and her companionship ‘cures’ Beth from struggling with alcohol and drugs completely. I can feel a BIG relief when Jolene came at Beth’s door. That was time where Beth is at peak time of struggle. Going towards, I truly felt relief of this whole friendship. It was honest, healthy and rare. Appreciate your friend that is good to you.

Never look down on anyone including janitor

Beth cried for the first time. Really sad after she found photo of her and Mr Shaibel with chess board, after all years grow without tears and headstrong. It was enough to say that she misses Mr Shaibel, a janitor, a first man, a first father-figure, an individual that introduced and taught her chess.

He off-and-on took her seriously before he finds her a phenomenal chess player. Mr Shaibel, the JANITOR, is her first intellect spark and guides her towards light as an individual, not young lady, because in 1960s, there is no women faced men in chess. Mr Shaibel is awesome!

The green pill.

What I do not understand is how is that pill allowed to be consumed by kids? They said it was vitamin and then drug. Then, I don’t care anymore.

Townes came.

Townes is Beth’s first crush. Townes, for me, is a brother figure that is good to her. Beth’s issues are gotten more and more cured after Townes came to Moscow for her and her endgame. The only thing that’s funny is when he brought Beth to his room, to take photos of her (I mean we know what’s gonna happen right) before audiences are shocked by a person who portrayed as gay-ish roommate in Townes’ room. The scene wasn’t perfectly justify Townes’s sexuality. But Townes came to Moscow and apologize for the incident without justification of his sexuality. Overall, I can tell that he is a good guy for her.


It is very important to connect with healthy individuals to grow especially those who has not have excellent past. Instead of relying on ANY individual, be guided by, a healthy obsession and be the best, fucking excellent in it. The right people will come to you.

It feels good to watch healthy and strong connections that Beth has in her life. 🙂

Second, be well-mannered and know your self-worth. So that conflicts become easier to look for its own solution. You can go anywhere in the world without getting hurt or hurt others, with your self-worth. Chess should not be a game of pride and sorrow like Morphy, the lawyer. Instead, we can make it pride and fulfilling!

Watching The Queen Gambit refreshed my childhood memory. I love chess.


Kontinjen Catur MSSM Pahang. I played National level at Batu Pahat, Johor, 3 weeks before big exam, UPSR.

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