Is The Queen’s Gambit a True Story? | Is Beth Harmon Based on a Real Person?

Is Beth Harmon from The Queen’s Gambit a real person?

In the ever-expanding streaming universe, there are TV shows that make you laugh, those that scare you half to death, and those that inspire you with the protagonist’s incredible achievements and make you grateful for the relative stability of your life. The latest entry in that last genre is The Queen’s Gambit, which dropped on Netflix in October and stars Anya Taylor-Joy as an orphaned chess prodigy struggling with drug addiction. The miniseries’ seven episodes follow nearly a decade and a half of the life of Taylor-Joy’s Beth Harmon.

Her story starts at an orphanage, where she is fed tranquilizers and soon builds an addiction to the drugs, but also unlocks a hidden talent while learning to play chess from the facility’s custodian. Over time, she must deal with her addiction while pursuing her dream of becoming a chess grandmaster. With this particular brand of gritty triumph against all odds at the core of much of the “based on a true story” canon of film and TV, it’s practically impossible not to wonder whether The Queen’s Gambit is, indeed, based on a true story.

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