How The Queen’s Gambit Brought Sexy Back To Chess

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Since its Netflix debut in October, The Queen’s Gambit has delivered record-setting viewership numbers. Sixty-two million member accounts watched the seven-episode limited series over the first 28 days of its release (For context, Netflix measures whether an account streams at least two minutes of a series or movie). The series also rose to number one on the streamer’s rankings in 63 countries and cracked the top ten in 92 others. 

It’s the most-watched scripted limited series in Netflix’s history. Only docuseries Tiger King (64 million views) and original series The Witcher (76 million views) have managed to attract more eyeballs. The Queen’s Gambit also made history as the first streaming program to not only remain in Nielsen’s Top 10 for three weeks in a row but maintain the number one spot.       

The story of chess prodigy Beth Harmon, who battles addiction on her journey to the top — and based on the 1983 novel of the same title by Walter Tevis — has resonated with fans globally. Along with a mesmerizing performance by Anya Taylor-Joy as Harmon, the show’s appeal rests in the intensely brilliant chess sequences. 

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