How the Episode begins
This third episode shows Beth and her biological mother in some of the moments they had together. In the scene, they’re at the lake and Beth’s mother is swimming. She directed herself toward a boat. She waves at her daughter when she arrived on the boat. One would say that Beth and her mother loved each other and was close.
After that sequence, Beth is now shown in Cincinnati of 1963. Beth is there with her adopted mother to participate in a chess tournament. They live in a beautiful hotel room until the tournament is finished. Beth is already recognized as a champion from Kentucky before the beginning of the tournament.
This third episode focuses on showing the width of Beth’s popularity amongst chess players. It details the story of how Beth conquers the chess community.
Her first round at the tournament
Her opponent recognizes Beth and is upset to encounter her at the first round. The man was aware of her abilities and made up his mind about his future loss. After that first game, Beth analyzes the way she played the game in her hotel room. She looks for anything that would have exposed her if her opponent was more qualified. Her analysis shows that she played the game perfectly. Beth’s mother was there to watch her for the second round. Beth and her high school friends have a discussion about participating in the US Open. After that, they talk about the idea to play in the Russian tournament but they have some reserve because it is believed that Russians are way better than Americans at Chess.
Beth and Her mother take pleasure to Attend Tournaments
Beth won the Cincinaty tournament and she gives her mother money as a commission after the two have decided how much that money would be. After Cincinaty, Beth claims the first place in another tournament. Her mother keeps school from interfering by telling the people in charge that her daughter is constantly ill and can’t attend school. From tournament to tournament, Chess is bringing daughter and mother closer and closer to each other. They attend different tournaments in many states and win big amounts of money doing so.
Beth begins to be very popular:
Beth is now more and more popular and she draws attention. A journalist is interested in her case and interviews her. The questions were about the fact that Beth is an orphan and the story of how she came to play chess and be so good at it. The journalist also demands if Beth feels intimidated because all her opponents are men. Beth responds that she discovered chess in the basement of an orphanage’s basement by playing with a janitor. She also says that it’s that janitor who showed her some moves and taught her many chess moves. She also responds that her great ability in chess comes from the fact that she can predict how a game will evolve and therefore play the right way in order to win. The journalist says that perhaps, Beth has some kind of particularity that allows her to see patterns better than others do. To that, she responds, “Genius and Madness.’ The interview is stopped because Mrs. Wheatley intervened and told her daughter to go out.
Mrs. Wheatley reads a magazine where there is all the discussions between Beth and the journalist during the interview. Beth doesn’t like that the magazine I stalking more about her being a girl than about her talent. One girl at her school invites Beth to party. Beth is gaining more importance socially thanks to her new and growing popularity.
Beth Doesn’t Like girls’ party
Beth is having a bad time at the party because the girls don’t stop asking her details about the boys of the different tournaments she participated in. Gossiping and dancing aren’t amusing to Beth. She’s not like the other girls of her school. Bored with the party, she leaves early and anonymously and go home. In bed, she does what stimulates her: thinking about chess moves and games.
A familiar Person
The episode is now showing Beth in Las Vegas in 1966. She’s there for a tournament. She meets an old acquaintance, Townes, when she gets in the building where the tournament will be played. Beth met and played against him at the first tournament she played. Back then, Townes made beth nervous. Townes express the idea that Beth has the possibility to play chess as a professional one day. Beth tells him that she’s taking Russian courses. Townes whishes to write an article about Beth for his paper and he demanded if beth would play chess and take photos with him in his room. Something was to happen between the two in Townes’s room, but his friend entered the room and it stopped.
This third episode is showing the beginning of a romantic adventure for Beth but that is shadowed by how Beth is so determined to be totally dominant in the chess world.
Beth explains how the players play to her mother
Beth enters the hotel room where she and her mother stay during the competition. While drinking a beer, she begins to describe how each player of the tournament plays. There’s one other overtalented player amongst the player. Beth isn’t scared of him. The only one she’s scared of is the Russian Gorbov.
A past Mistake
Beth and Benny are discussing at the bar. Benny points out an error that Beth has made a few years ago. She’s upset about what Benny is telling her and she set out to find her error. She finds her error and she explains to her mom that she could have been beaten by Beltik because of that error. The most annoying for her is the fact that Benny has deduced her error simply by reading the report of the game.
How This Third Episode Ends
It is well known that in sports, technic count, but mental toughness is also an essential component of success. Episode 3 is showing that Beth still lacks the skills to get into her opponent’s mind in order to destabilize them and win. Beth has to play Benny in the tournament. The two have a very matched game. Benny endeavors to exchange Queens which destabilize Beth. At the end, she loses her calm and the tournament along the way. She’s upset about her incapacity to foresee what Benny wanted to do. Her mother held her hand as they leave the tournament.