The Queen's Gambit Chess Explained

The Morning Watch is a recurring feature that highlights a handful of noteworthy videos from around the web. They could be video essays, fanmade productions, featurettes, short films, hilarious sketches, or just anything that has to do with our favorite movies and TV shows.

In this edition, listen to a world chess champion analyze some of the chess scenes from the Netflix miniseries The Queen’s Gambit. Plus, hear what stuntmen have to say about Hard Target, Project Power, The Rundown and some Hong Kong martial arts comedies. And finally, marvel at an awesome story about Eddie Murphy and Richard Pryor from Arsenio Hall. Read More »

the queen's gambit viewers

Netflix made a gambit that paid off with The Queen’s Gambit, the Anya Taylor-Joy-starring limited series that has set a new viewership record for Netflix. The Queen’s Gambit is officially the most-watched scripted limited series ever for Netflix, with 62 million member accounts worldwide having watched at least two minutes of the show over its first four weeks. This is no surprise considering the stir that The Queen’s Gambit has caused online, where it has become a major water cooler series for the streamer.

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the queen's gambit trailer

Genius comes at a cost for Anya Taylor-Joy‘s chess champion in The Queen’s Gambit, and that cost comes with lots of pills and booze. Taylor-Joy stars as a chess master who breaks into the male-dominated world of competitive chess, but learns that there’s a thin line between genius and madness. Watch The Queen’s Gambit trailer below.

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The Queen's Gambit trailer

Look out, boys, because this ain’t your daddy’s chess game! This is about the ladies! In the new Netflix series The Queen’s Gambit, the prolific Anya Taylor-Joy plays a talented chess player who drinks, does drugs, and smashes the boundaries of the male-dominated world of competitive chess. It’s hard to make chess seem sexy, but this series, which hails from Scott Frank, is going to try, damn it!

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ledger-parnassus3.jpg

If anyone remains unsure, Heath Ledger‘s filming and voice work on The Dark Knight were completed before his unfortunate death yesterday (click here for latest updates). However, it would seem that the status of his last film, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, which marked his second collaboration with director Terry Gilliam following 2005’s The Brothers Grimm, is in jeopardy. Variety reports that the film had recently finished up its London leg of the shoot and had moved on to Vancouver to continue filming before the incident stunned the world. Producers of the $30 million indie film have not yet issued a statement regarding how Ledger’s death will impact production. Whether the role will be recast and whether the film can even proceed are not known.

Seeing that Ledger was the film’s largest star, with a sizable lead on co-stars Christopher Plummer and Tom Waits in terms of name recognition, this is detrimental. His casting was pivotal to the financing of the project. As most of us know, Gilliam’s films and almost-films have a long history of unfortunate events, budget issues and creative conflicts that put his latest films’ box office prospects on shaky ground. This was all painfully exemplified in the 2002 documentary Lost in La Mancha, which chronicled the downward spiral of Gilliam’s never completed $35 million The Man Who Killed Don Quixote with Johnny Depp in the lead. The final nail in that film’s coffin was the illness of star Jean Rochefort.

Doctor Parnassus follows an ancient traveling theater company “which arrives in modern London with a magical mirror that can transport its audience into fantastical realms of the imagination.” Plummer plays the title doctor, while Ledger’s role is that of an outsider who must fend off the devil in order to rescue the doc’s daughter, played by Lily Cole.

The trade also reports that Ledger was gearing up for his directorial debut, an adaptation of the 1983 Walter Tevis novel The Queen’s Gambit, about a female chess prodigy, rumored to star Juno phenom Ellen Page.