Chess: “The Queen’s Gambit” inspires people around the world

the queen's gambit chess

You may have heard about the movie “The Queen’s Gambit.” Everyone has. The TV Show is based on Walter Tevis’s novel “The Queen’s Gambit,” from 1983. According to Netflix, “The Queen’s Gambit” became the streaming platform’s No. 1 show in sixty-three countries since its début in October. Also, it is the most-watched “limited scripted series” ever, Netflix says.

Not surprisingly, the show created a chess boom, an ongoing chess pandemic. It seems like people became crazy about the movie and more interested in the chess sport more than ever.

Is that good? Absolutely! Playing chess has shown improvements and developments in many parts of the brain, affecting a person’s both skillset and personal life.

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Let’s first get to know some interesting facts about “The Queen’s Gambit” and the effects of playing chess on people’s brains.

What is the meaning behind “The Queen’s Gambit?”

The word “gambit” refers to trading a piece for control of the center of the chessboard. The Queen’s Gambit is a popular chess opening that occurs in 1 out of every 8 chess games that consist of three moves.

Facts about “The Queen’s Gambit” show you may not know

  • The “The Queen’s Gambit” Netflix series is based on the novel by the same name, which was written by Walter Tevis in1933.
  • Overall, chess experts have evaluated the show as more believable than other movies featured on-screen adaptations of the sport.
  • The show’s creators consulted chess experts such as Bruce Pandolfini and former world chess champion Garry Kasparov.
  • “The Queen’s Gambit” is not inspired by a true story, but real-life events.

Cool facts about chess sport

  • The word “Checkmate” comes from the Persian phrase “Shah Mat,” which means “the King is dead.”
  • The longest official chess game lasted 269 moves that were played between I.Nikolic – Arsovic in 1989, Belgrad. The game ended in a draw.
  • The youngest World Chess Champion was the Soviet player Garry Kasparov. He became the champion in 1985 at the age of 22 years.
  • The first Chessboard with alternating light and dark squares appears in Europe in 1090.

The health benefits of chess on the brain

When it comes to the health benefits of chess, it’s so beneficial. Playing chess results in better brain function, improved memory and attention, strategic thinking, better cognitive abilities, and more. Even, scientists claim that playing chess can improve mental age by up to 14 years.

Brainscape shares the benefits of playing chess on the brain:

  • It raises your IQ
  • Chess helps to prevent dementia
  • Playing chess increases creativity
  • It improves memory
  • Chess increases concentration
  • It develops problem-solving skills.
  • It improves planning and foresight
  • Playing chess improves reading skills

Chess can raise your IQ

There’s a study that shows in fact playing chess can raise a person’s IQ. In the study, Robert Ferguson found out that 4,000 Venezuelan students produced significant rises in the intelligence quotient scores of both boys and girls after 4 months of chess instruction.

Chess helps to prevent dementia and Alzheimer’s disease

Think of chess as a brain sport. It helps your brain muscles work out.

At least one study shows that people are less likely to develop dementia who engage in brain-stretching activities like chess. It’s found that unused brain tissue results in a loss of brainpower. Since the board games like chess exercise brain muscles, people over 75 who actively play brain sports are less likely to have dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Chess tends to increase your creativity and originality

According to a German study, chess increases both sides of your brain. You may know that the right hemisphere side of the brain is responsible for creativity. That is the reason that playing chess boosts your creativity.

Chess improves your memory

Playing chess demands good memory. You need to remember your opponent’s last moves to predict the next ones and remember the style and tactics to win the further games. There is no hard evidence to back up this fact. But if you ask the serious chess players they will say the same. Also, for engaging in chess and recalling your memory a lot, we can say that playing chess improves memory.

In the Pennsylvania and Rober Ferguson’s studies, it is confirmed that people who engage in playing games show better results of memory-related tasks and verbal skills.

Chess improves focus

Like good memory skills, chess demands intense concentration as well. As time goes by, players develop this skill. According to studies consisted of participation of students from the U.S, Russia, China, and elsewhere confirm that playing chess develops concentration skills. The studies indicate that chess sharpens the ability to focus and concentrate on young people’s brains.

Chess improves planning and foresight

Strategy games like chess help the brain grow the prefrontal cortex which is responsible for planning, judgment, and self-control. Playing this kind of game is especially important for adolescents for the prefrontal cortex develops one of the last parts to develop. Chess players know that well: you need to have good planning and prediction of your opponent’s moves. Thus, people who engage in playing chess eventually improve their foresight and planning skills.

It increases problem-solving skills

As concentration, memory, and planning, chess needs solving skills. Nearly 450 fifth-grade students participated in a 1992 study in New Brunswick. One group of students’ math Group C’s grades went up to 81.2% from 62%. 

Playing chess improves reading skills

Dr. Stuart Margulies studied the reading performance of school students who engaged in playing chess. 53 elementary school students who participated in a chess program showed an improved performance in reading skills compared to non-chess-playing children. The results showed that chess players got the test results above the average.


So, we don’t know how “The Queen’s Gambit” resulted in the chess boom around the world. But surely, it’s good news; it’s better for people to have an interest in chess rather than TikTok, isn’t it? As studies show, there’s some pretty good evidence to say that playing chess can develop one’s brain and improve cognitive abilities. Not to mention, the actress Anya Taylor-Joy, who plays the main character Elizabeth amazed many people with her act.

So, what about you? Are all these facts about health benefits and cool stuff about the show have inspired you to buy a chessboard and start playing chess? If so, don’t forget to check out cool chess products for yourself and your chess playing friends:

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