What can children do for fun now that there is a pandemic? Many parents enrolled their kids in chess lessons, which can be done online. Parents were inspired by the 7-episode Netflix hit mini-series Queen's Gambit.
At age 9, Harmon (Anya Taylor-Joy) began playing chess against her janitor friend in an orphanage basement. She would later win tournaments while climbing the ranks in the male-dominated world of chess competitions.
Sadly, according to the show's key people, Queen's Gambit Season 2 will probably not be happening.
Parents Enroll Kids in Chess Lessons after Watching Queen's Gambit
Queen's Gambit has been hailed as the most-watched scripted miniseries on Netflix with over 62 million viewers, and the show even garnered two Golden Globe nominations. With just seven episodes, the miniseries ranked first in 63 countries. Many parents were inspired, like Harmon's adopted mom, to encourage their children to play chess after watching the show.
Ng How is a former Malaysian state chess player who now teaches chess to his two daughters, ages 4 and 5, after watching Queen's Gambit, Malay Mail reported. Ng How said the show also reignited his suppressed passion for the game. He further hopes to teach his daughters tenacity and courage like Harmon.
For parents who are non-chess players themselves they opt to enroll their kids with professionals. Brainbox Chess Academy in Kuala Lumpur noted a 50 percent increase in new student enrollment since October 2020, when The Queen's Gambit started to gain popularity.
Online registrations for sites like Chess.com also increased. Professional chess coach Teh Wee Zhun noted that many professional players opt for online chess as they can play with any player on their level. Plus, players can save chess matches online.
The University of Virginia also noted a rise in interest in chess clubs by predominantly female students.
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Female Chess Players are Plenty, Now Joining Chess Clubs Like Beth Harmon
UVA Chess Club President Kyle Goldrick revealed a massive rise in interest of students joining their chess club in the aftermath of The Queen's Gambit, Virginia News reported. "The show's popularity and the availability of chess online allowed many to be introduced to chess," Goldrick said.
Whereas the chess UVA Chess Club used to have around 90 percent male chess players, the numbers changed as more and more female students wanted to be part of the chess club.
Queen's Gambit Season 2 Fans Dismayed Over Announcement
If it were up to the show's lead actress, Anya Taylor-Joy, a second installment would be something she looked forward to doing. The 24-year-old actress wanted to explore the character further as a mom now after becoming sober. Anya admitted that there was never any discussion of a Season 2 yet believes in never saying 'never' when it comes to Hollywood.
However, the show's executive producer William Horberg and creator Scott Frank both prefer to let the existing episodes, albeit only 7, stand on their own, Good Housekeeping reported.
"We feel Beth's story is complete, and the series had a satisfying end. What happens next for Harmon, we leave it to the audience to fill the spaces," Horberg said.
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