Posts Tagged ‘Netflix’

A great game of the mind.

July 6, 2021


It all came rushing back after watching a recommended series on TV called The Queen’s Gambit. A very well made TV movie (now on Netflix) on how a pre-pubescent orphaned girl grew up and became a world champion chess player. She became obsessed with the game but too poor to actually own a chess game, she instead used to play chess games inside her head, imagining all the possible moves from both sides of the chess board which she pictures endlessly on the ceiling of her bedroom ceiling. She was adopted from a bullying orphanage by a childless couple living in stretched out lifeless sun-bleached suburb somewhere in the US. The marital whiplashed husband and wife as uninspiring as one could imagine. He sunk in newspaper hardly ever acknowledges the wife while she is starting to sip the beckoning freedom of alcohol.   

The photo above is of my two grandsons many years ago playing chess. You can tell by their faces of their intense concentration. I am still so proud of having taught them the game of chess. It is amazing how quick they grasped the basics of all the moves and is proof that very young children can learn quite complicated abstract ideas and act upon them with great speed and accuracy. Those that know this game might well agree that it is a game as much of the mind as it is played on a board of 64 squares. And for those who don’t know the game, here is a very good video;

How to Play Chess: Rules for Beginners: Learn Game Basics, Board Setup, Moves, Castling, En Passant – YouTube

I played chess for many years and the highpoint of my chess playing was when I won a chess competition on the boat that took me and my newly married Helvi to Australia for the first time. I say for the first time, because during our long marriage we went on many boats. It still takes about six weeks to sail to Europe so the boats held all sorts of games to keep the passengers occupied, Chess was one of those games. Tombola was another one and for the gamblers there were sweepstakes in which one placed a bet on the distance the boat had sailed the previous twenty four hours.

I wasn’t surprised to find out that chess is considered very important in many countries and indeed in Russia it is a compulsory subject at all high schools. Part of the reason is that it just about teaches everything the young mind needs to sharpen on when going through life. It encourages above all how to look ahead, foreseeing, imagining not just the possible but the impossible, courage, humility, forbearance and so much more. I know that rugby and rolling around the grass games are important too but for me there is just nothing as healthy as a good game of outdoor chess. In Bali, Indonesia, it is normal to see young people practicing chess often surrounded by others carefully looking at each move. 

‘The Queens Gambit’ movie takes its title from a most common opening move in chess. It is a highly recommended series. Rotten tomatoes gave it 96% approval rating. Go and try see it on your TV. (Netflix) It will blow your mind