By Michael Angelo S. Murillo, Senior Reporter
THE Netflix limited series The Queen’s Gambit is proving to be a huge success for the over-the-top content platform and production company while at the same giving the sport of chess a boost.
Released in October, the series revolves around chess prodigy Beth Harmon (played by Anya Taylor Joy) who bucks the norm and excels in a game dominated by men during the golden age of chess — the Cold War Era.
And in numbers shared by Netflix, The Queen’s Gambit has become its “biggest scripted limited series yet,” well received in different parts of the world.
Netflix data show that 62 million households chose to watch The Queen’s Gambit in its first 28 days. It made the Top 10 in 92 countries and ranked No. 1 in 63 countries.
In the Philippines, the series was in the Top 10 for over three weeks; Hong Kong (for four weeks), Malaysia (four weeks), Singapore (four weeks), Taiwan (four weeks), Thailand (four weeks), Vietnam (four weeks), Australia (four weeks), South Korea (over three weeks), and India (over three weeks).
It was also at number 1 in Hong Kong (three weeks), Malaysia (six days), Singapore (over a week), Taiwan (three weeks), Vietnam (five days), and Thailand (three days), Australia (over two weeks).
The novel of the same title, which was released 37 years ago is also now on The New York Times bestseller list.
Downloads for Chess.com’s app have reportedly gone up dramatically since the release of the series while Lichess.org, a free and open-source Internet chess server, tweeted that the number of daily players peaked after the launch of The Queen’s Gambit.
Significant increase was also noted in Google search queries for “chess” and “how to play chess,” with these hitting a nine-year peak.
Top chess players have also taken notice of The Queen’s Gambit, including Asia’s first Grandmaster Eugene Torre of the Philippines, who highlighted how the series shows that the sport of chess is for everyone.
“Chess is for all genders, for all ages. That’s the beauty of chess. It’s for everybody. Men had a head start in it, but women are catching up. There’s much interest in it from women now,” said Mr. Torre in a recent media conference where he was granted the first government professional chess license by the Games and Amusement Board.
He went on to say that the local chess community, on the lead of the National Chess Federation of the Philippines, is trying to come out with programs to make the sport inclusive so as to further the development of chess in the country.