If you watched Queen’s Gambit and wondered if you could beat Beth Harmon, Chess.com is ready to help you find out. The app now offers a Beth Harmon bot, based on the chess prodigy played by Anya Taylor-Joy, Annabeth Kelly and Isla Johnston in the Netflix miniseries.
Kelly and Johnston play Beth as a child, and Taylor-Joy plays her as a teen and young adult. Chess.com offers you the chance to play against her at ages 8 through 22 — her age at the end of Queen’s Gambit.
If you’re a beginner, you might want to challenge 8-year-old Beth — but still prepare for a possible ego bruising.
“Beth has just started playing chess. She still falls for traps and doesn’t see certain types of tactics, but she is improving quickly! Can you beat her before she becomes too strong?” Chess.com asks.
By the time she’s 22, forget it. “Beth has been dreaming of playing for the world championship for two years, and aspires to be the youngest World Chess Champion ever. Do you dare to stand in her way?” Chess.com taunts.
You can play Beth at whatever age your dignity will allow right here. This is the closest any of us will ever come to playing Beth, since she is, of course, a fictional character.
An aside: As a terrible chess player but dedicated fan of Chess.com, I was able to beat the 8-year-old Beth Harmon bot easily, though she talked a lot of smack. Seventeen-year-old Beth Harmon bot crushed me.
The Queen’s Gambit, which was viewed by 62 million households in its first 28 days, according to Netflix, has spiked interest in chess. The streaming service found that Google searches for “How to play chess have hit a nine-year peak. Sales of chess boards are up 125 percent since the series debuted, The New York Times reports.
The series, created by Scott Frank and Aaron Scott, is based on the novel by Walter Tevis about a girl who learns chess in an orphanage after her mother’s death. She also becomes addicted to tranquilizers and alcohol — even as she rises through the ranks to become one of the greatest chess players alive. The 1960s- set drama and earned widespread critical acclaim.
Chess.com is international, which is good news, since The Queen’s Gambit also made Netflix’s Top 10 in 92 countries, and ranked No. 1 in 63 countries. And the Tevis novel on which the series is based has entered The New York Times bestseller list, 37 years after its release.
The Queen’s Gambit is now streaming on Netflix.