The Lady’s Game is a real hit on Netflix and the unmissable series of the moment with the remarkable performance of Anya Taylor-Joy. The young actress slips into the shoes of the chess wonder Beth Harmon. A series that borders on perfection and is particularly known for its realism. A true-to-original transcription of the world of chess, which gives great importance to many hidden details.
# 1 authenticity of a game of chess
When it comes to depicting the game of chess on the big or small screen, realism is often overlooked, much to the chess of the chess players. The production of the Lady’s Game wanted to transfer a real chess game to the screen. To ensure this authenticity, the famous chess teacher and trainer Bruce Pandolfini and master Garry Kasparov acted as technical advisers for the series.
# 2 THE MODERN CHESS OPENINGS
Besides the fact that every episode in the series is named after an official move, the book that Mr. Shaibel gives Beth in the first episode is a good reference for chess lovers. In fact, Mr. Shaibel gives Beth a copy of Modern Chess Openings, a true book published in 1911 that chess players often consider to be the holy grail of opening strategies. Mr. Shaibel gave the 7th edition of the book to Beth when she was nine years old. However, later in the series, Beth purchases a ninth edition of the same book.
# 3 Jose Capablanca
In the second episode, titled Exchanges, Beth asks the school librarian if she has any chess books. The librarian ponders for a moment before mentioning Jose Capablanca’s name. This is not just an accidental name as Jose Raul Capablanca y Graupera was a true Cuban chess player and world champion from 1921 to 1927. Like Beth, Capablanca was a chess prodigy.
# 4 The Ben Snyder store
Also in the Swap episode, Alma, Beth’s adoptive mother, takes her to Ben Snyder Department Store to buy cheap, old-fashioned school clothes. Ben Snyder is actually a real business founded in 1913.
# 5 Caro-Kann’s defense
Beth suffers her first chess loss to Harry Beltik, an older and more experienced player. One of the ways Beltik defeats Beth is by using a special chess strategy known as the Caro-Kann Defense. A punch that Beth didn’t know at the time and that will learn it later. The defense of Caro-Kann is an opening in chess, which is indicated by moves 1. E4 c6. It’s similar to the Sicilian defense that Beth uses throughout the series.
# 6 The September 1963 chess briefing
In the Swap episode, Beth considers stealing an issue of Chess Review magazine. This is not a review made up for the needs of the series, but a real publication that was published from 1933 to 1969. The confusion arises from the fact that Beth takes the September 1963 issue, which has a cover image different from the real 1963 issue. The real cover actually showed the three Pyatigorsky Cup winners.
# 7 The October 1963 chess briefing
Also in Échanges, another hidden detail remains in Chess Review magazine. We can see Beth take on another edition of the review, but this time with Benny Watts, played by Thomas Brodie-Sangster, in one. However, this edition existed in reality with the face of the famous chess wonder Bobby Fischer on the cover and was released in October 1963.
# 8 Beth’s hit against Benny Watts
Beth suffered her second chess loss to Benny Watts. When faced in the third episode, Double Pawns, the first ten hits of the game are a version of the Sicilian Scheveningue defense known as the “Scheveningue Variation”. The recordings also contain the “Najdorf variant” based on the Polish-Argentine grandmaster Miguel Najdorf.
# 9 Danny Weiss and David Friedman
In the fifth episode, Fork, Benny Beth introduces two young chess players, Danny Weiss and David Friedman. This is a tribute to two friends of the show runner of the series Scott Frank, Danny Weiss and David Benioff (born as David Friedman), the two creators of Game of Thrones. In 2014, Scott Frank would actually have joined Danny Weiss and David Benioff, both of whom were commissioned by Fox to carry out a project to adapt the crime novel Dirty White Boys.
# 10 The homage to the meeting Paul Morphy / DUKE OF BRUNSWICK AND EARL OF ISOUARD
In the penultimate episode, Postponement, Beth and Benny play a game of Blitz. The last combination of winning shots comes from the famous meeting of 1858 between Paul Morphy and two amateur players: the Duke of Braunschweig and the Count of Isouard. A meeting that ended in the final victory of Paul Morphy.