Come on girls! It’s time to show who you are!
After Queen’s Gambit became one of the most watched series on Netflix, viewed by around 62 million people, chess is known to have benefited from a great deal of publicity and a new surge of interest. Perhaps even greater than that achieved by the exploits of famous Grand Masters and chess world champions.
‘The Queen’s Gambit’ tells the battle of women for equality starting from the world of chess. But in reality female champions – like Judit Polgar – are rare and sexism in this discipline is maximum. Some time ago even the great champion Garry Kasparov even declared that chess “would not be in the female nature“. But is it really true?
There are those who have made a historical reflection recalling that women played chess as much as men until the beginning of the seventeenth century. At that time, the rules of chess changed as the Queen and Bishop acquired much more meaning and power.
Chess went from a pleasant game between gentlemen and women to a competitive and ruthless sport practiced mainly in pubs and cafes, and therefore considered an unseemly activity for women. For the next 300 years, society continually sent the message “Chess is not for women“.
We are convinced that today the reason there are no women among the top players is because there are hardly any girls who sign up to start playing chess. So, in order to change this, we invite all girls and women to join our club. Fun, happiness and good training for everyone! It would be nice to be able to discover over time a local champion able to compete with everyone on a world level.
And now let us see how the question of Beth Harmon’s existence has also emerged online.
Beth may be a fictional character, but there is a lot of speculation as to who Beth Harmon might be in real life. Talking about Beth’s character, the novelist Walter Tevis who wrote the book The Queen’s Gambit, stated that Beth was a tribute to brainy women like his daughter, Julie, and aunt (who gave him his first chess as a present when he was seven).
It seems that the author was inspired by Vera Menchik. But who was Vera?
She was born in 1906 in Moscow into a wealthy family of mill owners. However, during the Russian Revolution (1917-23), her family’s mill was confiscated and her family had to share the house with other people. Eventually, her family was forced to give up ownership of their home. Vera had to change schools against her will. In times of turmoil, she found solace in chess, a game that her father had taught her when she was nine years old. To top that, her parents divorced that left her shaken as she immigrated with her mother and with her sister, Olga, to England. She joined a local chess club in England, where she challenged the best men players of that time. Soon, she gained fame by winning in local and regional matches at national and international matches. In 1927 she won the Women’s World Chess Championship, a tournament that had taken place for the first time. She also defeated many of the best males of her era, including world champion Max Euwe (twice!), As well as Sammy Reshevsky, Jacques Mieses and Lajos Steiner. Hastings 1930-1, Euwe lost only one game in the entire event – to Menchik. At the height of the Second World War, and a year after her husband’s death, she died at the hands of war while playing in a chess tournament.