Chess pioneer sues Netflix for ‘Queen’s Gambit’ portrayal
(Credit: Netflix)

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Chess pioneer sues Netflix for 'Queen's Gambit' portrayal

An icon of chess, the Georgian phenom Nona Gaprindashvili has filed a lawsuit against Netflix following what she deems as an incorrect portrayal of her character on Netflix’s hit show The Queen’s Gambit.

The turning point of the lawsuit will revolve around a sequence in the landmark series final episode that says Nona Gaprindashvili had never played a competitive match with men.

Gaprindashvili says that by 1968, when the final episode is set, the chess icon had already faced well over 50 male competitors. Netflix said the claim had “no merit”.

The company confirmed that while it “only the utmost respect” for Gaprindashvili and her “illustrious career” it would “vigorously defend the case”. The show is based on a 1983 novel by Walter Tevis and focuses on the trials and tribulations of a played named Beth Harmon, the show quickly became “biggest limited scripted series ever”.

In the final episode, a commentator mdelivers the troublesome claim: “The only unusual thing about her, really, is her sex. And even that’s not unique in Russia. There’s Nona Gaprindashvili, but she’s the female world champion and has never faced men.”

“Netflix brazenly and deliberately lied about Gaprindashvili’s achievements,” begins the 25 page suit filed in Los Angeles, “for the cheap and cynical purpose of ‘heightening the drama’ by making it appear that its fictional hero had managed to do what no other woman, including Gaprindashvili, had done.”

It added: “The allegation that Gaprindashvili ‘has never faced men’ is manifestly false, as well as being grossly sexist and belittling.”

This one may rumble on for some time.