Netflix must compensate legendary chess player | Opinion


(Griselda Ruiz / Daily Titan)

Netflix’s miniseries “The Queen’s Gambit” turned heads and developed addictions to frenzy after its October 2020 release. With seven episodes of the limited series based on the 1983 novel of the same name by Walter Tevis , “The Queen’s Gambit” turned out to be a quick but fascinating story of empowering women on the chess court.

However, in the last episode of the series, “End Game,” an announcer says of female heroine Beth Harmon, “The only thing unusual about her, really, is her gender, and even that isn’t unique in Russia There is Nona Gaprindashvili, but she is the female world champion and she has never faced men.

Chess pioneer and grandmaster Nona Gaprindashvili filed a lawsuit in a United States district court in Los Angeles against Netflix on September 16 for character defamation in “The Queen’s Gambit”.

Netflix must compensate for the defamation of the Soviet chess icon in Nona Gaprindashvili v. Netflix Inc .. Additionally, when producing future series, Netflix should thoroughly research a non-fictional character before releasing false and defamatory statements.

Gaprindashvili is asking for at least $ 5 million for actual and alleged damages in his lawsuit against Netflix. His lawsuit alleges that disinformation degrades his achievements. According to the file, she also wants Netflix to remove the limited series line.

The series will run from 1958 to 1968, alongside the meteoric rise of Gaprindashvili. Her success during that decade included a match where she played simultaneously against 28 male players in 1965.

Looking back, Gaprindashvili started playing chess at the age of five and trained with great Georgian masters during his teenage years. She won the Women’s World Championship in 1962, becoming a symbol of pride in Georgia.

Gaprindashvili was also the first woman to become a grandmaster, a title won after the 1977 Lone Pine International Tournament where she tied for first and defeated four chess grandmasters.

Prosecuting for invasion of privacy and slanderous falsehood, Gaprindashvili claims that the claim that she has never confronted men is false and demeaning. The claim indicates that in 1968 she had already faced “at least 59 male chess players”. The official complaint also states that Netflix was well aware of its success and praise, as the Book and Chess authorities served as consultants for the series.

Her complaint alleges that Netflix purposely altered passage from Tevis’ book to dramatize the series and make Harmon appear as if she had conquered the Chess Crown before any other non-fictional woman.

Before the trial, other media raised the falsity of the statements made in the last episode of “The Queen’s Gambit”. The Calvert Journal called out Netflix for its glaring error and detailed Gaprindashvili’s life and career.

The limited series reached a total of 62 million homes worldwide in its first 28 days and in several countries around the world. This large audience listened and watched the lie that happened in the final episode.

If this is all the viewer knows about Gaprindashvili, then the viewer does not know the truth about his inspiring career. The show discredits his accomplishments and his ability to break the glass ceiling in the male-dominated competitive chess field of the 1960s.

The defamatory comments of the Netflix miniseries call into question the validity of his induction into the World Chess Hall of Fame and Grandmaster status. However, she rightly earned both accolades with her success in chess competitions against male and female opponents.

According to the court record, Gaprindashvili claims not only that Netflix’s deliberate actions damaged its reputation and brand, but also caused at least $ 75,000 in lost business opportunities.

His involvement in the world of chess is directly linked to mastery of the craft, thanks to which Netflix made it trivial in seconds.

“Gaprindashvili’s professional reputation and brand were inextricably linked with his courageous efforts to face and defeat esteemed male opponents when chess was predominantly a man’s world,” according to the complaint.

The opposing party may argue that Gaprindashvili should not be paid for actual, alleged and punitive damages, as the line from “The Queen’s Gambit” is just a fleeting moment in the series. However, considering the millions of people who have watched the series, the damage accumulates, leading to the potential erasure of an individual’s career.

The falsity of Netflix’s storytelling robs Gaprindashvili of her praise and potentially allows the general public to believe that she was another notable woman who paved the way for female chess competitors.

Although the show is fictional, referring to a real person still grounds it in the story and makes the statement defamatory. Netflix could easily have created another fictional character to compare to Beth Harmon in the final episode. However, Netflix must now exercise caution when producing new series.

Nona Gaprindashvili must watch Netflix in this developing legal case. Most importantly, she must be paid for the damage. She suffered at the hands of an unrecognized series that could have inspired millions of viewers.


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