Soviet-era chess player sues Netflix’s Queen’s Gambit

Soviet-era chess player Nona Gaprindashvili filed a $ 5 million libel claim against Netflix over a line of dialogue from the streaming giant’s drama series The Queen’s Gambit.

Gaprindashvili, 80, took issue with what she calls an inaccurate and “grossly sexist” line that was said in the last episode of the hit series, which starred Anya Taylor-Joy as a chess prodigy breaking the barriers in men. dominated game.

Based on the 1983 novel by Walter Tevi, The Queen’s Gambit was a worldwide success.

World chess champion Nona Gaprindashvili (left) throws flowers during an anti-Saakashvili rally in central Tbilisi on April 9, 2009. Photo credit: VANO SHLAMOV / AFP via Getty Images)

Georgian chess master Gaprindashvili, who was the first woman to receive the title of FIDE Grandmaster and the fifth female world chess champion, reacted strongly to the series’ claim that she “did ‘had never faced men “in any of his matches.

The lawsuit reads: “The allegation that Gaprindashvili” never faced men “is patently false, besides being grossly sexist and demeaning.

“In 1968, the year this episode takes place, she faced at least 59 male chess players (28 of them simultaneously in a game), including at least ten grandmasters of the time, including Dragolyub Velimirovich , Svetozar Gligoric, Paul Keres, Bojan Kurajica, Boris Spassky, Viswanathan Anand and Mikhail Tal The last three have also been world champions during their careers.

“Netflix brazenly and deliberately lied about Gaprindashvili’s accomplishments in the cheap and cynical aim of” heightening the drama “by making it appear that its fictional hero had succeeded in doing what no other woman, including Gaprindashvili, had. made.

So, in a story that was meant to inspire women by showing a young woman competing with men at the highest levels of global chess, Netflix humbled the one true trailblazer woman who had actually faced and defeated men on the world stage in the same way.

“This arrogant refusal to take responsibility for his actions was shockingly muffled, given the sexism and offensive nature of his lie.”

Netflix has released a response to the allegations.

“Netflix has the utmost respect for Ms. Gaprindashvili and her illustrious career, but we believe this claim has no merit and will vigorously defend the case.”

The Queen’s Gambit is up for multiple Emmy Awards at this weekend’s ceremony, including Best Actress for Anya-Taylor Joy as Beth Harmon, as well as supporting actor nominations for Thomas Brodie-Sangster and Moses Ingram.


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