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The Queen’s Gambit: Netflix Series Breaks Viewership Record While the Book Becomes a Bestseller 

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The Queen’s Gambit, Netflix’s latest series, has become its “biggest scripted limited series to date”, the streaming major announced on Twitter on Monday.

As the series hit a viewership record of 62 million views within 28 days of its release, the book by the same title that it is based on featured on The New York Times best seller list, 37 years after its publication in 1983.

The show made it to the top 10 in 92 countries and ranked No. 1 in 63 countries, including in the UK, Argentina, Israel, and South Africa. The seven-episode series written and directed by Scott Frank premiered on the streaming service on October 23.

While Silverscreen India earlier wrote about the precision with which the novel was adapted as a series by creators Frank and Allan Scott, it is noteworthy that the book climbed the bestseller chart only after the series premiered on the streaming platform.

Written by Walter Tevis, the novel revolves around the life of a fictional orphaned chess prodigy, Beth Harmon, who conquers the male-dominated world of chess in America in the 1960s. The book traverses through the troubled life of the protagonist whose claim-to-fame goes hand-in-hand with her addiction to drugs.

While the series is being lauded for the performances by the cast, comprising, Anya Taylor-Joy, Marielle Heller, Allston Wheatley, and others, as per a report by The New York Times, the series has resulted in a resurgence in the board game and more people have taken to playing the game both in the traditional way as well as online.

David Llada, spokesman of the International Chess Federation told The New York Times, “The chess community fell in love with the series because it successfully portrays different aspects of chess in all its richness: It’s easy enough to be fun to play, but also complex enough to pose a challenge,” he said. “It is nerdy, but also cool and fashionable. It is intensively competitive, but full of interesting, creative and colorful characters.”

The New York Times further reported that since the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic began, viewership on live chess games soared and saw participation quadruple over a couple of months. Moreover, a Twitter thread by Netflix stated that Google searches for ‘How To Play Chess’ hit a nine-year peak.

The series has a rating of 8.8 on IMDB, an online film database. Rotten Tomatoes has a critics’ score of 100% and an average audience score of 96%.

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