Benjamin Watts is an arrogant, popular, and very intelligent chess prodigy and a main character in the Netflix series, The Queen's Gambit. Initially Beth Harmon's most prominent rival, he then becomes her mentor, close friend and love interest.
Benny first introduced into the show in episode 3. At the time he was 23 and visiting the U.S. opening in Cincinnati where he met Beth. She was 15 when they met and had just won the Kentucky State championship.
It is unknown for how long he had held the title of United States Champion before his loss in the Ohio United States Championship, but Benny has been regarded as the most talented American chess player since Paul Morphy, even publishing his own book on his various tactics.
Notwithstanding his hubris, Benny is a wise chess player who has studied a variety of chess playing styles across all time controls. He mirrors Harmon's abilities to visualize chess positions in his head, yet Benny does so without the aid of drugs (a detail which inspires Harmon). Overall, as a coach, he imparts on Harmon valuable experience and self-care which she long ignored, allowing her to succeed against Soviet Grandmaster Vasily Borgov.
He carries around a knife, according to Watts himself for self-defense purposes.
Beth finds him attractive and tells him he has nice hair. Eventually they have sex, though there is minimal evidence either has any intention of having a long term relationship at the time.
Benny Watts is played by Thomas Brodie-Sangster, for which he was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie.
|Beth Harmon • Alma Wheatley • Benny Watts • Jolene • Harry Beltik • William Shaibel|
D.L. Townes • Allston Wheatley • Vasily Borgov • Alice Harmon • Helen Deardorff • Annette Packer • Borgov's wife • Cleo • Christopher • Dave Friedman • Mr. Ganz • Janet • Margaret Johnson • Paul