The Queen's Gambit Wiki

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For the Netflix TV miniseries adaptation, see The Queen's Gambit.

The Queen's Gambit is a 1983 American thriller novel written by Walter Tevis. It explores the life of fictional female chess prodigy Beth Harmon. It covers themes of adoption, feminism, chess, drug addiction and alcoholism. This novel was later adapted into a Netflix original TV miniseries of the same name, released on October 23, 2020.


The epigraph of the novel is "The Long-Legged Fly" by W. B. Yeats. This poem covers one of the novel's main concerns, which is the inner workings of genius in a woman.


This novel traces the life of chess prodigy, Beth Harmon, from her childhood in an orphanage through her struggles with tranquilizer and alcohol addiction to her triumphant rise through the Grandmaster ranks.

Publication history[]

  • 1983, US, Random House
  • 2003, US, Vintage