Our Checkmate pop up card was inspired by the Netflix series about a female chess champion, The Queen’s Gambit.
Most of us know the basics of chess: you move pawns and pieces — rooks, knights, bishops and a queen — around a checkerboard in a bid to capture your opponent’s king, without losing your own. Each piece has its own distinct movement restrictions. And checkmate wins the game.
- Life is like a game of chess.
- Men are gonna come along and want to teach you things. Doesn’t make them any smarter.
- What you know isn’t always what’s important.
- Chess isn’t always competitive. Chess can also be beautiful.
- Let’s play.
- It’s an entire world of just 64 squares.
- Are you trying to psych me out?
- I feel safe in it. I can control it. I can dominate it.
- What surprised me was how bad they played.
- It’s much easier to play without the burden of an Adam’s apple.
- You’re the best I’ve ever played.
- Trust the truth within you.
The Queen’s Gambit
The series follows the life of an orphan chess prodigy, Elizabeth Harmon, during her quest to become an elite player while struggling with emotional problems, drugs and alcohol dependency. The title of the series refers to a chess opening of the same name. The story begins in the mid-1950s and proceeds into the 1960s.
In 1950s Lexington, Kentucky, an eight-year-old Beth, having lost her mother in a car crash, is taken to an orphanage where she is taught chess by the building’s custodian, Mr. Shaibel. As was common at the time, the orphanage dispenses daily tranquilizer pills to the girls to “balance their disposition,” which turns into an addiction for Beth.
She quickly becomes a strong chess player due to her visualization skills. A few years later, Beth is adopted by childless suburban couple Alma and Allston Wheatley. As she adjusts to her new home, Beth enters a chess tournament and wins despite having no prior competitive experience. Alma is initially resistant to Beth’s interest in chess, but after Beth wins her first tournament, Alma is fully supportive of her adoptive daughter’s sojourns to enter competitions. She develops friendships with several people, including former Kentucky State Champion Harry Beltik, United States National Champion Benny Watts, and journalist and fellow player D.L. Townes.
As Beth rises to the top of the chess world and reaps the financial benefits of her success, her drug and alcohol dependency worsens. With help from her oldest friend Jolene, whom she grew up with in the orphanage, she prepares for her biggest challenge yet, a major international chess tournament against the world’s best players in Moscow.
Who is Checkmate card for?
Chess requires great mental effort to succeed in at the higher levels. The stereotype chess player is nerdy, intellectual, socially awkward, quirky, quiet, and crazy. They are also crazy smart, creative, imaginative, and decisive. Chess players will love this card.
Chess Board layout:
If you have a chess set and want to start a game, the first thing you need to do is get the board set up correctly.
- Lay out the light square in the bottom-right corner
- Set up the pawns on the second rank
- Put your rooks in the corners
- Place your knights next to the rooks
- Bishops go next to knights
- Queen goes on her color
- Place your king in the last square available
- Don’t forget, white moves first!
See also: Triple Crown and Roll the Dice.