Missing ‘The Queen’s Gambit’? Here Are 6 Films To Watch Next

Defying the odds, these fellow young prodigies will stop at nothing to win

Just one week after it debuted on Netflix, The Queen’s Gambit became a worldwide phenomenon, skyrocketing to the platform’s most-watched list.

Based on the novel by Walter Tevis, the streaming service’s latest limited series tells the story of Beth Harmon (Anya Taylor-Joy), an orphaned chess prodigy struggling with drug addiction who looks to prove herself in the male-dominated industry. The production—bold, deep, and captivating—is a master class in historical storytelling and one we couldn’t help but crave more of. 

The TV adaptation of Harmon’s story, which comes amid the uncertain U.S. presidential election, proves that TV shows and films about people defying the odds are a must right now. 

While no word has been released on whether we’ll be seeing a second season of the popular series, we have tracked down the other addictive and alluring series and films that tell similar stories, both chess-related and beyond—showcasing the incredible journeys of both fictional and real-life characters, who will all stop at nothing to win. 

Enola Holmes (2020)

Millie Bobby Brown’s latest film gives Sherlock Holmes a run for his money, giving the hero a much-needed feminist update. Netflix’s Enola Holmes, adapted from the six-book series by Nancy Springer, follows the teenage sister—played by Brown—of the already-famous Sherlock Holmes, who goes to London in search of her mother who has disappeared. She quickly becomes a super-sleuth, outwitting her famous brother as she unravels a conspiracy that “threatens to set back the course of history.”

millie bobby brown

Queen of Katwe (2016)

The 2012 book Queen of Katwe was transformed into a 2016 film by Mira Nair, depicting the life of 10-year-old Ugandan chess player Phiona Mutesi growing up in the slums of Katwe. Phiona, played by Madina Nalwanga, would frequent the local centre where chess is taught by Robert Katende, played by actor David Oyelowo. At first, the young prodigy plays the game to get a free meal for attending class, but quickly realises her love and talent for the game could drastically change her and her family’s life. 


Searching For Bobby Fischer (1994)

Inspired by real-life chess prodigy, Searching For Bobby Fischer was based on Fred Waitzkin’s book of the same name, detailing his son Josh’s journey through the world of chess. As the title suggests, the character searches to adopt the ideal of legendary chess grandmaster Bobby Fischer and his determination to win at all costs. For the real chess followers in the room, plenty of the game’s famous players have brief cameos in the film, including Anjelina Belakovskaia and Kamran Shirazi, along with the real Joshua Waitzkin. 

bobby fsicher

Gifted (2017)

Seven-year-old Mary, played by Mckenna Grace, can solve even the most complicated math equations in her head, and though her uncle Frank Adler, played by Chris Evans, knows her gifts, he wants her to have a happy childhood instead. But after Mary reveals her genius in her first-grade classroom, the direction of Mary’s life isn’t up to Frank anymore, and what unfolds is a custody battle with her grandmother, who is desperately trying to continue the family legacy of math geniuses.
chris evans

Magnus (2016)

Norwegian documentary filmmaker Benjamin Ree presents the captivating story of Magnus Carlsen, a 29-year-old Norwegian prodigy who has been rocking the world of chess since he was a child, becoming a grandmaster at age 13. Using home movies and archival footage to create this fascinating, coming-of-age story, the documentary reveals the unlikely prodigy’s determination to achieve success. It also looks to the charming personality behind the chess player, including his personal venture into modelling. 

Matilda (1996)

A classic that can’t be overlooked when it comes to child prodigies, Matilda follows the story of a young girl stuck at home all day with her scamming family, who discovers she has telekinetic powers. Matilda Wormwood uses her unlikely object-moving capabilities to take down the bullies at her school—the worst of whom is the headmaster, Miss Trunchbull—and forges a better future for herself and her teacher Miss Honey. 


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