How Dama’s Gambito nailed the chess world re:Jerusalem – re:Jerusalem

Posted: November 22, 2020 at 7:56 am


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Genius Gary Kasparov has given valiant help to the Netflix miniseries.

It even convinces chess fans.

There are sports that generally make for good fictional stories. This is the case of boxing, for example, which has already given us classics from Rocky to The Angry Bull. And then there are others, like football, who have been less generous in this regard. Chess fell more into the latter category. But that seems to have changed.

Gambito de Dama, the Netflix miniseries that debuted less than a month ago and has been at the top of the platform ever since, is proof that this ancient sport, in which games can last for days , is fertile ground for stories and tension.

Part of the credit is the care with which, even though it was a fictional story, it was linked to reality, to the Soviet domination of chess during the Cold War. Another part of the credit is in the cast, especially the talented Anna Taylor-Joy whom NiT talked about at length in a recent article.

Still, all of this might be insufficient if it didnt work when placing the pieces on the board. There had to be something real about the game itself, through the seven episodes that make up the mini-series.

The brilliant Garry Kasparov.

To keep things running smoothly, creators Scott Frank and Allan Scott have relied on help from those who understand the subject. One of those helpers came from Bruce Pandolfini, an instructor and former chess player who had previously consulted on the book of the same name that inspired the series. But theres a reason the games we see on screen are even more believable than the ones in the book: Garry Kasparov.

Kasparov is the Russian talent who, when he doesnt stand out as one of the uncomfortable voices of Vladimir Putin, is dedicated to making history in the chess world. Kasparov was the youngest player to become a world chess champion in 1985, when he was 22. It wasnt until 2002 that 18-year-old compatriot Ponomariov broke the record. For almost 20 years, from the first title to the abandonment of high competition in 2005, Kasparov was number one in the world rankings.

He was also the representative of humanity in a classic game against Deep Blue, a supercomputer designed to beat the best chess minds in the world. In 1996, the computer won one game, but Kasparov won the game, winning three and drawing two more. The following year, another dispute, with the Deep Blue software update, and even so there was balance, with the computer to tie the dispute in its favor to the sixth game.

The moment was historic and worth documentaries, but Kasparov himself admits that few works of fiction can convey the mannerisms, detail, tactical changes, and the tension experienced in a high-level chess tournament.

Kasparov agreed to advise the creators of Damas Gambito and ended up recreating games while also giving advice on how things go in a big tournament. The result is something Kasparov himself is proud of as a spectator. In a recent interview with Slate, Kasparov pointed out how he came to discover little-known genius games to model the movements of pieces on the miniseries set.

Damas Gambito has already become one of the Netflix hits of the year. For Slate, Kasparov admits hes doing everything he can to promote the sport. Recently on his Facebook he shared a report which showed another successful move, now off the board. Since the series launched, research on how to play chess has skyrocketed nearly 300% online. There are new fans for this painting because of the miniseries. With luck, a new super-talent appears, influenced by the miniseries, the story of which would make another great on-screen story.

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How Dama's Gambito nailed the chess world re:Jerusalem - re:Jerusalem

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November 22nd, 2020 at 7:56 am

Posted in Chess