How Netflix hit ‘The Queen’s Gambit’ is helping inspire Lanarkshire chess players

It was one of the biggest hits on Netflix in the past year – and now a group of Lanarkshire chess players are hoping “The Queen’s Wager” can help inspire a new generation of gamers.

Based at the Nurture Center on Glasgow Road, the Cambuslang Chess Club is now operational, with club organizers “optimistic” the Netflix show can ensure a healthy flow of interested players.

Janice Ross said Lanarkshire Live she hopes the club can continue to grow, helped by the popularity of the show, which stars Anya Taylor-Joy as a chess prodigy.

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Janice added: “The Queen’s Bet excited a lot of people and got them talking about chess.

“There are Scottish ties there because with the producer, Allan Scott, who had been trying to get it done for years.

Anya Taylor-Joy as Beth Harmon in The Queen’s Gambit on Netflix

“There is also the film ‘Queen of Katwe’ about Phiona Mutesi, who grew up in Uganda and represented her country in chess – I think these things show people that chess is a hobby for everyone.

“They show how chess can help you develop other skills as well.”

Janice started playing chess in her late teens and quickly got hooked, which led to her playing for the University of Strathclyde team.

She helped start the Cambuslang chess club at the end of the first lockdown last year, with meetings taking place in cafes and cafes.

They have now settled into permanent accommodation at the Nurture Centre, where they will meet on Saturday afternoons.

The group wants to add new members

She added: “We want to encourage all ages and abilities to get involved, and it doesn’t matter if you have no experience.

“We want to establish ourselves and end up playing against other clubs like East Kilbride, but at the same time it’s about having social interaction and a bit of conversation too.

“Chess can be such a rewarding experience. It’s not something that’s just for men, or just for young people, there are no barriers.

“It can be great for older communities, for example, because it really gets the brain working.

Some of the Cambuslang Chess Club members are ready to play

“Having the Nurture Center is great too because it’s a place we can settle in. They’ve been very helpful and some of them at the center are playing themselves.”

The group already has several chess sets, but if anyone has spares or unused sets, the group will welcome them.

They can be dropped off at the club meeting, every Saturday for two hours, starting at 1:30 p.m.

All are welcome.

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