The Queen's Gambit isn't just a cool TV show which has sparked a renaissance in playing chess, but a real chess scenario. And a simple one, done at the very beginning of the game. And we're here to help you understand how the move works, in real-world terms, and with pictures.
Chess is selling so fast that it might as well be the hot, new game
When the COVID-19 pandemic started, overall toy and game sales rose about 25%, with puzzles getting the biggest boost.
When Queen's Gambit came out on Netflix on October 23, 2020, chess sales rose dramatically at many venues. eBay says the sales rose 215% in a month, and many other online retailers have listed chess sales going up 60%, 110%, and some at 180% or more. The site Chess.com has added a million new members each month since the lockdowns began but added 2.8 million new members in November 2020.
Twitch streamers are broadcasting their live chess content as well. Want to see a cool channel? Check out American grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura on GMHikaru!
Chess is still a highly ranked game
It also has a rank of 45 amongst other Abstract games, an admirable rank as well!
On their complexity score of 1-5, Chess rates a 3.7.
Chess uses the board-game mechanisms of Grid Movement, Pattern Movement, Square Grid, and Static Capture.
Chess is old but is related to even older games
The earliest versions of chess originated in India in the 6th century A.D. Persia learned about the game, and when the Arabians conquered Persia, they took it back to the Muslim world, spreading it to Southern Europe, where it evolved to its current form in the 15th century.
So what is the Queen's Gambit?
The Queen's Gambit is one of the oldest openings (see Gottingen manuscript of 1490) and is still commonly played today. It relies on the white player (who is always the starting player) to move their pawn from D2 to the D4 spot, which usually causes the black player to move their pawn from D7 to D5.
The white player then moves their pawn from C2 to C4, which might look like a sacrifice move at first glance. At this point, the board looks like this:
Black can then decline or accept the Queen's Gambit by making certain moves. For example, moving the pawn from E7 to E6 is the main line for Queen's Gambit Declined, (QGD), also known as the Orthodox Line.
If the Queen's Gambit is accepted, it puts white on the offensive. It's called the Queen's Gambit because it starts with the Queen's Pawn.
Declining the Queen's Gambit
Technically, any move that doesn't involve taking the white pawn at C4 with the black pawn at D5 is considered declining the Queen's Gambit. Other declines available to black are known as the Slav Defense (moving C7 to C6), the Semi-Slav Defense (E7 to E6, and then moving C7 to C6 on their next move), Albin Counter-gambit (E7 to E5), Chigorin Defense, Baltic Defense, Symmetrical Defense (a.k.a. Austrian Defense), and Marshall Defense.
Philipp Stamma, a native of Aleppo, Ottoman Syria, who played at the famous Slaughter's Coffee House in St Martin's Lane (London) preferred the move, perhaps making the Queen's Gambit more famous; the move is sometimes called the Aleppo Gambit.
Here at Gamer Monkeys, we love chess! It is one of the longest-lasting board games that hasn't needed updated releases, new expansions, or special rules (well, until the Star Trek era where they have 3d Chess!)
Here are some of our chess based designs, all available on men's tees, women's tees, and hoodies, in a variety of colors!