Former Soviet chess master sues Netflix over ‘sexist’ line in ‘Queen’s Gambit’

A former Soviet chess grasp is suing Netflix over a line in final 12 months’s in style sequence “The Queen’s Gambit,” wherein fictional characters claimed that this real-life feminine chess grasp “by no means confronted males.”

The $5 million defamation lawsuit was filed within the Central District of California on Thursday by Nona Gaprindashvili, chess grasp from Georgia who grew to become a champion beneath the previous Soviet Union.

Gaprindashvili, 80, alleges that the principle character in “Queen’s Gambit” — Elizabeth Harmon, performed by Anya Taylor-Pleasure — is a tough approximation of her, and that the road referring to Gaprindashvili’s real-life success is “manifestly false, in addition to being grossly sexist and belittling.”

The road in query comes within the sequence finale, when one character contemplates how Harmon has simply defeated a male chess grasp in Moscow:

“Elizabeth Harmon’s by no means an necessary participant by their requirements. The one uncommon factor about her, actually, is her intercourse. And even that’s not distinctive in Russia. There’s Nona Gaprindashvili, however she’s the feminine world champion and has by no means confronted males. My guess is Laev was anticipating a simple win, and by no means the 27-move thrashing Beth Harmon simply gave him.”

Gaprindashvili’s lawsuit says the fictional line about an precise particular person is demonstrably false.

“By 1968, the 12 months wherein this episode is about, [Gaprindashvili] had competed towards at the very least 59 male chess gamers (28 of them concurrently in a single recreation), together with at the very least ten Grandmasters of that point,” the lawsuit states.

“The Queen’s Gambit” — launched in 2020 and primarily based on a 1983 novel of the identical identify, about an American lady who overcomes the chances to change into a champion within the male-dominated chess world of the ’50s and ’60s — garnered 18 Emmy nominations for Netflix, together with excellent restricted sequence and greatest lead actress for star Taylor-Pleasure.

Gaprindashvili is taken into account a chess pioneer, changing into the primary lady to be awarded the title of Grandmaster by the Worldwide Chess Federation in 1978, in keeping with the World Chess Corridor of Fame. Amongst her many accolades, she has received the Ladies’s World Championship 5 occasions and Ladies’s Soviet Chess Championship 5 occasions.

In an announcement to NBC Information on Thursday, a spokesperson for the streaming large mentioned, “Netflix has solely the utmost respect for Ms. Gaprindashvili and her illustrious profession, however we consider this declare has no advantage and can vigorously defend the case.”

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