How Netflix hit ‘the Queen’s Gambit’ helps inspire Lanarkshire chess players

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

Based at the Nurture Center on Glasgow Road, the Cambuslang Chess Club is now up and running, with ‘upbeat’ club organizers the Netflix show can ensure a healthy flow of interested players.

Janice Ross told Lanarkshire Live that 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 Gambit got a lot of people excited and got them talking about chess.

“There are Scottish ties there because with the producer, Allan Scott, who had been trying to do it 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 became addicted, which led to her playing for the University of Strathclyde team.

She helped start the Cambuslang Chess Club after the first lockdown ended last year, with meetings taking place in coffee shops and cafes.

Now they have settled into a permanent home at the Nurture Center, where they will meet on Saturday afternoon.



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 little bit of discussion as well.

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

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



Chess
Some Cambuslang Chess Club members are ready to play

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

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

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

Everyone is welcome.

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