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Walter Tevis image Walter Tevis (1928 - 1984)

The Queen's Gambit Chapter Thumbnails

 

updated: 29NOV07

The idea behind this page is to act as a sort of index, to help you find specific scenes, but also to tally Beth's wins and losses as she progresses. (After each match, 1-0 means white won, of course, and 0-1 means black won. To see if Beth won a particular game you need to compare her record after that game with her record after her preceding game.) Obviously, in her eleven year odyssey, Beth played more than the 97 or so games tallied by the end of the book. The tally only includes games that were mentioned in the text; some are described in detail of course, others are mentioned off hand, and others are simply alluded to. For instance, in Chapter One Beth takes five games straight off Mr. Shaibel. That was specific enough for me to add the five to the tally. But later, in Chapter Five, she won three huge tournaments while dropping just one game. Her tally only shows the loss because her wins are never specified. (I suppose you can assume an average of 6-7 wins in each of the three tournaments...I should/could probably add 20 or so to her win column after chapter 5.)

 

ONE (p3)

orphaned • glad to get the little pill • haircut • some kids go quickly • volleyball lesson • it's called chess • hoarding tranqs • SCHOLAR'S MATE 1-0 (0-1) • ceiling chess • SECOND GAME 1-0 (0-2) • First Win 1-0 (1-2) • two wins last week (3-2) • Shaibel barely wins (3-3) • the squares have names? • 20 moves (4-3) • mentally replaying nine games • six pills = deep warmth • Playing White (Levenfish) (5-3) • 8 YEARS OLD (and astounding) • White trash cracker bitch • Modern Chess Openings • "thumb" sucking • five games straight (10-3) • Mr. Ganz (Najdorf) (11-3), (Reti) (12-3) • Shaibel-Ganz Simul (14-3) (16-3)

 

TWO (p22)

Field Trip • Imagine five games • No more tranquilizers • Duncan High School simul/massacre (28-3)• backward pawns (30-3) • PHARMACY BREAK-IN • "no more chess" • Best bed in the ward • ALMOST 10

 

THREE (p40)

ALMOST 13 • Mr. & Mrs. Wheatley • Going Home • Own Room • 7th Grade • Fergussen visits • Ben Snyder's • Morris's Bookstore • "Goddam brain" • magazine theft • Morphy's miss • Letter to Mr. Shaibel • stealing from Margaret • $5 from Shaibel

 

FOUR (p60)

KENTUCKY STATE CHAMPIONSHIP • Annette Packer (Sicilian) 0-1 (31-3) • Beltik d. Cullen • Cooke 1-0 (32-3) • Kaplan 0-1 (33-3) • Klein 1-0 (34-3) • Townes (Sicilian) 0-1 (35-3) • I could have done this at eight • Goldmann 0-1 (36-3) • getting her period • Sizemore 0-1 (37-3) • Mr. Wheatley's gone for good • Beltik (French) 1-0 (38-3) • Son of a bitch!

 

FIVE (p82)

Chess pays • CINCINNATI • Pirate demos Reshevsky • (39-3) • Ohioan (Sicilian) (40-3) • the master (41-3) • Rudolph (42-3) • 10% • Houston • Easy win, with a draw (43-3-1) • Charleston, Atlanta, Miami: one loss (43-4-1) • 1881 • trip to NYC • Life Magazine article • AGE 14 • Apple Pi • Kansas City • missed US Open • at SIXTEEN

 

SIX (p99)

LAS VEGAS • photo shoot and skittles in Townes' room • beer • (7 wins against Townes?? p102+7) • Oklahoman (44-4-1) • New Yorker (King's Gambit) (45-4-1) • Benny Watts 0-1 (45-5-1) 40-minute move • High School • Russian lessons

 

SEVEN (p109)

Russian class party • weed • 1st party • 1st sex • 17 • learning to drink • graduation • 2243

 

EIGHT (p115)

MEXICO CITY, and Manuel • Mom says relax • beer & Borgov at the zoo • Octavio Marenco 0-1 (46-5-1) • Diedrich (QGD) (47-5-1) • Alma still sick (Oaxaca crossed with Denver) • Goodbye Manuel • Girev age 12 • "seal the move" • Mexican in 20+ (Sicilian) 0-1 (48-5-1) You make a man feel helpless • Girev, resumed QGA 1-0 (49-5-1) • 2370 • Solomon 1-0 (50-5-1) • Borgov (Ruy Lopez, Howell) 1-0, 17 moves (50-6-1)

 

NINE (p133)

Tequila sunrises • goodbye mother • Beltik moves in • Knight odds • Beltik moves out • she was glad to be alone/she hated being alone • Morphy

 

TEN (p147)

OHIO • Resnais (Sicilian, Rosso-Nimzo) 0-1 (51-6-1) • skittles with Benny 0-1 (51-7-1); 1-0 Sicilian (51-8-1); (52-12-2) • Californian (English) 0-1 (53-12-2) • Doesn't everybody? • Tuesday & Wednesday (55-12-2) • Benny Watts (Sicilian) 0-1 (56-12-2)

 

ELEVEN (p157)

Beer with Benny • Going to NEW YORK • INTERNAL CHESS vs. Benny (Levenfish) 0-1 (57-12-2) • Benny's NYC apartment • scrutinizing Russians • Intense, impersonal study • three new friends • simultaneous (60-12-2) (63-12-2) • 16 moves (64-12-2) • Intimacy? • Poker game • Next morning (Sicilian, Levenfish) (65-12-2)

 

TWELVE (p172)

FRANCE • Dutchman (Reti) 0-1 (66-12-2) • 18 • Frenchman (67-12-2) • Englishman (68-12-2) • Dutchman #2 (69-12-2) • Borgov (Sicilian, Boleslavski) 0-1 (69-13-2) • Back to Kentucky • A father's love • Buying the house • running errands • "A Gibson...On the rocks." • spectacular drinking • more than a hangover • KENTUCKY STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS • Foster 1-0 (69-14-2) • What is waste? • Mayday, mayday.

 

THIRTEEN (p191)

Where's Jolene? • Dinner at Toby's Jolene's plan • Sweating • Cleaning house • Christian Crusade • SAN FRANCISCO • Andy Levitt 1-0 (70-14-2) • SF loves Beth! • Goodbye Mr. Shaibel • Road trip with Jolene • Methuen • No Christian Crusade • No Benny • No Money • No help

 

FOURTEEN (p212)

Long wait at Orly • Flight to MOSCOW • Pre-tournament orientation • Viktor Laev (Sicilian, Boleslavski) 0-1 (71-14-2) • Time to relax • Official dinner • Duhamel 1-0 (72-14-2) • Borgov takes a peek • Park chess players • Hellstrom & Shapkin (74-14-2) • Luchenko (adjournment) • Borgov gets help • Flento (English opening) 1-0 (75-14-2) • 19 •  Luchenko (resumed) 0-1 (76-14-2) gracious resignation • Borgov (Queen's Gambit, Albin - adjournment) • Photos & Interviews • To the rescue! • Borgov (resumed) draw refused, mate in nineteen 1-0 (77-14-2) • Post party • Back to the park


Beth's loss to Borgov at the end of Chapter 8:

White Vasili Borgov
Black Beth Harmon
Event Mexico City, 1964
1. e4 e5
2. Nf3 Nc6
3. Bb5 a6
4. Ba4 Nf6
5. O-O Nxe4
6. d4 b5
7. Bb3 d5
8. dxe5 Be6
9. Qe2 Na5
10. Nd4 c5
11. Nxe6 fxe6
12. c3 Nxb3
13. axb3 Qb6
14. Be3 Be7
15. Qg4 O-O
16. f3 d4
17. Bh6 1-0

NOTE: on page 132, after watching Borgov move 17. Bh6, Beth thinks that she "would have to bring her rook up to protect," (17...Rf7) after which Beth fears that Borgov would "take the knight with his Queen" (18. Qxe4) and she would take his Bishop on h6 with her pawn (18...gxh6) and Borgov would then capture her Rook on a8 with check (19. Qxa8+) "and the whole thing would blow apart," so she resigns.

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12DEC04