Nona Gaprindashvili, who in 1978 became the first woman to be named a chess grandmaster, was pained to learn that the Netflix limited series erased her many successes against male opponents. In the final episode of The Queen's Gambit, an announcer is heard describing the triumphs of Anya Taylor-Joy's Beth Harmon. “The only unusual thing about her, really, is her sex, and even that’s not unique in Russia,” the announcer intones, as a woman watching the match comes into focus. “There’s Nona Gaprindashvili, but she’s the female world champion and has never faced men.” Today, the 80-year-old Gaprindashvili, who lives in Tbilisi, Georgia, filed a lawsuit against Netflix in Federal District Court in Los Angeles, seeking millions of dollars in damages for what the suit claims is a “devastating falsehood, undermining and degrading her accomplishments before an audience of many millions” and calling for the line about her not facing men to be removed. “They were trying to do this fictional character who was blazing the trail for other women, when in reality I had already blazed the trail and inspired generations,” Gaprindashvili said in a recent video interview arranged by her lawyers, speaking in Georgian, which was translated to English by her grandson. “That’s the irony.” Netflix responded that it believes her claim is without merit. “Netflix has only the utmost respect for Ms. Gaprindashvili and her illustrious career, but we believe this claim has no merit and will vigorously defend the case,” the company said in a statement.
TOPICS: The Queen's Gambit, Netflix, Nona Gaprindashvili, Legal