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How world chess champion Garry Kasperov got involved in The Queen's Gambit via the Game of Thrones guys

  • "It came from two sources," says the Russian grandmaster. "One, I got a call from (instructor and Queen's Gambit consultant) Bruce Pandolfini. I know him well. Bruce said that he would be engaged in this project and Scott Frank wanted to have a chat with me. And around the same time, I’m not sure which call came first, but I got a message from my friends, the creators of Game of Thrones, David Benioff and (D.B.) Weiss, who are very good friends with Scott. And they also said, 'Scott is doing something interesting in chess and he wants to talk to you.' It ended up with me and my wife entering Boulud Sud, the restaurant on the Upper West Side. Scott was there, Bruce was there, and a couple other guys that worked with Scott, and we had a nice conversation." Kasparov recalled going through the whole script. "I said, 'Look, you have three components where I think I can help. One is, naturally, I can definitely help with explaining how the game is being played. Now, this is about the body language, touching the pieces, all the things that will give people the sense that they are real players,'" he said. "Second,” he told them, "'you have to guarantee that the games that are being played, they have to look real. There will be a bunch of chess players watching who say, ‘That’s nonsense.’ Many chess movies, or movies where chess is being put on display, they just couldn’t put the pieces correctly, or the chessboard was turned 90 degrees. A movie that is about chess players, chess competitions, it should be full-blown, real chess. And people, if they have qualifications, they should recognize this is a real game.'"

    TOPICS: The Queen's Gambit, Netflix, Garry Kasperov