"The chess community in The Queen’s Gambit is far more benign than the hostile, madness-inducing, chess-as-battlefield-of-the-Cold War image that has cemented itself in the American psyche," says J.C. Hallman. "No figure is more responsible for this image than Bobby Fischer. Fischer’s most famous quote—that he enjoys the moment when he destroys another man’s ego—pretty much says it all. Not accidentally, I think, Fischer has been excised from the world of The Queen’s Gambit. The prodigious rise of Harmon (Anya Taylor-Joy), who is a teenager in the 1960s, would have overlapped perfectly with Fischer’s rise toward the world championship. But he’s completely absent from the story—obliquely referenced only once when one of Harmon’s love interests, Benny Watts (Thomas Brodie-Sangster), is referred to by the wrong name. Instead, the show is imagining the history that might have unfurled had Fischer not been a paranoid, misogynistic, antisemitic cultist (it’s really too much to go into in detail) but rather an impassioned, inquisitive, and charismatic young woman fixed on beating back her demons and excelling at the game."