One of the shows that got me through the pandemic was The Queen's Gambit on Netflix. If someone told me I would be a diehard fan of a show about chess and crush all seven episodes in two days, I would never have believed them.

However, this show is about a whole lot more than chess. It is a story of rising above your upbringing with a side of girl power, and I was SO here for it. I was not alone in this feeling. The show rose to #1 in 12 different countries, and led to a chess boom not seen for decades. It made chess cool again!

Funny African American children playing chess with mom and dad at home
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A big plot line in the show was that the janitor, Mr. Shaibel, at Beth's orphanage was a bit of a chess prodigy. He introduced Beth Harmon to the game, and taught her everything she needed to know to conquer the chess world.

When Mr. Shaibel passed away, Beth returned to the orphanage and attended his funeral. She went to the basement where they played chess to reminisce about their time together, and to her surprise, Beth saw Mr. Shaibel had been keeping track of her chess endeavors over the years! This was a tearful and very emotional scene.

Before The Queen's Gambit became a hit series on Netflix, a custodian from Maine was sharing his passion for chess with young minds. David is the caretaker at George B. Weatherbee Elementary School and Reeds Brook Middle School in Hampden, Maine. He also is a chess coach and has guided his teams to victory at both the statewide and national levels.

David was honored with the Chess Educator of the Year award by the University of Texas at Dallas. He values the positive impact the game has on his students, helping to boost their confidence.

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