If you ever questioned the ability of television to influence people, you need to look no further than The Queen’s Gambit. Not only has the show has become Netflix’s biggest limited series ever, but it has inspired an interest in chess for a whole new group of people. Google reports a stunning rise in inquiries about how to play chess and sales of chess sets have increased by nearly 200% online.
But what fascinates me about the impact of the show is that it is based on a book – that was published 37 years ago. At the time, Walter Tevis’ novel remained in the background. It did not win awards and was just one of the thousands of books published in 1983. The story even had several failed attempts at screen adaptation but now that it finally reached the screen, the book has become a New York Times bestseller and inspired this new-found interest in chess.
It’s sad that Mr. Tevis died before he could see the impact of his work or receive the acclaim that was due for his imaginative storytelling but let this delay serve as inspiration for you. Who knows what kind of influence your work will have. It may be through the lessons you teach someone else or through the product you produce yourself but we never know when the seeds we planted will fully take root and bloom. Keep playing your game.