Netflix’s The Queen’s Gambit

A Story of Covid-19, Persistence, and Love

David Paul Kirkpatrick
3 min readNov 2, 2020

My Facebook post from last week (October 29, 2020) had over 130 shares. It involved Allan Scott and The Queen’s Gambit recently released by Netflix to wonderful reviews (with a 100% Rotten Tomatoes- as of this publishing date.)

Facebook and other platforms have been dumped on a lot lately, and probably for good reason, and by Netflix, in particular, with its documentary, The Social Dilemma.

But this story is not about the shadow of Facebook. It is a sweet story. It shows the positive side of social tech and the human condition.

The First Post (October 29, 2020)

Original Book Cover Art

32 years ago, writer-producer Allan Scott (Don’t Look Now), brought in a book by Walter Tevis (The Hustler, The Color of Money) about a young orphan who became a chess sensation. The heroine battled genius and alcoholism. It was an unforgettable read with a haunting central character. We optioned the material. Molly Ringwald (Pretty in Pink) loved the role; Bernardo Bertolucci (The Last Emperor) was brought in to direct. Allan wrote the script and would produce. We could never find a start date that worked for the actress and director and the movie fell apart. Now, all these years later, Allan Scott has gotten his movie made with different actors, writers, and directors. But it’s the same character, the same story, the same book.

I always say that it just takes one person to believe, and believe strongly to get a creative project done. Allan Scott, now 80, believed. Well done, Allan. Hats off!

Allan Scott © The Guardian

The Second Post (November 1, 2020)

On Thursday, I posted my congratulations to Alan Scott, who had lived with the project, The Queen’s Gambit, for 32 years before he got the project made. Allan is now in his 80th year. This is the note I received this morning from Dominic Shiach:



David Paul Kirkpatrick

Founder of Story Summit & MIT Center for Future Storytelling, Pres of Paramount Film Group, Production Chief of Disney Studios, optimist, author and teacher.