IT is a runaway success for Netflix that holds the streaming giant’s number one position. The Queen’s Gambit is earning rave reviews and if you are yet to see it, you may be surprised to learn that the series is not about Royal shenanigans, but chess.

The Queen’s Gambit?

The American drama is a miniseries now streaming on Netflix, telling the fictional story of orphan chess prodigy, Beth Harmon, on her quest to become the world's best chess player, while struggling with drug, alcohol and emotional issues.

It’s based on a book?

The drama is based on a 1983 book of the same name by Walter Tevis, who also penned three novels made into major movies - The Hustler, The Color of Money and the Man Who Fell to Earth. The San Francisco-born writer died at the age of 56 in New York in 1984.

Who’s in it?

Up-and-coming American actress, Anya Taylor-Joy, who starred as the title character in this year's movie version of Jane Austen's Emma, plays Harmon in the series. Thomas Brodie-Sangster, who played Sam in Love Actually, also stars.

In chess terms…

The ‘Queen’s Gambit’ is one of the oldest known opening moves in the game.

It’s a hit?

It is one of Netflix's most successful releases, in terms of how many days it's been in the most-watched offerings and in terms of reviews, with a strong reception from viewers.

Will there be a season two?

Billed as a limited series, with seven episodes, it seems unlikely, but the positive reception may well mean producers find a way to ensure the last episode is not checkmate. Executive producer, William Horberg, said. “The last scene feels like a beautiful note to end the show on, so I’m not sure if we want to go on and answer that question. Maybe we can just let the audience imagine what comes next.” Taylor-Joy added: “If I've learned anything from being in this industry, it's never say never.”

It’s not the first time chess has been a hit on screen?

The 1993 movie, Searching for Bobby Fischer, starring Laurence Fishburne and Ben Kingsley, is based on the life of young chess player, Joshua Waitzkin, telling the story of his refusal to harden himself to become like the famous, but unlikeable, Bobby Fischer, regarded as one of the greatest players in the world.

Do real chess fans like it, though?

Any chess fan wondering if it’s bearable to watch the chess games can rest assured that the producers wanted to avoid anyone with chess knowledge being distracted from the plot due to any inaccuracies with the games, so turned to Grand Master Garry Kasparov amongst others to serve as advisors, to help choreograph the games and ensure the prieces were moved in a natural way and players hit the clocks marking their time organically as well.

Comparisons to Rocky?

The New York Times review of the series describes the character of Harmon, who plays and trains obsessively to improve her game, as "something like the thinking woman's Rocky”. To that, executive producer Frank Scott told that “I don't know if I thought of it as a thinking woman's Rocky, but I like that description!”