Netflix's top-ranking shows are flipping by faster than the numbers on gas tanks lately and with so many premiering every few weeks, it's tough to settle on just one favorite. However, that all changed when Queen's Gambit took center stage - or, should we say, took its place on the board.

The show, an adaptation from the novel of the same name written by Walter Tevis, explores the inner workings of both the mind and personal life of professional chess player Beth Harmon. The ride is a wild one and, if nothing else, the sale of chess boards has likely skyrocketed since the show hit the airwaves. It clocked in on Netflix's top trending show within days and suddenly, everyone was itching to get their hands on two things: A board and a gameplay guide.


While the world of chess is one that takes a bit of math ingenuity, a lot of thinking ahead, and quite a bit of mental focus, it's one that has been around for centuries, and one hotel chain is taking note and offering its guests a unique experience.

What's Being Offered And How

Obviously, chess is a face-to-face game, which means it's a tough one to play during a pandemic without an opponent unless the said opponent happens to be part of your bubble. However, the rigid rules of the game also make practicing moves fairly easy if you're creative enough. Therefore, Kimpton Hotels is offering guests a Queen's Gambit-like experience in order to make both quarantine time, and time in general, go by a bit more quickly. In addition to offering the usual amenities that the hotels provide, they're now also offering chess sets for guests who check-in. These chess sets will be delivered to rooms where guests request them, contact-free so that everyone can have a chance to prove their skill at the regal game.

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The program is called the 'chessboard lending program' and is being carried out at select hotels in Bozeman, Montana, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Milwaukee, New York, Philidelphia, Huntington Beach, California, Pittsburgh, and Salt Lake City, Utah. Guests can check online or call ahead as well to see if the service is being offered at their select Kimpton hotel. The idea behind the move (no pun intended) is quite brilliant as it's inspired by the hit show but also allows people to spend some time within their own heads, without all the negativity that often comes along with doing such a thing.

In the show, Harmon ends up losing her grip on reality as she battles her own inner demons before finally regaining control in order to take a world champion win from the former title-holder. It's a surprising turn of events and one that can only be echoed by the same surprise as the chess move by which the show shares a name. For many, watching the show was the first, and only, thing to pique an interest in the game, and the great thing about chess is that a player can only get better - not worse.

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Some hotels, such as The Shorebreak in California, are also offering an outdoor, socially-distant alternative in the form of an enormous chess set. With masks on, players can take their chances while playing on the gigantic board against their opponents, where they might gather some attention the same way that Harmon did when she faced off against hers. Other hotels are taking things even a step further, offering specially-made drinks that are named and created in honor of The Queen's Gambit. They include both alcoholic and non-alcoholic options, with names such as 'White Lady' (Harmon's personal favorite), 'Check Mate,' Sicilian Defense,' and 'The Queen's Gambit,' according to Travel + Leisure.

If nothing else, the themed hotel stay provides a momentary escape from reality in which travelers can experience not only their new favorite show but the flavors and feel of another decade. As the show traversed multiple decades from the 50s into the 70s and beyond, it also changed the way its characters dressed, acted, and looked, and we're sure no one would bat an eye for anyone who decided to show up to the concierge wearing circa-1960s attire. It seems that Kimpton has come up with the perfect way for people to pass the time during this pandemic, and with a flair and flourish, to boot. It's time to get your head in the game, prepare your best chess moves, and study up on that game manual... lest you end up in a Queen's Gambit, yourself.

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