Did Beth ever beat Benny?

Answered by Jarrod Smith

In the Netflix series “The Queen’s Gambit,” Beth Harmon does not beat Benny Watts in the US Championship in 1966. Despite her remarkable talent and determination, she ultimately falls short and is dubbed the US Co-Champion. This loss to Benny becomes a significant point of insecurity for Beth and has a lasting impact on her.

Throughout the series, Beth’s journey as a chess prodigy is filled with triumphs and setbacks. She faces numerous challenges, both on and off the chessboard, which shape her character and influence her performance in the tournaments she competes in. While she achieves many victories against formidable opponents, her inability to defeat Benny in the US Championship becomes a lingering source of self-doubt.

The match between Beth and Benny is highly anticipated, as both players are considered the strongest in the tournament. Their rivalry is intense, with each player showcasing their exceptional skills and strategic thinking. Despite her best efforts, Beth falls short and is unable to emerge as the sole champion. This outcome deeply affects her, as she had set her sights on defeating Benny and proving herself as the undisputed champion.

Beth’s loss to Benny highlights her vulnerability as a player and a person. It exposes her insecurities and fuels her desire to become better. Throughout the series, we witness her relentless pursuit of excellence in chess, driven by her need to prove herself and overcome her past failures. This determination is fueled by her competitive nature and the burning desire to defeat Benny, the one opponent she couldn’t conquer.

The fact that Beth never beats Benny adds depth to her character and highlights the complexities of her journey. It illustrates that success in chess, as in life, is not always guaranteed, even for someone as talented as Beth. This realization forces her to confront her own limitations and grapple with the fear of failure.

Furthermore, Beth’s loss to Benny serves as a reminder that defeat is an integral part of any competitive pursuit. It teaches her resilience and the importance of learning from setbacks. In her quest for greatness, Beth must come to terms with the fact that she will not always emerge victorious, but it is how she responds to these defeats that shapes her character and ultimately propels her forward.

While Beth Harmon does not beat Benny Watts in the US Championship, her journey in “The Queen’s Gambit” is not solely defined by this defeat. It is through her losses, as well as her victories, that she grows as a player and as a person. The series beautifully captures the complexities of competition and the emotional toll it can take, ultimately showcasing the indomitable spirit of its protagonist.