Friday, 27 November 2020

Before Beth

 With "The Queen's Gambit" still going strong on Netflix, there has been a lot of discussion about women's chess, and whether there was a "real" Beth Harmon. While the general consensus is that Beth Harmon was entirely fictional (or a version of Bobby Fischer), at the time of the books publication, there were already a number of female players making their mark on the male dominated scene.

One player who has been seemingly overlooked in this discussion is Pia Cramling, who had already drawn with a future World Champion as far back as 1976. From the outset her style was significantly more aggressive than the her contemporaries, and her willingness to play high level open events was also a little unusual at the time. Unlike the TV series, her climb to the tip was a little more measured, but she earned the GM title in 1992, and even now she is still one of the top female players in the world.

Kasparov,Garry - Cramling,Pia [C42]
Wch U16 (unofficial) Wattignies (6), 07.1976


Anonymous said...

That game was played by her brother Dan, not by Pia. Pia did not play in that tournament.

Anonymous said...

Pia Cramling never played Kasparov, but she did beat Korchnoi.