A California court judge has rejected Netflix's motion to dismiss a lawsuit filed by Georgian chess legend Nona Gaprindashvili.
Netflix has requested the dropping of the lawsuit, claiming Queen’s Gambit series is a work of art and its creators are given a wide-ranging artistic license by the law.
However, the judge said that ‘the fact that the series is fictional does not protect Netflix from liability for defamation.’
Gaprindashvili sued Netflix over its Queen’s Gambit series in September 2021.
The series says that its fictional hero Beth Harmon was the only female champion who faced men and that Gaprindashvili was a Russian chess player.
In her lawsuit Gaprindashvili says that by 1968, when the episode was set, she had competed against at least 59 male chess players, including 10 grandmasters.
The suit also says that Netflix described Gaprindashvili as Russian, despite knowing that she was Georgian, ‘and that Georgians had suffered under Russian domination when part of the Soviet Union, and had been bullied and invaded by Russia thereafter.’
Gaprindashvili is demanding five million USD in compensation and the removal of the disputed sections.
Gaprindashvili, 80, is a five time world champion and winner of 11 Olympiads in chess.
Gaprindashvili is also the first woman to be awarded the International Chess Federation title of Grandmaster, which occurred back in 1978.