The Renewed Popularity of Chess and The Queen’s Gambit: Pretty Much Pop Culture Podcast Discussion #78 with Chess Expert J.J. Lang

The high level of interest in Netflix’s adaptation of the 1984 Walter Tevis novel, The Queen’s Gambit has brought this most popular game back to the forefront of pop culture. Chess expert/teacher J.J. (who’s also a grad student in philosophy) joins your hosts Mark Linsenmayer, Erica Spyres, and Brian Hirt to consider chess culture, what gives this game its edge on other contenders (why not Terra Mystica?), player personality characteristics, and the effect of chess media.

We consider gender, genius, and other issues in Gambit, plus Pawn SacrificeSearching for Bobby FisherThe Luzhin Defense, and The Coldest Game.

A few articles and lists:

Watch J.J. on stream on Twitch. Other interviews he’s done: Perpetual ChessFriends and EnemiesAakaash

Hear more of this podcast at This episode includes bonus discussion about more chess films and other topics that you can access by supporting the podcast at This podcast is part of the Partially Examined Life podcast network.

Pretty Much Pop: A Culture Podcast is the first podcast curated by Open Culture. Browse all Pretty Much Pop posts.

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