Here comes the knight –
Nov. 27, 2020 – Tevis, originally from San Francisco, learned to play chess as a young boy but fell ill at the age of eight. He was put in a nursing home and abandoned by his parents, who moved across the country to Kentucky, reports The Ringer.
In The Queen’s Gambit, we watch as eight-year-old Beth is put in an orphanage and becomes addicted to the tranquilisers she and the other girls are forced to take.
Similarly, Tevis was drugged with sedatives when he was left in the nursing home as a child. He was given barbiturates three times a day, starting him on a path to dependency.
“I loved it,” he told the San Francisco Examiner years later. “That may be one reason I became a drunk.” Tevis was later taken back in by his strict mother and alcoholic father and struggled to fit in at school in Lexington; just like Beth, an outsider among her peers.
As an adult, he got married and had two children. He became prolific short story writer, as well as a drinker and a gambler.
“He gambled my milk money away, and the way he got it back was by selling short stories to various magazines,” his son William later said.