The story begins in the mid-1950s in a Kentucky orphanage. A young girl discovers an astonishing talent for chess while struggling with addiction. The miniseries proceeds into the 1960s. Based on Walter Tevis's 1983 novel of the same name.

During 1962's Cuban missile crisis, a troubled math genius finds himself drafted to play in a U.S.-Soviet chess match -- and a deadly game of espionage.

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