Sent to an orphanage at age 9, Beth develops an uncanny knack for chess — and a growing dependence on the green tranquilizers given to the children.
Suddenly plunged into a confusing new life in suburbia, teenage Beth studies her high school classmates and hatches a plan to enter a chess tournament.
The trip to Cincinnati launches Beth and her mother into a whirlwind of travel and press coverage. Beth sets her sights on the U.S. Open in Las Vegas.
Russian class opens the door to a new social scene. In Mexico City, Beth meets the intimidating Borgov, while her mother cozies up to a pen pal.
Back home in Kentucky, a shaken Beth reconnects with a former opponent who offers to help sharpen her game ahead of the?U.S. Championship.
After training with Benny in New York, Beth heads to Paris for her rematch with Borgov. But a wild night sends her into a self-destructive spiral.
A visit from an old friend forces Beth to reckon with her past and rethink her priorities — just in time for the biggest match of her life.