The Queen’s Gambit: Beth Harmon [INTJ 5w4]

Function Order: Ni-Te-Fi-Se

Beth as a child has an intuitive knowledge of a very cerebral game, and quickly figures out components of it without even being told what they are. She flickers between reactive games (acting in the moment) and long-term planning, often berating herself mercilessly for “not seeing” what someone else’s end game is, since she is too focused on her own narrow intentions. Others criticize her for getting stuck in one method and not being able to adapt or pay attention to what lies outside her focus. If she loses a game, she plays it again and analyzes each move to spot her own fundamental weaknesses. She often thinks far ahead in her life, by taking Russian classes as a child so she can speak the language of her eventual “World Championship” opponents. Her major flaw, though, is she assumes she knows a lot, so she does not study as much as she should, or pay attention to the details of her opponents’ previous games in order to learn their tricks, a case of Ni’s ability to read between the lines, get the gist of something, and then assume that’s all the studying they need to do to master it (leading to flaws in their understanding – a causing a several week studying session where someone has to “re-teach” her chess moves). Everything she does has an objective. Beth admits that she should start playing games for real and not just choosing them for the purse / reward money. She is a whiz at understanding math. But she doesn’t want to learn chess from the inside out, like a Ti user would – she says she only studies the games she loses retrospectively for her weaknesses, rather than all of them. The point is to figure out what she did wrong and avoid it the next time. She can be blunt, straightforward, and inclined to conceal her feelings and/or underestimate them (she makes it through a funeral without crying, but then bursts into tears in the car after seeing a photo of herself and the deceased). Beth has a strong work ethic and a sense of good sportsmanship, and always tries to shake hands after a match, though her temper can also cause her to storm out. She is private with her feelings, but will simply get up and leave a group if she isn’t interested in its conversation. She also has an impulsive inferior Se, prone to over-indulgence of drugs, alcohol, purchasing her family home on a whim and then blowing most of her bank account on it, realizing only later that she doesn’t have enough money to cover her expenses of going to Russia. Rather than studying the night before an important match, she foolishly decides to get drunk and mess around with guys at the bar downstairs after a “friend” invites her.

Enneagram: 5w4 so/sp

Beth thinks of herself as isolated, misunderstood, and cerebral, and tries to continually maintain that independence by not being reliant on others. She reads and absorbs knowledge about chess, her specialized niche interest, in order to avoid the outside world and its messy entanglements, to the extent that others must remind her that she should have some fun once in awhile. She will hide in her books in her room rather than socialize. She views her sexual experiences from a purely detached manner (no emotional investment) and wants to rely entirely on herself, her own mind, and the books she has read, to beat an opponent. Others move toward her much more than she moves toward them, and she reluctantly accepts their help once they’ve established a network of support for her, but she still doesn’t want to get involved with other people (choosing to go home and get drunk alone rather than move in with the man who likes her).