3. Mexico City

Vasily Borgov playing chess in Mexico City

The scenes in Mexico City at the Aztec Palace Hotel were filmed at the Friedrichstadt Palace in Berlin, which really does have those amazing stained glass windows.  The Friedrichstadt Palace is home to the Palast Berlin, a popular “revue”, or theatrical show that harkens back to the early and mid-20th century. The original Palace was designed by Modernist architect Hans Poelzig on the site of a former venue, an arena where Max Reinhardt performed. Reinhardt went on to create the forerunner to the Palast Berlin called the Großes Schauspielhaus, and commissioned Poelzig for the building. The newest building, where The Queen’s Gambit was filmed, was built in 1985.

The zoo scenes in The Queen’s Gambit, where Beth sees Vasily Borgov with his family, are shot at the Berlin Zoo. This is a seminal moment in the book as well, where Beth understands what a tough competitor Borgov will be.