Why is the Queen powerful in chess? Its rules, setup, and value explained!

powerful chess queen

The Queen was not powerful in chess a long time ago; in fact, there was no Queen, according to historians. This got me interested in writing this article about the Queen in chess.

As of present, the Queen in chess is considered to be the powerful piece on the board; losing it early on the game will make it difficult to bounce back. I sometimes lose my Queen early in the game, and I feel like it’s going to be over for me real soon! 🙂

We will discuss the history of the Queen in chess a little bit later and will answer one of the most common questions in Chess – why is the Queen powerful?

Why is the Queen in chess so powerful?

The Queen has more mobility on the board compared to other chess pieces. The Queen can move like the Bishops and move like the Rooks! A combination of that move has given the Queen considerable power on the chess board. That is why the Queen would always be the preferred chess piece of players to protect the King.

Although we refer to the chess game objective, which is to checkmate the King, which ends the game, we should consider King as the most critical piece in the game. The game can continue without the Queen, but the game cannot continue if the King is checkmated.

But did you know that the Queen in chess wasn’t that all-powerful before? Yes, it’s true!

In fact, according to chess historians, there was no Queen in the chess board; let’s go down the rabbit hole shall with the chess Queen history.

History of Queen in chess

There was no Queen in chess before, or you may say the origin of chess a long time ago -see history of chess! Only male pieces are played during that time, and there was one piece that resembles the Queen today is the ferz.

But the ferz doesn’t have the mobility of the modern chess Queen; it was considered a weak piece because the ferz can only move and capture one square diagonally.

It was considered weaker than the Pawn and King – you would need at least three ferz to be effective in checkmate. This was in the 10th Century, according to chess historians.

Now in the 15th Century, when the game of chess was introduced in the European countries, the rise of female monarchs has greatly influenced revisions of chess, which includes making the ferz a Queen and giving it the mobility of the Bishops and Rooks!

This chess piece was recognized and referred to as ferz, vizier, minister or advisor, wazir, hetman, and also called lipp.

Today, we all know this chess piece as the Queen – one of the powerful chess pieces on the board!

Interested in the history of chess Queen and origin hundreds of years ago consider reading this valuable book (Amazon link).

What are the rules for the Queen in chess?

First of all, players start with one Queen each, and you can have more than one Queen by promoting your pawn.

You can read all about having more than one Queen here.

Here are 4 rules for Queen in chess:

  1. Queens is located in d file, d1 square for white and d8 square for black
  2. Queens take their color on the board
  3. Queen moves like Bishops and Rooks
  4. Queen captures pieces by occupying their square

Queens is located in d file, d1 square for white and d8 square for black.

When you are checking the Queen’s position on the board, you should find that the Queens are positioned in the d file.

That is where the Queens are positioned before the game starts.

Queens take their own color on the board.

This is a rule that you need to keep in mind when playing chess and locating the Queen on the chess board. The Queen takes their own color on the chess board.

I made a video on how to set up a chess board below:

Queen moves like Bishops and Rooks.

Another rule you need to know is the Queen’s move, or how to move your Queen. As I mentioned in this article, the Queen is considered powerful, mainly because of its mobility. 

The movement of Queen is a combination of Bishop and Rooks. Still, unlike Bishops where they remain on the color they are assigned (e.g., light square Bishop or dark square Bishop), the Queen can move like a Bishop and also change from light square to dark square any time the Queen wants as long as it is legal to do so! 🙂

Queen captures pieces by occupying their square.

Beginners may not know how the Queen captures a chess piece, so this next rule is how the Queen captures chess pieces.

The Queen shall occupy the square when it captures a chess piece. You may also follow this same rule to each chess piece with an exemption of pawns en passant. 

You can learn more about en passant capture of a pawn in this article.

How should a chess board be set up with the Queen?

Setting up a chess board will be the first thing you need to do when you want to play chess – it is not that difficult to learn, and I made a separate article about the board set up for chess in this article.

By now you understand that In this article, we will focus more on the Queen, and also setting up the Queen’s position on the board. This can sometimes be confusing for beginners.

Although I have repeatedly mentioned that “the Queen takes her own color” when it comes to board set up! The Queen will always be set up beside the King as one of the King’s strongest protectors.

Remember that when setting up a chess board, I have seen chess games played where the Queen and King are in a different position – I know one of the players will either be happy or disappointed restarting the game… 🙂

So to avoid this mistake, just read the essential points in this article or watch a Youtube video I made in setting up a chess board. I talked about the Queen in this video!

What is the value of the Queen in chess?

If you want to know how important the Queen is in chess – I would say it is very important! 🙂

The Queen is almost always the one to give the final blow (checkmate the King).

Not only is the Queen very important in the chess board, but it is also a chess piece that has the highest value or points. The Queen is equal to 9 points, while the rest of the chess pieces will have a value of one point for Pawn, three points for Knight or Bishop, and five points for Rook.

If you are asking about the King’s point, well, the King doesn’t have a point. 

You can read more about the Queen and point systems here.

Wrapping Up

You have learned that the rise of female monarchs was influential to the revision of the chess Queen and a certain Queen Isabella of Castile was the inspiration for the chess Queen to replace an all-male figure in chess.

And because of these female monarchs, the previously weak piece became the most powerful chess piece on the board.

It’s up to you to strategically use the Queen’s ability to win in chess, even though you have one of the most powerful pieces on the board – if you don’t know how to play the right tactics and strategies, you might end up losing the whole game.

To get you started, you can read some of my other articles about chess puzzles and openings, which can help you at least win some games!

Gary Flores

Hi there! I'm a dad with kids who loves to learn how to play chess by learning online - also, this is my way of refreshing my knowledge about this game of tactics & strategy. I created chessdelights.com to inspire people who are also learning, re-learning or teaching their kids the game of chess.

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