Letter #09 - 2005
Movement/Power of the Queen
Date: 3/08/2005 4:42:48 AM MST
Your overview indicates, “About 1580 an Italian suggested making the Queen the strongest piece instead of the weakest.” However, there is no mention of this in the "Brief Notes on the History..." section.
Are there any references to what changes were made to make the Queen the strongest piece? I've heard the permissible movement was greatly expanded/increased. But, from what type of more limited movement?
I've also heard that women's suffrage movements were responsible (in part) for the update to the Queen's capabilities and led to public acceptance of a strengthen Queen.
However, the timeframe doesn't seem to fit. Was there any significant suffrage movement during that period? Why would this occur at this time?
The Queen was not a powerful major piece until the last part of the 15th century but few people know that the game existed for five hundred years without her.
In India, Persia, and the Arab lands, where the game was first played, a General, or Vizier (Chief Counselor to the King), occupied the square where the Queen now stands.
Not until the year 1000, two hundred years after Arab conquerors brought Chess to southern Europe, did a Chess Queen appear on the board.
Originally called Mantri (Counselor or Minister), she was the weakest piece, moving only one square at a time on the diagonal. When Chess first arrived in Europe, the Queen was permitted to leap three cells.
By 1497, during the reign of Isabella of Castile, the Chess Queen had become the formidable force she is today obtaining her present power of moving along the length of all diagonals, ranks and files.
More information about the Queen is available at:
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