How Does Queen Move in Chess? 

how does queen move in chess

The queen is the most powerful piece on the chessboard. The rook moves in straight pathways, and the bishop moves diagonally, but the queen does it all.

So, if you’re new to chess and want to know how does the queen move, you’ve landed on the right page.

How Does the Queen Move in Chess?

The queen moves horizontally, vertically, and diagonally to any number of squares.

The queen can move in various ways in chess. The ways it can move are:

1. The Queen can Move like the King

The Queen can Move like the King

The king in chess can move in all directions, but only one square at a time. However, the king isn’t unique in its capabilities. The queen can also move exactly like the king but without the limitation of one square at a time.

In simpler words, the queen moves exactly like the king but without any limitations.

In the above picture, the queen can move to squares h4, g4, g5, g6, and h6 just like the king.

2. The Queen can Move in Straight Pathways like a Rook

The Queen can Move in Straight Pathways like a Rook

The queen moves in straight pathways like a rook. It can go any number of squares, given that the route is empty. In other words, the queen can move exactly like a rook.

It can travel anywhere in straight lines if there are no pieces or pawns in the middle of its pathway.

In the above example, the white queen can move from h5 to e5 just like a rook. It can also move from h5 to h3.

3. The Queen can Move Diagonally like a Bishop

The Queen can Move Diagonally like a Bishop

The queen can move diagonally as well, like a bishop. It can go any number of squares diagonally if there isn’t any piece or pawn in the middle of its road.

The exciting part is that the queen isn’t limited to only one type of square-like bishop. It can move on both light-colored and dark-colored squares.

In the above example, the black queen can move to a5 or h4 diagonally just like a bishop.

The History Behind the Queen’s Radical Move

The Wazir/Mantri

The Wazir/Mantri

Long before this piece was named ‘queen’ in Europe, it was called mantri/wazir, which means minister/advisor or counsellor.

In India, chess was called chaturanga, and it was based on the positions on a battlefield. Then, it was called Mantri.

When chess reached the Arab Caliphate, it became shatranj, and the mantri became wazir.

The Einsiedeln Poem

The Einsiedeln Poem
Credits: Wikipedia 

The Einsiedeln Poem, or the ninety-eight lines Latin poem titled “Verses on Chess” (“Versus de Sachs”), was the first written document mentioning the “queen” in chess. This poem was found in a manuscript in Einsiedeln Monastery dating late 990s AD.

According to chess historian Marilyn Yalom, the queen’s radical move was inspired by medieval queens like Eleanor of Aquitaine, Blanche of Castile, Isabella I of Castile, etc.

The 15th century poem Scachs d’amor

By the end of the 15th century AD, chess players began to play the modern queen’s move. The moto behind the radical movement was to make the game faster than before.

Chess players began to play the queen with as many squares as available in horizontal, vertical, and diagonal directions. This transition was recorded in the Catalan poem called Sachs d’amor.

In the beginning, it was called the “mad queen” or “mad queen chess.”

The Queen led to Modern Chess!

Read all about it in How long chess has been around?

Why is Queen the Most Powerful Piece?

how does queen move in chess

The queen is the most powerful piece on the chessboard, but I am sure it’s not the first time you’re hearing it. From club members to grandmasters, everyone tries to play opening strategies and middle game strategies carefully enough to be able to use the queen tactically.

Keep reading to find out why the queen is the most powerful piece.

1. It can Move in Any Direction

The primary reason the queen is considered so powerful is because of its ability to move in every direction. To begin with, the queen can move backward, unlike pawns. This powerful piece can also move like the rooks and the bishops.

If you look at it, the queen is like the all-in-one package. It’s like the super chess piece that can function like all the other pieces, except the knight.

2. It can Move As Many Squares as it Wants

Undoubtedly, the king is the most essential piece in a chess game. However, when it comes to movement, the king can only move one square at a time.

Contrastingly, the queen doesn’t have any restrictions on its movement. If the path is clear, it can go as many squares as it wants. This helps the queen exert power almost all over the board.

For instance (in the below image), the queen on a3 can move all over the a-file; it can move across the third file at the same time. If you look carefully, you’ll see the queen is diagonally reaching f8.

Queen can Move As Many Squares as it wants

3. There can be More than One Queen on the Chessboard

The most exciting feature about the queen is that there can be more than one queen at a time on the chessboard.

If a pawn can reach the 8th file, it gets an option to be promoted to a piece. Most chess players promote a pawn to a queen, as it’s the most powerful one.

Any player with two queens on its side can flip the tempo of the game. One can not only win but also strip its enemy player of every piece and push them towards resignation.

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Best Strategies for Using the Queen

how does the queen move

The first and foremost duty of the queen is to protect the king. In a chess game, the king is the weakest piece despite its importance. Therefore, the queen’s place is right near the king.

Besides protecting the king, the queen can be used in various strategies impactfully. The best strategies for using the queen are:

1. Use the Queen in the Opening Strategies

Many players don’t believe in using the queen during chess openings. They save it for later. While using this piece later in the game is a wise decision, it can also bring fruitful results during the opening.

In chess games/tournaments between beginners, one can use the queen during the opening to deliver an early checkmate–Scholar’s mate and Fool’s mate.

Use the Queen during the opening to deliver Fool’s mate and Scholar’s mate.

2. Use the Queen in the Middlegame Strategies

Try to develop the queen after castling. Bring it to the center of the board and use it to capture pieces. Remember, you can play as long as the 8th file with the queen in your hand.

I suggest using the queen during the middle game. It’s safe and has proven to be effective almost 90% of the time. So, experienced players always try to use the queen during the mid-phase of the game.

3. Always Try Queening Using the Pawn Promotion Strategy

The ‘pawn promotion’ strategy is the most famous queen strategy. Almost every chess player out there tries to promote pawns to get another queen.

Always try queening a pawn by reaching the end of the board.

4. Exchange the Queens in the Endgame

Exchanging queens has more value than many beginners can grasp. In top-level games, exchanging queens often marks the beginning of the endgame itself.

As the queen is the most vital piece in a chess player’s hand, many refuse to exchange it. But trust me, exchanging queens is one of the effective endgame strategies.

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Is the queen’s gambit related to the queen?

The queen’s gambit is related to the queen’s pawn. It’s a queen’s pawn opening with 1.d4 d5 2.c4 moves. No, the queen’s gambit isn’t related to the queen directly.

Can the queen move like a horse?

Nope, the queen can’t move like the knight.

What are the rules for the queen in chess?

The queen can move horizontally, vertically, and diagonally covering any number of squares. The rules for the queen are that it can’t move like a knight and isn’t eligible for castling or en passant.


Dear readers, it’s very important to understand how does the queen move. As a beginner, you must understand its move to use it strategically and win every upcoming match.

All the best for your upcoming tournaments!

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