How Does The Queen Move In Chess?

Chess Guides / By Andrew Hercules

The Queen is extremely powerful and the only chess piece that represents a woman. At the start of the battle, she stands next to the King and although it may be tempting to leave her to protect her King, it is better to use her strength to attack the enemy forces. So how does the queen move in chess or more realistically, what queen moves are legal in chess?

The Queen can move any number of squares along with the rank, file, or diagonal. However, she is not allowed to leap over any other piece. She can attack in any manner she moves. However, like every other piece on the board, if she is captured, she is out of the game.

How Does The Queen Move In Chess

The Queen moves like the Rook and Bishop combined. She can move in straight lines like the Rook and diagonally like the Bishop. The Queen can capture any piece on the chessboard. The Queen can move forward and backward, but she can never jump over any other pieces. So if an enemy soldier is in her way, she must either stop before she reaches that piece, or capture it.

The Queen moves in any direction in a straight line

how does the queen move in chess

The Queenside

The Queen is cool! Not only is she the most powerful piece in chess, but she is also the most talked about. The Queen was introduced to the game in 1475. Elsewhere in the world, she is called “The Lady”. Half of the board is named in her honor. The a, b, c, and d files are known together as the Queenside.


The d-file by itself is called the “queen file”. Some of the pieces are named after her too. The Rook on the a1 is called the “queen’s rook”, the Knight on b1 is the “queen’s knight” and the Bishop on c1 is the “queen’s bishop”.

The d-pawn is often referred to as the “queen’s pawn”. (An “a” pawn is a queen’s rook pawn). When a pawn promotes, we use the verb “to the queen”. We also say that a pawn gets queened on the queening square.

Endgames, where all that’s left are Kings, Pawns, and Queens, are called queen endings. And, the opening that starts with the moves 1.d4 d5 2.c4 is named the Queen’s Gambit.

When To Move The Queen

Unlike any chess piece, players should know when to move their Queen around the board. At the start of the game, the Queen usually controls her army from the back of the board. It is important to develop your other pieces before launching an attack with your Queen.

She is a very powerful piece but she needs to be supported by the troops under her command. Remember that she always has the advantage over other pieces because she can move in any direction.

Tips to remember when moving the Queen:

  • Remember that the Queen is the most powerful piece on the board. Don’t develop your Queen too early on in the game or else she could get tossed around; and in a worse case, captured.
  • The Queen moves quickly and ruthlessly around the board and can obliterate any pieces in her path, so always be aware of her position.

Here is a game where the Black player moved his Queen too early in the opening.

The Queen is best moved after you’ve developed all your pieces and castled your King. You may complete development by moving your queen off the back rank in order to connect your Rooks and finish development.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can the Queen in chess move like a horse?

Although the Queen is the most powerful piece on the board, she cannot jump over other pieces like how the horse would. The Queen moves in a straight line while the Knight moves in an “L” shaped path.

Can you have two Queens in chess?

You can have as many Queens on the chessboard, a Maximum of 9 Queens (theoretically). In a chess match, you only get one Queen. A second queen can be born once any of your pawns reaches the other side of the board.

Can a Queen take a Queen in chess?

Your queen can capture the enemy queen as long as it’s in your path.

Related Post: How do all the chess pieces move?

Andrew Hercules

Hercules Chess, launched in 2020, is a website that teaches you about chess. We started as a chess blog and became a chess training platform in early 2022.

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