Why Is The Queen More Powerful Than The King

Guides / By Andrew Hercules
why is the queen more powerful than the king

The King is the ruler of the whole army and is the most important piece on the chess board. The loss of a king means the end of the game.

In chess, the word power denotes the number of squares a piece can control. For example, a queen can control a total of 28 squares, while a king can control a total of 9 squares from the center of the board. Therefore the queen is more powerful than the king.

In this article, we would be answering an old aged question as to why the queen is more powerful than the king in chess even though tradition has taught us that kings reign superior. Let’s have a look

Why Is The Queen More Powerful Than The King

Formerly known as advisor, the Queen became more powerful than the king due to the rise of female monarchs in Europe during the 15th century. The queen was then given the amalgamated powers of the rook and the bishop making it the most powerful piece in chess. 

Chess Historians believe that the piece we call as queen today was the weakest on the chess board and could only move one square diagonally.

However, in the 15th century history took some turns and the game moved to European countries. The game of chess was then revised including both the rules of the game and the movement of the pieces.

It was between 1362 and 1654, eighteen women asserted official sovereignty over 13 different European kingdoms.

The rise of female rulers such as  Elizabeth the first, Isabella of Castile, Catherine of Aragon, Mary Tudor greatly influenced the revisions made to chess.

How Powerful Is The Queen Today

The Queen is now the most powerful piece today. It can move any number of squares in a straight line (vertically, horizontally and diagonally). In many games, the death of a queen usually calls for resignation. It is therefore necessary that we take keen precautions into safeguarding not only our King but our Queen.

When it come to the King, it is the most valuable piece. However its power to control large number of squares like the queen is limited. The king can only move one square at a time in any direction.

Comparison Between The King And Queen

 

King control 9 squares

 

Queen control 28 squares

 

 

Table Showing The Power of The King And Queen

Number of squares it can control King Queen
Off the edge of the board 6 16
In the corner of the board 4 10
From the center of the board 9 28

 

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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