The queen (♕,♛) is the strongest piece in the game of chess, able to move any number of squares vertically, horizontally or diagonally. Each player starts the game with one queen, placed in the middle of the first rank next to the king. Because of the value of a queen, it is sometimes used as bait to lure an opponent into a trap by a queen sacrifice. Another tactic is to use the queen to threaten the opponent's queen, to either retreat or to exchange the queen (losing both of them) to reduce the game to less strong pieces. The queen is often used in conjunction with another piece, such as teamed with a bishop or rook, where the pieces could guard each other while threatening the opponent pieces.
With the chessboard oriented correctly, the white queen starts on a white square and the black queen starts on a black square. (Thus the mnemonics "queen gets her color", "queen on [her] [own] color", or "the dress [queen piece] matches the shoes [square]" (Latin: "servat regina colorem").) In algebraic notation, the white queen starts on d1, while the black queen starts on d8. Because the queen is the strongest piece, a pawn is promoted to a queen in the vast majority of the cases.
In the game shatranj, the ancestor of chess included only male figures, the closest thing to the queen being the “vizier”, a weak piece only able to move or capture one step diagonally and not at all in any other direction. The modern chess queen gained power in the 15th century in concert with traditions of queenly rule in Europe. Examples of this power shift would be the "end of chivalry" by which Queen Elizabeth I ended the tradition that any knight could create another and made it exclusively the preserve of the monarch.
The piece is archaically known as the minister. In Polish it is known as the Hetman – the name of a major historical military-political office. In Russian it is known as "ferz'" (ферзь). The Arabic name of the piece is Wazïr, the same as in shatranj.
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