Saturday, July 10, 2010


There's something I've always sort of wondered about when it comes to chess. Why the heck is the king the weakest and most vulnerable piece while the queen arguably kicks butt? I did a little searching on Wikipedia, and it looks like the rules have changed some over the years, but I'm still at a loss as to why the queen became the most powerful piece.

As far as I can determine, the queen wasn't even a player in the oldest versions of the game. In that case, I understand the goal of protecting the king. If the two sides represent two opposing armies, the people in charge of the soldiers are going to protect themselves. Since that would be the king, the aim of the game would be to protect him. Selfish little bugger. No, I kid, I kid. I can relate to that whole protect-our-leader-to-prevent-anarchy philosophy.

I suppose what baffles me is, why was the queen introduced and why is she on the front lines? Unless the keyboard monkeys have been smashing letters at Wikipedia again, it looks like the queen was introduced in the 10th century and developed into the big kid on the block over the next five hundred years. What? Now, I don't have first-hand experience with the inner workings of those European societies (anyone who claims to better be driving a DeLorean), but I was under the impression that women weren't that influential in those days. Sure, sure, "the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world," but either I've been lied to, or women were kind of property in those days. What sort of lunatic would put their baby mama on the front lines?

Me possibly thinking modern-day logically here, the introduction of the queen as a fighting piece messes up the whole idea of the game. If the point of chess was to practice martial thinking, then putting the queen in the army would be like tying a bow on a kitten in the hopes that, if it were set loose in the Congo, it would conquer any warring factions of chimpanzees it encountered. Or something.

In my way of thinking, if a queen piece were to be introduced at all, she would have to become the vital piece to be protected. I know if I were a king fighting a war across uniform checked squares, my goal would be to protect potential offspring. Since queen = mother of the king's children (the heirs to the throne, anyway), then that just makes more sense to me.

I kind of think that if any piece should be tearing up the field, it should be the king.

Or the rebel leader. Wiiiiiiilliaaaaaaaam!

Listening to: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Reading: Harry Potter y la piedra filosofal

1 comment:

  1. I'd imagine this was started by liberals who support the ERA