The Queen that Went Ballistic

The Queen that Went Ballistic‎

WIM energia
16 | Middlegame

This time I would like to deviate slightly from my usual topic of exchanges. I recently thought of pieces that make exceptionally huge numbers of moves during the game. Particularly, a queen can cross the whole board creating threats. In this article I would like to show different situations where a queen is the one piece that makes pendulum-like maneuvers to achieve some goal. Sometimes it is to exchange the opponents’ pieces, win material or attack, sometimes it is all of those combined. I still will concentrate on exchanges that happened because of these queen maneuvers.

As the first example I would like to show a whole game, which I rarely do, but it seems to me that cutting it into pieces doesn’t make sense, since queen maneuvering happened at the beginning of the game, and the further strategy was related to it. At the beginning of the game the two sides are supposed to develop pieces rather than spend time on maneuvers with one piece, leaving the others undeveloped.





White is slightly better because of the isolated d5 pawn, which is a potential weakness. Black has yet to finish development. Bg7 and Qf6 need to regroup so as not to hit the well-defended c3 point, but rather attack the white king.




Sometimes one performs weird choreographical maneuvres with the queen just to chase the opponents. This happens often in endgames where one side has a material advantage and converting it would be much easier in a minor piece or pawn endgame. So the situation looks like a chase, where the opponent’s queen hides from persecution. The following example demonstrates this rather obscure technique. White is up a pawn, not just a pawn but a passed a pawn, the best scenario to have. He also has two bishops. Aronian decides to push a pawn while threatening queen exchange.





The best looking piece in this position is by all means Rd4. The other black pieces do not share this advantage, especially Be7 and Bd7. h5 might be a problem in a future. White enjoys his position, which is without weaknesses; his king is well protected and he has more space on the kingside. The one thing that he has to achieve is to exchange Rd4 and leave black with mostly passive pieces.

Overall, in the opening one should not move his queen too often but sometimes there are exceptions to the rule as was shown in the first example. Queen can hide in a safe haven for some time just to jump into the game with full potential soon, as was demonstrated by the second example. Chasing your opponent's queen when it is the endgame and you are up material is a good technique. The queen can perform small steps at a time, circling around one square before its final decisive stroke, which was shown in the last example.

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