Positional Elements in Action #3 (Important Queen moves)
The purest example of queen mobility.

Positional Elements in Action #3 (Important Queen moves)

NM 2Bf41-0


Today I'm going to enrich your understanding of a slightly undervalued topic: Queen moves. But more specifically, the examples will regard backward queen moves, perhaps one of the few overlooked and neglected strategical themes in books. This theme is abundant in practice and I will provide copious instructive examples to sharpen your eye for spotting effective backward queen moves. 

I've construed our first two instructive examples as backward queen moves regrouping toward an enemy target such as a weak pawn.

And here comes the following resplendently subtle example.

The subsequent two examples' root purpose is overall improvement of the queen itself. It may be a transfer to a more useful sector of the board.

The ensuing instructive example engenders the apotheosis of all backward queen moves. 

As a bonus I've included a beautiful study with a backward queen move, I found enjoyable solving. 

1...Rd5 2.Rd4! and 3.exd5# and 3.Nh5# are inevitable.
1...Rd6 2.Rd5! and 3.Bxe5# and 3.Nh5# is winning.
1...Rd7 2.Rd6! threatening 3.Rf6# and 3.Nh5# is won.
1...Rc4 2.Rc3! and mate is unstoppable.
1...Ra4 and 1...Rb4 are losing in a similar manner with 2.Rb3! and 2.Ra3!
1...Rxe4 falls into mate after Rf3+!
and last but not least.....
1...Rxd3 is lost against 2.Qxd3!!  What a geometrical study.

Since I'm not aware of the existence of a positional play book that solely focuses on backward queen moves, I exhort the reader the study material and book recommendations included in the previous blogs to broaden their understanding. 

Studies can be frustratingly hard to solve but improve one's creative thinking and opens up mental possibilities for counter-intuitive moves. Not to mention the aesthetically pleasing phenomenon!

Books I've used include:

  1. Secrets of Spectacular Chess. A very relaxing read which discusses the psychology and aesthetics of the studies.
  2. For the advanced player I recommend Studies for Practical Players. Be warned, though, the positions suck out a lot of energy and will take hours to solve.
  3. A quick read with some easier positions but with effulgent geometry and a mini biography is Sam Loyd's book.  With some elucidations and analysis by the acclaimed Andrew Soltis.
  4. A historical masterpiece is Chess Problem Gems by Eight Eminent American Composers.