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Never Bring Your Queen Out on Move 2! Very Instructive Material For Beginners/Improvers

Apr 21, 2015, 4:56 PM 0

This is a game I played vs. the chess.com computer on level 3 - hard mode (Computer-3 HARD rated ~1650) and as a part time chess teacher to beginners online I thought I'd share this material to whoever may find it a) amusing, b) interesting or c) instructive.

The computer rated well over 1600+ bought its Queen out on move 2 and I instanty implemented a strategy to trap it. I never expected the computer to let it happen but this is what many beginner players do, because the Queen is the most powerful piece get it out a early as possible.

This is bad because the true value of the Queen increases exponential with each piece captured off the board. Below is the game.

Just to show the true power of the Queen, I've included a few diagrams - One is to show how many mate-in-1's the Queen can deliver and also a couple to show how many squares the Queen on an open board can choose (potentially) to check the King compared to other pieces. Here is the Queen's checkmate power on an almost empty board!

So this isn't to make the Queen seem more powerful than she is, but show to beginners and players wanting to improve why the Queen is so valuable in the endgame, almost all sucessful checkmates involve the Queen so losing it in the opening isn't a good idea  The Queen will almost have a check to deliver in an open position...

As you can see on the open board the queen is a monster so she is best kept aside for the middlegame or endgame where she can pick off multiple targets with ease or bail out and draw a lost game with perpetual check. If the Queen was any other piece such as a Rook, Knight or Bishop...

As you can see the Rook which is "worth" 5 has nothing on the Queen. What about the Bishop?...
Not as good as the Rook, so what about the tricky Knight?...

So the Knight could give just 1 check, the Bishop could only give 1 good check, the Rook just 2, but the Queen 8 good checks!!

2x as much as all other 3 pieces combined - if the 3 pieces are worth a combined total of 11 (Rook = 5, Bishop = 3, Knight = 3) and the Queen is just worth 9, the Queen worth 9 can give as much attacking power on an open board as up to 22 points value of material, so as I said her power increases exponentially the longer the game goes on and less pieces are on the board. Here is a lone Queen giving a thematic Perpetual Check - perpetual meaning forever, despite the opponent having 22 points of material value! - if you go by the fact the Queen had twice as many checks available as 11 points worth of material (Rook, Bishop and Knight), note that this isn't true in all cases, more of a guide than a rule or fact but still true more often than not. But what is a fact though is that the Queen is the only piece that can save lost games with a draw by perpetual check with no help from any other piece

When checkmating the King using your Queen and King, you should never give check to the King... only checkmate.

Because we wouldn't want this to happen...

When comparing pieces to their "value", the value is only relative - the true value changes throughout the game and ultimately is decided by how many squares they can control and attack.

Sometimes 2 Rooks can outplay the Queen, but not on an empty board when they're not connected or there are even 3 or 4 minor pieces but all disco-ordinated because the Queen just picks them off 1-by-1 with double-attacks (aka forks). In the opening, develop the minor pieces and control the centre with your pawns and get castled before getting the Queen into the action.

For any other beginner players wishing to improve their game check out these other blog posts I wrote - learn to checkmate with the 2 Bishops with ease and I hope no-one gets their Queen trapped ever again!