The value of a Queen: Mistakes, Philosophy and Psychology.

The value of a Queen: Mistakes, Philosophy and Psychology.

Jul 15, 2012, 11:44 PM |

I don't do blogs and am not good enough to lecture so consider this more of a personal long term reference for memorable games I have decided to keep from now.

Recently I played two very colourful games against a relatively poor opponent in which I had made some poor decisions and lead myself into sacrificing my queen for lesser pieces.
I also won both of these games.
Here is the first:

I was quite surprised at the outcome of that game, due to my inherent stupidity in the first half but it was a good reminder that chess is as much psychology as anything else.

The queen is unique in this aspect as most new players tie a feeling of importance, power and even assured victory to the queen. This game serves as a good example of it, as well as the many games in which you have seen people resign after they lose their queen.

People also often forget that while the queen is a powerful piece it is a sword with no handle. Aside from the king the queen is the second most threatenable piece on the board which creates opportunities for pins and uncomfortable situations such as the one I experienced in this game. It's why I detest people who bring out their queen early and why I consider moves such as Qa4 dangerous as I have shown here. The queen's true strength is not offensive power, but the influence it has on engagements with the king. As a brute force weapon against a pinned piece the queen has to come in last and even then exposes itself. The peice is, however, exceptionally useful at creating unique forks and trapping the king because of it's unique motion patterns. It is most useful when many pieces are developed and the king is vulnerable but most people don't really consider this.

The second act of this little episode was even more dramatic:

The second game was an even better example of 'winners phychology' at work once again from both sides where I recklessly used my queen and he recklessly ignored my moves when he believed victory to be assured.

So you have to be careful and level headed at all aspects of chess and remember that there are no advantages before the moves begin.