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How Does The Queen Move In Chess? (Explained!)

Okay so you have started getting interested in chess. But aren’t sure how the queen exactly moves in a chess game? No problem! You are in the the right place.

A queen can move as far as it can go along the diagonals, or ranks or files, until it comes across a piece or the edge of the chessboard where it has to stop. It can capture any opponent piece that comes on its way but only one in a single turn.

how-does-the-queen-move-in-chess

Now let’s see in detail about the queen moves in chess.

How does the queen capture in chess?

If there is an opponent piece along the path of the queen which the queen is eligible to capture then, that piece is removed from the chess board and the queen occupies its square, thus capturing that piece. However, only one piece can be captured in a single turn.

In chess, you can’t double kill.

how-does-the-queen-move-in-chess

As you can see in the above image, the white queen can capture the rook (shown with a red arrow in the image). The queen can also move on the other squares of the chess board as shown in the image.

Now let’s see when can a queen not move and when can a queen move in chess.

When can a queen not move in chess?

#1. If there is a piece of the same color blocking its path

If there is your own piece in front of it then the queen can’t capture it. It is as simple as that. In chess, you can’t capture your own chess pieces.

Also, a queen is not like a knight that can jump over the pieces.

So whenever there is a piece of the same color (means your own piece) on the path of queen, then the queen gets blocked and now it can’t move on that path.

However, a queen can move on another free path as long as it is legal to do so.

#2. If there is an opponent piece blocking its path which can’t be captured

Now if there is an opponent piece on the path of the queen which can’t be captured. Then, the queen has to stop there and it can’t move ahead on that path.

However, a queen can choose to not move on the path blocked by that opponent piece and choose a different free path as long as it is legal to do.

#3. If it is illegal to move the queen

Now if the path of the movement of the queen is free. Then you may be thinking that you can move your queen, right?

But that’s not the case always as it is also important that every move you make is legal move.

Here’s what I’m trying to tell you.

See, in chess, any move is considered illegal if it doesn’t follows the standard rules of chess. (You can read my article on illegal moves here.)

And in the FIDE laws of chess, it is said,

“No piece can be moved that will either expose the king of the same colour to check or leave that king in check.”

Now let’s suppose the position of the board is such that moving your queen would expose your king to check.

So in that case you can’t move your queen, isn’t it?

Thus, like this if any of the standard chess rules are violated then you are not allowed to make that move.

You May Like To Read: Can You Put Yourself In Check?

When can a queen move in chess?

#1. If the squares along its way are unoccupied

If the squares along the queen’s path of movement are unoccupied (vacant) then the queen is free to move along that path.

#2 If the move is legal

If no chess rules are violated and the path of movement of queen is free then it can move as it is perfectly legal to do so, isn’t it?

Some points about the queen that you should know

Each side has only one queen in chess.

However, as the game proceeds, you can have more than one queen by promoting your pawn to a queen when it reaches the the 8th rank on the other side.

The process of promoting a pawn is known as pawn promotion. I have already written an article on what happens when a pawn reaches the other side. So you can check that out if interested.

Queen is also the most powerful piece in chess. (You can read why is the queen so powerful here)

If you know how the rook moves and how the bishop move in chess. Then you may have probably understood that the move of queen is like the combination of both of them. Isn’t it?

Although the queen has so much mobility a queen can’t move like a knight.

A knight can actually jump over the other pieces. However, a queen can’t do that.

You can also check out how the knight moves here.

Conclusion

In short, a queen can move upto any number of squares either on the diagonals, rows, or columns of the chessboard as long as the path of movement is free and no chess rules are violated. If there is any opponent chess piece on its path then the queen can capture it but only one in a single turn.

So it can be said that:

  • A queen can’t move:
    • if its path is blocked by it own pieces
    • if there’s an opponent piece blocking its path which can’t be captured
    • if moving the queen is illegal
  • A queen can move diagonally, vertically or horizontally, front or back but only when:
    • the path of the queen is clear
    • if no other chess rules are violated by moving the queen

That’s it! I hope now you are very clear how the queen moves in chess. Please share this article if you found it helpful. Thanks!

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