Chess is for Girls Too!
THE BIRTH OF THE CHESS QUEEN, INSPIRED BY QUEEN ISABELLA OF SPAIN
by: BMarinello, US Chess Trust
In 1475, just 17 years prior to the discovery of America, the newest piece in the game, the Chess Queen, was introduced.
As we approach the anniversary of Christopher Columbus’ discovery of America, it seems appropriate to address the history of the development of chess and the connection with the Queen for which a significant change in the game was inspired.
ISABELLA, QUEEN of CASTILE, the monarch who unified Spain and sent Christopher Columbus to discover America, was also the inspiration for the figure of the Queen in modern chess.
The Arabs brought chess to Spain when they invaded it in the 8th century, but, it was not until the late 15th century, when Queen Isabella was at the height of her powers, that the chess queen becomes the most powerful piece, according to research by chess historians.
Originally, the chess piece that later became a queen, was a much weaker figure, and it could only move two squares at a time.
Later, around 1475, when Isabella was crowned Queen of Castile, the figure became female, but , able to move only one square at a time, like the King.
It was not until 1495, when Isabella was the most powerful woman in Europe, that the present rules of chess were established, in which the Queen moves in all directions on the board.
The fact that the first female chess piece coincided with the emergence of Queen Isabella, is no coincidence.
The Queen was more powerful than her husband Ferdinand, but at the same time the King was the most important.
The same analogy applies to the Chess Queen which is the most powerful piece in the game, but, not , the most important.
The discovery and colonization of the Americas is the most important event in modern history.
Queen Isabella and Ferdinand Bid Columbus a Farewell
It is interesting that this venture was supported by Queen Isabella of Spain , who had the vision to appreciate the potential of Columbus’s idea.
I wonder if an event in the future may inspire a significant change in the chess game or produce an inclination to make changes in the rules of the game as we know them today.
IN THIS DAY AND AGE, RESPECT IS PAID TO THE QUEEN, AS SHE GRACES THE CHESS BOARD WITH HER POWERFUL MOVES AND INSPIRES GENERATIONS TO COME!