Each player has one queen at the start of the game. As we have seen, her ancestor in early Indian and Arabic forms was a "minister" or "vizier" with only a hobbling range of movement; one adjacent diagonal square was the limit. Not until 1475 was the queen given her vast firepower—the chess equivalent ot long-range field artillery—and as a result launched the game played today.
The role of the queen, the strongest and most mobile piece on the board, is so important that it is scarcely exaggerating to say that if you win your opponent's queen, you have won the game. She may move along any rank, file, or diagonal in any direction for as many squares as she chooses. She may not turn corners, nor move through, or 011 to, a square occupied by a friendly unit. Neither can she move through a square held by an enemy, though she can move on to such a square and capture the occupier. As the diagram at the bottom of page 57 shows, a centrally placed queen has a theoretical range of no fewer than 27 possible moves in eight directions; this is a crucial factor in attacking enemy pieces and in planning and executing checkmates. The queen is a very powerful attacking piece.
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