Kings and Queens

  1. Kings and Queens vulnerable
  2. Domination by the queen
  3. Active king in the ending
Now, each of the pieces we have considered so far - pawns, knights, bishops and rooks - have peculiarities which make certain positions more or less suitable for them to operate. Kings and Queens move in each direction with equal ease, and so have no such rules - although Queens do like a bit of space to get into their stride.

  Their flexibility gives them value, and because they are so valuable they are often the subject of tricks and traps in the opening. Here's some illustrations: forgive me using ny own but they don't put many cheapos in master game collections.


Kings and Queens vulnerable

[Event "the wandering queen"][Site "devon vs. glos."][Date "1993.??.??"][Round "?"]

  [White "regis, d."][Black "smith, a."][Result "1-0"]

  1. e4 Nf6 2. e5 Nd5 3. c4 Nb6 4. d4 d6 5. exd6 cxd6 6. Nc3 [6. Be3 g6 7. h4 h5] 6... g6 7. Be3 Bg7 8. Bd3 Nc6 9. Nge2 O-O 10. O-O f5 [10... Bg4] 11. c5 [11. a3 or Qd2] 11... dxc5 12. dxc5 Nd7 13. Bc4+ Kh8 14. Nf4 Nf6 15. Ne6 Bxe6 16. Bxe6 Ng4 17. Nd5 Qa5 18. Qc2 [18. Qc1 Nxe3 19. fxe3] 18... Nxe3 19. fxe3 Nd8 20. Bd7 e5 [20... e6 21. Nf4 e5 ( I analysed 21...Rf6; 22 Qc4 idea b4 ) 22. Nd5 Nc6 23. a3 e4 24. Bxc6 bxc6 25. Nf4 Rfe8 (fritz fancied ...Rad8 when b4 to stop ...Rd7 allows ...Bxa1 ) 26. b4 Qa6 27. Ra2 Rad8 28. Rd1 Rxd1+ 29. Qxd1 Qc4] 21. b4



You can tell Black is going to suffer. There are hundreds of trapped queen miniatures (see Tactics examples) 21... Qa3 22. Rab1 Rb8 23. Ba4 [ 23. Bb5 a6 24. Rb3 Qxb3 25. Qxb3 axb5 26. Nb6 Rf7 27. Rd1 Rc7 28. Rd6] 23... e4 [23... Rc8 24. Nc3] 24. Bb5 Nc6 25. Rb3 Nxb4 26. Rxb4 Rfd8 27. Ra4 Qb2 28. Qxb2 Bxb2 29. Bc4 Rdc8 30. Rb1 Bg7 31. Rxa7 Rxc5 32. Raxb7 Rxb7 33. Rxb7 Rxc4 34. Rb8+ Bf8 35. Rxf8+ Kg7 36. Ra8 Rc1+ 37. Kf2 Rc2+ 38. Kg3 g5 39. Ra7+ Kg6 40. Ra6+ Kg7 41. a4 Rc5 42. Rd6 Ra5 43. Nb6 Ra6 44. h4 h6 45. h5 Ra5 [45... Kh7 46. Kf2 Kg7 47. g3 Kh7 48. Ke2 Kg7 49. Kd2 Kh7 50. Kc3 Kg7 51. Kb4] 46. Rd5 Ra6 47. Rb5 1-0
[Event "wandering king"][Site "Cambridge open"][Date"1980"][Round "?"]

  [White "regis, d."][Black "langosz, g."][Result "1-0"]

  1. c4 g6 2. g3 Bg7 3. Bg2 d6 4. Nc3 c5 5. Nf3 Nc6 6. O-O Nf6 7. d4 cxd4 8. Nxd4 Bd7 9. Bg5 O-O 10. Rc1 a6 11. b3 Qc7 12. Nxc6 (much better is 12. Nd5 Nxd5 13. cxd5 Bxd4 14. dxc6 Bxf2+ 15. Rxf2 Bxc6 16. Bh6 Rfc8 17. Bd5) 12... bxc6 13. Qd2 Rfc8 14. Na4 (to tempt ...c5) 14...Rab8 15. Rfd1 c5 16. Nc3 Qa7


17. Bxf6 Bxf6 18. Nd5 Kg7 19. Nxf6 Kxf6 20. Qc3+



20... Kg5 21. Qg7 I pinched this idea from Petrosian! Be6 (21... Bc6 22. f4+ Kg4 23. h3+ Kxg3 24. Qh6 Bxg2 25. Rd3+ Bf3 26. Rxf3#) 22. h4+ Kg4 23. Kh2 Rh8 24. Bf3+ Kf5 25. e4# 1-0

[Event "the queen AND king caught"][Site "portsmouth open "][Date "1984.??.??"][Round "#2"]

  [White "taylor, m."][Black "regis, d."][Result "0-1"]

  1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 g6 3. d4 Bg7 4. Nc3 Nc6 5. Be3 Qa5 6. Qd2 d6 7. O-O-O Bg4 8. d5 Nd4 9. Bxd4 (9. Nxd4 Bxd1 10. Nb3 Bxc3 11. Qxd1 Qb4 12. bxc3 Qxe4) 9... cxd4 10. Nb5


{( black has been struggling to mess white up but White has been playing a straight bat - until now! )} 10... Bh6 11. Ng5 Qxd2+ 12. Rxd2 Bxg5 13. Nc7+ Kd8 14. Nxa8 Bxd2+ 15. Kxd2 Kc8 16. Nb6+ axb6 17. Kd3 Nf6 0-1

Domination by the queen

First, Rubinstein making good use of his queen, first dominant in the centre, then stepping neatly and quickly into enemy territory...

  [Event "dominating queen?"][Site "gothenburg"][Date "1920.??.??"][Round "?"]

  [White "rubinstein"][Black "maroczy"][Result "1-0"]

  1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 d5 3.c4 e6 4.Bg5 Be7 5.e3 Nbd7 6.Nc3 O-O 7.Rc1 Re8 8.Qc2 dxc4 9.Bxc4 c5 10.O-O cxd4 11.Nxd4 a6 12.Rfd1 Qa5 13.Bh4 Ne5 14.Be2 Ng6 15.Bg3 e5 16.Nb3 Qc7 17.Qb1 {!} 17...Qb8 18.Bf3 Qa7 19.Na5 {!} 19...Bb4 20.Nc4 Bd7 21.Nd5 Nxd5 22.Bxd5 Be6 23.Qe4 {!} 23...Bxd5 24.Rxd5 Rac8



25.Rcd1 Bf8 26.b3 b5 27.Nd6 Bxd6 28.Rxd6 Rc7 29.h4 {!} 29...f6 30.Qd5+ Kh8 31.h5 Nf8 32.h6 Ng6 33.Qe6 Rf8 34.Rd7 gxh6 35.Bh4 1-0

Active king in the ending

I've shown several examples of this incidentally (like Bernstein-Mieses on the Bishops sheet); here's a more close-run affair from Tal, who keeps his initiative going throughout.


[Event ""][Site "-"][Date "1956.??.??"][Round "?"]

  [White "tal"][Black "lissitzin"][Result "1-0"]

  1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.f4 Nc6 7.Nxc6 bxc6 8.e5 Nd7 9.exd6 exd6 10.Be3 Be7 11.Qf3 d5 12.O-O-O Bf6 13.Bd4 O-O 14.h4 Rb8 15.Qf2 Rb4 16.Bxf6 Nxf6 17.a3 Qb6 18.Qxb6 Rxb6 19.Na4 Rb7 20.Bd3 Nh5 21.Rhf1 Re7 22.f5 {!} 22...gxf5 23.Rfe1 Rfe8 24.Rxe7 Rxe7 25.Kd2 {!} 25...Ng3 26.Kc3 f4 27.Kd4


27...Bf5 28.Rd2 Re6 29.Nc5 Rh6 30.Ke5 {!} 30...Bxd3 31.cxd3 Rxh4 32.Kd6 Rh6+ 33.Kc7 Nf5 34.Kb7 Nd4 35.Rf2 a5 36.Rxf4 Ne6 37.Rg4+ Kf8 38.Kxc6 {!} 38...Nxc5+ 39.Kxc5 Re6 40.Kxd5 Rb6 41.b4 axb4 42.axb4 Ke7 43.Kc5 Rf6 44.Rd4 Rf5+ 45.Kb6 Rf6+ 46.Kc7 Rf5 47.Re4+ Kf6 48.Kc6 Rf2 49.g4 h5 50.gxh5 Kg5 51.b5 f5 52.Rb4 f4 53.b6 f3 54.b7 {1-0} (54.b7 Rc2+ 55.Kd5 f2 56.b8=Q f1=Q 57.Qg3+ Kf6 58.Qe5+ Kf7 59.Rb7+ Rc7 60.Rxc7+ Kf8 61.Qh8#) 1-0


Here's another difficult game, from Petrosian, featuring a bold king run


[Event "olympiad"][Site "varna "][Date "1962.??.??"][Round "?"] [White "duckstein, a."][Black "petrosian, t."][Result "0-1"]

  1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Bf5 5. Ng3 Bg6 6. Nf3 Nd7 7. Bd3 e6 8. O-O Qc7 9. c4 O-O-O 10. Bxg6 hxg6 11. Qa4 Kb8 12. b4 Nh6 13. Qb3 Nf5 14. a4 e5 15. dxe5 Nxe5 16. Nxe5 Qxe5 17. Bb2 Qc7 18. c5 a5 19. Rad1 Rxd1 20. Rxd1 Rh4 21. bxa5 Bxc5 22. a6 b6 23. Re1 Ka7 24. Be5 Qd7 25. Ne4 Bd4 26. g3 Bxe5 27. gxh4 Nd4 28. Qd1 Qd5 29. Re3 Nf5 30.Re1 Nd4 31. Qd3 f5 32. Ng5 c5 33. Re3 c4 34. Qd1


34...Kxa6 35. Ra3 Bf6 36. h3 f4 37. Qg4 Ka5 38. Nf3 Kb4 39. Nxd4 Kxa3 40. Nc2+ Kxa4 0-1

Chess Quotes

"It was night. I went home and put my old house clothes on and set the chessmen out and mixed a drink and played over another Capablanca. It went fifty-nine moves. Beautiful, cold, remorseless chess, almost creepy in its silent implacability.

When it was done I listened at the open window for a while and smelled the night. Then I carried my glass out to the sink sipping it and looking at my face in the mirror.

'You and Capablanca,' I said."

— Raymond CHANDLER, The High Window, final sentences.