Thursday, February 7, 2013

Queen Isabella and the invention of modern chess

She was an actual field marshal, after all. 

Modern standard chess pieces, featuring the queen.


Until the late 1400s, the queen moved only one square at a time in chess. And then, suddenly, the rules changed and she became the most powerful piece on the board, revolutionizing the game.

In this essay, Eduardo Gil Bera traces that change to November 7, 1489, and Queen Isabella of Castille — chess changed as an homage to her spectacular victory at Baza:

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