Birth of the Chess Queen: A History (Paperback)

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They say that behind (or in this case beside) every great man lies a great(er) woman, but this was not always so in the game of chess. First played in India, Persia and the Arab lands, the original game of chess had the king accompanied by his vizier rather than his queen, but only 200 years after the introduction of the game into Europe, the queen had made her debut. This intriguing book looks at how and why the queen appeared on the chessboard and what this might reveal about contemporary attitudes towards women, politics and queenship. At first limited in her movements and power, from 1200 to 1500 the queen became tactically superior to the king and other pieces, and was permitted unparalleled movement around the board. Was the introduction of the queen merely the desire to have a female presence on the board, or was it more inherently linked to the rise of powerful European queens such as Isabella of Castille. From the Arab lands to Spain, Italy, France, Germany, England, Scandinavia and Russia, Marilyn Yalom tracks the rise of the queen.

Praise For…

“Both chess fans and those unfamiliar with the game will enjoy this absorbing look at the evolution of chess.”

“An enticing portal into the past…. Yalom writes passionately and accessibly about this esoteric topic.”
-Los Angeles Times Book Review

“A well-researched and enjoyable book.”
-The Economist

“Marilyn Yalom has written the rare book that illuminates something that always has been dimly perceived but never articulated.”
-Cleveland Plain Dealer

Product Details
ISBN: 9780060090654
ISBN-10: 0060090650
Publisher: Pandora Press
Publication Date: December 31st, 2004
Pages: 272
Language: English