What Spot Does The Queen Go On In Chess?

chess placing the king and queen

The white queen starts the game on the “d1” square, and the black queen begins the game on the “d8” square. Both queens are on the “d file” and stand next to their respective Kings. It is important to note that a queen begins on the same color square as itself. Therefore, the white queen starts on a white square, and the black queen starts on a black square. This can be remembered by the mnemonic “queen gets her color.”

The Queen

The queen is the most powerful piece on the chessboard. It has the combined powers of a rook and bishop, moving and capturing up and down files, side to side across ranks, and along diagonals. The queen is ranked the same in terms of importance as rooks and three minor pieces (knights and bishops). It can be dangerous to bring the queen out too early in the game, as she can become a liability, constantly being chased around by the opponent, forcing a player to retreat while the opponent develops their pieces.


Because the queen and king are on the two centermost files of the board, the board is divided into halves, referred to as the kingside and queenside. The battle that takes place on the board usually focuses on one of these sides, depending on which side the kings castled to. The queen can easily move to all parts of the board but typically will begin by developing slowly to the center where it can hold the most control. Another strategy is to move it to the edges of the board, where it can take control of long diagonals that slice across the chessboard.

Phases of the Game

Chess is divided into three phases: the opening, the middlegame, and the endgame. During the opening, a player develops their minor pieces to try and take control of the chessboard. Usually, the queen remains dormant during this stage, though there are openings which rapidly develop the queen as a part of their strategy, though these are usually more traplike or gimmicky such as Scholar’s Mate. The middlegame is where the queens get the majority of their activity. They are fully activated on the board, using their power to take control of important squares and threatening pieces. The endgame typically occurs when both of the queens are off the board. Obviously, there are exceptions, like a queen and pawn endgame or when the queens are traded early, but most players want to try and hold onto their queens for as long as possible as they are so powerful.