In yesterday’s post I talked about how Chess Is Sexist. . .mostly because of the king.
But after considering it, I’ve decided not only is chess not sexist, it’s actually progressive. Imagine people 1400 years ago in India affirming the role of women.
It’s the chess queen that holds the real power on the board. The pawns can move one square (two at the beginning.) Bishops can move diagonally, but must stay on their own color. Rooks can move horizontally, but only along their row or column. Knights. . .well, knights are weird, but they can only move that weird 2-1 or 1-2 sequence. The queen, though. The queen can move like a pawn. She can move like a rook. She can move like a bishop. She can even choose to move like the king.
One of the worst setbacks in chess is the idea of losing your queen early in the game. And should your pawn make it all the way across the board, you can exchange the pawn for a piece of your choice. Every game I’ve ever seen, the piece of choice is another queen. A player with two queens and no other pieces would probably do fairly well against an opponent with an entire set of pieces.
Why the queen? Why make the queen the most power piece on the board? Not just most powerful, but extremely more powerful. The chess queen is not some shrinking maiden who needs to be protected. She’s more like the Viking Shield Maiden, more than holding her own against the forces of her enemies.
The chess queen is an example of what our daughters and our sisters should aspire to. Someone able to stand up for herself. Able to not just compete, but excel in no matter what she does. When I think about my lovely wife, I know that I would do much worse without her at my side.
You can learn a lot from chess.
Tomorrow I’ll explain how chess is neither sexist nor progressive.
Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren. Order Miscellany III A Collection of Holiday Short Stories, an anthology including his latest short story, “You Can Call Me Dan” here
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