In a male dominated society,isn’t it curious enough to see Her Majesty standing all powerful on the chessboard, protecting the King.Legend has it that the Queen underwent a ‘sex change’ in England several years after she started a life on the chess board as Firzan or wise man—-the male confidant of the king—with a mobility of one square in a diagonal direction.
As it was seen standing next to the king it was assumed it represented a queen.
Before that in certain parts of the world, including India and Cambodia, the chess piece was known as Minister with its movement limited and similar in scope to that of the King.
The purpose of Firzan or Minister was to remain near the king and to protect him. The design of this chess piece was the same as that of the king, but smaller in size.
However, during the 15th century certain changes to the rules of chess were implemented, and Her Majesty obtained extra powers that revolutionized battles on the chessboard.
And the queen’s power compared to those chessmen – Bishops, Knights and Rooks—on the 64 square-board remained awesome till date.
The third piece of chess, which the English call Bishop, the French Fool, the Spanish Alfarez, the Italians Alfiere Segeand or standard bearer, the Germans Messenger and Elephant in India and Burma, now Myanmar, was another major beneficiary of the New Chess, greatly extending the range of its influence.
Bishop, previously a weak piece only able to jump over one square diagonally, was earlier based on the units of the Indian army in the ancient game of Chaturanga, represented by a battle elephant, dressed in armour and ridden by a mahout armed with spears.
In Arabia the elephant, as a chess piece, was produced in an abstract form, carved like a dome with two small tusk-like protrusions near the top, and called by the Arabic term for an elephant, “Al-Fil”.When the “Al-Fil” of the chess board came to Europe, where there was no knowledge of elephants, in the Middle Ages, gradually the name was replaced by appropriate alternatives, dependent on the interpretation of differing countries.
The Knight is the one piece that has undergone no radical change since the game began.
The earliest known knight is a Chaturanga piece from a group of seventh/eighth century A.D. Aphrosiab chessmen. An ivory carving of a rider on a horse, he carries a shield in his left hand and a sword in his right, together with a scabbard and arrows.
By the 9th century the Arabic knight, called “Faras”, had obtained a simplified symbolic form of a dome