Correct Starting Position Of The Queen In Chess

Where the queen goes on a chessboard is often confusing to new players. The starting position of the king is no different, because both chess pieces have a similar problem: it’s different depending on if you’re playing with white or black.

The correct starting position of the queen is square d1 for white and d8 for black. These initial positions are always the same. As a rule of thumb, the white queen is placed to the left of the king, while the black queen is placed to the right of the king.

A clever way to remember where the queen should go on the chessboard is by looking at the color of the squares. A white queen always goes on a white square (d1), while a black queen always goes on a black square (d8):


Where Does The Queen Go Chess


How To Set Up A Queen In Chess

The best way to know where the queen should be placed on a chessboard is to place the rooks, knights, and bishops on the board first:

  • Rooks on the outside
  • Knights next to the rooks
  • Bishops next to the knights


That leaves two squares in the middle, one for the king and the other for the queen. The white queen goes on the white square (to the left), while the black queen goes on the black square (to the right). The king will go on the square that is still left open:


ColorChess PieceSquare ColorNotation


Another way to remember where the queen has to go on a board, is to count the squares. The white queen goes on the fourth square from the left (vertical line d), placed on the bottom line (horizontal line 1). The black queen goes on the fifth square from the left (vertical line d), placed on the bottom line as viewed from the player (horizontal line 8).


Chess Notations Indicate Board Positions

To a beginner, all these square notations can sound very confusing! Those ‘d1’ or ‘d8’ terms basically refer to a specific square on the board. Every square has its own name, consisting of a single letter and number. We call them a ‘notation’ because professional chess players write them down on paper in order to analyze the game later on.

Chess squares are not visible on every type of board, but some will provide the letters and numbers on the side.

They help players communicate to their opponent where a specific piece is placed. Notations also help players understand where the starting position of chess pieces is, including that of the queen. The diagram below shows how they work:


Chess Notations
Source: Wikimedia Commons


As shown in the diagram, the black queen goes on the black square. The vertical line is the d-line. while the horizontal line for the black queen is number 8 (since it is the top of the board from the viewpoint of the white side).

To indicate a queen movement, the queen is notated with the letter Q. From her starting position, the black queen could move from d8 to e.g. square d5 — of course, only if there’s no pawn to block her path. A player would use the chess notation Qd8 – Qd5.

If you’d like to learn more about where the other pieces are placed on the chessboard, feel free to refer to the diagram at the top of this article. If you’d like a more detailed explanation as to why a place goes onto a certain square, check out this resource.

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