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A simple brainteaser - A queen cannot do something all other pieces can do. What is that?

April 18 2014 9:15 PM GMT. EDIT: In this context, by "doing" I mean making a move that leads to the desired result.

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Capture a more valuable piece? – Akavall Apr 17 '14 at 16:23
Are you asking because you don't know the answer? I have an answer but I don't want to post it and spoil it for others if you are just posting this as a fun brainteaser (in which case I'm not sure it belongs as a question on StackExchange). – dfan Apr 17 '14 at 16:24
@Wes, The queen is the most powerful piece; therefore, it cannot capture a more valuable piece. – Akavall Apr 17 '14 at 16:26
if it is just for fun.. it is a female? it can't do what male can do.. :) – Mr_Green Apr 17 '14 at 16:28
@Akavall The king can't capture a more valuable piece either. :) – Brilliand Apr 17 '14 at 21:18
up vote 12 down vote accepted

I'll have a go at saying the queen is the only piece that cannot reveal a discovered check.

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This blog states the same. but I didn't get what it means actually.. any help? – Mr_Green Apr 17 '14 at 16:42
@Mr_Green Moving the queen cannot cause another piece to give check to the opposing king. – dfan Apr 17 '14 at 16:44
@dfan ahh got it.. thanks. – Mr_Green Apr 17 '14 at 16:45
Some answers are being dismissed with "it isn't the queen itself doing it" - similarly, in the case of discovered check, it's (arguably) more the piece that gives check that's doing something, rather than the piece that's getting out of the way. – Brilliand Apr 18 '14 at 14:57
Well, that's why I was sure to specify reveal a discovered check, rather than giving one. :) But yeah, which answers are right is just a matter of definitions really. – GrizzlyRawrz Apr 18 '14 at 18:13
  1. A Queen cannot be captured when static by an attacking King.
  2. A Queen cannot capture a piece more valuable than itself.
  3. A Queen cannot move to create a discovered check.
  4. A Queen cannot sacrifice itself for a higher valued piece.
  5. A Queen cannot initiate a double check.
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3 and 5 coincide in the case of a queen. For 1, 2, and 4, the same holds true for the King as well. – Wes Apr 18 '14 at 13:48
@Wes: Double check and discovered check are different. – Amal Murali Apr 18 '14 at 13:49
I know. That's why I said they coincide in the case of a queen. Every double check is a discovered check. – Wes Apr 18 '14 at 13:51
Double checks are a pretty interesting case. It's possible to have a double check by two queens with a promotion, but I guess in that case you would say it was initiated by the pawn, even though it became a queen on the same move. – GrizzlyRawrz Apr 18 '14 at 18:16
@AmalMurali I can't think of a double check that isn't a discovered check. For a piece to check something, it either has to move this turn, or discover. Since you can't move more than one piece discovered check is the only way to double check. Thus 5 follows from 3 and is redundant. – Cruncher Apr 25 '14 at 12:39

The queen cannot not be where the queen starts when the game begins.

All other pieces can not be where the queen starts when the game begins.

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Although I have an idea why this was downvoted, this is technically true. The queen can in fact not do this, and all other pieces can (in fact, they must). – Cruncher Apr 17 '14 at 20:55
It's easy to come up with examples "technically true" for any given piece. Just take a defining property (as the starting position) and say it cannot not have that property, while all others can. – LeartS Apr 17 '14 at 21:21
@FixedPoint: that's not what Cruncher's answer says. Reread it. – LeartS Apr 17 '14 at 21:23
Also, properties are not necessarily something a piece "does". So a queen starting on d1 is not something a queen "did". – Wes Apr 18 '14 at 15:30
@Wes, answers like this one (and others here) point out that the question itself is rather problematic IMO. – ETD Apr 18 '14 at 21:01

A queen can not start the game on a square of the other color. All other pieces can, and in fact, do.

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Starting on a square is not something a queen "does". – Wes Apr 18 '14 at 13:49
Start is a verb, no? – Lee Kowalkowski May 8 '14 at 10:50
Not true; the queen's knight, king's bishop, king's rook, queen's rook's pawn, queen's bishop's pawn, king's pawn and king's knight's pawn also cannot start the game on a square of the other colour. – Rosie F Jun 7 at 13:41

Be the piece that moves away and makes a discovered check!

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