Cover of 'Birth of the Chess Queen'
A new book looks at the history of chess — specifically, the evolution of a now-crucial piece: the queen. When the game of chess came to Europe from the Middle East, there was no piece representing a queen. When the icon emerged around the year 1000, it was the weakest piece on the board.
But by the time Queen Isabel of Spain became more powerful than her husband in the 1400s, the chess queen's power was unmatched. NPR's Robert Siegel talks with Marilyn Yalom, author of Birth of the Chess Queen.