In chess the Queen is the most powerful piece on the board. As the most powerful piece, it is, somewhat paradoxically, the most easily threatened, since it (usually) must flee when any other piece on the board (except for the Queen of opposing color, of course) threatens to capture it. Because it’s easily chased away by lesser pieces, it’s generally a bad idea (in fact it’s one of Reinfeld’s nine bad ideas) to bring the Queen out into the middle of the board too early. Your opponent can develop with threats, which gives him a huge time advantage. Worse still, as you dart your Queen around the board, moving it from one perilous square to another, your opponent can set traps and initiate attacks that will eventually lead to your Queen’s capture and the end of the game.
These general rules of thumb were well illustrated by a live game I just played. I’m playing the White pieces and manage an easy win because my opponent is too eager to wreak havoc with his Queen.