# Castling

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Initial position of kings and rooks. Kings may be moved to the squares indicated by dots of the same color.

Castling is a move in the game of chess involving a player's king and either of the player's original rooks. It is the only move in chess in which a player moves two pieces in the same move, and it is the only move aside from the knight's move where a piece can be said to "jump over" another.[1]

Castling consists of moving the king two squares towards a rook on the player's first rank, then moving the rook to the square over which the king crossed.[2] Castling may only be done if the king has never moved, the rook involved has never moved, the squares between the king and the rook involved are unoccupied, the king is not in check, and the king does not cross over or end on a square attacked by an enemy piece. Castling is one of the rules of chess and is technically a king move (Hooper & Whyld 1992:71).

The notation for castling, in both the descriptive and the algebraic systems, is 0-0 with the kingside rook and 0-0-0 with the queenside rook; in PGN, O-O and O-O-O are used instead. Castling on the kingside is sometimes called castling short (the rook moves a short distance, i.e. two squares) while castling on the queenside is called castling long (the rook moves a long distance, i.e. three squares) (Hooper & Whyld 1992).

Castling was added to European chess in the 14th or 15th century and did not develop into its present form until the 17th century. The Asian versions of chess do not have such a move.

## Requirements

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Black cannot castle on either side because he is in check by the white queen.
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White to move cannot castle kingside because Black's queen controls g1. White can castle queenside, even though the a1-rook is under attack.
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White is unable to castle on either side. To castle queenside, White's king would have to move through square d1, which is attacked by the queen.

Castling is permissible provided all of the following conditions hold (Schiller 2003:19):

1. The king and the chosen rook are on the player's first rank.[3]
2. Neither the king nor the chosen rook has previously moved.
3. There are no pieces between the king and the chosen rook.
4. The king is not currently in check.
5. The king does not pass through a square that is attacked by an enemy piece.[4]
6. The king does not end up in check. (True of any legal move.)

Conditions 4 through 6 can be summarized with the more memorable phrase: One may not castle out of, through, or into check.

It is a common misperception[5] that the requirements for castling are even more stringent than the above. To clarify:

• The chosen rook may be under attack.
• The rook may move through an attacked square, provided the king does not. (When castling queenside, the only such square is the one adjacent to the rook.)
• The king may have been in check earlier in the game, provided the king did not move when resolving the check.

In handicap games where odds of a rook are given, the player giving odds may still castle with the absent rook, moving only the king.[6]

## Strategy

Castling is an important goal in the opening, because it serves two valuable purposes: it often moves the king into a safer position away from the center of the board, and it moves the rook to a more active position in the center of the board.

The choice as to which side to castle often hinges on an assessment of the trade-off between king safety and activity of the rook. Kingside castling is generally slightly safer, because the king ends up closer to the edge of the board and often all the pawns on the castled side are defended by the king. In queenside castling, the king is placed closer to the center and the pawn on the a-file is undefended; the king is thus often later moved to b1 to defend the a-pawn and to move the king away from the center of the board. In addition, queenside castling requires moving the queen, if not already done; therefore, it may take slightly longer to achieve than kingside castling. On the other hand, queenside castling places the rook more efficiently – on the central d-file. It is often immediately active, whereas with kingside castling a tempo may be required to move the rook to a more effective square.

It is common for both players to castle kingside, and rare for both players to castle queenside. If one player castles kingside and the other queenside, it is called opposite (or opposite-side) castling. Castling on opposite sides usually results in a fierce fight, as both players' pawns are free to advance to attack the opposing king's castled position without exposing the player's own castled king. An example is the Yugoslav Attack, in the Dragon Variation of the Sicilian Defence.

If the king is forced to move before it has the opportunity to castle, the player may still wish to maneuver the king towards the edge of the board and the corresponding rook towards the center. When a player takes three or four moves to accomplish what castling would have accomplished in one move, it is sometimes called artificial castling, or castling by hand.

## Tournament rules

Under the strict touch-move rules enforced in most tournaments, castling is considered a king move. Under current US Chess Federation rules, however, a player who intends to castle and touches the rook first would suffer no penalty, and would be permitted to castle, provided castling is legal in the position. Still, the correct way to castle is to move the king first. As usual, the player may change their mind to another legal destination square for the king until it is released. When the two-square king move is completed, however, the player is committed to castling (if it is legal), and the rook must be moved accordingly. A player who performs a forbidden castling must return the king and the rook to their original places and then move the king, if there is another legal king move, including castling on the other side. If there is no legal king move, the touch-move rule does not apply to the rook (Just & Burg 2003:13–14,17–18,23).

The official rules also require that the entire move be completed using only a single hand. Neither of these rules is commonly enforced in casual play, nor commonly known by non-competitive players (Just & Burg 2003:13–14,17–18,23).[7]

The right to castle must be the same on all three occasions for a valid draw claim under the threefold repetition rule.

## Chess variants and problems

Some chess variants, for example Chess960, have modified castling rules to handle modified starting positions. Castling can also be adapted to large chess variants, like Capablanca Chess, which is played on a 10×8 board. In shogi, the term castle refers to a different concept of building a multi-piece defensive structure that defends the king.

In chess problems, castling is assumed to be allowed if it appears possible, unless it can be proved by retrograde analysis that either the king or the chosen rook has previously moved.

## Notable examples

• Viktor Korchnoi, in his 1974 Candidates final match with Anatoly Karpov, famously asked the arbiter if castling was legal when the castling rook was under attack.[8] The arbiter answered in the affirmative, Korchnoi executed the move, and Karpov resigned shortly after.[9]
• Three castlings occurred in the game Wolfgang HeidenfeldNick Kerins, Dublin 1973. Of course, the third one (the second one by White) was illegal. The game is as follows:[10]
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Be3 Nf6 4.e5 Nfd7 5.f4 c5 6.c3 Nc6 7.Nf3 Qb6 8.Qd2 c4 9.Be2 Na5 10.0-0 f5 11.Ng5 Be7 12.g4 Bxg5 13.fxg5 Nf8 14.gxf5 exf5 15.Bf3 Be6 16.Qg2 0-0-0 17.Na3 Ng6 18.Qd2 f4 19.Bf2 Bh3 20.Rfb1 Bf5 21.Nc2 h6 22.gxh6 Rxh6 23.Nb4 Qe6 24.Qe2 Ne7 25.b3 Qg6+ 26.Kf1 Bxb1 27.bxc4 dxc4 28.Qb2 Bd3+ 29.Ke1 Be4 30.Qe2 Bxf3 31.Qxf3 Rxh2 32.d5 Qf5 33.0-0-0 Rh3 34.Qe2 Rxc3+ 35.Kb2 Rh3 36.d6 Nec6 37.Nxc6 Nxc6 38.e6 Qe5+ 39.Qxe5 Nxe5 40.d7+ Nxd7 0–1
• Tim Krabbé composed a joke chess problem containing vertical castling (king on e1, underpromoted rook on e8). The loophole in the definition of castling upon which this problem was based was removed by the new (June 1974) requirement that the castling rook must occupy the same rank as the king.

### Averbakh game

Averbakh vs. Purdy, 1960
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Black to move, castled queenside, with the rook going over the attacked b8-square.

In this game, Yuri AverbakhCecil Purdy (1960),[11] Black castled queenside. Averbakh pointed out that the rook passed over a square controlled by White and thought it was illegal. Purdy pointed out that the castling was legal since this applies only to the king, to which Averbakh replied "Only the king? Not the rook?" (Evans 1970:38–39), (Lombardy & Daniels 1975:188).

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Position after 17...Kg1

In this game, Edward LaskerSir George Thomas (London 1912),[12] Black had just played 17...Kg1. White could have checkmated by 18.0-0-0#, but instead played 18.Kd2#.[13] (See Edward Lasker's notable games.)

### Prins versus Day

Prins vs. Day, 1968 (analysis)
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Position before 31...0-0-0#

This game, Lodewijk PrinsLawrence Day (1968),[14] had ended earlier on move 28, but if Prins had played on he would have been unable to avoid this position.[15] Black now checkmates by castling: 31...0-0-0#. (See Lawrence Day's notable chess games.)

### Feuer versus O'Kelly

Feuer vs. O'Kelly, 1934
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Position after 12...Kxd8. White wins with 13.0-0-0+.

In the game Feuer–O'Kelly, Belgian Championship 1934,[16] Feuer perpetrated what later became known as a famous opening trap against O'Kelly when he castled queenside with check, simultaneously attacking and winning O'Kelly's rook on b2, which had captured Feuer's pawn on that square.

## History

Castling has its roots in the "king's leap". There were two forms of the leap: (1) the king would move once like a knight, and (2) the king would move two squares on his first move. The knight-move might be used early in the game to get the king to safety or later in the game to escape a threat. This second form was played in Europe as early as the 13th century. In North Africa, the king was moved to a safe square by a two-step procedure: (1) the king moved to the second rank, and (2) the rook moved to the king's original square and the king moved to the rook's original square (Davidson 1981:48).

Before the bishop and queen acquired their current moves in the 16th century they were weak pieces and the king was relatively safe in the middle of the board. When the bishop and queen got their current moves they became very powerful and the king was no longer safe on its original square, since it can be attacked from a distance and from both sides. Castling was added to allow the king to get to a safer location and to allow rooks to get into the game earlier (Davidson 1981:16).

The rule of castling has varied by location and time. In medieval England, Spain, and France, the white king was allowed to jump to c1, c2, d3, e3, f3, or g1,[17] if no capture was made, the king was not in check, and did not move over check. (The black king might move similarly.) In Lombardy, the white king might jump an additional square to b1 or h1 or to a2 (and equivalent squares for the black king). Later in Germany and Italy, the king move was combined with a pawn move.

In Rome from the early 17th century until the late 19th century, the rook might be placed on any square up to and including the king's square, and the king might be moved to any square on the other side of the rook. This was called "free castling".

In the Göttingen manuscript (c. 1500) and a game published by Luis Ramírez de Lucena in 1498, castling consisted of two moves: first the rook and then the king.

The current version of castling was established in France in 1620 and England in 1640 (Sunnucks 1970:66).

In the 1811 edition of his chess treatise, Johann Allgaier introduced the 0-0 notation. He differentiated between "0-0r" (r=right) and "0-0l" (l=left). The 0-0-0 notation for queenside castling was added in 1837 by Aaron Alexandre.[18] The practice was then accepted in the first edition (1843) of the Handbuch des Schachspiels.

## Nomenclature

In most European languages, castling is known by a derivative from the same root as the English word "rook" (e.g. rochieren, rochada, enroque), while the local adjectives meaning "long" and "short" (or "big" and "small") are used in those countries to refer to queenside and kingside castling, respectively.

## Notes

1. ^ Pandolfini, Bruce (1992), Pandolfini's Chess Complete: The Most Comprehensive Guide to the Game, from History to Strategy, Simon & Schuster, ISBN 9780671701864, retrieved 13 January 2014
2. ^ "Laws of Chess". FIDE. (Castling is in rule 3.8)
3. ^ Without this additional restriction, which was added to the FIDE rules in 1972, it would be possible to promote a pawn on the e file to a rook and then castle vertically across the board (as long as the other conditions are met). This way of castling was "discovered" by Max Pam and used by Tim Krabbé in a chess puzzle before the rules were amended to disallow it. See Chess Curiosities by Krabbé, see also de:Pam-Krabbé-Rochade for the diagrams online.
4. ^ "Laws of Chess: For competitions starting before 1 July 2014". World Chess Federation.
5. ^ "article". Chess Review. Vol. 29. 1961. p. 298. Retrieved 2018-10-30. on castling, considerable confusion often reigns among beginners
6. ^ Abrahams, Gerald (1948), Chess, Teach Yourself Books, English Universities Press, p. 59
7. ^ William Hartston notes in Teach Yourself Chess that "most chess players refrain from demonstrations of ambidexterity."
8. ^
9. ^ Larry Evans (16 July 1995). "Castling Confuses Even Grandmasters". Sun Sentinel.
10. ^ "Chess Records". Tim Krabbé. (click on: "Greatest number of castlings")
11. ^
12. ^
13. ^ Edward Lasker, Chess for Fun and Chess for Blood, Dover Publications, 1962, p. 120.
14. ^
15. ^ Or 29.Kd6 Rc8 and 30...Rc6#.
16. ^
17. ^ c1, c2, c3, d3, e3, f3, ga, g2, or g3, according to H. J. R. Murray
18. ^ Stefan Bücker: "Was bedeutet 0-0?" (What does 0-0 mean?), in: Kaissiber, No. 18, 2002, pp.70–71