Learning the basics of chess doesn’t take long. Once you know the different and unique movements of the pieces, you can then go about developing your strategy and practicing your game.
Chess also has advanced moves, most of which are reserved for serious or tournament play. One of these is known as castling, a move involving the rooks and the king.
If you would like to learn castling and incorporate it into your chess game, the following is a basic overview of castling as well as the various rules and when it is appropriate to use.
What is castling?
Castling occurs when a king and rook can move at the same time in a castling move. This is the only time in the game when you can move two pieces simultaneously. Castling occurs when a player needs to get the King out of danger and into the corner.
With castling, the King moves two squares toward the Rook, then the Rook hops over the King to the next square. This moves the King out of harm’s way in the event that an attack is imminent.
In order to castle, there are specific rules that must be followed and conditions that must be met. These include:
•Castle to the right or the left. There is no specific rule about the direction in which you castle; you can move to the right side of the board or the left.
•The King can’t have moved. If the King making the castling move has already moved at some point in the game, he does not qualify for a castling move.
•The rook hasn’t moved yet. You also can’t castle if you’ve already moved the Rook that you plan to castle.
•The King cannot be in check at the time of castling.
•All of the squares between the rook and king before the castling move must be empty in order for castling to occur; the King can’t “jump ” over any of the pieces.
•The King can’t move over a square that is under attack. For example, if a Bishop is attacking a square to the left of the king, the king can no longer castle. He is free, however, to castle to the right.
•The King can’t end up on a square that is under attack. Basically, this means that you can’t castle your King into a square that puts him in check. This defeats the purpose of castling, which is to move the King to a safer area.
•The King and the Rook have to be in the same row that the castling takes place in.
In a couple of rare instances, castling is still permitted. You can castle if the Rook is under attack right before the castling (unlike the King.) However, it can’t be under attack after you castle. This scenario would mean the King has just moved through a square that was under attack.
When castling to the left, it is permissible for the Rook to move through a square that is under attack.
Castling is beneficial to players when it is necessary to move the King to a safer, more secured area. However, there are specific rules and regulations regarding castling that must be followed. Castling is often used in serious and tournament play, but with a little practice, anyone can properly execute a castling.