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How soon do you castle?


  • 4 years ago · Quote · #1

    stwils

    In the opening I seem to find myself rushing to castle. You know e4 knight bishop and then if all seems well I castle and breathe a sigh of relief. But sometimes that gets delayed -like in the Ruy when my opponent plays the a pawn and I have to retreat my bishop. Yet always on my mind is to hurry and castle. And I wonder if sometimes I castle at the expense of playing something better. So I ask - How awful is it if you don't castle soon? I see sometimes my opponent seems to wait a long time to castle. And yet I don 't ever remember his losing a game to me because of his late castling. And yet until I have castled I feel uneasy. What is your experience when you find you can't castle early? Stwils

  • 4 years ago · Quote · #2

    dominicbody2

    I tend to castle early. Certainly in the two games I'm currently playing I castled long before my opponent.

    The advantages are that it gets your king out of the centre and into hiding, gets your rooks closer to the centre and gives you something productive to do while you try to get a grip on the position.  It's rarely flat-out wrong to castle so it's a move you can make if you can't see any other particularly good ones.

    You might castle later if you don't expect an attack from your opponent any time soon(in which case developing pieces might be better), if you think many pieces are soon to be traded(in which case your king might be better in the centre) or if you're waiting to see which side your opponent will attack on(so you can castle out of trouble in a cowardly manner).

  • 4 years ago · Quote · #3

    Niven42

    Lots of discussion on this topic already:

     

    http://www.chess.com/forum/search.html?keyword=castle

     

    I think that the idea of castling is to help keep the king safe, and it's important to do it as soon as possible if queens are still on the board.  Once the queens are gone, it seems like it works more to centralize the rooks than to keep the king safe.

  • 4 years ago · Quote · #4

    Flamma_Aquila

    Castling is only partly about king safety. It is also about connecting the rooks, and activating them to open or half-open files.

    I don't think I've ever lost a game for castling to soon (although I have for castling to the wrong side) but I have definitely lost for waiting too long.

  • 4 years ago · Quote · #5

    Runner3434

    The key is whether or not the game is tactical or strategic!

    If it is a game in which there are no immediate threats (for example the queens Gambit) then it is often worth delaying it to develop fully and then choose your side carefully.

    On the other hand if it is a kings gambit you need to castle soon generally.  

    Also if you fianchetto a bishop it is almost always worth castling behind that.

  • 4 years ago · Quote · #6

    FlowerFlowers

    I find myself waiting to decide when to castle, even though I've been told it is good to castle as soon as possible.  I like to change it up sometimes, and try new things.

  • 4 years ago · Quote · #7

    FlowerFlowers

    is it so bad if you never castle the whole game? there are other ways to  move your rooks to the center, is there a huge diff in the advantage

  • 4 years ago · Quote · #8

    PrawnEatsPrawn

    Rule of thumb (for beginners and improvers): castle early.

    It won't always be correct but in the vast majority of cases it will be.

  • 4 years ago · Quote · #9

    MyCowsCanFly

    On the other hand, if you are positioned to potentially castle on either side, delaying doesn't allow your opponent a fixed target/plan. If they commit, you have retained flexibility.

    I'm not sure how compelling this is as an arguement. Getting your king caught out in the open is not as much fun as you might think. In fact, it's punishing enough to instill caution.

    Of course, this all goes out the window with the Bongcloud Opening. In that case, the king doesn't hide but rather, leads the attack.

  • 4 years ago · Quote · #10

    sargentboomstick

    Flamma_Aquila wrote:

    Castling is only partly about king safety. It is also about connecting the rooks, and activating them to open or half-open files.

    I don't think I've ever lost a game for castling to soon (although I have for castling to the wrong side) but I have definitely lost for waiting too long.

    i have lost alot of games as a result of castling to early like in the nadjorf sicielian  i have learned to delay castling in that opening because white gets strong attacks againts my king but yes it is (most of the time) good to castle


  • 4 years ago · Quote · #11

    Tigranlinflexible

    Runner3434 wrote:

    Also if you fianchetto a bishop it is almost always worth castling behind that.


    Fianchetto is a weak structure, not a strong one, for who knows how to attack it.

    At Fischer's time, the Yugoslav attack, directed against the g6 fianchetto/castle pawn in sicilian dragon, scored 90% win for White.

  • 4 years ago · Quote · #12

    trysts

    I refuse to castle. Castling is for sissies. And I believe it's not even a real moveLaughing

  • 4 years ago · Quote · #13

    Shakaali

    Beginers are usually told to castle early. It's a good advice for them and often correct. However, more experienced players also often delay the castling or in some cases skip it altogether. Evaluating the right time to castle is actually a difficult skill and therefore beginers are usually taught this simple rule of the tumb.

    The main reasons for castling are: 1) to secure the king and 2)  to activate the rook. Therefore before castling you should consider where is the king safest: kingside, queenside or centre. Then you have to consider how immediate concern the kingsafety is. One indicator, altough not too reliable, is whether the centre is open or closed: if the centre is open the king is more likely to get quickly into trouble here. You can also consider whether the opponent is in a position to attack - if you for example have a great development advantage it's unlikely that the opponent will be able to make a forcefull attack against the king. 

    After you have decided that you should castle to say kingside there's still the difficult question of timing. Even if your king isn't immediately threatened it may often be usefull to castle in order to advance your development. Actually the strong players tend to castle only after there's nothing more usefull to do (which is just a fancy way saying that when castling is the best move!). So, it takes a lot of experience and even then the decision won't alwayss be easy.

  • 4 years ago · Quote · #14

    PrawnEatsPrawn

    paul211 wrote:

    How soon you ask?

    As soon as you are not defending any piece or being under attack.

    So as soon as you can within the first 5 to 6 moves if you can. At times under attack you may have to wait 8 to 12 or so moves as you must take care of priorities or urgencies first  before you castle.


    I agree, apart from a few openings where I know early castling to be sub-optimal, I like to get castled in four moves, if I can.

  • 4 years ago · Quote · #15

    Runner3434

    Tigranlinflexible wrote:
    Runner3434 wrote:

    Also if you fianchetto a bishop it is almost always worth castling behind that.


    Fianchetto is a weak structure, not a strong one, for who knows how to attack it.

    At Fischer's time, the Yugoslav attack, directed against the g6 fianchetto/castle pawn in sicilian dragon, scored 90% win for White.


    Fianchetto is not weak, providing you make them take your bishop, and do not rely on it to defend you against all your opponents pieces.   

    The sicilian Dragon is an opening that requires you to attack before your opponent playing as black, and it becomes a checkmate race, what you should compare are the statistics for the sicilian dragon, with g6 in it, and those of attacking Nadjorf  lines, without g6.  Then you have a fair comparison.  

    Neither hold out indefiinitley, but the dragon can hold out for a while longer.  Furthermore there are some very safe lines, even in the sicilian, which black can castle behind a fianchetto!

  • 4 years ago · Quote · #16

    BLaCK_SyNeRgY

    I always castle on the 6th move no matter what...

  • 4 years ago · Quote · #17

    Cystem_Phailure

    FlowerFlowers wrote:

    is it so bad if you never castle the whole game? there are other ways to  move your rooks to the center, is there a huge diff in the advantage


    But castling is the most efficient method to get the Kingside Rook to the center and closer to the other Rook, even if the game position doesn't especially require a Kingside castle to improve the King's safety.  At the very least it accomplishes the Rook centralization in one less move, because you don't have to get the King out of the way first (or first advance the Rook to a different rank before moving it to a lower file).

    My quandary is often which direction to castle.  I think maybe I castle Queenside more often than I should.  Fairly often it seems I find myself able to castle in either direction, and I end up waiting a move or two to get a better idea what the enemy troops are up to before committing myself to a direction.

  • 4 years ago · Quote · #18

    pattrik

    I think castling totally depends on what opening it is. In some, like the king's pawn or Ruy Lopez I prefer to castle early, while in the Queen's gambit declined, I sometimes never castle because there is little need to. Also, I only castle when there is use, like when I need to develop my rook. An exception for castling might be when the opponent is attacking the side that you're castling too. I castle on about 95% of my games.

    When do you castle?

  • 4 years ago · Quote · #19

    hicetnunc

    You castle...before it's too late Tongue out

    If you're not sure, then better castle early Smile

  • 4 years ago · Quote · #20

    jac

    Control the middle-castle early-keeps me below 1600


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