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Castling/Not Castling

  • #1

    I have a question about castling.  Many times I have seen either opposing kings trapped in a corner or I have found myself having my king trapped in a corner after castling.  Is there anyone or several that find it better to leave their king center, to help avoid corner traps?  Also I realize that moving kings is not the only reason for castling.  It is also to ease a rook into play earlier in the game to have an advantage as the rook is probably considered the next most powerful after the queen.  If you could post some games showing how this works or recommend a book I would appreciate your help.  Thanks.

  • #2

    The center is a dangerous place for a king. With a little care he will be much safer in his corner fortress.

  • #3

    It completely depends on the game, you shouldn´t castle kingside if the opponent has an attack and pawns pushed to the fifth rank attacking your kingside.

  • #4

    Masters, experts, class players of some experience...all castle in more than 90% of their games. I'd state a higher figure and probably be right, but the point is clear: Castling is good for you.

    As Tricklev suggests, keep an eye on the position so you don't castle into danger. It may take some experience to make such judgements but that's chess.

  • #5

    Castling also makes it easier to activate one of your rooks, allowing you more control fo the board.

  • #6

    Even speaking as an average player, the notion that "one must not castle to avoid what you'd call corner-attacks and corner-mates" is no different than the statement "I will not go out to buy groceries because somebody might ding my car".  Nope ... you get your car dinged for zillions of reasons OTHER than going out to the grocery store!

    Castling and getting murdered ALMOST ALWAYS means your opponent has clearly proven his superiority in the game. He exploited many of your mistakes, none of which were castling (99.99% of the time! :)) He'd have murdered you even if you didn't castle. There are exceptions, sure ... but remember you have to figure those out for yourself. There is no book that clearly tells you when to castle ... though there are tons of books (Art of Attack by Vukovic) that tell you how to attack the King no matter where he's hiding :)

    Instead of relying on concrete answers (which do not exist for your question ... the need for castling is determined by the position and the position alone) , try this simple exercise => Open up a database and filter out Master games where THEY DID NOT castle. You'll notice some very standard patterns ... those boards might appear a little closed ... maybe the Queens came off early in the game. You just have to get a feel for those positions.

    Though if you want infalliable "spidersenses" about when to castle,  practice your tactics to a point where you can sense "weak/undefended king" type positions in your sleep. :)

    That ways, you'll see a king-attack coming a lot earlier and will be better equipped to defend yourself.


  • #7

    Castling is more important in some games and less important in others. Sometimes it will get you into trouble, like lighting up a cigarette, not because you need to but because you simply can.

    What a terrible analagy. Here is a prime example to check out:


  • #8

    Castling wasn't the problem in that game... the problem was black made systematic moves that made it easier for White to attack the kingside. ...Nh6 was dodgy and ...Bxf3 opened up the g file for the attack.

  • #9

    JediMaster, I would recommend reading Logical Chess: Move by Move by Chernev, if you haven't already. It answers all your questions, if I recall correctly.

  • #10

    Here is a good example of when not to castle (although this example is somewhat more advanced than the general tone of this thread):

  • #11

    Castling too early can be a mistake as your opponent will know where your King will be for the rest of the game, and can then develop his pieces with an eye toward an attack on the castled position!

    I have lost numerous games where I did not castle in time and my King was caught in the middle of the back rank, where he was soundly attacked and defeated.

    I have found that it is imperative to Castle if the center pawn structure is going to be opened! Otherwise Castling is generally one of the last developing moves made in the Opening game.

    I hope this helps.

  • #12

    The rule I've always read (mostly in Silman's books) is that if the center is closed, or if you control the center, it is fine to leave the king in the center. Once the center is blasted open, or controlled by your opponent, you better castle.

    A great example of the peril of castling too soon is the Dutch Stonewall. I play this, with the expectation of attacking kingside. But I've found that if I make this too obvious too soon, my opponent will simply castle queenside. So I generally try to wait, and develop noncommittally, until my opponent castles one way or another. There is no use attacking if the target suddenly shifts to the other side of the board.

  • #13

    I have a very clear example of when not to castle on kingside in one of my games, I played it yesterday at 3am. But this will never happen to anybody, it's just me that's so lucky:

  • #14

    Here is another one. It wasn't checkmate, but good enough to resign:

  • #15

    you can usually get away without castling if the center is closed and/or queens are off the board.but if queens are on the board and the center is open,then it's a good idea to castle.

  • #16

    I never queenside castle in the sicilian because the opposing queen has access to my weak pawn there. I almost always castle in every game because i think it's the safest square there is for the king. If you don't want to castle. Never move the center pawns.

  • #17

    it is usually to not castle,but to leave the clasteling option open

    like in the semi slav games,black usually waits for 25 odd moves until he'she castles!

    I mean,look at Anards(sorry if i didn't spell that right)games at the world champ match.He hardly EVER castled!


    You usually castle in the open games really quickly,like in e4 e5 games.If it is a closed game,like the french,then sometimes casteling is BAD!

  • #18

    Almost all of the advice on this thread is atrocious, it makes me shudder.

    Anyone who wants advice on castling: read a book, and believe nothing you read here.

    In the meantime I will point out that most miniatures between titled players occur when someone's king gets stuck in the centre or forgot to castle. Just a thought.

  • #19

    sometimes its important and sometimes its not.. simple

  • #20

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