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Spencer Lower wrote on Mon, Mar 6, 2023 05:56 AM UTC:

In the 1970s I read an old english descriptive notation book that talked about free rochade. The rules for free rochade said the king could go to the B, N, or R square, and the Rook could end up on the other side on the N, B or K/Q sqare. I remember the author explaining that it free rochade was the original French castling rule, and that it explained the popularity of the King's Gambit. When White can choose whether to place his King on N1 or R1 and the rook on B1 or K1, possibly with check, the King's Gambit becomes extra fierce. Because of this the author claimed castling was restricted to its modern form. I only saw mention of free rochade in one book, and have never heard of it since, but the King's Gambit explanation is quite plausible. Anyone else hear of free rochade, or know the book? Sadly, I read many books from the library as a teenager, books that are no longer published or wanted.

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