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Free Castling Rule. Less restrictive castling rules. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Charles Daniel wrote on 2008-07-16 UTCGood ★★★★
Actually, this is a dramatic improvement to the original castling rules. From a defensive point, yes it is best to move the king to the corner where it can protect its pawns.

One can place the rook in an attacking position in the appropriate file - so it is not just a defensive move but an offensive one. Rather than make two moves and then move the rook to the center file. With one step castling one can move the rook to the center right away.

The castling rules in my games e.g. Birds and Ninjas are a bit different. The rook must end up next to the king. Thus, to bring the rook to the center file, the king should move one step. Also, it is permitted to check the opposing king with castling. (but not to castle out of check) This is the way it is in std chess and I see no reason to change this as the rules here state.
For my version which I call 'Flexible Castling' you just remember to move the king 1-x amount of steps towards the rook and move the rook over next to the king. One confusing position is when I permit the king to occupy the rook square and the rook moves 1 square over. This is the most defensive castling position - allowing the king to protect wing pawn.
Castling is best understood as a joint maneuver to connect the rooks, centralize the rooks and to tuck the king away in the corner. Sometimes it may be necessary to centralize the rooks and start a series of offensive moves .
Flexible castling is perhaps a bit simpler though a bit more complicated than the regular castling rules. The increased strategical/tactical possibilities more than make up for rule complexity.