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Free Castling Rule. Less restrictive castling rules. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
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.

George Duke wrote on Fri, Jul 18, 2008 07:52 PM UTC:
[In the past, there has been comparison of choices (as many as 3,4,5) for promotion of Pawn to choices (as many as 3,4,5) for location of King and Rook in free castling, new or old.] Falcon Chess invented modern free castling, different from Italian Free Castling. The latter is explained in ''Bring Back Free Castling'' by Tim Harding, linked below this thread by Paulowich. Any Castling at all is rare so far in Falcon Chess. For example, in Game Courier logs, where free castling is now King two or more over and Rook over adjacent, there is only 1 castling at all in over 25 games. Too much is going on too quickly to bother to castle. The two alternatives (similar to recent remarks here for other CVs) in 1996 copyrights for Falcon Chess are: King one or more, and King two or more, and both cases Rook must end adjacent -- unlike what was called ''free castling'' in 8x8 through 19th Century. '8x8' does not lend itself to very many choices to switch King and Rook simultaneously in Castle. Offhand, there may be only one CV in 1994 Pritchard's 'ECV' describing castling to multiple locations as ''2,3, or 4 over'' for King on 12x12, therefore not being inclusive of all squares between Rook and King on 12x12. So, modern free castling is new idea used in Grotesque, Sam Trenholme's Schoolbook, Birds & Ninja etc. Ultimately, consensus of players should decide what exact castling form they want from trials, if any CV becomes played enough.

Charles Daniel wrote on Thu, Jul 17, 2008 09:59 PM UTC:
See diagram 1: 
Modified castling conditions: 
1. can castle and check opposing king. 
2. king must be next to rook after castling.

white to move:

castles e1-d1;a1-e1 //check

This scenario can apply other files as well. 

Can be even used in 8x8 std chess with interesting results. 

Strong players will not use b and g file always. 

Offensive minded - will castle with rook to the file that  poses the biggest threat to enemy. 

Free Castling as described gets the best of both worlds by moving the king to corner and moving the rook in the center. 

However, I prefer the version I proposed above as in Birds and Ninjas.

H. G. Muller wrote on Thu, Jul 17, 2008 09:50 PM UTC:
Well, as I explained, I cannot imagine who would ever want to use other King destinations than those to b- of g-file. Adding moves that are not attractive to use, will hardly lead to more variation in play. You can make variants where it is allowed to remove your own pieces from the board, in stead of moving them, or cpture own pieces, or teleport your King to e4 in stead of castling, but it will essentially stay the same game, as no serious player would ever consider it.

I have a strong suspicion that this castling rule flls in the same class: strong players would virtually never use the extra possibilities.

Rich Hutnik wrote on Thu, Jul 17, 2008 05:20 PM UTC:
I don't see this adding any needless complexity. I do see how it does allow lines of play to be varied some. If, perhaps combined with Seirawan Chess, it could prove to be interesting actually.

Charles Daniel wrote on Wed, Jul 16, 2008 05:24 PM UTC:Good ★★★★
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.

H. G. Muller wrote on Wed, Jul 16, 2008 11:28 AM UTC:
What exactly is this supposed to add to the game compared to orthodox castling? It seems to me it would be strategcally foolish not to castle to a square one step away from the corner. Standing in the corner is in general a weakness, as your King defends one less Pawn, and has fewer escape squares. Standing further away from the corner leaves a gaping hole n the undefensible side of the King. If in a certain position it is not allowed to castle the maximum distance, because you would castle through check, it would be suicidal to castle in that direction in the first place.

So the only application I see of a variable King destination is that in Q-side castling one now will always go to b1/b8 in stead of c1/c8. But to get that, the much simpler symmetric castling rules as in Janus Chess would suffice.

The variable Rook destination might have some use, although this is largely spoiled by the fact that we are not allowed to give check. (After all, this would be the main reason why you need the Rook immediately in a certain position, rather than allowing an extra move for it.) Usually castling is done in a game stage where there are no open files yet, so the position of the Rook is rather indifferent. So why not put it always next to the King?

It seems to me that this adds very little to Chess, other than complexity we could do without.

David Paulowich wrote on Fri, May 26, 2006 02:49 PM UTC:Good ★★★★
Bring Back Free Castling! gives the full text of Tim Harding's December 1998 article. See also Aberg's variation of Capablanca's Chess for a restricted free castling rule, that does not allow the King to move to the square the Rook started on.

Matthew Montchalin wrote on Fri, Sep 9, 2005 07:03 PM UTC:Good ★★★★
It would be that much freer if 'uncastling' were permitted too.

Nasmichael Farris wrote on Wed, Sep 7, 2005 01:12 PM UTC:Good ★★★★
I am glad it is posted here.

Nuno Cruz wrote on Wed, Oct 23, 2002 08:39 PM UTC:
How about a zillions for this one? :-) anyone wants to take the challange?

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