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This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2005-09-18
 By John Kipling Lewis. Castling in Chess 960. New castling rules for Fischer Random Chess. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
albert wrote on 2009-09-23 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
One must understand what happens when:
- rook and king are adjacent = the Rook stays where it was.
- rook and king are adjacent with rook in the corner = permute them.
note that rook and king adjacent with king in the corner is not a valid
array, since a valid array implies King between rooks

El Americano wrote on 2008-01-31 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
It's too bad that the existing rule cannot be changed (improved). Teleporting to the traditional castling position has always seemed to me to be at odds with the intent to move away from the traditional positions. Moreover, doesn't the weaker queen-side castle in the classic game show that the King can't just leap to b1 from e1, but is limited to two-squares? The possible b1 to g1 leap just seems utterly ridiculous to me.

I love the variant, but I think Fischer made the wrong call - maybe he hadn't thought of this possibility when he announced it.

Anonymous wrote on 2008-01-21 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

Charles wrote on 2007-08-08 UTCPoor ★
Actually,the proposed rules are more  complicated and the majority of
players playing Fischer Random have no problem with this simple castling
rule where the king and rook are transposed to their respective a-side
h-side castled positions.  . 
>>Fischer is, of course, a brilliant man, but that does not make him a
game designer. I am a game designer and I can tell you that his castling
rules are overly complicated, cumbersome,>>
What qualifies you as a better game designer than him anyway? Did you
design Omega Chess, Gothic  Chess or any other variant shows me well your
design skills are? (I have seen your 'variants' on this site by the way 
- they don't show me that you are a better game designer than me or anyone
else). Besides, it is up to the players to judge if the rules make sense,
and I think the more experienced players have already made their choice. 

I did read your info too. 
The reasons for castling were to speed up the game, and originally many
illogical ideas were thrown about (just like this current illogical
castling proposal). The king's leap, queen's leap were all illogical,
but eventually the current castling rules had to be accepted because they
speeded up the game and also provided the advantages I gave below. Thus,
it is accepted and is considered LOGICAL that the king tucked away in the
wings with rook centralized IS the final castling position. 
Shuffle chess which is the original chess variant has NO CASTLING RULES.

All Fischer did was add the castling rules so that this variant can reach
a middle game situation that is similar to normal chess. And the castled
position on both wings MUST BE THE SAME. Only a simple transposition with
the king and rook is necessary (it is simple as long as you understand
that that the king does NOT HAVE TO LEAP 2 squares!)

The king's leap move you suggested is insufficient for while it seems
simpler for a beginner (who should learn regular chess first anway) - it
is clearly illogical for an experienced chess player. We now have to
visualize that the bunker postition keeps changing with each shuffle and
that this arbitrary position is safer!? There is no point in castling in
many of the positions using your rules.

Why have you delibrately ignored a certain aspect what I wrote about the
'bunker'  as follows: 
>>I understand your 'bunker' concept, but even in this case if the King
is already in his bunker there is no use for castling from that position.

First, the rook will have to move the king to be centralized to satisfy
castling on the same wing. But, if this position is under attack then I
can castle in the opposite wing!!!! Thus under Fischer Rules I am
extracting the king from danger. 
IN your version what happens? 
Say for white the Rook is on a1, the king on b1, other rook on say e1 and
this wing is under attack. I can castle the opposite wing (assume the back
rank is clear) King goes from b1 to g1 and rook on e1 goes to f1. 

In your case castling is useless in either wing. 

The point is you are trying to present castling as a special King move 2
spaces rule but this does not work for shuffle chess, period.  The rules
HAD TO BE MODIFIED to incorporate the advantages of castling. 
If you really hate Fischer castling rules then why not just drop the
castling rule completely, that makes the most sense.

John Lewis wrote on 2007-08-08 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
The original intent of castling was to move the king to either wing, centralize the rook and connect the 2 rooks.

You clearly don't have a grasp of the history of castling and are confusing what modern strategy guides explain as the advantages of castling as opposed to the reasons for castling.

You assume that the original inventors of castling had the intention you mention but didn't both to read the article(s) I linked to which explained how castling evolved.

I understand your 'bunker' concept, but even in this case if the King is already in his bunker there is no use for castling from that position. You have to admit that is true. In Orthodoxed Castling there is at least a reasonable and tactical use for Castling to extract a king from a dangerous situation.

Fischer is, of course, a brilliant man, but that does not make him a game designer. I am a game designer and I can tell you that his castling rules are overly complicated, cumbersome, and take up almost half of his explanation of his variant. No, I think Fischer just dropped the ball on this one.

Charles wrote on 2007-08-08 UTCPoor ★

This is not a problem: >>there are numerous positions in Chess960 where the King does not move at all if he Castles. >>

The original intent of castling was to move the king to either wing, centralize the rook and connect the 2 rooks.

It was ASSUMED that one of the wings was safer. This is not necessarily the case. Think of it as two bunkers located at opposite wings.

IN chess960, the king may already be in the wing bunker, but the rook alone needs to jump over to be centralized. Also if this wing is under attack the king can castle to the opposite wing.

So there is no issue if the king does not move at all.

The 'king moves two space' rule is for beginners who don't understand chess very well, and catering for them is ridiculous.

Castling in normal chess is only logical when visualized this way, not as a special 'king two space move' rule, which is what you are confusing castling to be.

For white a-side bunker is on your left with king on c1 R on d1 and h-side bunker on right with king on g1 and R on f1. In orthodox chess, this Castling move (to the bunker) can be made by moving king 2 spaces etc. But in Fischer Random, the moves are just different depending on the position.

Isn't that quite logical. If I as King am already in the bunker or quite close, I don't have to move very far, but my rook has to move over to center. Note, that it is assumed in Chess that the bunkers are in the wings. Otherwise, why can't the king just jump anywhere where it may be 'safe'?

Fischer was no dummy when he invented this variant. The castling rule is what makes this Fischer Random variant unique.

Otherwise you have shuffle chess and NO CASTLING!

John Lewis wrote on 2007-08-08 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Both the previous poster claim that the use for Castling is to move the King from the center of the board to safety in the corner but both give extremely ignorant reasoning when there are numerous positions in Chess960 where the King does not move at all if he Castles.

If Castling is about moving the King to safety then I challenge that Chess960 is much less helpful in this regard because of the cases where the King is already in the spot it would move to.

In these same situations, using Orthodoxed Castling, the King would indeed move to a safer position two spaces away regardless of his starting position.

Carlos wrote on 2007-08-07 UTCPoor ★

As a user noted, and is stated in many BEGINNER chess books: Castling is a special move undertaken by both the rook and king, the sole purpose of being able to meet the following: Tuck the king away in a corner (either kingside or queenside) so that it is AWAY from the center and (in most cases) safe from hostile activity. Centralize the rooks so that they can be brought to action along the center files d1 (d8) and f1 (f8).

Fischer's castling rules satisfy the above requirements, while the proposed suggestion is completely illogical and should be discarded.

Many people seem to have a problem with Castling and stalemate rules. Think of castling as moving the king to a special bunker to hide from attack and think of stalemate as the king committing suicide so that your opponent cannot claim to have killed it (which is the objective of the game - to kill the king).

Dave wrote on 2007-01-24 UTCAverage ★★★

The Chess 480 castling rules are based on some false assumptions. The original purpose of castling is not to just move the king two squares to the right, or three squares to the left and connect the rooks. The impetus for castling is to secure saftey of your king, and allow you to carry out other operations on the board with (hopefully) a safe king position (and connect the rooks too, yes). The most important point is that we are removing the king from the centre of the board by castling. In Chess 960 we are always able to vacate from the centre to either wing, Chess 480 however, does not always allow this. Rather than Chess 960 castling being arbitrary, it is the 480 castling rules that are arbitrary and do not apply well to the logic of a chess game.

'Castling This is a move of the King and either Rook of the same colour on the same rank, counting as a single move of the King and executed as follows: the King is transferred from its original square two squares towards the Rook, then that Rook is transferred to the square the King has just crossed.'

Yes that is true, but it only applies to the case where the king is starting on e1 (ie regular chess). Let's take an example position of king starting on g1. In Chess 960 we have the option of castling 'h' side (staying on that flank) or 'a' side, finding safety on that side of the board. We can have opposite castling games, same side castling, or no castling if it is appropriate, just like normal chess. In Chess 480 we find ourselves with the grim options of either castling 'h' side, or castling directly onto the e file! I hope you can see how undesirable this could be when many chess games revolve around control of the centre by pawn occupation, thus the e file could be likely be opened. It is not a sensible or safe castling destination!

'It seems that simplification of the castling rules for Chess960 could help promote the game for beginners, streamline the rules and reconnect the game with it's historical roots.'

Creating a variant where players castle into the often volatile centre of the board does not reconnect the game with its roots, it strays. The Chess 480 castling rules appear to break the true intention of castling. If 960 castling is to be explained to a beginner, it is easy to say you always castle to either g1 or c1. Why these squares they ask? The centre of the board is often unsafe.

Larry Smith wrote on 2005-09-20 UTCGood ★★★★
Quite logical. This rule should be applicable to any FRC game.

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