Castling: details of a chess move

Here we’re going to break down one of the basic moves which is castling. Chess games of all levels include it. So you need to learn how to apply it in practice. But first, we’ll explore the theoretical aspect.

The definition

Castling is moving your king two spaces to the right or left. Meanwhile, the rook on the chosen side moves in the opposite direction of the king. Only if both pieces haven’t previously left their starting squares, is it possible to castle. Another obligatory condition is the king shouldn’t be in check. The combination counts as a single move and enhances a player’s defense.


The history

This special move derives from the king’s leap that had two forms. The king either moved once like a knight or two squares on the first move. The second variation was popular in Europe in the 13th century.

In North Africa, it took two moves to accomplish the procedure. First, the king moved to the second rank. After that, along with the rook, they took each other’s initial squares.

Castling went through a lot of changes over time. It also varied depending on the country. In the 17th century, modern rules were finally confirmed. The queenside variation came into practice a bit later. The first notation concerning the matter was released in 1837. Soon after that, the practice became standard. You can also read biographies of chess players at

Use of castling: chess player’s benefits

A key driver of the castling implementation was to speed up the playing process. Using this move you can quickly put your rook closer to the center. As a consequence, it will notably accelerate development.

Another benefit of castling is keeping your king protected. It’s a quick and convenient way to reinforce the piece’s surrounding squares. That’s what happens when the king moves toward the edges of the board. Chances for early assaults significantly decrease.


As you study various strategies involving castling, chess provides more and more exciting experiences. Using this move you can quickly gain an advantage and change the outcome. Learn as many potential implementations of the move as possible. It will help you greatly improve the game.