Castling includes two pieces moving simultaneously. The king moves two squares toward the rook. Also, the rook moves to the square that the king just passed over. Depending on the direction, castling can be short (kingside) and long (queenside). With long castling, chess becomes more diverse and flexible.
Compared to the kingside castling (pros and cons)
If you choose to castle on the queenside, you should understand its drawbacks. Here they are:
- Long castling is less safe. The kingside castling puts the king closer to the side of the board. Thus, the opponent has fewer opportunities to attack it.
- It takes more time. You don’t just develop your knight and bishop, but also the queen. This move is unnecessary when castling is short. Here it will cost you a tempo.
On the other hand, long castling has an advantage. It results in a more active position of the rook. The piece travels from a1 to d1. Such development activates the rook and allows control over the center of the board.
The right time for long castling: chess tactics recommendations
When is it better to castle long? Following chess players’ practical experience, one should cast within the first 5-10 moves. This rule refers to both the kingside and queenside variations.
Depending on the situation, you may find it more convenient to castle long right away. It’ll be more reasonable than losing a tempo while reaching the conditions for short castling. So the choice is usually dictated by the circumstances and your tactics. But whether it’s a short or long castling, do it at an early stage.
With long castling, chess players can increase their safety in the beginning. Keeping your king protected will help you focus on the rest of the board. Unwanted assaults won’t bother you. Therefore, it will be easier to deploy your strategy without unnecessary obstacles.