5 Situations Where Castling is Illegal

 In Sectional

If you read our post about the 5 things you need to do in every opening game, you know that getting your king to safety is priority number one.  This is usually accomplished by castling.  Castling is pretty straight forward.  When there are no pieces between the King and the Rook, then the King moves two spaces toward the Rook and the Rook moves to the other side of the King.  Easy right?  Unfortunately, there is more to castling.  Here are the 5 times it is illegal to castle.

The King has moved.  If your king has already moved this game, castling is no longer an option for you…for the entire rest of the game.  Even if you move your King back to its original square, you have lost your right to castle.  So be careful when moving that King in the opening.

The Rook has Moved.  If you moved your rook, you can no longer castle to that side of the board.  You do have two Rooks however.  If you haven’t moved your other rook, you are free to castle to the other side of the board, but castling towards the moved rook is no longer an option.

If your opponent has just placed you in check, you cannot castle.  If you can block the check or capture the piece that is checking the King without moving your King, you may still castle later, but no castling out of check.

If the square your King would castle into is check, you cant castle.  This should be obvious as you can never move your King into check. Castling into check is not allowed.

And finally, you cannot castle if your King will move THROUGH check.  This means that if the middle square between where your king starts and where your king will end is covered by your opponent, you cannot castling.  Castling through check is illegal.

Now you know the 5 situations where it is illegal to castle.  If you want to learn more about castling or King safety, join us at a Wasatch Chess Club held at the Spanish Fork Library every Wed from 6 PM to 8 PM.

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