to Castle or not to Castle?

to Castle or not to Castle?

The Planet Greenpawn

to Castle or not to Castle?


This week I'll give some stats on castling.
This is the thread that started it off.

best post of the week

Posted by Beetlebomb on the 22nd of July 2007.

I'm playing a rather good new player who has good vision but knows
little Chess theory.

I can't convince him to Castle. He can't see any value in it and
wants to know why? It's been years since I've read a Chess book
and I'm just getting back into it myself, this site is amazing!

Anyone have something I could pass on to him?

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“Castle because you have too, not because you can.” Richard Reti

Clever stuff this. Start every paragraph with a thought provoking comment.
It’s straight from the ACME Correspondence School for writing chess books.

We are all told to Castle early. It makes sense.

Get you King out the centre and away from the open files.
Develop a Rook by bring it in from the cold and towards the centre.
(where the open files are!).

We see the above and a whole troop of us smile in a condescending way,
shake our heads, quote the experts. (I quoted Karpov) and hit these fresh ideas
with a resounding NO that echoes throughout the forum.

Got some cold stats for you.

On the 1400 DB there have been 19,250 checkmates between 6 and 20 moves.
I chose cold checkmates because it is King safety we are talking about and it
also cuts out all the resignations due to a pieces lost and time outs.

White mates = 11,637
Black mates = 7,613.

White 0-0 and got mated = 3,444
White 0-0-0 and got mated = 527
White uncastled and mated = 3,642

Black 0-0 and got mated = 4,073
Black 0-0-0 and got mated = 618
Black uncastled and mated= 6,946

Not much of a difference between White 0-0 and not castling is there.
Think this highlights the inability of a weaker player to defend himself against
attacks to his King.

Safest advice to give to a less experienced player based on these figures is to Castle Queenside.

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Hey Gramps. Everyone in the General Forum is calling me a liar.

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I don’t believe that.

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OK staying with castling. Players castling into mate in one.
So far I have found 116 examples of this on the 1400 database.
I’ll show 4.

Here is the shortest. 7 moves.

Bobla45 - SammyJ, RHP 2008

Next we see White winning easily but stopping mid-attack to defend a lowly g-pawn.
He drops a piece and castles giving Black a happy choice of mate on g2 or h1.

skullinator - TryorFail, RHP 2009 (16 moves)

What comes around goes around - learning from your losses.
In a safe and tepid position Tukumnieks castles and is mated on the spot.
(we see this lad again in the next game)

Tukumnieks - Blanca, RHP 2008 (11 moves)

Here is the longest game (25 moves) it does appear that Black is going
to do the check mating in this game.

Note White’s ultra cunning 24th. move.

Here he can play 24.QxR+ and Qf3 but no, he is waiting for 0-0-0.

This is our hero Tukumnieks in action again, this time he knows the danger
of castling without thinking.

Tukumnieks - sameeh, RHP 2008

Posted to The Planet Greenpawn

Show Comments (7)
Comments (7)

  • Posted 3415 days 13 hours ago
    Hi Tapi.

    Yes if the conditions are right.
    Usually a massive lead in development than, sac a pice
    to keep the in the centre.

    Opening theory have a few accepted examples where the
    piece sac is totally sound
  • Posted 3416 days 6 hours ago
    Standard memberwolfgang59
    I have been fooling around with the Albin Counter Gambit and one can often prevent white from castling at the cost of the gambit pawn. seems a reasonable price to pay. ... not worth a piece though!
  • Posted 3418 days 11 hours and 25 minutes ago
    Standard memberTapir
    So would anyone suggest sacrificing a piece such as a knight to prevent castling?
  • Posted 3421 days 23 hours and 54 minutes ago
    Is it Fred Reinfeld?

    Not laughing at Gramps and Rusty.

    Laughing with Gramps and Rusty.
  • Posted 3422 days 8 hours and 36 minutes ago
    SubscriberVery Rusty
    I think I am the worlds greatest chess teacher!

    Who am I?

    Hint: I dress funny wear glasses and make fun of Grampy Bobby & Very Rusty.
  • Posted 3422 days 10 hours and 47 minutes ago
    Hi Paul.

    Good post.

    I agree without a doubt 0-0-0 it is rarer than 0-0.

    However when you 0-0-0 you have to get three bits
    out instead of just two so 0-0-0 does imply that a certain
    amount of developing has taken place.

    It's even rarer to see 0-0-0 without at least the g1/g8 Knight
    out as well. So two Knights, a Bishop and Queen in play, it
    can sometimes be as simple as that to avoid an early bath.

    Sheer lack of the main reason why most
    games end under 20 moves.
    So 0-0-0 proves that someone has got some bts out.

    The White 0-0 losses are interesting.
    There can be such as thing as castling too early.

    4.0-0 in The Italian Game is dodgy as Black can play d6 and Bg4
    and h5 etc. White ha castled into an attack.
  • Posted 3422 days 11 hours and 15 minutes ago
    SubscriberPaul Leggett
    The smaller number of "0-0-0 and getting mated" games probably has more to do with the smaller number of games where there is 0-0-0. There are fewer games with it overall, so it is no surprise that there are fewer mates.

    The real question is the % of times it leads to mate, and I would guess that the % is higher. I know I tend to score better when the other person metaphorically throws the glove in my face and castles queenside, especially in an opening where that is not normal. I lock and load, and then unload both barrels on those clowns.
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