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  1. Standard member Agerg
    The 'edit'or
    24 Apr '11 13:12 / 1 edit
    It might be related to my lowish ranking and tht I rarely fail to play the same old king pawn opening that I can get away with it for now, but in more of my games these days I try to make sure the other guy castles first and castle only when I absolutely must (even if that means I simply don't). The intention being that when *they* castle I know precisely where to deploy my pieces (including wing pawns), and the other guy has to hedge his/her bets as to where mine will eventually end up.

    Out of curiousity, is this a feasible strategy at higher levels (>> 1400) or would one get severely punished for it?
  2. 24 Apr '11 13:38 / 1 edit
    I'm not much of a forum poster myself but I thought I'd reply since I've played a few games lately that I've won because my opponent decided to castle for no apparent reason which actually resulted in him ending up in a weaker position than before. It seems players that have a (low) rating similar to my own often see castling as "the move that can never fail" when actually it can. I think the trick behind castling is to use it when your opponent has already positioned his pieces in a semi-attacking mode. This means that a large part of his work until that point has been far less effective than he originally planned. This also means (if you do it right) you can move your king out of the way of where all the action takes place. The danger here is ofcourse that by waiting too long you run the risk of losing the chance to castle, however until now it has worked out pretty good for me.

    Than again, I'm only a ~1350 rated player, and I'm sure the way you castle changes as your rating increases.

    Edit: I see it's been exactly one year since I joined this site. How nice.
  3. Standard member nimzo5
    Ronin
    24 Apr '11 13:44
    The pawn structure should give you a very good hint in most positions as to how much time and where you should castle.

    examples



    The center here isnt going to open in one move. You may want to 0-0 here to have the rook placed on f8 to support an f5 advance however.



    The center is more fluid and it is not hard to see that White might want to 0-0-0 and advance the g and h pawns.

    Black generally castles first (there are exceptions of course) as White's extra tempo is usually best used to acquire superior squares for his minor pieces.
  4. Standard member Agerg
    The 'edit'or
    24 Apr '11 14:06 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by nimzo5
    The pawn structure should give you a very good hint in most positions as to how much time and where you should castle.

    examples

    [fen]4k3/pp3p1p/3p2p1/2pPp3/2P1P3/8/PP3PPP/4K3 w - - 0 0[/fen]

    The center here isnt going to open in one move. You may want to 0-0 here to have the rook placed on f8 to support an f5 advance however.


    [fen]4k3/pp2pp1p/3 ...[text shortened]... ) as White's extra tempo is usually best used to acquire superior squares for his minor pieces.
    Good point! often the games I play end up with a locked centre and so I can usually afford the wait. I've had a couple where the centre was open though, and I got away with it here because their pieces were more interested in fending off an attack his castled king than attacking mine still in the middle.

    Often people argue centralising rooks is a good reason to castle, and though I can see the wisdom in it, the rook is also well placed (prior to castling) to menace a king's defence once he's castled.
  5. Standard member Agerg
    The 'edit'or
    24 Apr '11 14:12 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by Great King Rat
    I'm not much of a forum poster myself but I thought I'd reply since I've played a few games lately that I've won because my opponent decided to castle for no apparent reason which actually resulted in him ending up in a weaker position than before. It seems players that have a (low) rating similar to my own often see castling as "the move that can nev ncreases.

    Edit: I see it's been exactly one year since I joined this site. How nice.
    So often have I looked at the board and seen nothing else better to do than castle - a poor reason to commit your king to one side of the board!
    It is great though when they've got all their pieces waiting to ambush your king for when he moves to his 'obvious' final resting place and you then go and put him on the 'wrong' side!
  6. 24 Apr '11 14:13 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by nimzo5

    Black generally castles first (there are exceptions of course) as White's extra tempo is usually best used to acquire superior squares for his minor pieces.
    Funny, I've just been happy in two of my games castling first as black. Thought it might be indicating my edge in development... scanned through some of my games, it is really true...

    Great King Rat, totally true, castling can fail very much, even at higher levels (it is sometimes just another blunder move). But of course it gets more rare and the value of moving two pieces at once is not to be forgotten. Like Nimzo said, the pawn structure is a nice indication, giving you a feeling, whether you king is doing well on that side. For example, I think twice before castling, when I have moved either a6 or h6 on that side: the pawn structure already has a dent (of course, a6 and h6 are sometimes more important for other reasons then a dent in the pawn structure).

    If you ever feel like it, try the fianchettoed bishop. The king feels very comfortable in there...so if you see some structure like that:



    time to castle

    coincidence again, just yesterday I posted a game about that, if you want to take a look (my annotations are not detailed analysis, but you can see a bit, how it can work (by the way, there exist MUCH better games on fianchetto then this! - but might entertain - especially the blog that led to it...))

    Thread 139214
  7. Standard member nimzo5
    Ronin
    24 Apr '11 14:16
    I can guarrantee that as you play stronger players they will be looking to counterattack, which includes sacrificing pawns and pieces to get at an uncastled king. There are many great old master games worth looking at that feature this sort of play. As per my other thread-


    Here Marshall cracks open the center with Nxd4!
  8. 24 Apr '11 17:02
    Originally posted by Agerg
    It might be related to my lowish ranking and tht I rarely fail to play the same old king pawn opening that I can get away with it for now, but in more of my games these days I try to make sure the other guy castles first and castle only when I absolutely must (even if that means I simply don't). The intention being that when *they* castle I know precisely wher ...[text shortened]... this a feasible strategy at higher levels (>> 1400) or would one get severely punished for it?
    There are exceptions. Yet, castling should probably happen in at least 9 out of 10 games.

    At all levels of play, the main reason to castle is to castle the king into safety. A secondary reason may be to connect rooks.

    As for timing, it depends on the position when to castle . For example, the position affects whether or not to first develop the queen-side minor pieces before castling king-side, etc.

    But waiting too long to castle generally I think is problematic in that it bites you with the unexpected attack/sac/check/etc. by your opponent on your uncastled king.

    Hard to decided the timing of castling sometimes. But I think generally the earlier the better. Again, depends.
  9. 24 Apr '11 18:58
    116 players on here (very likely more than that now) have castled into mate in one.

    Other stuff plus castling stats here:

    http://www.redhotpawn.com/blog/blogread.php?blogpostid=10
  10. 24 Apr '11 23:51
    The men and women who play for money and fame castle early and often. This might be because at their level they know how to carry out an attack against an uncastled King and they expect their opponents to know also. The op mentioned that when you castle your opponent knows where to direct their pieces, but that is also true if your King stays in the center. A danger in the center is that center pawns are often exchanged first and lines get opened up. If many tactics are based on a double attack, then a King exposed in the center can become one prong of that double attack and the priority of the check may leave you with few options.

    I was just reading about the subject this morning from William Hartston's really excellent book, "Teach Yourself Better Chess". Here's an excerpt:

    <start>

    The first thing you're told about castling is to do it quickly... the second thing they tell you is not to rush... because keeping your options open may keep your opponent guessing.. The third law of castling, however, renders the other two obsolete:

    Castling is a rook move

    ... It's not just a case of tucking your king away; it also connects the rooks. By castling you have committed both your rooks to the same side of the king. ... the right moment to castle is when you need to bring your rooks into the game along the back rank - or at least when you have decided which side of the board your rooks will be needed. ... Think aggressively: castling is a rook move!

    <end>

    For me castling is part of the big 3 of any opening (along with development and control of the center) and I usually want to have it done by move 10. I am experimenting with a delay of castling to be able to bring about opposite side castling (tho I won't wait forever!) as part of trying to play with a more aggressive style, I'll see how that works out. lol.
  11. Standard member Quirke
    Racing Ralph
    25 Apr '11 00:28
    Almost every game I think of Pillsbury's advice that you should castle when you want to, not because you have to or you can.


    After studying the first chapter of "Art of Attack in Chess", I've gained a healthy respect for getting my king off the e-file if the center isn't locked.
  12. 25 Apr '11 00:30
    Black's delay in castling queenside (on move 24)
    did not do him any harm. Infact it's rather unique....

    dannyUchiha - vossboss RHP 2007

  13. Standard member Agerg
    The 'edit'or
    25 Apr '11 00:57
    Originally posted by greenpawn34
    Black's delay in castling queenside (on move 24)
    did not do him any harm. Infact it's rather unique....

    [b]dannyUchiha - vossboss
    RHP 2007

    [pgn]
    1. e4 e5 2. Ng1f3 Nb8c6 3. d3 h6 4. Nb1c3 Bf8b4 5. g4 Bb4xc3 {Played not just to double pawns, White has made 0-0 an uncomfortable home with 5.g4. Now 0-0-0 too will be draughty} 6. bxc3 d6 7. g5 h5 ...[text shortened]... sition. Also, go back one move. Look at the position, White is threatening mate in one.}[/pgn][/b]
    That was brilliant!...though I have to admit the white mate that would have come had black not castled escaped my notice till you pointed it out :]
  14. Standard member Agerg
    The 'edit'or
    25 Apr '11 01:09 / 3 edits
    Originally posted by MontyMoose
    The men and women who play for money and fame castle early and often. This might be because at their level they know how to carry out an attack against an uncastled King and they expect their opponents to know also. The op mentioned that when you castle your opponent knows where to direct their pieces, but that is also true if your King stays in the ce s part of trying to play with a more aggressive style, I'll see how that works out. lol.
    I take your point - indeed in one of my games I think I'm on the verge of getting punished for putting it off so long; it's just that at this point in my playing (in general) I don't feel comfortable allowing the opponent to decide for themselves to castle on the opposite side and make a pawn storm on my king; moreover once they've castled I like to attack - often forgetting that they also want to attack too :]

    Once I get time I ought to actually concentrate more on my game and do a bit of reading perhaps; also learn some different openings than e4 (if for no reason other than to defend against them when used by others and see how different openings relate to open or closed games).
  15. 25 Apr '11 01:16
    Originally posted by Agerg

    ...also learn some different openings than e4...
    Try 1. d4 or if you are a real radical 1. N-f3. Give in and come over to the dark side.