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  1. Standard member vivify
    rain
    03 Jan '14 17:51
    I'm finding that in a lot of the games I play, castling actually puts me on the defensive. I do try to switch it up and castle queen-side, but I still don't really like it. Is it ever better to just ignore castling, and play on? Can anyone post a nice GM game where a player won without castling?

    Thanks for your help. And have a gorgeous New Year.
  2. Standard member SwissGambit
    Caninus Interruptus
    03 Jan '14 18:00
    Originally posted by vivify
    I'm finding that in a lot of the games I play, castling actually puts me on the defensive. I do try to switch it up and castle queen-side, but I still don't really like it. Is it ever better to just ignore castling, and play on? Can anyone post a nice GM game where a player won without castling?

    Thanks for your help. And have a gorgeous New Year.
    Can you post a game (of yours) that illustrates "castling put[ting] me on the defensive"?
  3. 03 Jan '14 20:38
    Originally quoted by W. E. Napier
    Once I asked Pillsbury whether he used any formula for castling. He said his rule was absolute and vital: castle because you will or because you must; but not because you can.
    From http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/extra/napier.html
  4. Standard member vivify
    rain
    03 Jan '14 20:51 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by SwissGambit
    Can you post a game (of yours) that illustrates "castling put[ting] me on the defensive"?
    I(as black) castled at move thirteen. However, it kind of seems to help white here, with all of white's pieces jumping on the kingside immediately. I feel like if I didn't castle, I wouldn't have all those problems. This a worthless, terrible game that isn't worth reviewing, but you can see that after move thirteen, everything went downhill for me, until white blundered.

  5. Standard member SwissGambit
    Caninus Interruptus
    03 Jan '14 22:22
    Originally posted by vivify
    I(as black) castled at move thirteen. However, it kind of seems to help white here, with all of white's pieces jumping on the kingside immediately. I feel like if I didn't castle, I wouldn't have all those problems. This a worthless, terrible game that isn't worth reviewing, but you can see that after move thirteen, everything went downhill for me, until w ...[text shortened]... 3g4 Ke8e7 33. Kc1d2 Be4xd5 34. Kd2e3 Ra8h8 35. c4 bxc4 36. bxc4 Bd5xc4 37. f4 Rh8xh4 0-1
    [/pgn]
    Hmm. I think there are some problems whether you castle Kingside or not. White has more space in the center and on the Kingside, so that leaves you with the option of chipping away at white's center with ...c6 or playing on the Qside. That makes black think twice about castling Queenside.

    Still, I think that's the better plan. I tend to agree that you shouldn't have castled into a storm.
  6. 03 Jan '14 23:01
    As a general rule for beginners: In 99% of your games, castling is a good idea (most of the time you want to castle kingside, and if you castle queenside you may want to then play Kb1/Kb8).
    In your game, 13... 0-0 was a good move. Your opponent had a pretty scary attack, but I still think that castling kingside was the right decision and that you could have found a defense. The only thing that really put you in a bad position was your next move: 14... Bh5??
    You're lucky your opponent didn't find 19. Rxg7+ Kh8 20. Bg5! Qd7 21. Bf6 and lights out.

    And when not to castle? Well, don't castle kingside if:
    - your opponent has a deadly attack on that side of the board
    - your kingside pawns have been doubled and isolated
    - all your pieces are currently on the queenside and won't be able to defend your King on the kingside against your opponent's attack
    In that case, your King may be safer on the queenside or even sometimes in the center of the board.
    Oh and I almost forgot: of course don't castle when you reach an endgame (when the Queens are off the board), since you'll need your King in the center of the board.

    As for an example of when NOT to castle:

    Castling kingside wouldn't be such a smart idea there
  7. Subscriber Paul Leggett
    Chess Librarian
    03 Jan '14 23:04 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by vivify
    I(as black) castled at move thirteen. However, it kind of seems to help white here, with all of white's pieces jumping on the kingside immediately. I feel like if I didn't castle, I wouldn't have all those problems. This a worthless, terrible game that isn't worth reviewing, but you can see that after move thirteen, everything went downhill for me, until w ...[text shortened]... 3g4 Ke8e7 33. Kc1d2 Be4xd5 34. Kd2e3 Ra8h8 35. c4 bxc4 36. bxc4 Bd5xc4 37. f4 Rh8xh4 0-1
    [/pgn]
    I don't think castling at move 13 was bad at all. The nice thing is that you are not forced to. I'd be comfortable leaving my king in the center and letting white's kingside "hang in the wind", so to speak, but castling has the advantage of clarifying the strategic picture.

    The center is locked in a way that hinders rather than helps white's "kingside attack", if he even has one.

    Simply tossing a few pawns in the direction of the other guy's king does not constitute at attack, especially when the attack ratio is so unfavorable (http://chessthinkingsystems2.blogspot.com/p/tal-system.html).

    Black has plenty of pieces for the defense, and they are poised to explode in a counterattack if white pushes too much.

    On the queenside, white's pawns are compromised, so black is safe.

    I think the mistake was at move 14. White attacks a black piece with a pawn, and black responds by attacking a loose white piece with a piece.

    As a general rule, when one guy attacks material with a pawn, and the other guy attacks material with a piece, the guy attacking with the pawn wins. It's not always true, but as a rule the combos tend to be unfavorable, and it's an easy way to find yourself a piece down in short order.

    I learned that one OTB, the hard way, and unfortunately more than once.

    EDIT: And I should add that I think it is definitely a game worth reviewing. There are plenty of ideas and themes, involving both piece- and pawn play, and it raises interesting questions with multiple perspectives. A perfect game to post!
  8. 04 Jan '14 00:32
    Vivify,
    Castling is not a requirement, but it can be useful. I did not notice a problem with your castling at first glance. However, the moves you allowed white's capturing hungry pawn to make were, perhaps, your real trouble. Position can be crucial in a game. The white pawn was in the right spot to start with because you left it alone. Don't let your opponent get a position on you that doesn't favor you.

    In one of my games that I am playing now, I did not make a useful positional move before trying to take advantage of my opponent's backward pawn. He could have punished me for that, but he did see not see the black move early enough. I should have prepared against my weakness before trying to take advantage of my opponent's backward pawn.
  9. 04 Jan '14 07:38 / 1 edit
    If you let me offer some constructive criticism, 3... h6 is not a good opening to use. White let you off with 4. Nc3. White should play 4. O-O or 4. d4. Better was 3... Be7 or 3... Nf6. 5... Nc6 is also not a good opening move. Again white let you off with 6. d5. White should have played 6. dxe5. In my opinion, 5... exd4 was the only move here. 5... Nbd7 is borderline.

    Not every move in the opening database is good. Good opening moves is key for serious correspondence chess players. You don't want to put yourself in a disadvantage due to poor opening selection. Castling gave you problems because of poor opening selection. With better opening selection, castling wouldn't be a problem.
  10. 04 Jan '14 10:54
    Games where castling was "out" are usually exceptions.
    Like in this famous Fischer's game against Matulovic in Vinkovci 1968.



    And in an early endgame it is sometimes not necessary to castle if you can send your King to the center right away.

    But it's all depending on a concrete position on the table.

    There is no rule for exceptions.
  11. 04 Jan '14 16:40 / 2 edits
    I always remember Karpov discussing his strategy before giving a simul.

    "First I'll quickly take out all those that have not castled and concentrate on the rest."

    Paul's right you could have handled the White 'attack' better and
    Marc Benford is right. White could have played his attack better.


    19.Rxg7+ Kh8 20.Bg5 and Bf6 is indeed curtains.

    This came about because Black was playing tit for tat captures a move behind.
    This often leads to a disaster.

    The obvious move here…


    …was 14…hxg5. there is central pawn stealing trick lurking.



    What I am saying vivify is that we can discuss all kinds of opening theory
    and when and when we should not castle and yet sooner or later moves like.


    30.Rh7?? are going to get played.

    That was an unforced blunder, your job is to get them into a position where
    the likely hood is they will blunder, or not find the best move.

    Your other task is to avoid positions where you get placed in finding only the best moves.
    Only go there when you have complete confidence in your ability to hold such a position.
    When that day comes you will be beyond me and my two bob comments.

    "Can anyone post a nice GM game where a player won without castling? "

    Why does it have to be a GM game?

    In your game you could have (and should have in IMO gone for a Queenless
    uncastled King middle game.

  12. Standard member RBHILL
    Acts 13:48
    05 Jan '14 05:27 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by vivify
    I'm finding that in a lot of the games I play, castling actually puts me on the defensive. I do try to switch it up and castle queen-side, but I still don't really like it. Is it ever better to just ignore castling, and play on? Can anyone post a nice GM game where a player won without castling?

    Thanks for your help. And have a gorgeous New Year.
    I say when the queen is of the board. 90% is kingside as white and probably 99.999% of the time as black kingside.

    Lol, I like check mating the next move when someone castles.
  13. Standard member vivify
    rain
    06 Jan '14 20:01
    King on Point: that's an interesting point. If you don't mind, I'll be studying some of your games, since it seems you have good insight.

    GP: You gave me advice that I will always use, from this post on. Thanks.

    Thanks you, everyone who responded. I have lots to think about.