After a king has come out of check, the immediate danger has subsided. As long as the king is in its original starting position, a castle move is around the corner. For this, your supporting pieces must help out the king, by removing the threat by the opponent immediately.
The rules of chess allow the king to castle after its been in check. Once the king is helped out of check by a supporting chess piece, castling is possible again. But only when the king and rook haven’t moved, and other pieces have moved out of the way.
It is essential that a supporting chess piece neutralizes the threat of a king in check immediately. Otherwise, the first rule of castling would be violated and the special move would no longer be allowed. The four base rules of castling are:
- The king and rook may not have moved from their starting positions;
- The king is not currently in check;
- The squares the king has to move through are not under threat by opposing pieces;
- All squares between the king and rook must be empty.
Castle When The King Goes Out Of Check
Note that the second base rule of castling states that a king can not currently be in check. If your goal is to castle, your main objective would be to remove the check threat immediately.
But that’s not all, because you’re dealing with a real chess puzzle here.
If we move our king, castling is no longer an option. Let’s read those rules again. The first rule clearly states you can’t move the king from its starting position. That means we must defend ourselves in another way, if the situation on the board allows for it.
Don’t Move The King, Use Support
Most players would simply move their king to avoid a check. But that would also violate the first rule of castling: the king may not have moved from its starting square. As long as the king is still in a position to castle, it can be worthwhile to use a supporting piece to remove a check threat.
Players will sometimes go to great lengths to still be able to castle.
If castling is still a possibility? Can you use another piece to remove the check threat? It will almost always be better to use the supporting piece. Take out the opponent’s threat with either one of the following strategies:
- Attempt to move another piece in between the king and the check threat
- Attack and take the piece that threatens the king with check
Players Can’t Castle While In Check
Learning how to castle begins with understanding all the rules and special moves. While in check, castling is always an illegal move. That’s because the king has to be defended from all threats.
First removing all threats from the opponent is only fair play.
Imagine being able to flee with a king that does two steps in a single turn, ánd have the opportunity to develop a rook. The shift in momentum would turn the game upside down. So that’s not allowed under the current rules of chess.
After ensuring that the coast is clear, you can start worrying about the moves involved in castling. Feel free to check out the video lesson below if you want to learn how to castle properly:
Is It Worth It To Castle After A Check?
Castling after a check requires a player to jump through some hoops. It totally depends on the situation on the board what type of move is best. It’s only worth it to castle after a check if it’s easy to remove attacking threats quickly and efficiently.
Undoubtedly, castling has many defensive advantages. Not only will it move the king to a safe position on the board, it will also improve the offensive position of the rook. And you’ll get to move the king two steps in one turn, which is kind of cool!
Castling Develops The Board, But It’s Not Essential
Having your defensive position sorted out early on in the game gives any player a nice competitive advantage. While castling after a check position pushes you in the right direction, it is merely a single move in a game of back-and-forth.
The move allows players to focus on the middle game right away. That’s where you can focus on taking out the opposing pieces one by one. Next, launch an offense and corner the opponent’s king once and for all.
Don’t overestimate the strength of castling, but use it to your advantage if the situation is right. You don’t need to castle to win, but it can help to develop pieces and defend the king quickly and efficiently. Keep practicing these special moves as much as you can to eventually get better at them!
Also read: How Many Times Are You Allowed To Castle In Chess?