How to Castle
Whether on the king side or the queen side the king moves 2 squares towards the rook then the rook jumps over the king and goes on the square right next to the king. Castling King side (0-0) and castling queen side (0-0-0).
When is Castling permissible?
All of the following conditions must be met:
- The king has not moved the entire game.
- The king is not in check.
- The king must not castle into check.
- The king must not castle through any squares that are under attack.
- The rook on the side which the player wants to castle has not moved the entire game.
- There are no pieces between the rook and king where the player would be
The king can more easily be attacked when nearer the centre as the middle 2 pawns have usually been moved in order to have a more open game. After castling, the king is sheltered by the pawns, which is why we shouldn't usually waste time moving pawns on the side and simply bring each piece (not pawn) out as quickly as possible.
The other beauty of castling is that the rook can more easily attack the 4 centre squares instead of having nowhere to go.
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